Young Scum started out as an online songwriting outlet for vocalist and guitarist Chris Smith. Years later when Smith decided to start his own band, the name stuck.
"We all thought it was kind of funny and it's definitely led to some wacky misconceptions about how we sound," Smith jokes. In many cases, one might think the band would be a loud, grungy outfit. It's quite the opposite with Young Scum's channeling the spirits of twee pop and musical ascendants like Belle and Sebastian and Teenage Fanclub.
Receiving critical acclaim from international blogs such as GoldFlakePaint in England and Polaroid in Italy, the band is eager to finally unveil its proper full-length debut . The self-titled release chronicles the anguish of growing older and facing a few harsh realities along the way. This includes things as varied as terrible jobs, wasted time and losing touch with close friends.
Despite these hardships, Young Scum continues to prove that the best retort is to write a deceptively upbeat pop song and own those fears and frustrations along the way.
In anticipation of their new album via local label, Citrus City Records, Style had a chance to speak with Smith about the second single entitled "Freak Out."
Style: Tell us about "Freak Out."
Chris Smith: "Freak Out" is a song I wrote about feeling anxious. It echoes the same sentiments as the rest of the album, which is essentially the struggles of getting older. This song, in particular, was me trying to express difficulties in my life in the verses [summers passing, hometown not being the same and losing old friends]. And then the chorus is a sort of reconciliation of those feelings, saying that it's OK because you aren't alone. The intro is also a nod to a favorite indie pop song of mine by Airport Girl.
For this debut, you recorded at two studios and lost and added new members. What was the general experience of recording Young Scum and what has life been like for the band over the course of 2017, leading into the release of your highly anticipated debut?
Recording the LP was super fun. We all crammed into our friend Tim Falen's practice space and tried our best to knock out 10 tracks in one weekend. We overestimated our productivity by a long shot and had to cut two tracks because they just didn't feel finished enough. Overall though, most of the songs turned out perfect. We did have to redo some guitar tracks at Ali Mislowsky and I's house (Sloth Sanctuary) with our friend Mitch Clem. Mitch also mixed and mastered the record for us. Overall the feeling has been pure excitement. We've been a band for four years this summer, which is wild. It feels like forever. We've been through a lot together and waited until we felt it was time to put out an album. And now's the time.
What's the worst job you've ever had?
The worst job I've ever had was at a soul sucking call center downtown that I won't name. Let's just say the free snacks weren't enough to make me not feel dead inside. One day I was at my desk with my head in my hands and the director of the center stopped by and when I looked up she just laughed and said "C'mon it's not that bad" and just walked off cackling. I quit soon after. At least it gave me some inspiration to write songs.
What's your favorite pop song?
This is so tough. It changes all the time. I have so many favorites but I'll say "Sparky's Dream" by Teenage Fanclub, a huge influence on Young Scum, followed by Rocketship's "I Love You Like the Way I Used to Do."
Young Scum will celebrate the release of its self-titled debut on Friday, July 6, at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery at 2410 Ownby Lane. It will be joined by Weller, Mangoux and Missangelbird. The debut will be available on cassette from Citrus City Records and vinyl from Pretty Olivia Records.