Graphic, and all others in this article, courtesy of Gotobeat
Amidst our preparations for our long-awaited STRAND Magazine X Gotobeat festival this September 17th, we took a moment to catch up with a few of the big-name bands on our lineup to see how they're getting on with their own preparations. Without further ado, let us pass the mic to Sugarthief, Good Future, Youth Sector, and L'Objectif, for the only kind of feedback we don't mind hearing outside a soundcheck:
According to your website’s ‘About’ page, your frontman Jordi James once said that “all [your] songs are really about [his] view of a pretty screwed-up world”. How do you think music can help us navigate that kind of social landscape?
Writing music allows me [Jordi] to voice my thoughts out loud and rationalise how I’m feeling, but also, [when I listen to it], I can get insight into other artists' mindsets and find some common ground, which is can be pretty comforting.
It’s true that the world might be looking pretty bleak at the moment, but at least the lineup for the STRAND Magazine X Gotobeat Festival isn’t! How are you feeling about performing alongside the other acts on the bill?
We’re all really excited. It’s always great getting to share the stage with new people and some friendly faces.
What are you most looking forward to about performing at the festival this September 17th?
We always love playing in London so we can’t wait to be back, especially since the festival will be at a venue that we have never played at before. And of course, we’re looking forward to trying the limited edition Gotobeat beer ;) .
Tell us, Good Future, do you think the future of our STRAND Magazine X Gotobeat Festival is looking good?
It's looking great. You've already bagged a great lineup, and I'm sure loads of mint upcoming and established bands will want to play [at your events] in the future.
Speaking of looking good, we love your fashion sense. How do you decide what to wear to a set?
Thank you very much. It's very premeditated and may or may not consist of my mum stitching hearts onto items of clothing from my wardrobe, but I can't give away all my secrets.
And aside from mixing up your style, you’re also known on TikTok for your musical mashups. If you could see one of your songs performed by another act on our lineup, who would you choose and why?
I would love to hear a Bilk version of either 'Socials' or 'Addicted to Love'. I reckon they could bring a different energy to those tracks.
Back in June, during your tour of France, you famously found an X-ray scan lying on the street; your synth player (Nick Smith)’s expert diagnosis was, “they look very poorly indeed. They ought to get that looked at”. With your expertise, can you give us your prognosis of the STRAND Magazine X Gotobeat Festival you’ll be performing at this September? (Editor’s note: we think it’s looking equally ‘sick’, if we say so ourselves… ha ha….)
The prognosis is in. It's going to get fizzy out there. We're bringing new songs, better songs. Songs that we've not dared to throw at our listeners yet, only out of concern that the world isn't ready. It's really hard to keep a leash on these tunes so we're having to just take the risk, let 'em loose, see what happens to people. I reckon it'll be something cool and bubbly. Science-y, if you will.
And now you’re coming back to London to perform live at our festival. How does it feel to be back?
Oh London, the windy apple. It's been a long time coming, this return. Here at Youth Sector we're all dead excited to jump headfirst back into the great grey melting pot. Can we wait? NO WE CAN'T — who's with me? (There is a loud sound of applause; loads of people are with me on this one).
As you can see, there's a whole ocean of people out there just waiting to be wowed, and if they disregard the notion that time is money, and instead lend us their eyes and ears for half an hour, you'll scarcely see a furrowed brow amongst the seamless waves of capital denizens. You'll instead see gyrating hips and the edges of everyone's mouths raised up in a show of crescented solidarity.
What will you be doing to prepare for the show? And what can we do to prepare for your set?
Wear your Sunday best. We're wearing suits up there, it's dead hot on stage, and it'd be nice to see some support. Can you all come wearing mustard yellow clothes? Can we give this wild group of mustard folk some sort of legionic name associated with Youth Sector that sounds cool and makes others want to take part? Is this all getting a little bit culty? I'm here for it regardless, y'know? Anyways, glad we've cleared stuff up — see you all there!
According to Dork magazine, one "defining characteristic" of your sound is "a distinct tone of... well, not pure pessimism, but not exactly optimism either". That said, are you feeling optimistic about your set at our STRAND Magazine X Gotobeat Festival this September?
I like that description; it’s a healthy middle ground of emotion. Our optimism is palpable — we can’t wait to play the set. We’ll be mixing some new songs and old songs, so it should be fun!
We’ve heard you guys formed the first iteration of your band when you were twelve years old. Could you ever have imagined performing on some of the stages you’ve performed on (and will be performing on), back then?
I think even if you told us last year that we’d be doing some of the stuff we've had the opportunity to do, we wouldn’t believe you. We've always strived to make our music the best it possibly can be, however we never expected the songs to have the reach they seem to have gained, and I don’t think it will ever quite feel real to us four.
And now you’ve just finished your A-Levels - congratulations, by the way! We think a great way to celebrate is by going to a live music event, but we might be biased. What would you like to tell your fellow students who’ll be coming down to see you (or the ones that haven’t decided if they’re coming yet)?
The primary source of our joy is always gigs, be it playing or attending them. If you’re planning on coming or want to come, do it! Seize the day and come have a party…
To join the party on September 17th at Signature Brew Blackhorse Road from 2pm until late, you can purchase a ticket on Gotobeat's website here.
Answers have been minimally edited for the purposes of grammar and clarity. Edited by Talia Andrea, Music Editor