Interview: Sam Hallett of Blood Youth

Sean catches up with Blood Youth's Sam Hallett at 2000 Trees 2019.

Was [Starve] the album you wanted to make?

“Yeah definitely, we knew we wanted to do something much more drastic and take a bigger leap. We thought people were expecting Beyond Repair part 2, which we did actually start writing, but then we scrapped those ideas and moved into Starve territory. We think of the EPs and Beyond Repair as being their own step in the evolution of the band, and then Starve is a completely different area of the band. We want our next album to be more ‘traditionally metal’ with a lot of faster drum stuff such as blast beats.”

Did a more stable line-up help with being more experimental?

“Making the jump into Starve with a solid line-up made us much more confident, especially having had Les for several years now since the Beyond Repair release show.”

Were you disappointed about not playing Underworld?

“We were but Boston Music Rooms is a great little venue and we still enjoy playing it, but we’re hoping to get the chance to headline Underworld soon.”

Starve is so dark, was that a reflection of your personal lives or something else?

“I think touring in a small band from 2015 hit us with a lot of frustrations and issues that built up and were let out in Starve. We aren’t angry people in our day to day, but it is our style of music and the way we carry ourselves on stage.”

Apart from the obvious Slipknot approach, who have influenced you?

“Kaya has his own lyrical influences such as Touché Amoré but we all back it up with old school stuff that we grew up with such as Korn and Limp Bizkit. Bands like Machine Head also make an appearance on the album in certain ways.”

What would you describe yourselves as?

“From Starve I suppose we would be ‘nu nu-metal’ because we see nu-metal as still relevant and bands like Korn are still smashing it.”

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at a show?

“Any time you ever see a lot of stage diving it feels amazing, playing Download and Reading and Leeds in the past few years was amazing. The other three can run around the stage and I’m always stuck staring at the whole crowd, but I love watching the ‘organised chaos’ that can be created by heavy shows.”

What’s your favourite song to play?

“I love playing ‘Keep You Alive’, it’s a much slower tempo for us so it’s really cool. We love playing the whole new album.”

As big Slipknot fans what was it like supporting Stone Sour last year?

“Chris and Matt chatted to Corey a lot, and Chris got him to sign his self-titled CD – and actually Corey dropped it and broke it!”

Who are your personal biggest influences band-wise?

“I get a lot of grief because I like a lot of ‘mainstream’ bands; I’m quite a groovy, closed hi-hat drummer but I play in a heavy band, and The 1975 are my favourite band of all time. I always go back to [albums] Hybrid Theory and Chocolate Starfish…though, because that’s what I grew up on.”

What would be your dream tour?

“I would love to play with Code Orange, Vein, Slipknot and I’d love to tour with Sylar – just any of those bands would be incredible to play with. Some kind of one day festival or something with all of them on would be great and complete mayhem.”