Young Prisms On Tour

FAULT: The standard intro question (for those who don’t know): How did Young Prisms come to be?
GIO OF YOUNG PRISMS: Well, Matt and myself, Gio, have been close friends for as long as my memory works. We met at a very young age, three years old, and kind of grew up teaching each other about music and how to play different instruments. So, some people can say it started then, however we didn’t actually start recording under the YP name until we moved into an apartment with our friends Stef (vocalist/synth), Jason (guitar) and our drummer. We started writing songs with more than just the two of us and recording in our living room.

What is the relevance behind the name Young Prisms?
It doesn’t really stand for anything special. We’ve always told people different made up stories about it, mostly just fucking around, but the truth is that a friend of Jason’s had a dog named young… something (can’t remember), and we were listening to Prism of Eternal Now by White Rainbow and kind of just got lazy with it. Not terribly concerned with having any commitment to a name, we just went with it.

You recently played Brooklyn… Do you have a favorite thing to do when you’re in the city?
When we’re in New York, we spend a lot of time hanging out with friends around North Brooklyn. We try to eat as much falafel and pizza as possible. Natt is a big Oasis fan (the Shawarma place, not the band). It’s pretty much a given that we’ll end up at Main Drag more than twice in the little time we’re in new york.

It’s noted that your album In Between captures the highs and the lows of one year. Name a high and a low influence.
A low would definitely be losing a bandmate in the process of the first album. Jason, who I mentioned in the first answer, left our band while we were in the U.K. last winter just as our first record was being released. It was a huge bummer. Luckily for him, he got out of Europe before that “ice storm” hit. A high point might be the following move, getting a new bandmate and great friend out of it. Ashley Thomas (whose voice you hear on “Four Hours”) is an amazing person and working with her and becoming such great friends has definitely been a spirit lifter.

What can we expect from this new record that differs from Friends For Now?
Less aggression, that’s for sure. I think we tried to make a record based on where we were almost immediately after our first record came out. Some of these songs were even written while dealing with Jason’s departure and the time we spent in that ice storm (which, to clarify, was less of an ice storm than it was a general lack of preparation from the British airports, more like an anti-freeze shortage than an actual storm — either way we were stuck like refugees).

How do you think the aesthetics of your home base San Francisco translates into your music?
Maybe… It’s hard to read into that from my view. I mean I can say everything I do is inspired by my own surroundings. San Francisco is an amazing city. I think maybe it’s more exciting than our songs at times. I definitely noticed, after touring for the past few years, that there are more freaks and weirdos in San Francisco than most — if not all — other cities in America. With that said, I can’t say that our music is all that “freaky” or “weird.” I might call it cloudy and mellow, like most San Francisco days. The occasional ocean breeze creeps in.

What can an audience expect from one of your live shows?
Can’t expect anything specific, every night is totally different. We’ve been trying to use and incorporate more visual excitement with lighting and fog and projections, so we don’t bore too many people with our lack of moshing and spitting, etc. We’re not a punk band or a dance band, so we just play our songs with not much else. I can understand that might bore people who come with the expectations that we’re rock and roll “performers.”

Some say your music is “dark and haunting” and others “hazy and easygoing.” What do you think?
I hope there’s a balance of both. Some of the songs on In Between definitely came from dark places and experiences, and others from cerebral altering places/substances (without giving too much away).

After anyone releases an album, there are sure to be tons of “album reviews,” etc. Is there anything you are sick of hearing people say about you as a band and/or the music you put out?
Well, none of what reviews mention really sticks with us anymore. We can really give a shit less. Sometimes we get compared to some of our favorite bands, sometimes to bands we can’t stand. There have even been comparisons where we’re being accused of taking from bands we’ve never heard of or even listened to. For the most part, the shitty reviews are by jaded pseudo journalists who have their own agendas they’re concerned with. We can’t really allow ourselves to think we’re being judged or graded as if we’re trying to pass a class: “I got an B in Vice,” or “Pitchfork gave me a D-,” So… “I guess I gotta retake the course.” The first review I read actually sort of hurt my feelings, until I realized I was the one allowing them to bum me out by giving a shit. I don’t anymore.

What are you most proud of in regards to In Between?
Finishing it. We’ve already started on songs for what will be our next release. It’s a never ending cycle, so finishing one and starting on the next is like flipping the page in your journal. It’s a nice feeling.

What is your FAULT?
We’re heavily addicted to effects pedals. It’s like a drug.

— Interview by Rachel Eleanor Sutton / Photograph by Hayden Shiebler

Tour Dates:
May 15 – Constellation Room – Santa Ana, CA*
May 16 – Belly Up Tavern –  Solana Beach, CA*
May 17 – Pappy and Harriets – Pioneertown, CA*
May 18 – Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA*
May 21 – The Blank Club – San Jose, CA*
May 25 – Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC*
May 27 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR*
* w/Dum Dum Girls