Beyond the Valley: A ‘Conversation’ with Civil Youth

Philadelphia’s Civil Youth has been generating buzz in advance of their new album, “Conversations,” which will hit on Friday, May 19. The guys will be celebrating the release of the new record at the Theatre of the Living Arts the following night alongside Sonnder, The GoAround, and The Moxy.

With so much excitement in the air, we took a few minutes to ask the guys a few questions.

Your sound has been called “genre-bending,” combining rock, rap, and electronica into one big, dynamic melting pot. Who has influenced you?
We get some of our heaviest influences from bands like Biffy Clyro, 30 Seconds to Mars, Linkin Park, Eminem, and Bring Me the Horizon, but also from books and film. Books especially for Mike when he’s writing lyrics.

How does working across genres help you experiment and expand your horizons as musicians?
It really lets us be free and creative when trying to make a cohesive song and album.

There’s quite a buzz around you guys, and it’s something you’ve created independently over the course of a short couple of years. How hard have you had to hustle to get to this point?
We hustle harder than most people. Not that it’s a competition; it’s just that we have no Plan B, so this is all we have.

You’ve had some huge opportunities for your efforts, including the chance to open for Twenty One Pilots. What was it like to meet and work with Tyler and Josh?
We didn’t get to meet Tyler, but Josh was super humble. Wouldn’t even know he was in a band if you didn’t know TOP.

After opening gigs like that one and touring the country, you came home to write and self-produce your new album, “Conversations,” set for release on May 19. How stoked are you?
On a scale of one to eight cups of coffee, we’re 10 shots in of espresso.

What are some of the themes you explore on “Conversations?” How does the record reflect who you are as musicians and people?
One of the biggest themes on this record was conversations we have with different time periods of ourselves. Musically, the blending of genres reflects musical interests while, lyrically, it describes our headspace.

How important was it for you to take care of everything in-house for this album, as opposed to going with an outside producer?
We’ve never used an outside producer for our music, so it’s been the same.

We’ve already heard a taste the album, including singles “Dark Debts” and “Between Me and You.” How do these songs reflect what else is to come?
I think they’re a good indication of the variety on the album, but also touch on each aspect of the album. It has plenty of heavy sections, more intense rapping, higher melodies, and poppier choruses.

On May 20, you’re headlining an album release show at the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philly alongside Sonnder, The GoAround, and The Moxy. What can we expect that night?
Sweat and espresso.

After that, what are your plans? Are you hitting the road this summer?
We’ll be hitting the whole U. S. again in June and August! Tickets are available at civilyouth.com/tour! Come sing with us!

We’ve come to the end! Where can people go online to learn about all things Civil Youth?
Our Tinder, eHarmony and Match.com profiles, for starters, but then you also have civilyouth.com and facebook.com/civilyouthband! We’re everywhere. We watch you sleep.

Check out “Between Me & You,” the new single from Civil Youth, released exclusively on Alternative Press!

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