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Interviews Conducted by tick

"The Youth Ahead"

Introduce yourself. My name is Shawn, and I'm the singer and guitarist in the band THE YOUTH AHEAD.....

What is the hardest part about being in a band? Hmmm....the stereotypes, the classifications,.....stuff like that...in my mind, good music is good music who cares what label they're on, how much they can bleach their hair in a year, or what bands they were in before....give it a chance...if you don't like it.....just ignore it, and let bands do what makes them happy....after all, isn't it supposed to be fun?..... that's probably pretty confusing...its clearer in my mind…I swear.

When did you and what propelled you to start a band? It was more of a joke at first.....we kinda just messed around on what we had...which wasnt much....after awhile we started actually writing about stuff we knew, and a lot of people seemed to associate with it, and saying "Wow, I guess I'm not the only one who thought that".....it just started to grow from there on....people really seemed to like it a lot so we thought "what the hell, lets go with it!"....

How serious are you about your band? Extremely....we always seem to move up, but have trouble reaching that last step.....but the more we realize it's only a step away, the more serious this becomes....there's not one of us who wouldn't love to do this for the rest our lives, and I guess we realize to more we think that way the easier things come....

What do you think you've learned from being in a band? I think you really learn how good people really can be, and also how cruel people can be. Also, I've learned that music is strictly based on opinion.....there will never ever be a band that everyone loves.....there will always be people out there who can't stand you, but most of them will never say a word, but then there are those who never shut up and have to let everyone else know that they don't like a certain band...WHO CARES!....there are plenty of bands I don't like, but through the years I've learned to respect every type of music whether my ears like it or not....everyone has opinions and different tastes.....without that, we might as well kill ourselves cause life would suck!

What message is Youth Ahead trying to convey? We just try to let people know that we've been there, and everyone basically thinks the same way, one way or another.....we've all sexual thoughts, we've all gotten hurt by the opposite sex, we've all felt like dying, and we've all said "I hate my parents".... . sometimes I feel that music tries to focus on things a lot of people know nothing about, and tends to be confusing. You find people really don't even pay attention to what's being said in the lyrics because they have no fucking clue what the Artist is trying to say.....we try to make our songs fun and listenable for everyone...even though most of the songs deal with teenage years, I've found everyone, one sense or another, can relate to our music....

What do you think your sound most resembles? Well, since we're a "power pop punk" band....people say we sound like Green Day, Blink 182, Millencolin, MxPx...etc.. Sometimes I agree, but I think we also have a unique sound that separates us from the rest....

Do you have any advice/preferences for playing live? Always check your wires!!.....I don't know how many times my amp cut out because of bad wires...maybe its cause I'm too cheap to replace them....We've had some really good shows, and some really bad ones, but then who hasn't.....I really can't think of anything else that sticks out in my mind....

What were your primary influences? All local bands.....some of which are so awesome I don't know what they are still doing playing local shows....they really keep me going.....Some influences in the beginning were Green Day, MxPx, Operation Ivy..bands like that....any band that sounds like us is probably an influence...also, a lot of poetry in the past has been an influence....you really get to see what's in a person's mind, and then tend to see that your life really ain't so bad....

What equipments do you use? Any advice/preferences? I have a 150 watt Mesa Triple Rectifier...I friggin love this thing!!.....I got it on sale....also got an Ibanez series guitar....I took a long time to get to that stuff though....I used to play on total crap.....my advice to anyone buying new equipment is NEVER CHARGE IT!

Did you release an ep/lp/7"/demo? If so, how did you go about distributing it? We have 2 full length cds out.....one of which "Keeps ya Movin" has sold over 1000 copies locally and the 2nd "A Day at the Park" is well on its way....only available since the end of July 99'......we put these albums out independently with the help of Punkture Point Records and Red Iguana Records.....

Where are you from? Describe your 'scene.' We're from Central East New Jersey.....the scene here is actually really good....tons of kids show up for shows every weekend.....North Jersey has a bit more of a turn out, but we enjoy playing anywhere....the crowd for the most part is pretty respectful to all types of bands, and everyone usually has a great time....

How hard is it for you to get gigs there? Not hard at all....we play just about every weekend, and 85% of the time it's an awesome show!....for a band just starting out it might be a little harder, but if you keep in touch with the right people its very easy to score a good show....

What kind of sacrifices did you have to make for your band? Any obstacles? There are tons of sacrifices and tons of obstacles.....we've probably been through 'em all and they reoccur all the time....its what makes it what it is......if it was easy everyone would do it.....the most important thing is....WATCH WHO YOU TRUST....one day they're your best friend, the next....your worst enemy....

How are you making ends meet? I still work....right now this is still just a hobby....an important one, but it doesn't pay the bills.....Currently I'm a Graphic Artist, and its good, but I'll give it up tomorrow for the chance to live this.....

Alright random question segment is: What zines do you enjoy? Any local zine....can't remember the names sorry.....Sometimes it amazes me the zines kids put together....they're sometimes really really good, and let you know a lot about what's going on......

Thanks.

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