Young Guns' Ben Jolliffe
By Jay Oakley
You have a new record coming out Ones And Zeros, talk a little about that.
It comes out June 9th and I know its a little bit cliche to say but without a doubt it's the best collection of songs we've ever written. The last couple of records we've had five or six weeks to write them so we've pushed the time on them but for this one we got to take our time with it. One of our single, "I Want Out," we wrote that two years ago in New York and then we wrote a couple of the others in San Fransisco, at home in London and on the road so each songs kind of got it's own story, it's own place. We're really excited with the songwriting and we really tried to push to make it better. We didn't want to do like a Bones part 2 (previous album from 2012,) we wanted to do something different.
With everything that comes with putting out a new record, did the recording and writing go well?
It did yeah, it went great. It definitely had some learning experiences because like I said we wrote some of the songs in different parts of the world and that was really exciting but when we tried to record them we tried to work with this guy in San Fransisco. So we went out there to work with this producer who's not the sort of type of producer you would expect to see with our band but we liked the idea and we like to try to push ourselves and to try something new. So we came home and working with Wind-Up Records we're lucky enough to have the ability to try stuff out and it didn't work out and we didn't end up using this producer but we learned a lot from him.
So with Steve Osbourne, he had worked with a lot of different music and we really liked the idea. It seemed like a risk but we went with Steve and everything went great and we're really happy. We took our time with the mixes and it was definitely a long winded process but once we got to the end we were so happy with the results.
With having the title track to the Bones album hit number 1 and especially with how the music industry is now, how does that kind of accomplishment make you feel and how did you react when you found out?
That was crazy. We had no idea. We were just happy that we were coming over to America and doing something over there with no expectations of getting into the Top 50 let alone number one. It was a really great experience for us because back home a song will be on the radio for three weeks at the most and here Bones took months to get to number one. We'd always get the emails from our manager saying we were in the Top 10 at number nine and the label would say we're going to get to number one and we'd just laugh because we refused to even think of the idea, even when we were at number two. It was crazy because it was like six in the morning and we woke up to a text message from our manager which isn't always the best time to find out news but we were outside at the Grand Canyon because we had the morning off and we heard the news. Being at the Grand Canyon with your best mates, that's just a really big moment for us, it still doesn't feel real.
Being from England, how does it feel getting to play a festival like Download at Donington?
That's crazy. That's such a great festival, it's one of our favorites. We've done it like five times now I think. I don't think in America there's as many weekend festivals except for a couple one or two day ones of course there's Rock on the Range and a few others but at home there's so a lot of weekend ones and Download is such a strong lineup. It's such a great atmosphere.
Are you guys on Download this year?
That's a tough one because I don't know if I can say yet. It's a bit of a complicated one but you will know soon if we are or not.
That's cool. What do you have coming up this year if there's anything you're allowed to talk about?
We're touring with Breaking Benjamin and doing a lot of festivals with them and we're doing a lot of our own headlining stuff. We go home after that and do a couple of weeks in the UK as a headlining run and then after that we come straight back to the States to tour with Three Days Grace for a couple of weeks. Then we go back home to do a bunch of festivals and then we go do a festival in Taiwan and Poland and some stuff and then at the end of the summer we're looking to come back over to the States. It's a busy year but that's what we want. We've always been a band for touring. We love to tour everything and we've done it very organically. We started in the UK playing to no one and then gradually we'd jump on a tour and play to ten people then twenty so it's been a very gradual process. So with an album coming out there's no better excuse to tour and tour and tour.
Talk a little about you, Ben. What got you into music?
I've been into music since I was a baby, really. My family, my father especially was very musical and my aunt and uncle did quite well in America years ago. My dad bought me a Pearl drum kit when I was five years old, it was a full size drum kit so I couldn't reach the petals for a couple of years. So I've been playing since I was five and been in bands and touring since I was fourteen. My first band I was with guys in there twenties and I'm this fourteen year old kid in this punk rock band and having no idea what I'm doing but I've always known what I've wanted to do. I went straight from school to drum college so I've always been in bands and always known that's what I've wanted to do.
Ben, thanks so much for taking some time to talk and I'm really happy for all the success you and your band have been having.
I appreciate that and thank you for having me.