Seasoned, weathered and matured by the overnight successes of their band ‘Iglu & Hartly’ (who rose high in the UK charts with their second single “In This City” in 2008 ) and then suffered a sudden and acrimonious melt-down, the multi-instrumentalist Simon Katz and vocalist Sam Martin abruptly found themselves in a musical wilderness in 2011 – with the Iglu & Hartly project put bluntly into a state of semi-permanent hiatus … and with no plans for any further recording.
But this unexpected “dark period” also helped to sustain and nurture the formation of their next project – Youngblood Hawke. They encouraged Simon’s long-time friend – Tasso Smith (guitars) – to get on board. And they recruited Simon’s girlfriend (now wife) Alice for duties on live percussion (and backing vocals) with Omar Ahmed on bass guitar coming in later.
“We were in a pretty weird, deep dark hole when we were writing for the new project” Simon tells me.
Sam continued, “We needed to find a release. That’s why we didn’t want to write any sad or depressing songs. We had just been working our asses off in a band for six years … then one day it all just fell away.”
“We were broke. We were even considering other – different – occupations. We were really, really lost. We had a lot of emotions inside… anger … just a lot of emotions that were pent up after that wild ride we were on. And we didn’t know if we wanted to start over from the very bottom again. So we were kinda lost.”
Drummer Nik Hughes – who played on the very last Iglu & Hartly tour- remembered every night, after their energetic live shows, when Simon and Sam would come back to their room and immediately start writing new material. . “They were so driven. It was an inspiring thing to be around them. ”
Tasso agreed, “We knew that the Youngblood Hawke project wouldn’t be the same as what had gone before. They (Simon and Sam) had been through such a huge learning experience. Coming up from nothing then kinda going right down. We had all leant from that. We now understood that things won’t necessarily last for ever. And that we should work our very hardest to prolong our efforts.”
“This is it – this is where we are going now. We have learned a lot (from our lives before.) But this feels right – playing our music together – it feels organic.”
Their new single, “We Come Running” was launched in the U.S. in August 2012 and is now scheduled for release in the UK. Sparkling like heat haze, and sweltering just like a summer anthem should do. It is a song about release and liberation. It’s about springing up and unleashing an immense hidden potential.
The song, which features the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir during the chorus, has already earned the band more than two million hits on YouTube.
“It’s fair to say that the audience for the song has been a lot of kids – 12 year olds – but also forty year old guys have also connected.” Says Simon.
“People have found the song through so many different channels. It’s been on video games – it’s been on a couple of commercials – and it’s been used on the coverage for the (NHL) Stanley Cup.”
“It’s been accepted by a very large demographic. It has been cool to see it affect every single level, age and group.”
Their live shows are said to be intense and totally inspirational. That is probably why they have been personally picked by Pink to support her forthcoming tour in Australia. The band will be supporting her city shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Nine shows in each city.
“It is all sold out. It is all arenas. It’s gonna be a lot of fun”. Says Sam.
The band have arrived in the UK after having just played the “The World’s Largest Music Festival.” Summerfest – in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“Summerfest was crazy. There were a lot of drunk 15 year olds. We almost got puked on. It was wild. It was unique. It was a massive crowd.” (The festival attracts between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people each year. )
The band will play their uplifting hymns at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in London tonight.
“The English are crazy about their music. It‘s very fun to play here – for sure.”
And soon the whole world are “Gonna know the sound…” of Youngblood Hawke.
Check them out now. And get yourself down to Hoxton tonight.
– © Neil_Mach July 2013 –