East India Youth is the works of London based William Doyle and over the past few years he’s had a bit of a blinder. His debut release Total Strife Forever caused a bit of fuss, and not just from Foals‘ legal team. His first outing as a solo artist earned Doyle a coveted Mercury Prize nomination for best album of the year and he quickly became a buzz artist across the UK and the rest of the planet.
Doyle is a hard worker, and his new album Culture of Volume was almost ready to go before the entrees had been served at the Mercury Prize awards dinner. He held his excitement trapped up inside however and waited a full year before releasing his latest offering to the world. Culture of Volume was proof that Doyle was not just a one trick pony and indeed cemented himself as one of the UK’s brightest songwriters, channeling some hefty influences such as Bowie and Eno to create an album with plenty to offer.
East India Youth are in the country soon to play the star studded Laneway festival so we caught up with William to find out how life was treating him and whether or not you should fill his Xmas stocking with Wensleydale or Cadbury.
BF: Hi William,
First of all, Congratulations on the latest album and we look forward to welcoming you to our shores with open arms early next year. Where are you writing this right now? What can you see, smell, hear around you?
WD: I am in my house in York in the North of England. I can see an empty coffee cup. I can smell nothing in particular as I haven’t got dinner going yet and I am listening to ‘Wit’s End’ by Cass McCombs, which is one of my favourite albums of the last few years.
BF: It’s been a hectic year for you with the release of your latest album Culture of Volume, with shows and festivals all over the world- What has been the highlight for you personally so far this year?
WD: I got to go to Tokyo and Iceland, the two places I’d wanted to go to the most, and both were incredibly transcendent trips. I think the travel aspect has been great this year. I’ve met a lot of great people and seen some excellent things.
BF: What is it about electronic music that attracted you to it after those years of playing in bands and what are you most excited about for the future of electronica?
WD: I’ve been making music on the computer since before I was ever in a band, and so my interest in electronic music started that way. I think as I progress as an artist, I am starting to consider myself less and less of an electronic artist. I use the computer and software to make my music but I don’t feel tied to a particular genre or tradition. This feels like the most exciting way to work to me.
BF: What are your musical guilty pleasures? Mine is Craig David’s Born to Do it-it’s the best thing ever.
WD: I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, per se; I think even things generally considered to be ‘so bad it’s good’ aren’t bad: if you enjoy them then it’s good. There’s plenty of things I love in a non-ironic way. Craig David is a good one! My love for Robbie Williams and Phil Collins may fit this bill.
BF: You had basically had Culture of Volume finished around the same time everyone was getting all excited about Total Strife Forever, have you already got a good idea of what your next steps are going to be, creatively or otherwise?
WD: I have a good idea, but I don’t have much work done yet. It’s been very hard to work while I’m on tour. After Laneway I’m pretty much taking all of next year off to make more music and have a proper break for the first time in a few years.
BF: You are on a wonderfully diverse bill of stellar fellars at Laneway Festival in a few months’ time- are there any artists on the bill you are particularly excited to be playing alongside/meeting up with on the tour?
WD: Definitely Grimes. I haven’t been able to stop playing her new album and I really want to see what she’s doing with it live.
BF: Are you more of a cheese or chocolate guy?
WD: I guess if I had to choose I would probably go for cheese. I love both but the variety of cheese is insane. Also, cheese becomes a very important tour diet staple. When it’s good, it’s great.
BF: Hopefully you’ll have a bit of leisure time to spare in between legs of the Laneway Festival tour- is there anything you’d like to do or get out of your Aussie adventure?
WD: I’m not sure really. Two really good friends of mine live in Sydney so I’m looking forward to hanging out with them and I think they’ll be able to drive me to some good places. Please tweet me recommendations!
BF:And finally, tell us something about yourself that nobody knows…
You want me to tell you something about me that literally no one, not even my best friends or closest family knows?
Here it is:
I am the only person to have successfully escaped from Alcatraz prison aka ‘The Rock’.
BF: Thanks very much for taking the time to share a bit about yourself, looking forward to catching you in a few months’ time!
East India Youth plays all Laneway festival dates and has two special shows planned for Sydney and Melbourne supporting the one and only CHVRCHES- details below:
CHVRCHES TOUR DATES w/ EAST INDIA YOUTH
Sydney- February 4 @ Enmore Theatre- TICKETS
Melbourne- February 9 @ The Forum Theatre- TICKETS
ST.JEROMES’S LANEWAY FESTIVAL DATES
Singapore: Saturday, January 30 – The Meadow, Gardens By The Bay
Auckland: Monday, February 1 – Silo Park
Adelaide: Friday, February 5 – Harts Mill, Port Adelaide (16+)
Brisbane: Saturday, February 6 – Showgrounds, Bowen Hills (16+)
Sydney: Sunday, February 7 – College Of The Arts, Rozelle
Melbourne: Saturday, February 13 – Footscray Community Arts Centre and The Rivers Edge
Fremantle: Sunday, February 14 – Esplanade Reserve And West End