“YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT” INTERVIEW by Sheri Birk
I had some generic intro to this interview scribed that reminded me of something you would read on other sites that did the job and was just like any intro to an interview should be. But…that’s not why you read my stuff, is it? Or should I say, that’s not why I write; to sound like all the others. And not that it’s bad because there are good writers that fill up some of the “other” spots. And I’m not blowing my own horn here either, mind you. “Toot Toot” – ehum.
Y’all might not know, but the MF and I went to the Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Festival this August. Gotta tell you, being in Sin City for Psycho Las Vegas in and of itself is magical. Since it was my first time at this festival, I am going to equate my experience to that of Alice’s first visit to Wonderland. Me, of course being Alice. Without going into to a full on story about the whole experience, you’ll have to wait for that piece to come out – it’s a doozer – I’ll just say that everything I did or saw was utterly magical.
And no, I didn’t pull any Hunter S. Thompson stunts and wake up in a bathtub of my own filth, a phone and a couple of grapefruit. Although, I can’t lie and say it didn’t cross my mind that as a journalist, I too should experience this festival in the way that would have made Mr. Thompson proud. That, I should, without a shadow of doubt become the female version and wreak havoc on the Hard Rock! That the MF could be my attorney and we could play out the best scenes in the book (or movie) only putting them to music instead of the rubber hitting the dirt, so to speak. Oh the joy I felt while my little brain cranked out the ideas and thinking about the fun we could have!!
Fortunately, that string of mental masturbation only lasted about 45 minutes on the flight there. Look y’all, I gotta say that over 3 days, 4 if you got there on Thursday like we did, is a LOT of music. And the sheer energy that the City of Las Vegas produces in the literal and the metaphysical sense, will zap you dry if you let it. The only time there is any silence is when you’re asleep and even then your dreams are fucking loud! The ding ding dings and bells and whoo whoo whoo siren-like noises of the casino coming out of a loud AF show is not for the weak.
With that, it’s a wonder that coming in contact with “YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT” even happened the way it did. But it did happen in exactly the way I’m about to tell you it happened. I was coming out of a show in the big venue and the smaller, club like venue was right as you walked out of the wall of doors into the casino. Pretty sure I was going to smoke before the next band so I wasn’t sauntering along on a Sunday stroll because 1) it was Friday and 2) I know there were people that were behind me that would have run me over and 3) I was going to smoke so there is always an urgency when I find the time to do so at an event like this (and no, you can’t smoke everywhere in Vegas).
As I was making my way to a less crowded place or where I could stand nonchalantly with another smoker so I could avert the scornful and shaming glares from nonsmokers, I heard a voice or someone singing from Vinyl and I literally, hand to God stopped and did one of those turns like someone had ahold of my shoulders and rotated my whole body and not missing a beat with the gate of my walk, continued me moving only moving towards the voice. This was one of those experiences that is very “follow the white rabbit” or Alice-esque like because it just happened and don’t you love it when things like this just happen?
It was still in this room where a band was playing; I couldn’t see a banner or the name of the band where I was standing or had been pulled to. I got out my phone though and went live on Facebook so I could remember and so someone else could hear what I heard. My vantage didn’t allow me to see the person singing and I don’t think it mattered at the time who it was, male or female, if they were playing and singing – it didn’t matter. What mattered was this captivating sound piercing through the oxygenated air to our ear holes almost like you would think it sounded or felt if an arrow would puncture the hide of an animal’s skin stretched out on a frame or something. “Thooowwwoaap” is the only way I can phonetically spell it but that sound stuck in my ear canal and vibrated off my ear drum while I watched.
It looked like everyone else was kinda in a trance as well, which might not be that far off because cannabis is now legal in Nevada and I swear everyone was taking full advantage of the new legislature; residents and nonresidents. It kinda freaks me out though, TBH. The whole pot thing if you’re a visitor to the state and you smoke it and go back to your state where it isn’t legal, have you committed a crime? Anyway – food for thought.
What I heard was so gorgeous and a might bit on the odd side for the kind of music they were playing (PS the word “odd” is never used by me negatively, unless I say I’m using it negatively). It was odd that it was 2017 and I swear to the Gods of Ganja that 1971 was reaching through the PA and gently slapping the hell out of us standing there listening. Why, I have no clue. Maybe because so many of us have forgotten about the 70’s or don’t realize that the rock we listen to in so many shapes and forms, its DNA was being mapped then. The markers for so much music and music offshoots came directly from this decade.
This person singing, DAVID MERRILL, as it turns out was giving it all he had on the stage here in Vegas at this festival and I happened to be one that was sucked in the way a small piece of plastic is sucked into the open hose of a vacuum.
It’s funny how maybe 6 minutes can add to the betterment of my life. I can honestly say that hearing YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT totally gave me joy and that I really dig the hell out of the band. They made a fan at Psycho Vegas and that’s the whole purpose of playing festivals, right? Oh, the Go Live post – I went back a few hours later after finding out the band’s name and tagged them. We chatted a bit and meant to connect face to face at the festival, but they had to leave early-ish Saturday AM to get to the next stop on their tour. So they did the next best thing, they filled in one of my handy-dandy, interactive email interviews.
Get to know this band because they’re pretty bad ass and you never know; the bands you’ve never heard of today, might be the band of tomorrow!
YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT IS:
ABOUT: Youngblood Supercult is an American stoner rock band from Topeka, Kansas. The band’s line-up consists of Bailey Smith (guitar), David Merrill (vocals), Weston Alford (drums), and Brad Morris (bass). The group has been categorized as hard rock, stoner rock, and heavy blues. Their sophomore album, High Plains (2016) garnered substantial reviews and ranked at number two on the label and critic-backed Doom Charts for March 2016. They have been consistently touring various U.S. cities since their latest release, and have signed to DHU Records for a limited vinyl release of High Plains. Currently, they are mixing tracks for their third studio album, “The Great American Death Rattle,” to be co-released by The Company & DHU Records.
Current vibe in the bus/van: Strapped! Haha, we’re very cramped and bogged down, but spirits are very high.
Who is participating in this interview: Bailey, David, Brad, and Weston.
Best thing that happened at Psycho Vegas?
Meeting people in the community in real life. The entire scene is filled with the most kind and authentic people, so it’s great to meet them in person when all you’ve done is converse with them online. The atmosphere and vibe was just wild.
Thing you would change about yourself right this minute?
Bailey: Wish my hand was completely healed up.
Weston: I need more lime Jarritos right now.
David: My hot tea intake. Throat’s a little sore.
Brad: I want a stronger chin.
What is your superpower on tour? Does it change when you’re home?
Brad: Time-travel (aka: blacking out).
Weston: An uncanny ability to piss of everyone in the van.
David: To be as late as a girl preparing for prom in everything I do.
Bailey: I can pee every 5 miles.
None of our powers change at home.
You see a person walking down the highway, they are not hitchhiking, just walking with their head down. They don’t have any bags and look reasonably clean, and pretty normal. You think you remember a car with its hazards on a few miles back, but you’re not sure. It’s only 6 miles to the 1st gas station in over 100 miles. What do you do?
We’ve watched too many horror movies for that shit.
Who decides what to play on the radio in the van/bus going from city to city?
Mostly Bailey, but it’s democratic from time to time.
Out of all of your songs – which do you think I would like the best and why?
“Mr. Gallows” called you into the venue. It’s a sign.
Cherri: It’s true – I dig the hell out of this song. It’s spectacular in person. Like mind-bendingly spectacular.
Where are you going now?
Who would you tour with if you could tour with any band still together or not?
Bailey: Black Sabbath, duh. Haha.
Weston: Deep Purple.
Brad: House of Pain.
Who has the weakest bladder?
Worst thing to eat and then get in the bus/van for 8 hours?
Did you have fun at Psycho Vegas?
It was amazing.
Best band you saw?
Brad: Brian Jonestown Massacre.
Weston: Sumac from the pool.
What can you tell about making the last record that you would definitely do the same on the next record? What wouldn’t you do over again?
We wouldn’t probably do everything completely different. This was a difficult album to record and there were many trials and tribulations.
Title a song about the hitchhiking scenario above?
To guitar solo or not to solo? What is your preference?
ALWAYS. It’s a must. No matter the instrument; it adds flavor.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Only time will tell.
List any other deets we may need/want to know?
Sheri Birk/MHF Magazine