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  • Emma Ray

Rockin' The Suburbs With Young Lions

Young Lions are far from shy on the creative spectrum. With the words “try see things differently” themed across the cover art and video for ‘Kaleidoscope’, doing different is exactly what they set out to achieve. It’s all part of the charm for the Brisbane four-piece who, a decade in to their career, show no signs of slowing.

With near 11 million streams on Spotify alone, over 650,000 YouTube views, a 2013 debut album ‘Burn’ which was named “alternative Rock at its finest” and praise by Rolling Stone Magazine for the band’s “undeniable charm to the song writing”, Young Lions are just getting started.

We chat with the team in Young Lions about the city they call home.

Your bio mentions the band emerged from the ashes of past local projects in the inner suburbs of Brisbane. What was the band/music scene like then, and how does the Brisbane music scene differentiate now?

I think things have chilled out a lot in terms of dynamics. When we started the scene was a lot heavier and thrashier – but now it’s a bit more relaxed, and more vibey music is starting to emerge. There is still a decent variety for sure, and maybe our own tastes have changed but there is certainly more comfortability in not relying solely on that ‘wall of noise’ in order to be noticed – so a bit more nuisance maybe? HEAPS more female fronted bands too actually which is nice to see, it was a bit overwhelmingly sweaty back when we started.

Getting straight to the question that divides Brisbane… Northside or Southside, and why?

Oh mate, I’m not even from Brisbane so I seriously do not get it. We are all spread out as a band across East, West, South and North Brisbane so as a unit the distinction matters little. Now that being said… Southside.

For no other reason than I (Matt) am writing this, and I’ve always lived South of the river. So yeah; suck it Northside.

What were all of your favourite venues to play when you first started gigging in Brisbane?

Back in the day ‘X and Y’ was always a vibe – TINY room and big energy. I think that’s where I played my first YL show. We still love The Zoo, and The Brightside though – some of the all-time classic smaller rooms.

Brisbane’s music scene is currently booming with so many eager and fresh acts, especially since live music is “back” after almost two years without it. What local acts have you been digging lately?

Is it really ‘back’ though? It’s been a long break for us trying to reboot what we had going before Covid and it’s been truly a struggle. And how many bands can I list? Is there a limit? Our friends in Wifecult are making some amazing tunes, as are Morningside, Waxflower, Cannonballer, Soap, Brixton Alley, Toby Hobart, The Comfort – the list goes on.

Giving some local businesses some love now, what are your go-to restaurants and bars in Brisbane and why?

We love whiskey bars/speakeasy styles places. Cobbler, Electric Avenue and Mrs Browns are probably our two favourites currently. The laid-back style, leather Chesterfield couches with low-volume music for chats are the way to go. We’ve had many ahem “band meetings” in such places. Cheers ATO.

As for restaurants, I’m not sure we really mess with that scene very much. Burgers are a vibe though and Ben’s Burgers is hard to beat.

Scenario - You've just bumped out of a gig, it's after midnight, where's you're go-to for a late night feed?

My house. Or if eating out; probably Lord of the Fries. Not much is open after load-out as it’s usually close to 1:00AM after all is said and done. Touring is usually a lot of trash food and terrible hours.

Do you all have a favourite cafe you love and/or recommend?

Our lead guitarist Ryan is a former Barista; so places with absolutely banging coffee are a must. So Joey's at Kangaroo Point or Industry Beans in Newstead are probably the go to places for us.

You have a night off to go and see live music in Brisbane. Which music venue are you going to first?

Triffid I would say – awesome food and the venue is killer. It’s a bit out of the Valley too which is nice for a slightly more relaxed vibe.

From photographers to visual artists, videographers or booking agents, do you have any Brisbane creatives that you’d like to give a shout out to?

Our PR/Booking agent Marc Mancini is the absolute GOAT. We have been in the industry for a long time and rarely do agents actually do what they say they will; Marc is exception. He’s up front, hard-working and honest – we really love him.

Also - Alex and Nat from ‘Method to My Madness’ are 100% goated – any film/video needs they will handle with great ease and professionalism.

And lastly, we’re super excited for the release of your upcoming album! What can fans expect from it, and when will you be playing Brisbane?

We are incredibly excited to finally be bringing out new material, it’s been a long break but it feels great to be back! This will be our 4th studio album, named “Make a Rainbow and Put it in the Sky” – featuring tracks written over the past 5 years that best define us as a band. It is full of emotion and heart, a few love songs, some reflective, some fierce – it’s a true Young Lions album in that regard.

We will be doing a full headline tour in support of that in 2023, but we do have a few shows in Brisbane before the year is out – one on NYE at Greaser Bar where we are headlining their end of year party, and another Secret Main Support show with some close friends of ours.

Thanks for having us 😊

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