While plenty of new bands grapple with social networks and viral memes in the hopes of breaking big, Hans Zimmerman, the lead singer of Austin rockers the Young, is happily behind the times – until recently, he didn't own a phone, and he still doesn't own a computer. The Young's signing to Matador Records last year stemmed not from their online traction but their solid live show, which label co-founder Gerard Cosloy witnessed early on at a local gig. Cosloy tipped off Matador HQ when the Young played a New York date to promote their debut LP Voyagers of Legend, and the conversation took off from there. The band will release its new album, Dub Egg, through the label on June 12th; it's also available to stream now via Spotify (listen below).
The Young's sound falls in line with marquee Matador acts of the Nineties like Pavement and Sonic Youth, but it's also informed by Seventies rock. (Dub Egg's first single, "Livin' Free," is a Neil Young-style jam that begs to soundtrack a summer road trip.) The band recorded Dub Egg in a remote cabin in Vanderpool, Texas, about 140 miles southwest of Austin. "Before we left, I was really kind of curious how it was going to go out there," Zimmerman says. "I didn't know if it was going to be a total wash, like we were going to go back to Matador and be like, 'Oops, we were drunk for five days and didn't get anything done.' They probably would have been bummed," he laughs.
The Young found encouragement through their even lower-fi labelmates, Times New Viking. "I thought, 'Well, [Matador] released several Times New Viking records," Zimmerman says. "I love that band, but I knew I could make our record sound better than that!"
Just don't call the band "psychedelic," a term that makes Zimmerman bristle. "I think the word is pretty hollow," Zimmerman says. "Musically, I feel like it should be closer to this huge, cathartic experience, not just some word to describe whatever boring, Urban Outfitters rock is happening right now. If people come to our shows because they heard we're a psychedelic band, they're going to be bummed out that we have buzzcuts and shitty tattoos, not wizard beards and bell-bottoms."