SXSW 2015 Interview: East India Youth

By on Wednesday, 25th March 2015 at 11:00 am

I think it’s safe to say that East India Youth, better known to his mum as London-based electronic musician and bassist Will Doyle, is well-known among music fans in Britain: his debut album under the moniker released on Stolen Recordings released at the start of last year, ‘Total Strife Forever’, earned him a coveted 2014 Mercury Prize nomination, which even without winning the gong he says gave the LP a second life after its initial release. Here in America though, he’s just beginning (hence the Bands to Watch I wrote on him in January to talk him up before he arrived in Texas) a major push in our country this spring with his upcoming album ‘Culture of Volume’, which will be released on Beggars Group’s XL Recordings the first full week of April in both the UK and U.S. and will be accompanied stateside by a reasonably long North American tour kicking off at the end of April.

Will’s first visit to Austin, Texas, for SXSW 2015 last week included a plethora of gigs at venues of varying size, playing to audiences of varying numbers and claustrophobia: Saturday saw him play the Indian Roller bar south of the city owned by a friend, while Thursday afternoon saw him playing a mental set for Under the Radar magazine just prior to the elusive Mew and Of Montreal at the 299-capacity Flamingo Lounge (we looked this number up during our interview). Tuesday night is traditionally always a packed house at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30, as Tuesday night has the least number of showcases on offer and it is the obvious place for both industry and fans to congregate on the first night. Will was second up on the bill for the Cerdd Cymru: Music Wales night curated by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens though confusingly, neither he nor Kate Tempest or Shura are Welsh (they are all English). It did however start to make more sense when I got to chat with him Wednesday afternoon and he explained that it was Huw who sponsored his Mercury Prize nomination, bringing things round full circle rather nicely.

During this interview, I asked Will about the new album, how it was approached differently than the award-nominated debut and the pains that went into making it, and he told me about how he’d been pleasantly surprised by SXSW so far and of his love for his recent tourmates Factory Floor, who gave him a new appreciation for dance music in the live setting. This was far and away one of my most pleasant interviews in recent memory – thoughtful interviewees are always the best! – and many thanks to Will for answering my many questions.

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[…] the insightful conversations I had at SXSW with three up-and-coming electronic artists – Will Doyle (East India Youth), Gunsal Moreno (beGun), and Ryan L. West (Rival Consoles) – have given me […]

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