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A Moment With Anthony Young

Image: Antony Pinder
September 19, 2013 by Josh Forner

Those in the Melting Pot world are more than likely no stranger to Anthony Young: a Kiwi singer/songwriter who burst his way into Melbourne’s live scene a little over a year ago, but Young now finds himself in different surrounds, both in his living habitat and in his musical environment, and I set about to find out just how everything changed so quickly for this talented, versatile musician.

He invites me out onto Brunswick Street, and on our way back to his incredibly well-located apartment, we swing by one of his favourite coffee haunts for some life juice. Mine’s only about 3 sips in by the time Anthony has hurled his into the back of a dumpster, swung ’round the corner, and opened a back laneway gate as he leads me up the stairs to his residence.

So, back in New Zealand, was music something that was beating within you at a young age?

Not really, I messed around with a bunch of High School bands but it was never anything serious.

When did songwriting become serious for you, then?

Songwriting took its hold when I got my first guitar at 16. I didn’t play them right away of course, but I definitely started writing and becoming interested with what I was creating at 16.

Young’s unique style and delivery has always been hard to pinpoint for the masses, due to his nature of ‘genre-hopping’. However, it’s not about cornering one style of people or one type of fan to his music for Anthony, it is merely creating which is the driving force behind everything he and the band now do.

When asked about his distinctively soulful voice – which seems to carry through each of the Anthony Young Band’s musical incarnations unscathed – Anthony had this to say:

I’ve never had the intention of creating a certain style. It’s all just what came naturally to me at the time. Surrounded by a lot of old school soul & roots music in New Zealand would have had a huge impact, because that’s what they’re all about back there.

Since relocating to Melbourne, Anthony Young has released a hard-copy 5-track EP, and since then began a self-funded project titled ‘One Drop’ – which serves as an intermittent release of singles for free downloads via the Soundcloud platform. Anthony has currently released three of his ‘drops’, which were recorded at HotHouse studio in St Kilda and mastered by the legendary Jack the Bear.

Young keeps busy, as he is already beginning to map out the way forward for his first full-length album, to be recorded with the Anthony Young Band (Danny Finkelstein – drums; Tim Chambers – bass) – two band mates that he was introduced to through the Melting Pot open mic nights.

We want about 20 tracks to choose from, so we’ll record a whole heap of the new tracks, but also some of the older ones which didn’t make it on the last EP. Then we’ll cut it down to between 12 and 15 for the final cut.

It sounds like the band get a good say in what happens. How do you guys tend to write the songs?

Mostly through just jamming it out, then I’ll go off and write the skeleton of the parts, but I’m really lucky to work with such competent musicians. They bring their own magic to the songs.

How have you found the Melbourne music scene, and how does it compare to back home?

Yeah, Melbourne has been very welcoming. In fact, I have never booked my own gig since being here; I’ve always been invited to play by others. Everyone’s just so warm, open and welcoming.

I noticed when I was working in the city recently, that it was really hard walking down Elizabeth Street and not hearing a Kiwi accent. You guys are just out here in your droves!

It’s funny, because Melbourne & Wellington are geographically on the same level, so I guess… look I think you will see a lot more of them (Kiwi musicians) coming to our shores.

The Anthony Young Band heads back into the studio in the New Year, but before that, there will be videos and singles released before the end of 2013. On the live scene, Anthony Young Band continue to turn heads in the soul/funk & roots scenes, and will be playing a highly anticipated live set at The Vineyard in St Kilda on Grand Final Eve: Friday, September 27th.

The live shows are where it’s at, from my experience. They bring an incredible energy and feeling to each live performance to which the live recordings don’t quite atone. So look out for the Anthony Young name out and about this spring & summer. Until then, tie yourself over with the releases from ‘One Drop’ at www.soundcloud.com/feelitintheonedrop

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.

Author Details

Josh Forner

Josh Forner is a folk/pop songwriter from Melbourne, Australia and Virginia, USA. Forner was born in Melbourne on July 2 1988, and spent the first 18 months of his life there before moving with his parents to the town of Reston in Virginia, USA. At the age of 3, Forner and his mother returned to Melbourne, where he has stayed ever since.

Josh sings of love, primarily (wow, what a shock right?), but also on his list of ‘hot topics’ are politics, famine, poverty and - of course – landscapes: the folk writer’s favourite.

He’s played with some of Melbourne’s stalwarts including Timothy Cannon, Bridget Pross, Mr Brady, Pro Rata, Gabriel Lynch & Kyle Taylor, and has contributed two of his tracks to non-profit compilation CDs in the past.

Josh’s repertoire continues to grow. He released his first album, a 10-track LP entitled ‘Leading to Nowhere’ at The Workers Club on May 28th, 2013. Forner has since returned to the studio to begin work on a 5-track solo EP to be released by the end of 2013. Following that, he has plans for album number two in 2014.

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