Gang of Youths were formed in Sydney, Australia, in 2011 and within months of their first gig, they’d started to attract a rabid fanbase enraptured by their expansive, widescreen take on indie-rock, the sort of music that manages to feel universal and personal at the same time.
On Friday 7 April, the Gang take to the Bluesfest stage – Seven caught up with drummer, Donnie Borzestowski, in Newcastle (he is away from the band’s UK base to catch up with his family).
Does it feel weird being an Australian living overseas? And how often do you get to be at home in Australia?
Yeah, it is strange. It kind of has that [weirdness] I guess in both places. I was considering homes, and coming home to my original home, but I don’t live here anymore. So it does feel a bit strange, to be honest. But it’s always nice to be “home”, back in my true home.
I get back here three times a year if I’m lucky and I usually try and extend those patches – I’ll add an extra week either side to try and make the most of it.
This is your first Bluesfest – are you excited?
Yeah this is the first time I’ve ever done it. It’s obviously one of the biggest, if not the biggest festival in Australia.
What are the pros and cons of playing festivals and playing your own shows?
There’s definitely pros and cons to both, but they’re just completely different experiences. Festivals are amazing because of the atmosphere that whole day or couple of days. Everyone’s just there to experience music and you probably get a whole bunch of people that may have never heard you or seen you before and that’s an opportunity for you play to them and try to, I guess, impress them.
Festivals can also be really difficult because you kind of have such a quick turnaround – your setups are really quick, and you can get on stage and feel that a little bit I guess. It can be a little bit shaky because things can not work properly, because that just the way it is. Especially for a drummer there’s a whole lot of stuff to set up. It can be challenging, but, festivals are also a little bit more like, ‘let’s just get on there and have a great time’. They’re both great experiences for sure. Yeah.
Are you currently writing or in the process of recording something new?
We are just about to start that process. We’ve kind of had a couple of little ideas floating about. I wouldn’t say there’s anything close to being released, but just starting. It takes us a little bit of time to get going.
Are you here until Easter?
No, I think we’re actually going to go back to the UK. Yeah, I know, right? Crazy, but we’re back and forth.