Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

Young Drunks

Written by Joe Ulrich, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Aug 29, 2017 10:12 AM
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"Broke a string."

"Playing too hard?"

Hanover band Young Drunks (Facebook, Bandcamp) didn't go all soft and sappy just because they went acoustic for a performance in the WITF studio. The band's singer and guitarist Logan Mara broke a string during the first song. But he says that playing acoustic isn't a new experience for him.

"For me it wasn't that far off from how I wrote the songs. I write them in my bedroom and just sit there with an acoustic guitar for hours and hours. So for me it was like second nature. And everyone just jumped right in. You know, tweaked a little bit. Matt was using brushes. But outside of that it was almost identical to how we normally play them."

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Drummer Matt Sap, guitarist and singer Joe Geiman and bassist Chris Pederson along with Logan launched into "Four Eyes" which recounts and compares a car crash that Logan was in and a relationship that was crashing as well. Joe explains how they use instrumentation to try and capture that emotion.

"At the chorus you'll hear it does that with each snare and cymbal hit. Kinda like packs a punch, each one. That's supposed to be that gut-wrenching feeling that..."

"...when you realize the person you've loved for so long is not who they seem to be," Logan adds.

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Another song they played, Alcatraz, is a real ear worm.

"That one is describing my relationship at the time as kind of like a prison sentence," Logan explains. "I think we've all kind of felt like that, when you're getting stuck into this routine, this daily kind of thing that you're looking at this person and you're slowly watching them fade away."

Joe sings part of their chorus, "...bad habits.."

"Yeah exactly. And the idea is that they're kind of planning their escape from this prison that I've built around them."

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Their song "Impact" is particularly heartwrenching for Logan.

"It deals with one of my good friends. His name is Tyler. And he passed away unfortunately from a drug overdose. He was actually supposed to be the other guitarist in this band. I mention the guitar and how he promised me the world and then all of a sudden it was gone. Our first show that we played was the day that I found out Tyler died. He was supposed to show up. And we almost cancelled the show. But Tyler was one of the biggest musical guys, he just breathed music. He was amazing. We pushed through and we played that show but it was one of the hardest things I've ever done."

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The band name, Young Drunks is based off a song by the Smith Street Band about a grownup dealing with tragedy by getting drunk the way he used to when he was younger. And while the band name may imply a kind of recklessnesses, their music is carefully crafted. The rowdy vocals and distorted guitars are combined with nuanced lyrics and deeply personal stories. It shows that there's maturity and sober thinking that goes into the sound of the Young Drunks. 

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