‘You’re going to get people like One Direction winning awards and then just thanking God and their parents’: an interview with Young Rebel Set


Nestled within the snug upstairs band ‘suite’ at Joiners, The Edge caught up with northern indie-rock band Young Rebel Set to chat about Ricky Gervais winning an Oscar, mooning at the Brits and how choosing a favourite rock album is impossible.

How is your current Tuned Transmission Tour going?

Mark: It’s going really well so far. We’ve done about five shows. Spent a lot of time out in Germany. We haven’t ignored the UK, but left it for a little time while we get ourselves sorted out. But it’s nice to get back on the road.

Has there been any particular venue you’ve enjoyed playing the most, or is there a venue you’re looking forward to playing?

Matthew: It really depends upon the crowd more than anything else. The one in Bristol we played was great. It was only about a hundred capacity, but it sounded amazing.

Mark: Really looking forward to playing Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on Saturday.

Matthew: And Crewe is always fun.

What’s it like coming so far down south?

Mark: I guess we don’t really think about it like that. It was weird where we were last night.

Matthew: Yeah, we were in Brighton and there was just lots of tie-dye and piercings. Lovely people, but you know, you feel as if you don’t quite fit in.

How was your homecoming gig in December?

Mark: It was brilliant. It was the best show we’ve played locally ever I would say. We played such a prestigious venue and all our family and friends were there.

Matthew: It was Christmas as well. And we got the footage for the video for ‘Tuned Transmission’ there. It was like a party with a big thank you from us for supporting us, cause they’re the people who saw us in our early shows and are still buying tickets, bless ’em.

Did you guys watch the Brits Awards ceremony at all?

Mark: I saw some highlights of it, but didn’t watch the full show. It’s really long, and I don’t really have time to watch a three hour show. Got more important things to do, like washing my hair.

What was your reaction to Alex Turner’s speech about ‘the old’ rock ‘n’ roll?

Mark: I knew you were gonna ask that! Yeah, and I thought that although he might have come across as a bit of a twerp, I think you need people like him in rock. Otherwise you’re going to get people like One Direction winning awards and then just thanking God and their parents. I just think you need characters like that in music.

Matthew: I think there wasn’t much of a point to what he said; I think he was just trying to be flamboyant. He could have said it more simply than he did.

Mark: Well you had bands in the 90’s like Oasis and Suede who were very outspoken and didn’t care. When Jarvis Cocker mooned Michael Jackson, you know what I mean? But now no-one really steps out of line, although what Turner did wasn’t exactly rock and roll.  Maybe we might moon someone if we ever get on the Brits!

Favourite classic rock album?

Mark: Probably Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. But I really don’t have just one.

Luke: The Twang’s first album!


Matthew: Stone Roses’ debut and [Oasis’] Definitely Maybe.

Mark: But if you asked me every day I’d give you a different answer each time.

How did was the reception to your newest album Crocodile?

Matthew: It was really great. I think. Everyone was in agreement that it’s a mature album; the sound has really grown since the debut.

Mark: The reaction from our fans has been really positive, and for us they’re the only people we really listen to.

Matthew: I think we’re all just really proud of what we’ve achieved. We’re just really loving playing it live at the moment. After this, we’ll look forward to going on to number three!

Oscar predictions?

Mark: We’re not really that interested in it.

Luke: Who’s presenting it?

[Blank faces and shaking heads]

Luke: Which one does Rick Gervais present? Think it’s the Golden Globes. Well he can win an Oscar then!

Mark: Yeah! Ricky Gervais for the Oscar!

Luke: Ricky Gervais and James Corden!

What are your future plans?

Mark: Well, we’re going to play the Joiners tonight! We’re just going to concentrate on promoting this next single and we’ve got another UK tour in May.

Matthew: And then festival season!

Young Rebel Set are currently touring around the UK and will be touring again in May. They released their second album Crocodile last year and their latest single ‘Tuned Transmission’ is available now.


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Third-year English undergraduate, dabbles in records and video-games. Can be found trying to raise money for new games and consoles, worshiping David Bowie and reading young-adult fiction unashamedly.

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