Music Editor Harriet Evans chatted to Mikey Goldsworthy, bassist from British synth-pop band Years & Years, about their new album, Gordon Ramsay and his dream festival line-up.

Hiya Mikey, thanks for chatting with us today! So, I’d like to know, what’s the first thing you do when you get into the studio?

We’ve never been big planners of things, which is hard for me because I like having set things. So, we sort of just go in, Olly might have a melody or Emre has a beat and then we’ll just jam off that for a bit, go and have some coffee and have a break. It changes a lot each way. What I’m trying to say is, we don’t plan anything.

That’s cool, I suppose it’s good to just go in and experiment and that’s sometimes how you find something special. So what’s your creative process like when you’re writing the songs?

They change per track but mostly I think Olly has some lyrics or melody on the piano and then we’ll take the piano away and put electronic music over the beat, or keep the piano and then you get songs like ‘Eyes Shut’ or something. Or Emre will have some sort of music he’s been working on and Olly will hum something to that and then add lyrics later. It changes and varies mostly in the ways it comes about.

We’re really excited to hear the new album – what can you tell us about it without giving too much away?

It’s still got Years & Years roots but it sounds a bit older – we sound more like we’ve aged. *Laughs* As you’ve heard with ‘Sanctify’ and ‘If You’re Over Me’ all the tracks are quite different from each other. But they still land somewhere between those two songs if that makes sense? But they’re all quite different from each other. I hope you like it.

So do you have any plans for a tour? Obviously, with summer coming up festival season is in the forefront of everyone’s minds, but are you planning to tour afterwards perhaps?

Yeah we’ve got a tour coming up in December/January and I think we might add some more dates to that. I think we might be going to Sheffield.

We’ll keep an eye out for the dates and come and see you then.

It’s gonna be good to get back on the road again and show everyone the new show.

With festival season well and truly upon us now, are you going to any festivals yourself this year?

I’m not but the other day we did a festival in Brussels and we actually saw Bruno Mars afterwards and he was really good! I don’t know much of his stuff but it was good.

I guess that’s the beauty of festivals where you see someone almost by accident and you’re like “wow that was really good!” On that topic, if you could organise a festival what would your dream lineup look like?

I think I’d have Talking Heads, Bjork… I’m trying to think of people I haven’t seen. If Michael Jackson was alive he could headline. I don’t know if you know Tom Wates, but I’d love to see Tom Wates, but in like a dingy tent – I wouldn’t put him on the main stage just like an intimate show. Beyoncé, she can have a slot, we’ll put her on the tent after Tom.

I’d definitely buy a ticket! it sounds like a good, mixed line up. So if you had to pick one song to listen to on repeat for an hour, what would you pick?

Good question. It’s a weird choice but it’s a David Bowie song called ‘This Is Not America’, it’s on his later album. I always listen to that track over and over, I always listen to it when we’re taking off on the plane. So I’d probably choose that.

Sounds good! So another random question, if you were stuck in a lift with someone for a day, who would be your ideal person to be trapped with?

You know what, maybe Gordon Ramsay.

Yes! He would be hilarious.

I love him! He’d provide all the entertainment and then we could just talk about food all day.

Yeah! When you get out maybe he’ll take you for a meal in one of his restaurants.

I met him once actually, he was really nice! He was sweet, I think it’s only on TV he has that persona.

What’s your next step after the album comes out and the tour, do you have a plan?

I think we’ll just keep not planning stuff. If Communion is anything to go by, I think we’ll be touring with this album for at least two years. We are gonna release some tracks here and there, maybe later in the year and maybe next year. But we won’t be devoid of music the whole time. I’m assuming 2019 will be crazy touring and then I guess 2020 we’ll see where we’re at.

Wow, 2020, it seems like so far away.

Literally it’s madness isn’t it! The nineties was like 30 years ago!

Years & Years’ new album Palo Santo is out 6 July.

Image Credit: User:Take.Shelter /Wikimedia Commons/


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