Originally published on So So Gay on 9 August 2015.
Following the recent release of their new album No Clouds Allowed, Latvian four-piece took time out from their busy schedule to answer a few of our questions. With the singles already released from the album earning them support from 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, Huw Stephens on Radio 1, John Kennedy on XFM, and Jim Gellatly on Amazing Radio, we were interested in finding out a little more about the teen quartet.
So So Gay: Hello guys. Could you introduce yourselves for us please?
Carnival Youth: Hello, we are four guys – Emīls, Edgars, Aleksis and Roberts from an unknown land named Latvia.
How did you become a band?
We met at high school, where three of us went to the same class and Aleksis was in a parallel class. It was that easy.
Why did you decide to call yourselves Carnival Youth?
We spent quite a lot of time to find the right one – our one and only name. Carnival Youth was what we came up and we thought it fits us perfectly. It is colourful, it’s a celebration and it sounds good.
Your sound has been compared to a number of artists, but which artists do you personally feel influence your music?
They will be quite a few, but talking about debut album No Clouds Allowed it was definitely Arcade Fire, The Dead Weather, and The National.
In your first few years as a band, you’ve already performed all around Europe; which was your favourite venue/city to perform in and why?
There are so many of them that we can’t pick one – but playing KOKO in London part of NME club night last October was very special – we hope to play that venue again some day!
Have there been any embarrassing or funny stories during all your time on the road?
Aleksis has fallen of the stage – that was quite funny and maybe for him a bit embarrassing. It was in a tiny place in Germany where we were on tour for three weeks this spring.
What does it feel like to have finally released your debut album, No Clouds Allowed?
Actually, in Latvia this album came out already in October 2014, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland it was released in February this year, so for us it feels like it has been released forever! We are already pretty much into recording the second album. We have had quite a few songwriting sessions and will do recording in October in Lithuania. We will try to release it the same time in all Europe next spring!
The opening track, ‘Never Have Enough’, has now passed 500,000 views on YouTube – how does that feel?
It feels good!
Which track are you most looking forward to people hearing?
We hope the people will like not only one particular track but will want the whole album!
The album’s closing track is in your mother-tongue – was its inclusion important to you since the rest of your songs are in English?
We have two songs in Latvian in total, and on the Latvian version of this album we included both of them. The song ‘Akmentini’ – or in translation ‘Little Stones’ – is very special as the lyrics are by very well-known Latvian poet Imants Ziedonis.
What’s next for Carnival Youth?
We just played 2 shows this weekend; one in support of Latvian pop/rock band Prāta Vētra – with some 10,000 people in audience in Ventspils, Latvia – and the other a festival in Estonia. Then we go to Grape Festival in Slovakia, two more support shows in Latvia for Prāta Vētra, a festival in Germany, and then we all take September off – just before going to record the new album! In November we will do our third tour in Germany!
When and where can fans next catch you on tour?
We hope to be back in the UK as soon as possible – maybe at the end of this year! Check our Facebook!
Thanks for talking with us and congratulations on the album, we really like it!