Spend any time with Young the Giant and you’ll quickly learn that the quintet from Irvine, California, offers more than just rock music. Not to say that their music is something to be brushed off: Their choruses are anthemic, drums stomping, and guitar and bass intricate and commanding. It all results in a sound that music critics would describe as “sweeping,” “lush,” or more simply “whole” — with every band member getting their fair share of shine.
On my First Date with Young the Giant to one of my old college haunts, the Pizza Box in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, it became clear that the reason they treat each other so fairly is simple: They’re best friends. They’ve spent nearly every day of the past five years together — yes, that does include living together. And even before they were Young the Giant, most of them were childhood friends. (Lead singer Sameer Gadhia and Payam Doostzadeh met playing little-league soccer.)
Their years of work seemed to have paid off nicely. There’s their 2011 VMA performance, a sold-out tour, and a cushy bus for them to get from show to show in. But Doostzadeh (full disclosure: my fellow Persian) has a much more humble approach to gauging when he and his friends first “made it.” “Making it was the fact that we’re now on a tour, that we have a crew,” he explained, referencing their past ventures that were a lot more hands-on. “So we don’t have to load in and load out our gear.”
After looking back on the past five years together (always together), where do the guys see themselves in five years? “I don’t think any of us have a plan. … I don’t think we even know what’s gonna happen in the next year. That’s what makes it exciting for us,” stated Gadhia. We’ll at least assume they’ll have all gotten their own places by then.