Young Fangs
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Young Fangs

Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
Alternative Indie

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Joshua, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Can you to introduce the other band members and what they do?

There's Joel Fagre, he plays and writes all the drum parts. He is also the official car-packer and unloader. Then there's my brother Brennan LaBuda. He plays guitar, bass and synth. He's back up vocals and lead vocals and writes about 50% of our songs. So... I guess he does a little bit.



How did you get together as a band?
Brennan and I have been playing music together for a while, and then I met Joel while playing on the worship team at our church. We moved out of our parents' homes and in with each other along with Brennan because we were all in our early twenties and were tired of doing everyone else’s dishes. All of our music equipment was in the living room and it just started there. We played a cover show at the university (covering Kings Of Leon) and afterwards we had offers to open for bands coming from the lower 48. We decided it might be a good time to write some original songs. and there you go.



The guitar sound seems inspired by Johnny Marr. How would you personally describe your sound?
Definitely influenced by Johnny Marr. His work with Isaac on We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank created something no one could have expected from Modest Mouse. A lot of people hated it, but I loved it.

Are you all self-taught in your music or have you taken lessons?
Brennan and I are mostly self-taught. We took lessons for a while which started out to be classical training and turned into the teacher showing us how to play dashboard.



The song Show Me the Way uses a delayed guitar sound. Is this something that you feel gives you a great live sound?

Delay is something we added because my parents bought me a DD-20 delay pedal for my birthday. Ha! We wanted to make songs that sounded like Foals and Coldplay.



What was the idea behind the music video Saves the Day ? Was it a self -made video?
Totally self-made. The idea was that we had all these photos from our tour in Hawaii and didn't know what else to do with them. So, we made a music video.



What inspired you to make music?
Well, Yellow by Coldplay got me into guitar, but as far as making music and being in a band, for me, it was Jeff Durych. He was a worship leader for my youth group in Hawaii when I lived there. I looked up to him so much. With my first pay check from my first real job, I bought A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar by Dashboard Confessional. I learned every single freaking song off that record by heart and I showed Jeff almost every week. And almost every time he would say, "that's really good." And then one day he added, "You need to write your own songs, dude. It's so much cooler when you play your own songs." And that did it.

Has living in Alaska influenced your sound in anyway?
Well, absolutely. The long, dark winters that me, Brennan and Joel lived together got us writing some of our darker-sounding songs. And the summers did the very opposite. Seasons in AK made me emotional, especially the winters.



Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
We've played at The Pub, The Marlin, Bear's Tooth, a dozen living rooms, Humpy's, The Yukon Bar, Panorama Pizza... a lot of places. Our favorite shows are the ones at The Marlin, usually. People get so close to the stage, and it's hot and loud and just awesome. But we really like to play shows at Chilkoot Charlie's in Anchorage because we have great friends there!


Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set play list?
We pretty much just play Kings of Leon covers because they're amazing. We try to have a set playlist, but it usually ends up, after each song, Brennan and I looking at each other and Joel and asking "What should i play next?" And I tune my guitar weird sometimes so I think what can I play that's in this tuning?

What other bands in Alaska do you admire and why?
Oh, man! Lavoy, because they're great Christian guys and we love being with them and we never seem to get together. And they are an inspiration musically because they're masters at their instruments. The Sweeteners, Turquoise Boy, mostly because Marc let's me leave my dirty laundry at his house. Ha. They're so much fun to dance to. The Whipsaws, because they know how to rock. Feeding Frenzy because everyone in the band has a great heart and they're also so fun to dance to. So many more, I can't remember right now.



Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
Brennan and I come up with ideas separately and we bring them to practice, sometimes finished sometimes not. And we flesh it out together. Sometimes it grows into a real song, sometimes we scrap it. And that's pretty much it. As long as we're having fun.



What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
We pr - Anchorage Observer


6. Music -- The Blue Loon, located just outside Fairbanks in Ester, has played host to everyone from Snoop Dogg and Taj Mahal to Flogging Molly and The Wailers. It's also a great place to catch a first-run flick while noshing on pizza and beer. The Marlin is the fifth Beatle to the local music scene and a home to resident "cabin rap" faves The Phineas Gage and rising indie rockers Young Fangs. - USA Today


"They’re young… they’re good… they’re professional,” Cody Rogers said, the Assistant Director of the Student Activities Office. Rogers was talking about Young Fangs, who played 2-day rock concert on Friday, Sept. 7 outside of the Wood Center and a couple hours later in The Pub. Josh and Brennan LaBuda, two brothers, are the forefront of the local indie group with bearded drummer Joel Fagre rounding it out.

Fagre was sporting a homemade shirt of a hand drawn Jesus wearing a Young Fangs t-shirt. His head bumped up and down as quickly as his drumsticks, with his shoulder-length brown hair bouncing to the beat. “I’ve been working on it for 3-4 years” Fagre said, in reference to his hair, highlighting his personality which can only be described as controlled enthusiasm. Brennan LaBuda, the quietest one of the group, shared vocals, played guitar, and bass. He seemed almost comfortably lost when he looked out on crowd. The indie rockers were painfully passionate, their music resonating forth in a naked innocence.

The Young Fangs’s guitarist, Brennan Labuda performs “The Bucket” by Kings of Leon at the UAF Pub on Sep. 7, 2012. Annie Bartholomew/Sun Star

When the audience broke into applause at the end of a song, Josh LaBuda responded by saying that he had to take a moment to appreciate this because they’re not used to applause breaks, which only garnered more applause for the local indie band.

They even handled the typical “FREEBIRD!” request from the audience well with quip from Brennan LaBuda saying, “We know a lot of Young Fang covers.“ Josh dedicated a hauntingly hallow vibrant explosion of a song to his mother. She hasn’t seen the band play live yet, but has heard them rehearsing in the living room numerous times.

“It’s great to find a local band that cannot only play their instruments well together, but can also sing at the same time.” said Josh Hovis, a Young Fangs fan at the concert on Friday, Sept. 7.

They’ve come a long way since playing covers of Kings of Leon off a 30 watt amp in their garage. Young Fangs now plays paid gigs regularly at UAF and the Marlin. Young Fangs’ next performance will be in Anchorage on Sept. 15 at Taproot.

The Young Fangs bandcamp sums them up as “a few guys doing the most they can with what little they’ve got and a whole lotta heart.” - University of Alaska Sun Star


"I think of our sound as ‘collage rock,'" said Brennan Labuda of the nascent Fairbanks indie rock band the Young Fangs. Labuda, who shares songwriting duties with his brother Josh Labuda, draws inspiration from across the indie spectrum-Death Cab for Cutie, Saves the Day, and Tokyo Police Club are among his touchstones. As a result, the band's own work is a pastiche of sonic material.

"Our songs are all different styles, which isn't really normal, most bands have their own particular sound."

The Young Fangs could be forgiven for shape shifting-they've only existed as a band since February. The Labuda brothers, who both attend University of Alaska Fairbanks, originally got together with drummer Joel Fagre on a lark to play Kings of Leon covers for a campus event. They struck a chord with their audience, and after the show, someone asked if the band would open for the indie band the Good Life a few days later.

"We said sure," but the band wanted to have some original material, says Brennan Labuda. So that week, the Labuda brothers each set to writing songs.

On stage, Josh and Brennan trade guitar and bass duties. "Basically, whoever wrote the song usually plays guitar, and the other plays whatever's required," Brennan said.

The Young Fangs' songs may be reminiscent of other indie rock, but that doesn't make them any less good, with bright guitar lines, tight harmonies, and plenty of energy from Fagre's drums.

For his part, Brennan has developed a songwriting routine. "I sit down with a guitar and start messing around until I find a weird position," something with an interesting sound, he said. "Then I'll start singing a melody over the guitar part, and then I make lyrics."

He thinks writing music before lyrics helps a song cohere. "I think a song should be one fluid piece. The lyrics should match the style you're playing, and it's easier to write instrument parts and then put lyrics to them. If you've got a catchy rhythm, you end up chopping up lyrics you've already written to fit it."

With their quiver of songs growing, the Young Fangs put out an EP in July called Thanks for Caring. They're hoping to keep the momentum building through the winter-this week they'll open for electronica act AWOLNATION at the Blue Loon in Fairbanks on Friday, and they play the Sitzmark in Girdwood on Saturday as part of a Monolith Agency showcase.

Having a band in Fairbanks' relatively under-populated music scene is "more difficult than in a big city," said Brennan Labuda. Gigs might be easier to come by, but with a limited number of venues, a band risks becoming old news fast. "You want to play enough so people notice you, but not so much that they get tired of you."

Then there's the need for musical cross-pollination. "Whenever really good bands come play in Fairbanks, I get inspired, and I go home from the show and write music. But in Fairbanks those bands only come through a few times a year."

On the other hand, Labuda adds, Fairbanks can be "a good starting spot" for a band, because there's less competition. "Up here, you probably don't get as intimidated by really good bands.

"The reason we do well up here is, there aren't many bands as committed as we are. We care, and we enjoy writing music. People pick up on that.

"Mainly - whatever happens, whether we get signed or not - we just love playing together." - Anchorage PRESS


Fresh faces on the local music scene, indie rockers Young Fangs have been playing to increasingly receptive audiences around Fairbanks for a year and a half. Joel Fagre and brothers Brennan and Josh LaBuda make up the trio; we met up with them for a chat and a band-practice-turned-almost-house-party this summer.

While the band’s moniker begs for a good origin tale, the story of it’s adoption is more accident than divine inspiration. Josh misread on online user name (actually Young Flangs), thought his quasi-dyslexic reading of it would make a good band name, and “Young Fangs” was born. The group started off doing a handful of Kings of Leon covers at a UAF event and after writing original material for what would have been their first opening gig, they were bumped from the bill when it was discovered that ? of the band was actually underage. They spent some time playing house shows to hone their new songs, recorded a 6-song EP in 2011, and as a testament to their grassroots style, they burned it onto 300 hand-decorated CD’s to give to fans.

Joel, the drummer, is the free spirit of the group, with an infectious smile and a penchant for speaking in accents. Behind a drumkit, both his personality and his skills shine through; it looks like he’s having the time of his life. Vocal duties are shared between the brothers LaBuda, with Josh and Brennan splitting time behind the mic while supporting each other on guitar. At practice, Brennan breathes the lyrics to a new song while keeping time with his heels; looking more at home with a guitar than without it. The older of the pair, Josh sings without a sense of urgency but with a passion that the three seem to share. Unsurprisingly, they also share an affinity for v-necks and skinny jeans, a look they wear well and one that fits the tone of the band.

Observing their practice session, it’s apparent that they shape their music democratically, approving or vetoing changes as the three perfect a new song. They re-write compositions on the fly and improvise riffs as the sound takes form on their instruments. They’re glad to be in this living room creating something together and that shows up in their performances. Whether the lyrics are happy or not, you can’t help but see it on their faces that they are. - FairbanksAlaska.com


...Take, for instance, the band Young Fangs.
Hailing from Fairbanks, Alaska, this indie rock trio made their debut visit to Honolulu while I was home, and I happened to be at the right place at the right time to see them perform. I was at Hawaiian Brian’s for “Sunday Jams” to see another friend’s band play and got to see Young Fangs do their thing as well. They were clearly the act the crowd had come to see; a group of girls even rushed the stage during their set! I hadn’t heard of them previously, but was pleasantly surprised by their performance.
Best part: They had demo CD’s available for free for everyone to take home. - Honolulu Star Advertiser


The Young Fangs are a three-man-band from Alaska. The two front men, brothers Joshua and Brennan Labuda, were clad in the indie-essentials: plaid button up, beanie, slippers (or flip-flops for those of us not from the islands), and tight-but-no-too-tight jeans. Their drummer, the blond, long locked Joel Fagre, had the “metal goes soft” look that seems to be getting very popular these days. Luckily, their music was far more original than their attire.

The Young Fangs are essentially two bands. The Brothers Labuda split guitar, bass, and singing duties evenly between them. With one at the helm, the music was somewhere between the disjointed sound of Modest Mouse and the woodsy twang of Band of Horses. Mellow, soft sung groove sessions abound, only to break into strong, steady guitar and high pitched singing during choruses. All of this rife with a haunting, joyful sorrow that was low on angst and high in mood.

Once the band’s Chinese Fire Drill was complete, however, the sound became heavier and floated much closer to a Kings of Leon style with distortion laden, deep singing, slower, smoother beats, and downright sexy guitar. This wasn’t indie to ride bikes to; this was baby-making music. Normally, this sort of dramatic shift in sound would seem disruptive, but Young Fangs handled it with grace, using their natural charisma to fill in the intermediate time with banter, jokes, and information about some charitable organizations they were working with.

Even with a directed sing-along (“The Way it Goes”), normally an obnoxious diversion, they brought a smile to our faces and singing from our lips. “All of My Life,” a very Killers-esque romp, also stood out for it’s lyrical timing and soaring chorus that had the whole crowd bouncing. “Saves the Day” was another instant favorite with its smooth, subtle singing that quickly broke into a nearly howled crescendo. Honestly, though, every song could be a favorite and that was what impressed me most about Young Fangs: they have more flexibility than almost any indie band I’ve ever seen before. I feel this band is destined for (and rightfully deserves) a wider popularity outside the strange, dislocated states of Alaska and Hawaii.

Finally, I just wanted to also highlight Joel, their drummer. While, at first, I thought the aforementioned sort of metal look was just a style, I’m pretty certain that is the real story. His drumming was busy and heavy on the cymbals and bass like much hardcore, but not overbearing as might be expected in this genre. Of course, it doesn’t hurt the story that, once shirtless, we could see he was ripped and looked even more Viking-like. Whatever his background, I enjoyed his strong, yet fairly relaxed, style that added even more character to a band that is already quite multifaceted.

Young Fangs also gave away thirty copies of their album Thanks for Caring which I’ve been rocking out to for the past few weeks. Much of the album, including the three songs above, can be downloaded at their ReverbNation site. They’ve also released music on iTunes, if that is your preferred music medium, so check them out. There are also more bad pictures on our Flickr, so go ahead and check those out, too. - Hipsters Eating Pineapples


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

We are Young Fangs and we hail from Fairbanks Alaska. Active since February 8, 2011, we played a cover show, afterwards we got asked to play more shows which encouraged us to write our own material and we've been doing so ever since.
We would categorize our selves as Indie/Rock/Alternative. We are all very well rounded musicians who do not limit ourselves to just one instrument, we all take turns playing bass guitar, guitar, keyboard, synth, percussion, vocals, basically whatever we think the song calls for, we don't like to limit ourselves. We are constantly writing new material and looking for shows to play. Music is what we love and we do our best to contribute. We love to play shows so hit us up!

Memebers:

Joshua LaBuda- Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Brennan LaBuda- Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Joel Fagre- Drums

Influences:

Some Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Band of Horses, Radiohead, Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, Bon Iver, Foals, Bombay Bicycle Club, Saves the Day, Death Cab for Cutie, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Frightened Rabbit, Bloc Party, and many many more. .