Young Harbor
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Young Harbor

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2016

New York City, NY
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Alternative Indie




"Long Island Band Helps Youth Battle Addiction As They Navigate Music Industry With New Single"

STAMFORD, CT - Young Harbor is hoping to change lives with the release of their new single. It not only stands to make a difference in the lives of all four band members and its listening audience, but also in the lives of teens and young adults battling addiction.

Lead singer and guitarist Guy Amir, guitarist Brandon Malave and bassist Adam Troselj recently sat in Malave's basement, appropriately complete with a clearly worn-out drum set in the corner and a poster of Robert Plant on the wall, as they tried to recall their first few attempts at band name.

"First it was Young Suns," Amir said. "Or wait, was it Young Guns?"

Someone suggests it was Restless Guns.

"No, I think it was Restless Suns," Amir said. "Basically we just started saying words until we came up with a good one."

It was during one of these instances Malave threw out the word 'harbor', somewhat paying homage to each member living near the water. Amir and Troselj hail from Long Island while Malave and drummer Ted Lionetti are from Stamford.

“As long as people like the music, they’re going to like the name," Amir said. "Have you ever heard of someone liking a band’s music but not listening because they hate the name?”

After literally making a name for themselves, Young Harbor released its first major single in June. "Stand Beside Me" is a sort of high-energy melding of new wave 80's rock, early 90's alternative rock and the "madness" of the 2000's, according to the the band's press release.

Were you to ask its members to describe it however, the band might go further than that.

“The truth is there’s nobody out there who sounds like this," Amir said. "We’ve solidified what the Young Harbor sound is, and I think it's what gives us a sort of edge.”

Though he points to bands like The Strokes, The Smiths and Joy Division as an influence on the band's overall sound, Amir stresses that the single is more of its own thing; a new age sound.

It is with this single the band hopes to make a name for themselves, to best the struggles of an independent band trying to make it in a flooded landscape and to take a stand beside those younger than them battling their own inner demons.

Road Recovery

During a particularly serious part of the conversation, the three band mates detour into a tongue-in-cheek discussion on operating an arcade claw machine while under the influence. This leads to a discussion on proper etiquette while riding an escalator (if you're going to stand on an escalator, then go to the right side of it).

The camaraderie between the trio is evident.

"Being in a band is like a family," Malave said. "It’s not just music, because it is also a business. You have to work with each other and communicate really well just to keep it going.”

Amir, Malave and Troselj all attended Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York, a private college mainly for students looking to pursue a career in music, art or the overall entertainment industry.

Amir remembers a number of fun times shared by the three future band members during their first year of college. He also remembers something that shook them early on.

“I remember my first semester there was a kid who overdosed on heroin in the parking lot," Amir said. "Just overdosed in his car.”

Malave remembers similar instances of seeing people he knew well being deeply effected by drug use and addiction.

“I had a couple of friends," Malave said, "who dropped out of school or had to keep taking semesters off because they were addicted to heroin.”

It is because of this the band has teamed up with Road Recovery, a mentor program that helps youth (teens and young adults) battle addiction and vices through learning about music and the entertainment industry.

“There’s a big stigma that if you’re in a rock band or you’re an artist then you have to do drugs," Amir said, "but that’s not necessarily the case. None of us are [into] that kind of stuff.”

The program is run through Threshold Recording Studios in New York City, where "Stand Beside Me" was produced. Mentors are brought in to work with young people and present live concert events or create recording projects.

“They teach them that this is the part of playing music that’s worth everything," Amir said. "Not the guys who are going to get you into any kind of drug they can.”

Amir said many of the youths who take part in the program are already facing drug addiction of some kind.

“When you think of bands from the 60’s and 70’s, like [Led] Zeppelin, they did every kind of drug under the sun," Amir said. "That was kind of like the thing for a lot of bands back then, but if you ask them now they will probably tell you it was the dumbest decision they made in their lives.”

The band has started a Kickstarter campaign aimed at helping the band produce a full album on the heels of their new single's release. A portion of the money raised from this campaign will go towards Road Recovery and helping the program continue to make a difference in the lives of young people.

For Amir, the issue cuts most deep when he thinks about the kids in his own family.

“What if they got addicted to drugs?" Amir said. "I’m not like a spokesperson for how to live your life, but I would say not to do stuff that is going to kill you. If you want a drink then go ahead, but don’t then go get behind the wheel of a car."

The Making of Stand Beside Me

James Walsh has worked with a number of big names, from Jeff Buckley to Rob Thomas. According to Amir, he only does about five projects a year.

This year, Young Harbor was part of that select club.

“[Walsh] was very intimidating the first time we met him," Amir said. "He was the nicest guy, but he was super intimidating without trying to be.”

The band attributes any intimidating features of Walsh mainly to the fact that none of the members had recorded on such a professional level before.

Going from recording in a friends' basements to working with the man who produced The Strokes' first demo, the band was essentially placed in the drivers' seat of a Ferrari after playing Mario Kart for a couple years.

“[Walsh] didn’t spoon-feed us anything," Amir said. "He made us work our butts off to find the sound of the whole thing. He was intense. It was fun, it was super was a good time overall.”

The band remembers one particular instance in which Walsh was listening to a version of "Stand Beside Me." After being asked for his thoughts on the single at its current state, Walsh leaned back in his barber chair and took a long pause before responding.

"You know...I'm not offended by it," Walsh said.

Amir said the band knew what that meant: nope, try it again.

"He didn't mean that it sucked or anything," Amir said, "but it wasn’t entirely a compliment.”

Despite the hard work and very long hours that went in to recording "Stand Beside Me," the band credits Walsh and working with Threshold as the key to defining themselves as a band.

“Recording a single definitely pushed us to our full potential, and thanks to our producer it definitely pulled out our influences more," Malave said. "That helped a lot, because that will shape our material for the future.”

Troselj agreed that the experience was necessary to help Young Harbor figure out its niche in an industry flooded with bands trying their hardest to be noticed.

"Searching for a sound full time," Troselj said, "that definitely pushed us into solidifying who we are as a band."

With You

As they pick up their guitars to play, Amir and Malave check to see if each other are in the right tuning. They sit atop their amps as Troselj signals to them he is also ready.

At that, the three perform an acoustic version of "Stand Beside Me." Their faces remain serious, as though they are playing before an audience of 100 people.

It is serious business, as the band is a full-time job for the members of Young Harbor. Amir recalled one particularly long day during the recording process of "Stand Beside Me" when the band got into the studio early and did not leave until 4 a.m.

“It can definitely take a toll on you," Amir said. "Maybe I’m irresponsible but I have no problem calling into work when it comes to the band’s priorities. The only reason I work is to support the cut that I have to pay for this band.”

Despite the challenges that may come from working at a job that essentially costs money, Young Harbor shows no sign of slowing down. The band will be playing a show Friday, July 7 at The Bitter End in Manhattan and are in the planning stages of a new album that could range anywhere from five to eight songs long.

Through their music, Young Harbor hopes to do big things; they hope to make themselves known in a market known for its rejection, to help at-risk and recovering youth struggling with addiction and other mental health issues and to fine tune their new age sound as they grow their discography more than just a band; as a family.

“In my experience, the bands that make it are the bands that keep going," Amir said. "A lot of bands just stop at the first roadblock. I think that’s what sets us apart and shows we’re taking this seriously as a band. Nothing stops us."

As they reach the end of their impromptu performance, Malave and Troselj being to smile as Amir's voice echoes throughout the room.

"With you

I'll never be alone

Stand beside me

I'll never be alone" - The Patch

"Young Harbor Releases Feel-Good Single, "Stand Beside Me""

If you’re unfamiliar with the Long Island based alt-rock band Young Harbor, now is the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon. The band is made up of Guy Amir (Vocals/Guitar), Brandon Malave (Guitar/Backing Vocals), Adam Troselj (Bass), and Ted Lionetti (Drums). The guys just recently released their brand new single, titled ‘Stand Beside Me,’ which is the perfect track to not only usher in their fresh, new sound, but to also sail you smoothly into summer.

The new single hits the mark in just about every way a summer single needs to in order to see any real success. While the song still meets its goal of being classified as rock, it does so in a way that is cross-generational. To our parents, the melody may remind them of a simpler time when they sat around in their friends’ Thunderbird and listened to their favorite rock legends via 8-track. To us 90’s kids, who are blessed enough to be able to pair our Spotify with our Bluetooth, the song just straight up feels good and authentic… and so we’ll listen!

Without a doubt, the strongest part of this song is the chorus, which pulls you in at the first listen. When songs get stuck in your head, it’s often because you don’t actually need to know the words in order to sing along in some fashion. The same goes for “Stand Beside Me,” where the “ooooh’s” repeat throughout the chorus just enough times to ensure that you will be singing along by the end of the song.

You can catch Young Harbor live at the Bitter End on July 7th. The single, “Stand Beside Me,” is now available online wherever music can be sold or downloaded. Not only will you get the single, but also a portion of the proceeds from all sales will be donated to Road Recovery to help young people battling addiction. Listen to the single below and let us know what you think by tweeting us @Soundigest! - Soundigest


Still working on that hot first release.



Young Harbor is a hard-hitting New Age Alternative Rock band from New York, whose new and unique sound is quickly making its way across NYC . The band formed after meeting at Five Towns College through the culmination of their various musical backgrounds and experiences. In 2016, the group released their first EP "Better Off Alone," and are now stepping it up with a brand new high energy single, "Stand Beside Me." They are set to release a new album in 2019.

Band Members