Issue #790 (September 2017) is out today, available via the usual stockists and our online store.
For the cover story we head Stateside to spend some time with Sydney band Gang Of Youths, as they prep for the release of their second album, Go Farther In Lightness.
Editor, Rod Yates:
The girl with the pink hair and Gang Of Youths t-shirt standing by the busy intersection in L.A.'s Echo Park neighbourhood can barely believe her eyes. Striding toward her, dressed uniformly in black, his thick thatch of chocolate brown hair bobbing atop his head, is the Sydney band's frontman, David Le'aupepe, who only minutes earlier had, ironically, expressed his delight at the anonymity he enjoys in America. As he crosses Sunset Boulevard and moves closer toward her, she gasps audibly and says, "Oh my God, you're beautiful!" He shrugs off the compliment, extends his hand, smiles, and offers a friendly "Hi, I'm Dave." She asks for a photo, he obliges, and then he's off again, bounding up to a nearby cafe to pat a German Shepherd. It may sound like Le'aupepe's staking his claim for World's Best Bloke for the benefit of Rolling Stone, but there is nothing calculated about the affection he showers on this pooch. His love of animals was the determining factor in his recently giving up meat. "I really miss fish, that's the only thing I miss," he says.
We also sit down with Dan Sultan to discuss his new album Killer, chat to rising singer-songwriter Vera Blue, profile songwriting icon Paul Kelly for our Living Legend series and check in with The Preatures ahead of the release of forthcoming sophomore LP, Girlhood, later this month.
I first met The Preatures in 2014 when I interviewed them in Sydney and then in Austin, Texas. They were riding high and running fast on the success of their debut album, Blue Planet Eyes, which had just debuted at number four in the Australian charts — guitarist/producer Jack Moffitt had predicted it would come in at 24; vocalist Izzi Manfredi was less optimistic, opting for 26. "Is This How You Feel?" won the $50,000 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition, they'd be touring the world for over three years and played just about every major festival, including SXSW, Glastonbury, Coachella, Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits.
Three years later, it turns out things were not as rosy as they seemed from the outside. And their opinion of their own debut album is equally clouded. "None of us were happy with it," says Moffitt. "None of us," echoes Manfredi.
Further afield, issue #790 also features an investigative piece on notorious Mexican drug lord, El Mencho, an in-depth feature on Emilia Clarke — better known as Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones — and interviews with Alice Cooper, Carlos Santana, Jack Antonoff, while Stone Sour and Slipknot frontman, Corey Taylor, runs us through a selection of songs that have defined his life.