Y Not is a festival highlight for Paris Youth Foundation

Paris Youth Foundation. Photo by Sophie Graham.
Paris Youth Foundation. Photo by Sophie Graham.

Paris Youth Foundation lead singer, Kevin Potter, says 2018 has been ‘a bit mad,’ with new music out as well as a string of shows and festivals, writes Amos Wynn.

The five-piece have released several singles so far. “It’s always nice to finally get your singles out to the public and seeing how people engage with it and interpret the lyrics,” said Kevin.

“You work so hard on a track for months, writing them in the room, going into the studio and recording it, so when it eventually comes out it feels amazing to see the reaction.”

He believes that one of the best feelings about being in a band is seeing “other people relating to your music, singing lyrics that mean something to them.”

The band’s songs have been played on multiple radio stations, with Kevin pinpointing BBC Radio One as “the surreal one as we grew up listening to bands on there.”

The front man also describes their music being on Spotify as ‘crazy,’ with the band appearing on playlists in Brazil, Australia and their most played country, Germany.

Kevin admits that it’s weird to think that “our music has travelled the world a bit ” and believes Spotify is great for artists to get out there.

Along with band mates, Jamie Hives (guitar), Tom Morris Jones (guitar), Paul Bates (bass) and Jonny Alderton (drums), Kevin released their latest single latest single ‘The Off Button’ in May.

“It’s a tune about not being able to switch off and calling people you shouldn’t be calling anymore. Our phones have an off button, but our heads don’t. Hopefully it’s another track that people will be familiar with when they come seeing us.”

‘The Off Button’ was brought out two days before they took to the main stage of Liverpool Sound City. Kevin said that the festival was: “huge for us because it’s in our hometown.

“We all love the festival and grew up going, so to have the chance to play the main stage was a very special moment for us.”

The summer also features various other festivals for the band.

“Y Not will probably be a highlight; there’s so many big names that we all love playing over the weekend. We play on the Saturday when Catfish and the Bottlemen are headlining, they are such a big influence, so to be on the same bill is a big deal.

Paris Youth Foundation also enjoyed an ‘amazing tour’ back in February, with Kevin citing their appearance at the Arts Club supporting The Night Café as their ‘favourite.’

“It was a sold-out Saturday night show in our home city to 500 people, with our good friends (The Night Café), it doesn’t get much better than that. We love our city.”

Kevin said that the band all appreciate “Liverpool’s musical heritage as we all grew up listening and loving all those bands.”

Despite his love for the music he insists, “we are not trying to recreate it.”

“I think Liverpool as a city is important to us because it’s the setting for most of the songs, but I don’t think we’re too influenced by the ‘Liverpool’ sound.’”

Musically Kevin admitted: “We all have different influences. If you asked everyone, they’d all give you a different answer. I think that’s probably the best way to be.”

“Bands like Catfish and Foals are the obvious choice. It might’ve been cool to say a band that no one has heard of; at the end of the day they are obvious because they’re the best at what they do.”

In terms of their sound, the band’s aim is “to be the biggest sounding guitar band we can be.”

The band formed back in 2016, with the release of their first single ‘If You Wanna’ being uploaded around that time and their first gig coming a couple of months after.

Kevin joked the reason they chose to form a band was because “no wanted a real job to be honest, that’d be too much hard work.”

The name, Paris Youth Foundation, comes from a piece of graffiti Potter saw whilst on the underground in Paris when he was younger.

“I had no idea what it was, but I thought it sounded cool so put it in my phone. I could never find anything out about it. A few years later we were talking about band names and I felt it was a perfect fit.”

In his spare time outside the band, Kevin still dedicates his time to music.

“I know it sounds silly but when we’re not playing shows or rehearsing I make sure I’m writing as much as I can. This means locking myself away most days and trying to write; emphasis on trying.”

Outside of music he admitted they all love football and dogs.

Kevin believes it is difficult to predict where the band will be in twelve months, saying “you need to find a healthy line between being realistic and setting yourself challenging goals.

“First and foremost, we’ve got to make sure we’re working as hard as we can and having faith it will pay off. Keep releasing the strongest possible tunes we can, improving our live shows.”

The attitude of “no matter who you are you can always be better,” puts the band in a great mindset going forward and thriving for success.

“As long as we’re playing our tunes together I’m sure we will be happy.”

With the band already having an array of praise put in their direction, including featuring in BBC Radio One’s Huw Stephens’ tips for 2018, the band are certainly not missing the mark.