When we were at Groezrock last month we sat down for a quick chat with Blood Youth frontman Kaya Tarsus about the scene in his hometown of Harrogate, which UK bands we should be keeping an eye on right now and what they’ve got coming up this year…

Hi Kaya! How’re you doing, man?

Very good! It’s really warm, which I like. We played in the UK last night and it was really cold. We played outside at Teddy Rocks Festival. There was pyro on the stage though, so that was pretty sick!

We’re here at Groezrock, it’s your first time playing here, is it a festival you’ve been to before?

None of us have ever been before. it’s our first time in Belgium and our first time playing here. It’s going to be pretty cool. There are so many insane bands on the bill¬†that I grew up listening to.

Have you had much chance to get out there and check anything out and take in any of the Groezrock atmosphere?

Not yet. We’ve only just arrived. It looks really cool from what I’ve seen, though! Hopefully we can catch some of Parkway Drive later, that would be cool. I’m a bit gutted that we weren’t playing yesterday, because I really want to see Deftones live. And Stick To Your Guns too.

One For The Road is based in York, so it’s kinda cool travelling to the far side of Belgium to speak to a band from just down the road in Harrogate! We tend to put a lot of focus on our local scene, what’s the scene like in Harrogate?

There isn’t one. There isn’t one at all. I’ve just moved to Leeds. I grew up going to shows in Leeds because in Harrogate there were no shows. I love the place, I grew up there and I’ll always love it, but I couldn’t name you five bands right now. There used to be a few shows when we were younger, but unfortunately now there’s nothing. I don’t think there are any real venues, a lot of them open and then close because there’s no scene and no one going to shows. My old band, we used to just play in Harrogate to two people. In Leeds though, it’s incredible. The hardcore scene is amazing, the pop punk scene is amazing.

Not specific to Harrogate or Leeds, but you guys must play alongside a lot of great bands around the UK that we’ve not heard of before – who should we be checking out?

We just played some shows with Holding Absence, who are incredible. A really good band from Wales. They’re going to be up there real soon, they’re killing it. Their singer Lucas is incredible. Loathe are an amazing underground band at the moment, they’re really heavy. Probably one of the heaviest in the UK at the moment, it’s like a concentrated Slipknot!

Your debut album has just come out. It’s fair to say that the response to it has been amazing. Obviously you’re going to be really proud of anything you put out, but did you expect the kind of response it’s received?

Not at all. I knew people were going to like it, I knew our fans were going to like it because it’s everything they like about our band in an album but I didn’t realise how many new fans we were going to make. I’ve never seen our social media like it was on the day of the release. And it got to number 30, which was sick! We’re really proud of that. It’s been wild!

Now that the album is out there, what can we expect from you for the rest of 2017? 

We’re doing loads of festivals over the next few months. Unfortunately I’m not allowed to say what’s coming up at the end of the year because it hasn’t been announced yet but it’s going to be busy!

Hollywood calls, they’re making ‘Blood Youth: The Movie’ and you’re in charge of casting. Who is in the band?

I’m just going to make everyone really good looking! Sam would be Matthew McConaughey. I’d be Ryan Gosling! Let’s mix it up a bit… Martin Lawrence on guitar!

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add?

If you’ve listened to us before, thanks for supporting us and checking out the album! If you’re a new fan, come to a show and let’s hang out!