by Aiyana Peyroux-Dubois
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Hogwarts’ own band The Yung Meaniez. As I am sure most of you are aware, Yung Meaniez is a band founded by some of our own Hogwarts students. They have gained in popularity and have numerous fans within the walls of the castle.
We met in the music room, a fitting place for an interview with the band. My first question for them of course was what their motivation was for starting a band? Most eyes darted to Linus, making it clear that he was the one with the original idea. It all started when things were, in Linus’ words “tilted”. The political landscape being what it was, they turned to music as a way to make things better for themselves. Linus was already writing lyrics and street poetry. He bought Izzy a drum kit and some very flashy Nikes, of which she was more than happy to show off during the interview. That was how the first got started. Soon Linus had asked the others to join in as well.
“But the things is, music is life, innit? A passion. Makes everythin’ better, communicates a message. Vents emotion. Gives ya somethin’ to live for.”– Linus Delaney
The name of the band has somewhat been an issue with Izzy, the youngest and only girl in the band. Apparently they named the band after Linus’ cat, Yung Meanie. While I personally think that it’s a great name, Izzy isn’t too fond of it. She only agreed to join the band if they added a Z at the end. As the name of the band was brought up, Izzy suggested coming up with a different name. She believes that having the band named after a cat seems kind of “lame”. Perhaps the name is still up for discussion.
“It’s like I told Lanes, mate: Nobody wants to watch the ‘yung meanie-sSS’ play. Tha’s summet your gran calls the kids tha’ egged her house. The Yung MeanieZ, tho’, tha’s a bangin’ name. You can pu’ tha’ on a T-shirt.”– Izabella Scott
I then asked them to talk about their position in the band. Oleander plays the guitar and has been playing for a couple years now. It was interesting to know that he actually plays the cello more. Cypress is the singer and the one to get the crowd hyped up. He said that while he normally is shy, he doesn’t feel that way during shows. He thinks it might be because the fans are there to watch and encourage them. Izabella plays the drums and learned from Delaney, but of course she’s a natural. She also is fairly accomplished with beatboxing it seems. Linus plays bass but is well rounded with guitar, drums and surprisingly piano. He claims his piano skills are nothing fancy but we have yet to see. Demian is the manager, and a humble one at that. I had to remind him that while he might not be in the band, he still had a role. He manages the band and tries to find gigs for them to do along with I am sure a number of other tasks.
“I play cello more so I didn’t know much about punk stuff…but I only have played guitar a couple years!”– Oleander Mortiferum
I asked about their songs, and how most I have seen have been covers. I was curious to see if they had any original songs they played. Cypress mentioned that while they do covers they also meddle with the lyrics a bit, adding their own touch to the songs. He said while he isn’t very good at writing lyrics, Linus does a fine job. Since they only started a year ago, they don’t feel like they have got their vibe down yet to know their sound. He assured us that once they do, there will be some original work in the future. No guarantee on when just yet. Linus added that they have been working on stuff over the summer that hadn’t been played yet, but some of it might not be appropriate to play for all audiences due to the language. He talked about gigs and how they focus on making it fun, they add their own authentic sound and choose songs that speak to what they are about.
“As for gigs, it’s about makin’ it fun, innit? That’s the point so… whatever works. As long as it feels authentic, and it speaks to what we’re about. Point is, no matter what we’re playin’, there is /always/ gonna be a unique element to it, whether that is in the performance itself or in the musical arrangement… or original lyrics. Or the whole thing’s a hundred percent original.”– Linus Delaney
Having heard that Hayden Sorel, an original member of the band, was no longer a part of it, I had to ask what the reasoning behind that was. Curious minds wanted to know if there was some gossip in the story! Of course, the band only had nice things to say about their former band mate. A simple difference in musical preferences is all it chalked down to. They all wished Hayden the best of luck in their new direction.
“They.. had different ideas about what they wanted to do, musically speaking. It just ended up not being the right fit, and we wish them the best in what they’re pursuing.”– Cypress Chalamet
My final question was of course about merch and where to obtain it. They mentioned they are working on some shirts but they aren’t sure when they will be available for purchase but they do have posters and the like that they usually sell after their shows. You can also owl any of the band members requesting a copy. Izzy was sure to add that autographed copies cost extra, a mind for business that one! They mentioned that there are also some posters of just Cypress and talk of creating dedicated ones for each of the band members.
“Come and find me or Katz or… Oly or Cy or Izz, if you wanna hear the demo!”– Linus Delaney on their new demo “True Love”.
After the interview I took a quick picture of the band while they discussed the matter of a Christmas poster with a shirtless Cypress under mistletoe? That should be a hot ticket number if it happens. The band mates are all really spectacular and had me laughing throughout the interview. They seem to have a very close friendship and are all invested in the band. I had to cut the interview short as we were running late for class. It was worth it though to have the privilege of interviewing them. Maybe we can dive a bit deeper next time.