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Young Pioneer talk “Never Look Back” and what’s in store

“We should take each moment that we are living in and enjoy it to the best we can. We are to not let the past effect us moving forward, but instead to embrace what is ahead and to not look back.”

Detroits own pop band Young Pioneer will be performing with supporting acts The True Blue, Graceful Closure, and The Running Youngs on August 11th at The Loving Touch in Ferndale, MI.

The band recently released their latest single “Never Look Back” along with an accompanying lyric video.

Contributor Alexis Backus recently chatted with Jonny Walker, who plays lead gutiar in the band. They spoke about the start of Young Pioneer, their trip to Nashville, and the work behind “Never Look Back” which you can listen to here. Check out the interview below!

Alexis Backus: How did you all originally start making music together?

Jonny Walker: We originally started out as a band called Signals back in 2012 and would later change the name in 2015. Our lead guitar player Jonny Walker started collaborating on ideas with our other original guitar player Mitch Howell back in 2012 when the band was formed. Mitch brought on his friend Bob Schmid as our bass player and Jonny brought on Ricky Sprader for drums from a previous band and Ben Awrey as our singer who he knew from church. As time went on, Mitch left the band to start a family and Ricky left do to back problems but both were major parts getting the band to where we are today. In 2016 after they left, we found out that Lights and Caves broke up so we reached out to Jason Marr about playing guitar. He was interested and brought along their drummer Austin Howard. It was a great fit right away and they have been a part of the band for a little over 2 years now.

AB: Where did the name of the band originate from?

JW: The name actually came from a Stephen King novel. The meaning behind the name is that we all have the ability to pave the way for our society moving forward and all have the ability to essentially be a young pioneer paving the way. Our hope is to make an impact with our music.

AB: With the recent release of your new single “Never Look Back” what was the writing process like? 

JW: We started the process for the new material almost 2 years ago and transitioned from an alternative/ pop rock band to a pop band. The writing process can vary for each song and usually starts out with an idea from someone in the band. In the case for Never Look Back, it was a collaborative effort as a band. We went back and forth in the mixing process quite a bit which was frustrating at times, but we are happy with the result of the patience and hard work we put into this song.

AB: Is there a certain message you hope fans will get from the song?

JW: The main message of this song is about finding out who you truly are as a person and moving on from the past. We should take each moment that we are living in and enjoy it to the best we can. We are to not let the past effect us moving forward, but instead to embrace what is ahead and to not look back.

AB: I know recently you all went down to Nashville to work on some new music. What was that experience like? Can we expect to hear any of the music soon?

JW: This experience was one that we will never forget and truly thankful that we were able to do that. We ended up going down to Black Bird Studios in Nashville owned by John McBride (Martina McBride’s husband). This studio is on a bucket list for most musicians to record at and I think we are still on cloud nine just from being there.  We did record some new music (7 new songs) and the music is currently being worked on. We cannot reveal that information at this point in time, but we are hoping very soon that we will be releasing another single. Our plan is to also go back and do a couple of more new songs in the future.

AB: Do you have any favorite memories from the trip? 

JW: So many honestly. Foreigner and Backstreet Boys were both recording while we were down there and it did not feel real to us. We were also able to sit in on Foreigners session and talk to them about the process which was really cool for us. One day the owner actually came into one of our sessions and asked if we wanted to hear an unreleased surround sound mix of Thriller by Michael Jackson himself and it might be one of the coolest things we have ever heard. We also recorded our own version of Trouble by Taylor Swift and found out that she actually recorded Trouble on that same console that we did. Overall it was just the time of our life and a great bonding experience for us a band.

AB: In an industry where it’s important to establish individuality, how does Young Pioneer strive to keep themselves unique? 

JW: This is not easy to do because it is hard to stand out when so many people are striving for the same thing. I think we bring a blend of our roots into modern day pop which is unique to the industry. With the new music coming out, we feel like we bring a good blend of a lot of genres into pop music instead of sticking to the pop formula.

AB: What do you have in store for your show at The Loving Touch this Saturday, August 11th?

JW: We have a light show planned for this show, new music, and a perhaps a new cover. Come this Saturday and find out!



*Photo by Cam Best


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