Bonnaroo 2012: Young the Giant Talks 2012 Success, Playing Big Festivals, and More

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on June 05 2012 9:49 AM

Alternative rock band Young the Giant, which hails from Irvine, Calif., has had an amazing first-half of 2012.

They appeared on NBC's Today show, performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and even had their song Cough Syrup featured on the hit FOX show Glee.

They also embarked on a successful 46-date tour, including performances in Europe, with shows at some of the continent's biggest festivals that summer.

One festival that Young the Giant is particularly excited for is Bonnaroo, located in Manchester, Tenn.

Although this year will mark the band's first time performing at the famous festival, they have high hopes.

I know it's one of the bigger ones, but I don't think we are nervous at all, said Payam Doostzadeh, the band's bass guitarist. Hopefully we'll kick some ass. The group is ready to make that statement --  that we are a festival act -- and not just a band you hear on the radio or on television.

I think we have a great live show that will appeal to Bonnaroo.

Young the Giant will play its big hits -- Cough Syrup, My Body, Apartment -- but will also try to perform some of the new material they have been working on in the studio.

They had a two-month break from touring over the winter that gave the band's members an opportunity to live together and experiment with some new sounds and styles.

The band debuted three songs from its new album -- set to be released sometime next year -- during the latest tour, and Doostzadeh says they have been overwhelmed by the response already.

For the last couple months, we've been playing  three new songs pretty much every night, he said. Some people might think that is a lot for the audience to handle, but the audience has been singing along to these songs we haven't played in their market before, which is very cool.

Young the Giant will likely play at least two new songs at Bonnaroo, but Doostzadeh admits that a band must adjust its playing style a bit for festivals. Bonnaroo will draw in 80,000 enthusiastic concertgoers, but many may not be familiar with Young the Giant, which presents some challenges.

When an audience is not familiar with the band's work, he says that it makes you work even harder to gain an audience's approval that might not be familiar with your work, but that it's also very exciting. Further, he says one of the best things about big festivals is that it gives you a chance to reconnect with other bands and even listen in on a song or two of another band.

A huge part of festivals is not only being able to play for a festival audience but also, behind the scenes, you get to network, he said. You get to meet other bands and other people in the industry.

Doostzadeh says that he is especially excited to see Radiohead and Little Dragon perform during the four-day festival.

Young the Giant will performing at This Tent on Sunday, June 10, at 6:45 p.m.

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