24 hours earlier than his interview with Kerrang!, Dom Harrison was on the telephone with Deliver Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes. The 2 talked concerning the pressures of fame and lamented the present state of the world – “How did we let issues get thus far?” Dom remembers asking Oli – however in addition to conversations that bordered on the philosophical, there was one more reason Dom discovered solace in chatting with his fellow Yorkshireman.
“I used to be speaking to him about how a lot I miss house,” Dom, the person behind the worldwide phenomenon that’s YUNGBLUD, confesses. “Oli is the very best, and such a job mannequin for me. He’s from Sheffield, I’m from Donny, and I actually admire how him and his boys from the North have been in a position to tour the world and determine this complete factor out.”
At present locked down in Los Angeles, Dom has been sharing an Airbnb along with his supervisor, guitarist and photographer – “Three of my greatest mates” – for a number of weeks. He admits to lacking his family members within the UK, and, in a tragic flip of occasions, was unable to attend the funeral of his grandmother who just lately handed away, compelled to look at the service through a livestream on his telephone, over 5,000 miles other than his grieving household.
His loss was the topic of episode two of his new Keep At Dwelling With: YUNGBLUD YouTube collection, with Dom emotionally acknowledging that the circumstances surrounding his grandma’s passing have “amplified my isolation”.
That feeling of solitude is one thing Dom is effectively acquainted with. “I used to assume it wasn’t alright for me to be who I’m, and I received so low that I contemplated suicide,” he advised Kerrang! earlier this yr. Having been compelled by means of the coronavirus pandemic into one other surroundings that feels more and more lonely, Dom detects parallels between his present scenario and his struggles as a teenager.
“This time has jogged my memory of how I grew up in an surroundings the place it felt just like the world didn’t wish to know me for who I actually was,” he says. “No-one understood or cared about me. It appeared as if the world didn’t need me to develop into the particular person I needed to be, and that made me actually insecure.
“However then I despatched a name out, releasing music as YUNGBLUD to see if there have been others who felt the identical, and all these folks discovered me.”
Now, Dom is ready the place he doesn’t must really feel so alone. He’s all the time made time for his followers, discovering moments each month to FaceTime at the least 10 of them to say thanks for his or her help. In mild of present occasions, he’s upped that to 50.
“These folks make me really feel prefer it’s alright to be alive – I’m nonetheless round due to them,” Dom says when requested why he reaches out to so many supporters. “The one purpose I received into this was to really feel much less alone – I’ve by no means needed to be a popstar with a metaphorical finger up my arse, swigging a bottle of champagne. I’m not arsed about fame as a result of this all the time has and all the time might be about connection.”
One side of the YUNGBLUD world that’s been connecting with loads of followers is Dom’s triumphant new single, Bizarre!. He says it was written throughout what was, fittingly, “the weirdest time in my life,” and it makes for the proper soundtrack to the unusual and unsure scenario the world presently finds itself in.
Bizarre! does, nonetheless, have a which means and significance that stretches past our current surroundings of social distancing and self-isolation. It’s a track that symbolises the model of weirdness Dom recognises in himself, how he’s “annoyingly energetic however barely unhappy”, and represents the truth that “there’s all the time been an underlying feeling of hysteria to all the things I do”.
When Dom describes the previous 18 months of his life, all dizzying highs and despairing lows, it makes excellent sense that his newest output is characterised by emotions of each euphoria and despondency. From industrial and important triumphs, and collaborations with enormous names like Travis Barker and Marshmello, to a really public break-up with popstar Halsey, and the near-death of his mom, Bizarre! is born out of a time when Dom felt like all of his success was slipping away.
“I practically misplaced my mum in a automobile accident,” he reveals. “I fell in love, had my coronary heart damaged and skilled actual embarrassment by means of that heartbreak. After that, I fucked a load of individuals and explored myself sexually, however then I turned extra depressed and anxious. All that ultimately led me to begin taking medication.”
Issues all got here to a head the night time YUNGBLUD headlined London’s O2 Academy Brixton on the finish of 2019. Every thing was, on the face of it, going amazingly, but within the days and weeks main as much as the present, Dom discovered himself feeling low on a regular basis. In the long run, it was a visit down reminiscence lane that supplied the fact examine he wanted to tug himself out of the mire.
“I assumed again to how, two years earlier, my guitarist [Adam Warrington], my drummer [Michael Rennie] and I had been residing in a two-bedroom shoebox. We spent an evening watching movies of the Foo Fighters at Brixton, and all of us agreed that if we may get there, we’d have made it. Recalling that reminiscence was an actual slap within the face, as a result of issues had develop into so darkish and unusual, however going by means of all of it meant that, in the end, I grew up a bit of bit extra.”
Buoyed by a renewed sense of optimism, Dom selected to carry ahead the discharge of Bizarre!, which was initially set to drop later within the yr. He has since been placing the ending touches to his upcoming second album, which is anticipated to be out earlier than the top of 2020, and he’s hinting that the day-glo vibe of Bizarre! might be a sign of the place the brand new YUNGBLUD materials is heading.
“The reality is, I’m not offended anymore,” Dom presents. “[2018 debut album] 21st Century Legal responsibility was so fucking offended, however that’s not who I’m now. And that’s to not say that the brand new album is me going gentle, as a result of there are some fucking ragers and songs for the moshers on there, however that is going to be a file of optimism. How can I be offended once I now exist alongside this neighborhood of individuals the place my insecurities, which I as soon as thought of to be a handicap, at the moment are celebrated? This neighborhood was constructed by a bunch of outsiders, however I don’t really feel like an outsider anymore due to how I’ve been welcomed by all these folks. How the fuck can I be offended at that?”
When it’s put to Dom that he’s speaking as if this new album is the antithesis to 21st Century Legal responsibility, he’s in complete settlement.
“That’s a great way of placing it,” he concludes. “The album is a neat whisky, uncensored model of my life: it talks about liberation by way of intercourse, my id and my psychological well being, in addition to love, heartbreak, self-harm, suicide, melancholy… it’s like a collection of Skins. I would like it to be naïve and stuffed with contradictions. This file doesn’t give a fuck what folks give it some thought, as a result of it’s telling the listener what life is really about. I’ve a dialogue with my fanbase that permits us to say what we expect – we’re rebelling in opposition to the concept that talking our minds is incorrect.”
Impressed by his neighborhood and having come by means of essentially the most difficult interval of his life, Dom Harrison is now not a 21st century legal responsibility. He’s the weirdo this era wants.
Posted on Might 18th 2020, 1:05pm