Getting to hang out with the guys from Brave Young Lion in a more intimate setting was definitely a special experience for me. I was beyond excited to get the chance to show everyone who Brave Young Lion is beyond their infectious and kinetic tunes. With influenced sound from The Strokes, Best Coast, and Vampire Weekend, it’s hard to blast them in the car on a road trip or even on your way home from work. Being some of the funniest guys I know this interview was hard to take seriously with them making me burst into uncontrollable laughter every 10 minutes. Their sarcastic back and forth kept this interview interesting and well… pretty fucking weird. They may have all the jokes to dish out, but one thing they do take seriously is their devotion to their sound. Their first EP “Same Old Sound” received a wide variety of great press within the first few weeks it was released. They had their first radio debut in the summer of 2013 and with their new EP Bleeding Knees coming out in the next couple of months, I couldn’t wait for some one on one time with them to see what they’ve been up to. We sat down at Oak Street Draft house, a local bar in Denton that thrives from its wide selection of craft beer and scenic patio. I asked them questions that helped me get a better idea of how they got the band together and what they’re excited about in the future.
Lets meet the guys: Rico Turrubiarte (vocals and guitar), Spencer Turrubiarte ( guitar), Brian Shovlin(bass), Hunter Cannon ( vocals and drums).
So guys, Lets go around the table and introduce yourself and say 1 interesting fact about you.
Spencer: “I’m Spencer… on the outside I don’t look that interesting but if you spend 5 minutes with me you see I’m pretty interesting”
Rico: “Wow that’s the most generic answer ever. Anyways, I’m Rico and I am a self proclaimed professional wrestler”
Hunter:” I am a self proclaimed construction worker…. Not really”
Rico: “He owns horses….”
Hunter: “Yes, I own horses….”
Me: “Do you ride them??”
Rico: “He was the National …1994 …under 13 Lil Debbie International Calf Roping Champion of Texas”
Hunter: “Yes, ID BE 2!”
Brian: “I’m a self proclaimed professional whistler”
Me: “Show me something…”
Brian: “Maybe later.. after this drink..”
So How do you all know each other?
Spencer: “We met in school….”
Rico: “We realized we had the same last name when we were in the 2nd grade”.
Rico said this being while looking at Spencer and sharing a laugh over the fact that they’re brothers.
Spencer: “We all lived in Aubrey, Tx since we were like five. We became friends in high school. Aubrey’s a small town “Horse Country, USA” there were less than 130 people in our graduating class.”
Rico: “Brian’s mom used to babysit Hunter…” (Rico said while they all started laughing)
I know you were in a previous band named Sophomore, were you all a part of that band? And how did you change the name to Brave Young Lion?
Rico: Our first name was actually Lazy Bones Feat. Hunter Cannon,
Spencer: “Yeah that was when we played prom!”
Rico: “Yeah, then our name was Retro Run”
Spencer: “Actually my teacher asked me if I had a band that could play the prom and I lied and said, “Yes”. Rico and I started a band and then I asked Brian to play bass and then Hunter joined on the drums. “
Who are some of the most influential musicians to your sound as a whole?
All at the same time: “THE STROKES!”
Spencer: “and Vampire Weekend”
Hunter: “and New Order?”
Spencer: “I listened to Van Halen, The Bee Gees, Boston, pretty much classic rock. Anything after the 1990’s we were like against. We were more middle aged dads in that time in our life than we’ll ever be”
I love your Taylor Swift cover of “Shake it off”. Why did you choose to cover that song? Are you “Swifties”?
Rico: “WE ARE SO SWIFTIES!! I think everything she’s doing right now is incredible. I bought her album on the treadmill the other day.”
Spencer: ” I think people that have a problem with Taylor Swift have a much bigger problem.”
Rico: “YEAH THEY HATE SUCCESSFUL WOMEN!” (Rico blurted out while laughing to himself)
Do you have any exciting things planned for you in 2015?
Spencer: “Spending a lot of time on releasing the 4 song EP, and we’re working on this music video. I think we’re kind of blown away with everything so far.”
I know that you played 35 Denton this year, have you played any other festivals? Is that the biggest festival you’ve done thus far?
Spencer: “Ya we did a crawfish boil. “
Rico: “YEAH, Spencer lost his virginity that day.”
(Everyone starts laughing hysterically)
Hunter: “I think 35 is the biggest festival we’ve done so far. We also played Oaktopia.”
Spencer: “Yes, well besides Coachella….”
What’s your favorite band that you’ve ever played with?
Hunter: “The Fierros”
Spencer: “Yeah Skaters, they’re probably the coolest band we’ve played with.”
Brian: “OH! And Catamaran”
Spencer: “I change my mind to Catamaran”
I’ve seen you play several house shows here in Denton. Do you like to play house shows or shows at venues more? What’s the difference in the crowd?
Hunter: “House shows are where it’s at.”
Brian: “House shows are preferred.”
Spencer: “People take it like if the bands bad then it’s still a party. I feel like its Denton’s most official venue.”
Spencer: “I just get super drunk.”
What do you do in your free time/jobs?
Hunter: “I work at an accounting firm, but I was a film major.”
Rico: “I work at a bank right now, same company as Spencer. My major was International Politics… they labeled it as one of the Top 5 Hardest Majors…”
Hunter: “Oh really, on what list?
Spencer: “Yale Mag…..” (As they all start laughing)
Rico: “I watch movies. I love movies and fantasy baseball and sex. I have sex. “
Spencer: “I also work at a bank. I’ve been working there since high school…. As a janitor. I’m just kidding. In my free time I like being surrounded by my buds and actually I just watch a shit ton of TV.
(Proceeds to drop names of Real Housewives in side conversations)
Brian: “I worked at a pizza place and I paint houses, but I’m still a student at UNT.”
Do you love the Denton music scene?
Hunter: “Yes, it has a little bit of everything. There’s a genre for everybody.”
Spencer: “It’s like in Grease and all the bands run around together.”
Do you think playing at house shows has helped your career or pushed you in a certain direction?
Rice: “It definitely connected us to other Denton bands and helped us make friends.”
Hunter: “It’s definitely the breeding ground for everything like that. Playing venues is not as intimate.
I see that you’re releasing more music soon. What’s your favorite song off of this album?
Hunter: “Girls is probably the most unique for us.”
Brian: “I think Girls symbolizes the current state that we’re in.”
I saw you made a music video this weekend. Tell me about it:
Rico: “We made it for the song Girls.” So I had this vision for the song of these guys on motorcycles with leather jackets driving up to this whorehouse. They had heard an old story about the girls killing you after sex and consuming your body. That’s basically what the song is about. So in the video it’s them playing the song and then the girls take over their bodies.”
Spencer: “I think you could also compare it to dating a girl and like how she could take over your life and body.”
Rico: “I didn’t see it like that but I see how that totally could apply.”
Hunter: “The whole theme of the entire EP is about the time in your life when you’re getting drunk too much and waking up in the morning and being like what happened?”
Rico: “I wouldn’t say explicitly getting drunk but waking up and being fearful of the fact that things may be the same forever. When you’re trying to further your music or art, it could be your own horror film.”
You can expect to see the debut of their music video for “Girls” in a few weeks. Collectively they will be releasing their video, EP, and some new merchandise. You can check out their first EP at :
Brave Young Lion – Photograph by Hillary Head