The Young's Hans Zimmerman: "I Remember Listening to Slayer While Getting Tattooed"
Austin's The Young hit Bryan Street Tavern on Saturday night with Young Prisms and Midnite Society, touring behind Matador Records debut Dub Egg. Frontman Hans Zimmerman gave a nice little rundown of some of his musical firsts, including south Texas metal shows, how he got into Matador Records, and whether or not "Only the Young" is better than "Young Americans."
Can you remember the first show that you paid your own money to see?
Yeah, actually I do! I grew up in south Texas and I drove from my home, which is near Port Isabel, to the McAllen area. I drove to a death metal show with some buddies. I paid three or five dollars or something. It was a lineup of maybe six valley death metal bands. I wasn't really into that style of music, but it was something to go do and see. So it was fun.
Since you guys are on Matador Records, can you remember some of the earliest Matador bands you were into?
I didn't really explore their whole catalog too much, but I spent a long time listening to Pavement for like, a solid year and a half in high school.
Any record in particular?
Slanted and Enchanted was probably the one I listened to the most. I had at least five of them. I can't remember specifically.
You've recently covered Belle & Sebastian. Were you a fan? How did you get into their music?
I had a few of their records when I was in high school. It was cool at the time, but I never got super into it. The last time we were in New York, we stopped at the Matador office. One of the guys there named David Martin, who's an awesome dude, recommended their newest record to me. So I took that home and listened to it. I was really into that song and I kinda had a structure that could crossover how we play. I actually ended up playing all the instruments on that recording just because I liked the song so much. I wanted to record it right away. So I just did it on the fly one afternoon.
Can you remember what you bought with your own money? There's always a big distinction between what you were given by a friend or parent and what you actually buy.
The first record I ever bought, I mail ordered. I can't remember where I got it from. I think it was from a skateboard and music sort of hybrid company out of California. I mail ordered the BYO punk compilation, Someone Got Their Head Kicked In.
That's a pretty good introduction to early punk rock!
Yeah! It was either that one or Ramones Mania. I bought that when I was like, 12, at the mall. The reason why I bought it was because it had the most songs on it for $18, or whatever CDs used to cost.
I think it has 30 songs on it.
Yeah! So, I was like, all right! I didn't even know it was a compilation at the time. I just thought they had made a really long record.
Can you remember the first time The Young played live?
Very first time, it was still like a solo sort of thing. Trying to play with the whole one-man-band. It didn't go over really well. I played kick drum and snare drum and played guitar and tried to sing at the same time. That was kind of goofy.
What did you hit your snare drum with, your tuning pegs?
No, I had another pedal with a screwdriver handle on it. My snare was positioned vertically.
So you were kicking it like Rick Allen from Def Leppard.
Did the show go over well?
I think so. I did that twice and then kinda stopped doing that for a while, then filled out the band. I think we played our first show around September of 2007. It was a big show. This band from San Francisco called Young Offenders played and I think The Marked Men played.
The Marked Men?
Oh, the legends!
We got to play with them a few times. They were always amazing.
Do you have any tattoos? Do you remember what the first tattoo was like?
First tattoo I got, I was 18. It was in my armpit.
It was an insane experience. It was painful. I remember listening to Slayer while getting tattooed.
What's the better song: "Only the Young" by Journey or "Young Americans" by David Bowie?
I'll probably go with the Bowie song, just because he's Bowie.