Club Paradise, despite singing song about the anxieties of adult life and not wanting to grow up, are the furthest thing from new kids on the block. In varying forms, the band have been together for a decade. Following the success of their last single ‘Closer’, they talk about how their next release ‘Teenagers’ was made.
Ryan Young, the singer, explains that ‘Teenagers’ was written whilst he was at work. Overhearing conversations from colleagues about the realisation that they’d become old, he related.
Knowing there was something in what he’d written he rushed to get it down: “I got in the car and I remember I was singing the melody on the way home and I sent to Jackson straight away. About two days later he sent me the verse ideas with all the ambient stuff around it all.”
Jackson Vert, lead guitarist, then took the lead, in two days the song had an instrumental behind it and all the ambient synths. The second verse was the last piece to come, they both explain. Bassist Harry Webb pitched in with the bridge and between the three of them the song was written.
Before the studio the song was wrapped quickly. They talk about how guitar ideas were the only bit that took any debate and after that it was completed in a day, over emails.
“It was recorded in early September, it was really quick. I remember, with ‘Closer’, we had that song for a couple months, it had a long process but with ‘Teenagers’ it was recorded in 1/2 days the first mix we got back was 2 changes and that was it.” Ryan explains.
They both credit how quickly it all came together to their producer, Antonio Hanna who came up to Newcastle to work with Club Paradise. They joke that he said he only needed a room with three walls because he had the fourth wall in the boot of his car.
Antonio put forward the only big change to the song Jackson explains “He’s a drummer so it was really good working with him. So it was helpful to talk to him as we were doing the song.”
Together with drummer Nathan Hogg, Antonio created the intro drum fills that open ‘Teenagers’. It’s faster than the initial demo, being pumped up from 118 BPM to 125 BPM, matching The Killers’ ‘When You Were Young’ which was a huge inspiration to Club Paradise during the studio hours.
“He knew what he was doing, and I didn’t. I wrote all the drum parts for the demos, so I was just making it up. I don’t even know if it was possible to play some of the stuff in real life.” Jackson laughs at the end, Ryan chiming in a sorry to Nathan.
Having the right producer seemed to put the band in the right direction. Recent singles have come as part of a change of direction for Club Paradise’s creative process.
Ryan says “The amount that we used to rehearse was so much more than the amount of time we’d have to write songs so we’d always write the music first because it was always the band that were together.”
“Whereas now because of jobs and stuff we probably rehearse once a week if that so there’s a lot of time spent apart. So if I write a vocal melody, it’s much easier to write a song around it quicker with something that you feel is gonna have legs.”
He thinks it makes the songs a lot fresher because they can turn them over so much quicker. Anything that doesn’t work stands out almost immediately and therefore they spend less time on the ideas going nowhere.
Jackson chimes in to discuss some of their less successful ideas. Harry brought some more experimental ideas to the tables and one demo even featured a country intro guitar lick. Safe to say, the less said about that particular one the better.
Talking about where ‘Teenagers’ fits into the world of Club Paradise, both Ryan and Jackson reflect for a second. They decide it’s got bits of Closer musically but the themes draw a lot of parallels to their first release of 2019, ‘Kirby Keger’.
“Musically and lyrically it has all those 80s vibes. But it’s all about just the anxieties of stuff, so this one’s about the anxiety of having to grow up and get responsibility and get a job.” (You can listen to a playlist of Club Paradise’s influences here.)
“You can hear in ‘Kirby Keger’ that jobs don’t mean anything and I still want to be young, you know? It’s a recurring theme of my nightmares.” Ryan laughs.
Jackson adds that the centre point of the Club Paradise universe is ‘Forever Young’ Alphaville. He chimes back in with “also Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’ sprinked with The Killers.” which is rather apt considering ‘She’s So Unusual’ is sat atop the turntable in the corner of the room.