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Youth Code Interview: Their Story, Brutal Next Record, Touring with Chelsea Wolfe & Lots More

Ryan George and Sara Taylor of savage industrial two-piece Youth Code of Los Angeles discussed how they met and the band began, why they adored touring with Chelsea Wolfe, their next record, their biggest musical arguments and Sara’s new punk rock side project with The Void host Christina Rowatt backstage in Sydney on their first Australian tour. Watch the full interview, which explores the musical couple in depth, on YouTube. Excerpts from the YouTube feature below.

Youth Code was born one afternoon six years ago when Youth Code singer Sara was working at Vacation Vinyl, a Sunset Boulevard record store. “They were putting together this flyer, for an employee showcase,” Sara said. “They asked me if I wanted to DJ … they were like, it’s all of our bands playing. So I was like, my band is playing too … put it on the flyer. It’s called Youth Code. And then I went home and [I told boyfriend] Ryan that we have a band.” The couple had five days before the show to make music.

Youth Code’s Sara Taylor has spent her adult life on touring crews with bands of all musical species. I first encountered her as the wisecracking tour manager of High on Fire on the Soundwave tour, and she is currently out on the road with Behemoth who are dominating the mammoth final Slayer tour alongside Lamb of God. Ryan George, the musical driving force, is best described by his girlfriend and bandmate: “Ryan has always been like music guy … he had hella bands [including iconic hardcore band Carry On] and he is super talented,” Sara says. “When I met him he had all these insane synthesisers and all these crazy guitars, and he was this arty, cool guy. Then we moved in together and then we started doing music. I said that there was a band, but I didn’t know how to write anything. So I just ripped around onstage and yelled about whatever is in this dumbass brain of mine,” Sara laughs.

Youth Code’s live show has evolved to an intense and bloody experience with Sarah’s inflamed vocals punctuated by Ryan’s knob-twisting live synth savagery that leaves all sucked into the Youth Code void lathered in sweat and smiles. Youth Code is soulful, and heart-wrenching, and violent, and as fun as an underground industrial club full of high as hell goths. They have toured with bands as wildly diverse as Skinny Puppy, Code Orange and Chelsea Wolfe; perhaps because they know exactly how to deftly plunge a hard-edged knife into anyone with a musical heart of darkness. And have a really fucking good time whilst letting the blood spill around you.


“In LA at the time you were just starting to get the beginning of the crossover between industrial and techno [when we started Youth Code]. And there was a lot of that starting to happen,” Ryan explains. “We also had this really cool minimal synth scene, where people are doing really cool, stripped down synth pop stuff. So we played – our music is a lot heavier now – but back then we were super heavy compared to what was going on, and I don’t think people expected us to be chopping up samples like Ministry with those hard kick drums. No one was doing it, so I think it was kind of a shocker. We literally got booked that night to do another show, then a cool industrial club in New York, then it never stopped,” Ryan says.

Youth Code have started work on their next album, the follow up to 2016’s super cinematic “Commitment to Complications” full length. “It’s going to be a lot heavier. It’s going to be a brutal record,” Ryan promises.

Beyond the forthcoming Youth Code record, frontwoman Sara Taylor has started writing songs for a new band. “Me and some friends got together and started playing punk stuff,” Sara told The Void. “Fred [Sablan] who is playing bass in it, was playing with Chelsea Wolfe [on the tour the two bands just did together],” Sara explains. “Fred and I had talked about doing a band on the tour. But it was kind of like one of those things, like L.A. talk … where everyone says they want to do a band.” This time, it came to fruition. When Sara returned home, a chance phone call with old friend Matt “Piggy D” Montgomery (Wednesday 13, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper) took the project further. “Matt used to play in this band Amen, who were one of the first bands I ever worked for,” Sara explains. “I lived in a house with that third lineup of Amen [in the Valley] … when I was eighteen years old. Matt hit me up because something happened with a friend of ours and we were discussing the old days. He asked, ‘would you ever be willing to do a band?’ And I was like I can get us a band in about fifteen minutes if you’re down. I introduced him to my friend Alex. Everyone knew each other. Everyone agreed to do it, and we’ve already written five songs.”

Watch the full video interview on The Void YouTube channel.

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