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Escape, along with brotherhood, is at the core of Your Vegas. Four of the five band members grew up in a small suburb of Leeds called Otley. Forming a band came naturally; according to Girelli. "There aren't many people in Otley. You find three other people near the same age into music, you're probably going to meet up and form a band."
With its sound taking shape, "escape" now meant hitting the road. The band released a few indie singles and started touring the UK in a tiny van. "Up and down the motorway, doing what we call the toilet tours," says Coyle, referencing the bars, universities and small clubs that dot the countryside. "We'd hit islands off of Scotland, and then go all the way down to Plymouth. We even hit up the Scottish highlands--there were these small towns that no one ever plays, where the town's ancestors had settled thousands of years ago, and their families never left. It was good fun."
Oddly enough, even with his support crew back home, Your Vegas was starting to find its niche. Crowds grew bigger. Major labels started coming around. The rest of the band came over for a few weeks, and after noticing the buzz, promptly flew back home, "sold everything" (according to guitarist Steel) and relocated permanently to the States, shacking up together in Hell's Kitchen.
With a label deal in hand, Your Vegas started recording their album with David Bendeth (Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Paramore) last April. "When we started talking musical influences and how we wanted a big sound, he just got it," says Steel. The band, meanwhile, continued to slave over new material. Girelli would write the skeleton of each track on an acoustic guitar, and then bring in what he had to the band, which would tinker with it in the group's rehearsal room. "It has to work live," says Steel. "And even then, there's a lot of back and forth. We spend a lot of time on each song."
The epic sound on "A Town and Two Cities," and its attention to detail, is readily apparent in the final mixes. "It Makes My Heart Break" is simply an epic ballad, while "In My Head" features both a wall of guitar noise and some gorgeous pop harmony. Although the songs on the record are unabashedly anthems, the meaning behind them is far more insular for Coyle. "The lyrics, they're personal to me in many ways, even if I'm writing from another person's point of view," he says, pointing to the song "Birds of Paradise." Says the singer: "That's about two life-long friends, and one who goes to war and dies while being far, far away. Even though it's a song about war and death, there are aspects of it that are autobiographical."
As for the album title, it directly reflects the band's past and present. "We grew up in a small town, and then spent a lot of time in Leeds - which is an amazing city for musicians," says Coyle. "Then we came here to the States, and that was our last inspiration before recording the album. So I guess it's about our journey, in a town and two cities".
Viva Your Vegas