3rd August 2022
Interview: Amy Bell
youproblem is the exciting new collaboration between Sydney producer/drummer Alistair Hayes and singer/songwriter Alana Patmore. Spending the majority of 2021 building up their sound, the band debuted in 2022 with their first single ‘Wasting Time’ - a cute, upbeat pop song about the pull of codependency, which landed multiple spotify editorial playlists including Indie Arrivals, Office Stereo, Homework Motivation and Fresh Finds AU & NZ.
youproblem recently released their second single ‘Drunk’, a woozy, destructive anthem wrapped in tequila shots and self-sabotage. Drawing on their own experiences with Australian drinking culture, you problem let loose on this song with dark, broody lyrics over a groggy bassline and disorienting ambience. Growing Pains is the B-side of Drunk and drops alongside a double music video featuring both singles. Introspective and dreamy, growing pain is a train of thought narrative processing all the things that happen during a big change. Paired with a drowsy, spaced-out beat that rises and falls, youproblem leaves you in a trance of muted emotions and moving through the motions.
Hi guys, thanks for talking to ReVamp. Why the band name ‘youproblem’?
Thanks for having us! We actually struggled for ages to pick a band name that felt right. youproblem kinda just popped into our head while we were driving and brainstorming. It’s something our friends say a lot - “sounds like a youproblem”. The name was the last puzzle piece in this project we were building.
Let’s get into your music journey, has music always been around you and who inspired you to begin to start recording and writing music?
Alana: Music has always been a big part of both our lives. We met in year 3 percussion ensemble but we didn’t connect until high school, and then again in uni. We’ve been musically parallel for a lot of our lives, like Alistair played for my EP in high school and we both went to the same uni, but after the first Sydney lockdown we re-connected and found that our musical tastes aligned and it was so easy to write with each other.
Alistair: We’d both been individually recording and writing for a few years before we started the band so we have our own motivations for pursuing that. We just love the music we’re making now and want to share that with people.
You have a new single ‘Drunk’, can you tell us a bit of a back story behind this single please?
Alistair: Drunk is actually connected to another single Growing pain - it was a surprise release along with the music video which has a narrative that connects the two. We wanted to do a double single because we thought it’d be cool.
Alana: In terms of the story behind the songs, Drunk is a reflection of our experience and relationship with drinking. The main chorus lyric, “I only drink so i get drunk”, is something i hear thrown around a lot especially when i was younger. We wrote this is Sydney lockdown 2021 when perhaps my relationship with alcohol was at it’s worst. I think i’d been feeling fatigued by drinking culture for a while and so this song came out of us.
Growing Pains was written a few months after once lockdown had ended. It’s kinda my closure song for a big relationship and big breakup - it was just all my feelings that i was experiencing from leaving that relationship and having to navigate through a lot of change.
Have you both got any funny drunk stories for our readers?
Alistair: At my uni’s ball, i stole a 1m tall lamp. It was like a big white cube block light, and it was the day before we were going on tour with my first band (papaya tree) and we had to leave at 7am in the morning. I got home with the lamp and the head of the student association called me and had a go at me “heard you took the lamp, thats so irresponsible, you’re gonna have to pay for a new one” and i said i’d bring it back the next morning - meaning we’d have to get up an hour earlier to drop it off at my uni. Then we went to play the show, but then they realised they didn't want to drop it at the furniture hire place so i had to go back to uni and pick it back up and then drop it in Parramatta. In hindsight, probably wouldn’t steal it again, but it was pretty funny.
Alana: I was out in Surry Hills with my friends a few years ago and I really wanted to go to a karaoke bar. I was only with like 3 other people so it was a small group. I’d never done karaoke in Sydney before so I had no idea where to find one (some of them are kinda hidden). We googled it and found one place but it was booked out, so we googled again and found this business that was really vague and had no info. Since the google result was kind of like the other karaoke place we tried, i figured it must be the same. So we walk to this place and it’s just a door so I’m like, Ok it must be inside. I was so determined to get in so i knocked a bunch of times and then i called the number listed on google. Some guy answered and he was like “I’ll come down”, came down and I was like “karaoke?” and he was like “no… brothel”.
When you are going through the writing and recording process, what is it like? How do you know when the song is finalised?
I guess you never really know when a song is finished. We actually write our songs quickly - we like writing many songs and then picking them out of the pile. When we were first working together, before we became youproblem, we decided to write 20 songs and pick 5 favourites before we went ahead with anything. From those 5, I think we’re only planning on releasing two because we’ve written new ones since then.
How is ‘Drunk’ different from your past releases?
Alana: Drunk is our second ever release and we’ve learnt a lot from every release so far. My favourite thing about releasing ‘Drunk’ is the fact that it transitions into ‘Growing Pains’, the b side single. It was a rogue decision to choose to do a double single for our second release, but i love both the songs and i think they work so well together. It’s a whole listening experience which I feel is really supported by the music video which was made around the idea of going into an alternate reality. Drunk and Growing pains are also really personal songs to me, and I was really proud to share them with the world. I hope people can relate to the experiences I was writing about.
What can we expect from you next?
You can listen to Drunk in it’s full form with Growing Pains, which released on the 29th of June. Otherwise, we have a new song coming for you in the next few months, and we’re hoping to play some live shows asap! We have heaps of music up our sleeves and our goal for this year is to share them.