Local band spotlight: Backwards Youth

Looking for a new hardcore band to fall in love with? Give Backwards Youth a try.

Backwards  Youth is a local and primarily hardcore band consisting of Jacob Paris (vocalist and senior at ARHS), Alex Todd (guitarist), Jose Gonzales (bassist), and Andrew Munz (drummer). Paris and Todd have been friends for years but met Gonzalez and Munz through outreaches for band members on social media.

When asked if their band has been successful, Todd replied, “While there are still many things we would like to accomplish as a band, I believe that we have been successful. We’ve been able to set goals for ourselves and accomplish them, such as the tours we’ve done and the great bands we’ve had to opportunity to play with.”

On their first tour two years ago, they went all the way up to NYC and last year on their second tour, they went over to Texas and all the way up to Chicago. They’re also planning another tour for this summer. Although, touring can be difficult when you’re not super famous rock stars. “As of now, since we aren’t a very established band, we pay our way to travel which can get very expensive…” said Paris. “We try to travel as much as possible because we really enjoy it and it’s a great way to get our names out nationally rather than just in the state.”

Even with the out-of-state popularity, Backwards Youth currently plays the majority of their shows in Charleston and Summerville. “We died down a bit after our second tour to focus on writing but now that our guitarist is going to school in Clemson, Charleston and Columbia shows are just more convenient,” said Paris.

Even though the band meets some minor obstacles such as school and money, in 5 years they should be completely over that. “[In the next five years,] all of the members of the band will be going through some big changes in their lives, from moving out to finishing college, and all I can hope is that we are still great friends and able to get together and play the music we enjoy,” said Todd. Todd and Paris both imagine that the band is signed and successful enough to tour for more than just a few weeks at a time. 

“Traveling has always been my goal with this band and being able to express the message we’re trying to portray.”

— Jacob Paris

The band’s message is that we all live in a cold world and standing around ignoring the fact won’t fix anything. Paris says, “There’s cruel people out there and no one should be afraid to stand up to it. In the end, it’s our future and we’re given the behavior we accept.”

When it comes to inspiration, Todd and Paris get theirs from different places. Todd says, “What inspires me is a love for the type of music we play and the great friendship that I’ve created through this music scene. I’ve met great people and hope to encourage others to become apart of this music scene and get involved because music is a great outlet.” While Todd finds inspiration with the hardcore music scene as a whole, Paris takes his from many different individuals: “I base my vocals loosely on a mix of The Descendants, Swamps, and The Devil Wears Prada. I base my stage presence on Jason Butler from Letlive because he’s pretty crazy. The lyrical style I’ve picked up is strongly influenced by bands I’ve listened to for years like Full of Hell and Wolf Down. These bands have very strong controversial lyrics and I feel like that’s an important factor in music.”

Backwards Youth has one full length album (Outcast, 2014) and one 3-song demo album (Reality Check, 2015) out on Bandcamp. Paris claims the demo definitely expresses how the band has developed and what direction they’re headed. You can also find Backwards Youth on Instagram (@backwardsyouth), Twitter (@backwardsyouth), Facebook (Backwards Youth), and Youtube (Backwards Youth).

So if you’re looking for a new hardcore band to get you out of your musical rut, Backwards Youth is right here, waiting for you to fall in love with them.