Features, Music

Yungblud insists his art “comes from a place of darkness”

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“I fell in love and it was all over the fucking internet. And then that didn’t work out so great, and it was all over the internet, but it changed my idea of what love meant because I fell in love,” Yungblud explains.

Known to the world by the moniker but to his friends and family as Dom Harrison (“don’t call me Dominic, that’s what my mum calls me when I’m fucking naughty”), he’s recounting the time between his debut album, 21st Century Liability, being released in 2018 and his sophomore record, Weird!, which is out today.

“I wanted it to be a record of optimism now,” he adds. “My first record was angry, this one was painful.” More than anything, his fans were central to the album’s final form. “This record is about every kid from every continent of every size, shape, colour, personality, sexuality. Every point of view that I’ve met and the way they’ve impacted my life, the way they’ve kind of shaped my whole existence. And we’re shaping each other’s together, it’s mental. It’s like I’ve got a co-dependent relationship with 3 million people and it’s fucking magic. This record started with a lot of pain.

“But it is a record of optimism. It’s an album for the weirdest fucking years of our lives. It’s about sex, it’s about sexuality, it’s about gender, it’s about depression, love, heartbreak, but then coming through it and being like: Do you know what, that was just a fucking weird time wasn’t it?”

It’s not so much about the pain as what caused those wounds for Yungblud, as he attempts to confront fresh cuts as well as lifelong scars. His fanbase and the people that he surrounds himself with these days provide him with a sense of belonging and protection, and he’s been hard at work purging both toxic people and toxic expectations out of his life for good. “If I put my heart on a silver platter and someone stabs it,” he clarifies, “I know someone’s going to plaster it up.”

That’s not the only thing that’s changed for him. He no longer has to feign confidence in what he’s doing – he has millions of people backing him – and as we speak, he’s sitting in front of the platinum certification of his hit with Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker, ‘I Think I’m Okay’. It’s hardly arrogance, more like experience, that colours his assertive explanation that though he has a mainstream following, it isn’t going to make him a popstar.


“I ain’t going to dress up in your fucking little frilly fucking bows. That’s not who I am.”


“I ain’t a popstar,” he defends. “I ain’t going to dress up in your fucking little frilly fucking bows. That’s not who I am.” Citing dressed up execs continuing to encourage him to look more normal, his answer is clear: “I’m not going to do that. I’ve finally got to a point where I’m just like, ‘fuck off’. Bowie and Amy and Gaga and Manson, that’s what I want to fucking be like. I’m not interested in fucking Rick Astley.”

Not that we know anyone who is interested in Rick Astley, and the fanbase of Marilyn Manson is declining by the day, Yungblud’s point is that he’s not a cookie cutter image of anything, and he never has been. Hopes that he’d grow out of his alternative phase should be well and truly decimated, because he is, and has always been, a Kerrang kid at heart.

“You know when you have a posh nan?” he laughs. “I used to watch that shit on repeat every day at me Nan’s house…she had Sky TV. She had Sky TV and I didn’t have Sky TV at my house so I used to go to her house and watch Kerrang TV on Sky.” He shared an experience with most of us alt kids, including the nauseous grief we went through when allegations against Lostprophets’ Ian Watkins surfaced.

“I used to be a massive fucking Madina Lake and Lostprophets fan,” he relays. “And then I found out Ian Watkins is a clinical psychopath, and that broke my heart. And now you can’t listen to fucking anything from them…Everyone who has that behaviour needs to have their heads cut off and we put them in a fridge.”

Despite the allegations that have plagued our scene, ranging from mild yet despicable misconduct to depraved and capital punishment-worthy offences, we have seen icons like Paramore’s Hayley Williams come out of situations like her toxic marriage with New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert stronger, a glimmer of hope emerging from an otherwise bleak series of events. “She wrote ‘Only Exception’ about him,” Yungblud points out. “That song is amazing.” Like Williams and her counterparts, he isn’t afraid to tackle the human experience on the darker side of the spectrum, with ‘love song’ on his new record confronting his own experience with abusive relationships.

“I grew up in a house of domestic abuse,” he admits. “And it fucked with my idea of what love was and what I believed love to be about. And that’s why I just called it ‘love song’, because I haven’t got a fucking named phrase. It’s a Yungblud love song.” He insists that everything that he’s “ever written is dark as fuck.” He continues: “It comes from a place of darkness, like massive darkness.”

But there is light beyond the dark. His new collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker seems to be walking on the more trivial side of life (“you’re way too hot to be acting like that” being the primary lyric), he’s optimistic about his Australian tour next year (“trust it’s going to fucking happen”) and he describes himself as the happiest he’s ever been.

“I sit in bed at night and go, ‘would I change anything?’, but I’m happy now,” he concludes. As much as he may loathe to admit it.

Yungblud ‘Life on Mars’ Australian Tour

Thursday 2nd September
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
Tickets: Secret Sounds

Saturday 4th September
Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane
Tickets: Secret Sounds

Sunday 5th September
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Tickets: Secret Sounds

Wednesday 8th September
Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Tickets: Secret Sounds

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