Californian band Young The Giant are currently causing somewhat of a stir in the land of ‘The Music Business.’ They’ve been cutting their teeth touring the US and because of a Youtube video of one of their performances, which caught the eye of MTV execs, they'll now be playing the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.

As they were making a short stop in London on their way to play Pukklepop and Lowlands festivals it only seemed right for us to catch up and ask a few questions. We spoke to Payam from the band…

So Payam, how did Young The Giant meet and where are you from?

We all pretty much met in middle school / high school in Irvine, California in Orange County. We all came from different places; me and Eric were pretty much raised in Irvine. The other guys; Sameer from Michigan, Francois from Montreal and Jake from Lichfield actually.

What ages were you when you started playing music together?

Probably 13 to 15 around that.

I’m assuming that back then you didn’t sound exactly as you do now! What were the inspirations for you and what bands were you listening to at that time?

We were listening to a lot of the Strokes; umm they’re kinda like a big influence of ours. Even though it doesn’t really show in our music too much vocally or melodically Radiohead are actually also a huge influence of ours, we try to bring it out more in the rhythmic portion of the music.

I spotted on your Wikipedia that you have a famous fan in the form of Morrissey, how does that feel? Were you guys were fans of the Smiths?

Oh yeah, big fans of The Smiths. It was pretty crazy to get that quote (on Wiki) from Morrissey on my birthday, June 1st. It kinda took all of us by surprise we were heading home after being in Europe for the full month of May, just starting to relax when we got that quote, it’s just kind of crazy. It’s such an honour to have such kind poetic quotes.

I also I noticed you signed to Roadrunner Records in 2009, how did that come about especially seeing as they’re a heavier ‘rock’ label?

We went to SXSW in Austin, Texas in 2009 and we had some interest from a couple different record labels but Roadrunner persistently made the most effort to give us attention and kinda be on our side as to where we wanted to take the next album. They were very supportive and wanted to give us artistic freedom and the resources to essentially make things happen. In retrospect we’re all very happy.

I was wondering if, with the rise of alt-country and folky acts like Bon Iver and Band of Horses that Roadrunner might be have been trying to get in on the act with you guys as well?

Perhaps, I mean it isn’t official yet but we’re actually looking to release an acoustic, striped down EP in the near future as we have several songs that are more folky. Francois actually played in a kinda like folk band and Sameer and I were in a band as well that was primarily more folky and country, probably more folky. So we’d love to, umm, you know, bring that into our realm of music as well because when we jam, we jam out so many different types of things and only a couple things make the record. We’d love to share with everyone what else we work on too.

Sure, so what type of bands have you been playing with over in the US. Is it the Band of Horses type of bands?

Not really, we’ve played with many different types of bands from bands in the mainstream to bands like the Futureheads… you guys know the Futureheads?

Yeah, of course.

So, from Futureheads, Marina and the Diamonds to like, local town bands and Minus the Bear…

Minus the Bear, that’s an interesting one.

Yeah, Minus the Bear actually got us started with our national touring and they taught us a lot. That was our first national tour in last April/May.

How have you found the whole touring aspect of being in a band, as it’s such a huge part of being a musician, even more so nowadays when not so many records are sold? How do you find being away from friends and family?

It’s a lot of hard work with all the travelling we do, I mean we just got into London Heathrow this afternoon and went straight to Radio 2, we didn’t even have time to stop at the hotel to change or anything. It’s tough but just being able to pursue our passion and to have the resources to get it out there and enjoy it with our fans and friends it makes the job a lot easier. It’s hard not seeing family and girlfriends but you know we get home at least once a month for a couple days…

I imagine they’re all extremely supportive of the success you’re developing?

Oh yeah, they’re all thrilled. Well our parents were kinda sceptical in the beginning about us taking time off from university ‘cause we’re all in pretty serious academic pursuits and decided to take time off right in the middle of it! We got signed a year later and a year after that we’re touring the world and about to play the MTV Music Video Awards.

So how does that feel to be playing at the MTV VMA’s? That’s huge exposure for you guys!

Oh yeah, well it’s kinda bittersweet because we had to cancel Reading and Leeds which is a huge bummer for us. It was something we were really looking forward to, a really important festival and we feel bad that some of our fans are disappointed that we’re not doing it. It’s just we had this opportunity to do this MTV thing.

What happens after that? Are you heading to the UK?

We go straight into a 6/7 week long (US) national tour with Incubus, just us and them playing some bigger amphitheatres then after that in November I think, it’s not official yet but we’re trying to get back to the UK and Europe.

For all keen indie, surf pop fans, keep an eye out for Young The Giant hopefully hitting our shores at the end of this year.