American Young are Kristy Osmunson and Jon Stone, two singer-songwriters who are bringing country music back to its roots. After playing a successful slot at this year's Country 2 Country festival at the O2, the band have at long last released their debut album. PG caught up with Jon and Kristy as they were preparing for the album launch party.
PHOTOGROUPIE: (PG) YOUR DEBUT ALBUM IS FINALLY HERE DOES IT FEEL DAUNTING AND UNREAL?
JON STONE: (JS) Yeah, I'm excited for people to get their ears on it. It's been a long time coming but we're really proud.
PG: ARE THERE ANY SONGS THAT DIDN'T MAKE THE ALBUM?
JS: Yeah of course. We probably recorded twenty songs for this album and put twelve on it. Once the nucleus of the album becomes present, the rest of the album is easier to figure out, then you know what's going to be on the record and what's not.
PG: WHAT SONG ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
JS: I like the last song, Something To You.
KRISTY OSMUNSON: (KO) I like American Dream. I feel like Jon and I were homesick for the West and wrote a song that embodies who we are and our hometowns. God Sends A Train is a very personal song to me. I didn't really want it on the record, but it's been so good that it made me confront my demons.
PG: WHO WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO HEAR THE ALBUM?
KO: My husband Todd was probably the first.
PG: ARE YOU HARSH CRITICS OF YOUR OWN WORK?
JS: Yeah, I think if you are passionate about what you are doing then you're always going to be your toughest critic.
PG: WERE THE ORDER OF TRACKS ON THE ALBUM IMPORTANT TO YOU?
JS: Absolutely, we probably spent a month on it! It's Feng Shui, one thing leads to another. It has to be the right order.
PG: LEE BRICE CO-PRODUCED THE ALBUM, WHAT WAS HE LIKE TO WORK WITH?
JS: Lee's great, he's been one of my best friends for best part of ten, fifteen years. We write a lot together, it's very easy. We are comfortable with each other, when he says something it's usually right. It's nice to have somebody like that.
PG: YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH OTHER ARTISTS AND ENJOY COLLABORATION. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH?
KO: Coldplay! That would be so much fun.
PG: WOULD YOU GET THEM TO COVER ONE OF YOUR SONGS?
KO: I think Party In The Dark would be cool.
PG: YOU'RE BASED IN NASHVILLE NOW, HOW HAS THAT HELPED THE BAND?
KO: Nashville is about heritage music. People in country music really appreciate the story song and the song of the people. Nashville has given Jon and I such an education on the craft of songwriting.
PG: IS THAT TRUTH AND UNITY WHAT HAS MADE THE MUSIC SO ENDURING?
KO: Absolutely. It's very much a relation community in the country music industry, everyone is very supportive. It's what separates country music from every other format. When we are down, our friends carry us along.
PG: THE COUNTRY SCENE IN THE UK IS REALLY TAKING OFF, ARE THERE ANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES?
KO: There's a great sense of belonging here. I think London is the sister city to Nashville. The music scenes are very similar.
PG: YOU'VE DESCRIBED YOURSELVES AS POLAR OPPOSITES. WHAT MAKES YOU WORK SO WELL TOGETHER?
KO: I think it's like a battery. Every battery has a positive and negative side and they are both important to being conduits and we are creating waves of energy every day. What Jon and I create is very specific.
JS: We don't always agree, there's compromise on both sides, that's the important piece of the puzzle. If we both compromise to a point it seems much more relevant that if we were to swing one persons way 100%.
KO: It's an evolving process, that's what the music is.
JO: Once Kristy and I understood that neither one of our ideas matter as much as what is right for the band as a whole, then the ego is out of it. Songs like God Sends A Train, which I wasn't a writer on, it was mainly my decision to want to record that song. There needs to be no ego attached.
PG: DO YOU FIND IT DIFFICULT TO FIND INSPIRATION FOR WRITING?
JO: No, I never stop creating, I never turn it off. I'm always creating every second of the day.
KO: Music is divine thought, it's God speaking through man.
American Young's debut album is out now. www.americanyoung.com