Carnival Youth / When Being Small Makes You Big


Sometimes, I need to remind myself that something I am looking for is actually just in front of me. Meeting the guys of the Carnival Youth indie rock band from Latvia was neither a matter of pure luck nor a huge coincidence. It was rather a matter of joint efforts when I mentioned to my friend that one of my favourite bands is coming to town. And all the rest just happened in a post-haste. I the morning I was just thinking, how cool it would be to interview them and then write down their story; and in the evening I was already meeting them face to face. I turned around the corner and ended up in the Loftas Festival having an unforgettable musical session and an inspirational conversation afterwards. Like my dream came true, these lovely lads from the small country Latvia became big. Let’s hear their story. 


Where do you find inspiration for your music?


Many things inspire us. Other bands, arts or just random facts. Nature as well. However, the most affective ones are other musicians, new albums, great books or interesting movies. They fill us in with a strong feeling of inspiration and motivation to create something BIG. Also, our father inspires us (father of the two members of the band plays in the famous Latvian rock group Brainstorm, which in Latvia is known as Prāta Vētra).  Otherwise, the inspiration lies everywhere around you, sometimes a simple walk or a conversation can be something making you move forward. Or, small things and relationships with people can be extremely powerful as well. 

You met each other at school. Is it hard to maintain a peaceful/harmonious atmosphere in the group?

Yes, we met at school, on the 1st of September quite a few years ago. Also, we have the twins in our group, haha. Sometimes, when the temperature among us rises up, we go for a hike in the mountains or look for another kind of outdoor adventure. This helps us to cool down and realize how great our job actually is; and how important and dear are the people surrounding us. We always try to keep in mind, that every single member of the group wants to do the best of he can and, therefore, invests his efforts in maximum. It’s normal, that we are different and sometimes we have different opinions, but we have known each other for around 9 years. That’s crazy. We are so used to be hanging out together almost every day and somehow we find maintaining our relationship, as it would be such a natural thing to do. Our co-existence can get quite chaotic sometimes, but with the right people, it functions quite well.  

How do you think, why are you unique among the other bands from the Baltic States?


Hopefully, it’s because of the songs (laughs) and the rest is the rest. Joking. Since we graduated from the high school, creating music is all that we’ve been doing. It’s the thing we love doing the most, probably. And the whole process surrounding it is very enjoyable to us. If you have clear goals and you know, what you need to do to achieve them, the journey is very pleasant. Unity. Discipline. What also makes us unique? Well, we really like Arnold Schwarzenegger. So sad, he cannot be the president. 

What do you think are the main factors leading to your success not only in your home country but also in the entire Europe?


Discipline. Hard work. Consistency. We don’t have any particular secrets to our success; we just are not taking some things too seriously and trying not to worry too much about everything. When you are about to graduate from your high school, your teachers or other people start saying that you should study, get a degree, go to work, get a family, but in our case, music is our education and work, we also have a family surrounding us. We learn things by doing them and we achieve them, although sometimes we are not doing the same things in the same way with the rest of the gang. Also, one of the ways to succeed is simply to do things. We are still halfway to our success, opening the doors and letting things in. It’s about the process, not only about the result.

What are your ambitions for representing the small region?

We feel amazing, as being part of the new generation of young and creative people representing our small country Latvia in the world. There are a lot of cool people and creative musicians here these days. A few decades back, it was way harder for us to do something like our colleagues from the Western countries were doing. And it’s still not easy, but it’s getting easier. Now the world feels much smaller than before, now you have more opportunities and you can break not only physical but also imaginary boundaries and express yourself the way you want and where you want. 

Are some of your songs coming from your personal life stories or relationships with people?


Yes. Some of them are, some of them are fictional. Anyway, we always put a bit of ourselves in every song.

Talking about geography and touring, what are your favourite destinations? 

It doesn't matter where; actually, it’s more about the people who come and the atmosphere around us. Central and Eastern Europe is more supportive because there are fewer events happening if we compare with the Western European part. They have well-known bands in those cities gigging basically every day. And in our part of Europe, people value visiting artists much more and enjoy their concerts for 100 per cent! If we go, for example to the small cities of Slovakia, people look sooooo excited, because someone came to their city and the crowd is just freaking out, and you can see their happy faces enjoying our music. That’s pretty amazing, what music can do.

What is your biggest achievement so far?

Being friends. Biggest achievement is to be able to make music together. Although, it’s not just one thing and it’s so hard to distinguish one thing. If you need a fact, we just have recorded our album in Brazil. We are also proud of our collaboration with an independent label called Redbull records, which has ten studios around the world and we just got an opportunity to record our album in one of them!

And what about your future goals?

For now, to record our best album. We would also like to play one day in Japan. It’s so far away, but it’d be crazy just to have a concert there. Montreal in Canada — because it’s the capital and the birthplace of indie music. Or India!


*Thanks to LOFTAS, for the meeting opportunity!

*Photos are taken from Carnival Youth Facebook profile.

Lina BernotaityteComment