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Band Of The Week // HYYTS

Embracing their past experiences and scars, HYYTS offer a message of resilience and optimism with their latest single Bad Tattoo.

HYYTS 2021

Glaswegian pop duo HYYTS are about to take over your speakers with their bright and irresistible sound. Having signed to Warner Records UK, performed alongside Biffy Clyro and winning ‘Best Pop Act’ at the Scottish Music Awards last year, they gear up for an even more explosive 2021 with their hooking first offering Bad Tattoo. Continuing their punchy momentum with their heartfelt brand of uplifting pop, Bad Tattoo grips you with its buoyant electronics and charged vocals. It blends all the feel-good elements to make you forget about what’s going on around you, while still channelling an emotional depth within the lyricism that will strike a chord and leave an impact on listeners.

Sharing how the single came about, Adam says:

I’d been drinking this highly caffeinated vodka drink that comes in pint cans up in Glasgow called Dragon Soop. I had like three cans of it and it is mental stuff it sent me into mad fever dreams all night. And while steaming I’d given myself a really bad tattoo on the back of my leg which I was kind of regretting but while tossing and turning and thinking about it I dreamed up the whole song! It’s all about scars, whether they’re self-inflicted or otherwise, and the pride they should stand for from getting through a situation and having the marks to prove it. So the idea was to use tattoos as a metaphor of how something painful can leave a positive impression and how being proud of your painful experiences is a beautiful thing.

Sam comments upon the accompanying video:

For the video we flash between different classic date spots; an Italian restaurant (our landlords place we used to live beside), a bowling alley and (our favourite) cinema. It kind of ended up looking like we were dating each other which is some self-made-super-hot-fandom-kink-sh*t, but we wanted to travel through different memories of a past relationship, as I’m tattooing Adam throughout all the spots to suggest the emotional scars from it all. We’re happy, we’re sad, and everything in between, just like the real thing. We did an actual tattoo and it’s a lovely little doggy.

Feeling both uplifted by the euphoric melody and reflective from the themes explored in the track, we spoke more with the duo to know them better and discussed their #NotLonelyPeople campaign, where they created a digital space to talk about mental health, and particularly in men.

What’s a motto you live by?

A motto we live by in the tough times is definitely ‘we will get through this honey x’. It is a tweet by our queen Gemma Collins, she is the best and we have t-shirts with this quote on it – it genuinely makes us remember that everything will be alright! And in the good times – ‘my wife!’ Borat. Classic.

If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?

It depends to be honest, but I think overall it’d have to be pink – that’s our favourite colour and I think it represents softness but also intensity and it’s a very vivid, alive colour which we definitely try to get across in our music.

If you could set Bad Tattoo to a TV show or movie, what would it be the soundtrack for?

We’ve been getting really into American late 80’s/early 90’s sitcoms intros, like the ones that explain the plot of the whole thing and introduce the cast members. So maybe it could be a sitcom based in a tattoo parlour in the 80s and the song is the theme music. A lot of questionable actors shrugging to the camera.

In the video, Sam gives Adam a stick-and-poke; if you had another opportunity to tattoo each other, what would you tattoo?

Well we tattoo each other all the time – Sam tattooed me recently but we were too drunk and he didn’t finish it lol. It’s a wee cowboy boot, hopefully Sam will let me do one on him soon too but he’s much better at it so I understand why he hasn’t let me yet haha.

Which of your tattoos mean the most to you?

For me [Adam], I have a wee dove on my arm that my mum got as well. I’ve also got a fish on my belly with my mum’s name; she took me off school to go see Finding Nemo and it was one of the best days of our lives so I got a tattoo of Gil to commemorate it lol. For Sam, I think it’s the one on his belly that says ‘always Ada’ – that’s his grandmother’s name and it’s a beautiful tattoo.

How have you developed your strength and resilience to get through bad situations?

I think we’ve both grown up a lot, especially recently. Mostly, going through situations and getting it wrong or getting hurt is the way that you learn and come through stronger. Recently I’ve been working a lot on trying to break negative thoughts cycles rather than just entering a spiral of shame or guilt or insecurity or whatever. But it’s hard!! We’re trying though 🙂

What advice would you give to someone who was going through hardships, and could relate to the heartbreak in the track?

You will be ok! We’ve both been through really tough times and we’ve been lucky to have each other through them, so our advice would be to be nice to yourself and don’t be afraid to rely on the people that love you! Or put yourself out there to people – people are always more willing to listen than your brain tells you. And if you’ve made it through something painful, be proud of that; that’s fucking amazing, even if you get freaked out or feel weird thinking back to it sometimes – that’s a good thing, it shows that you’re human and you care!

What’s the proudest moment you’ve had in relation to #NotLonelyPeople since you started the campaign?

We’ve had so many good posts and stories and lovely things happen with it! Mostly it’s brought us closer to our fans and the people that listen to our music. To the point that we’re proper friends with a bunch of people that posted there and we can’t wait to meet them when it’s legal. It’s been such a nice, warm place to go in this crazy time.

What can be done to support people, and particularly men, to open up more about their mental health?

It’s really hard to be honest – it’s a pandemic and a problem that we’re still kind of working out. It’s constantly changing, especially in response to things like social media and other relatively recent inventions. But again, I’d say although it’s a cliche, just reach out to someone even if you think they’ll laugh or not even know who you are. Governments don’t care but people do and if you force yourself to look for help you will always always find it.

And finally, slightly cliché, but what does music mean to you?

Music to us is basically a form of communication that needs no homework. It cuts through language barriers, age, race, everything. It lets people talk on a completely basic level and shrug off their inhibitions and have a dance and be together.