Young The Giant at SFC1

Young The Giant hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at State Farm Center.

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CHAMPAIGN — Young The Giant’s “Superposition” is described by singer Sameer Gadhia as a “deconstructed negative of the original.”

The band, performing tonight at State Farm Center, is always testing its boundaries, often writing songs as a group effort, members said.

The California band’s members are Gadhia, vocals; Jacob Tilley, guitar; Eric Cannata, guitar and vocals; Payam Doostzadeh, bass; and Francois Comtois, drums and vocals.

Cannata said he never plays his instrument the same way. In fact, on “Superposition,” he’s opening the new single with a riff on the charango “done in my apartment.”

“The charango is a South American instrument similar to the mandolin, with 10 strings,” the multi-instrumentalist said from Los Angeles, where he’s preparing for the end of this tour and the start of the next.

On “Heat of the Summer,” he’s opening the song with an edgy guitar lick on the song about ennui, with the line, “Feels like it’s been forever since I’ve had my (stuff) together.”

“It was fun, very in the moment, a kind of intro lick with reverb that sounds at little like surf music; on the chorus synth wah-wah pedal that sounds like a cat,” Cannata said.

No Young The Giant song sounds like the last.

“We all write together in this band, a collaboration on lyrics, melody," he said. “My goal is to write and produce.”

He’s in another band, American Pets, for which he produces.

“It’s just another outlet,” he said. “Music isn’t one thing; different styles can be cathartic. Other outlets help inspire me.”

Solo material is about his life, “more folk-leaning,” Cannata said.

“But Young the Giant is more into experimenting,” he said. “The first and second albums are more surreal. By the third album, you see the bluntness. By ‘Mirror Master,’ there’s a nice balance. We explore every kind of music, balancing the surreal with the personal, rather than regurgitating the same music, so we’re constantly trying to change and shift naturally as we get older.”

Cannata himself is listening to older music right now, from the Stones to Tom Waits to Velvet Underground.

“These bands seem like they were so raw,” he said.


Paul Wood is a reporter at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@pvawood).