“I wasn’t really like planning on it,” said Caulfield, whose solo-project-turned-band, Young Man, first got off the ground when he was living in France in 2010. “[But] going to Paris really, like, forced me to…be in situations that I wasn’t used to.”
In particular, Caulfield was given an introduction to the music industry in a foreign country, and in a different language no less – the result of which was the release of his first EP, “Boy.”
The reason the St. Paul, Minn. native found himself in France was because he chose to minor in the language while studying at Loyola University in Chicago. Meanwhile, he majored in English, a subject that he said influenced the way he approached the Young Man project.
“It doesn’t really affect, like, my lyrical process so much, but it does really really influence the way I, like, structure the entire project. And the project is like this concept project, and I mean there’s like a flow and a continuity between all the records,” he explained. “It’s not so much a direct correlation. It’s just kind of like taking the things I’ve learned from, like, Benjamin, or, like, Lacan, and kind of just, like…applying them in my own way to the way I thought about the music.”
He referenced the way he structured things, referring to the process as one akin to writing a paper, with a clear organization to the topics and an overall conclusion to tie everything together. However, Caulfield was also clear that his approach is not as pretentious or meticulous as it might sound.
“I don’t think the Young Man project is so head-y to be distinguished as like a direct response to philosophy,” he said. “[But] if I wasn’t studying English, I don’t think I would have thought about music or thought about this project in the same way.”
In the short couple of years since the EP came out, Caulfield has been steady in his output, having gone on to release “Ideas of Distance” in 2011, and “Vol. 1” in May of this year.
“It was the first album we recorded in the studio so there were some definite, like, growing pains [as we were] figuring out how to do things in that environment,” he said of the most recent album. “Not only, like, outside of the bedroom for me, but with a band, and with a producer.”
However, Caulfield (and bandmates Emmett Conway, Joe Bailey, Jeff Graupner, and Darien Williams) learned a lot from the process, the result of which is a much more realized sound.
This is particularly apparent, said Caulfield, on the next album, which is already completed and slated for a release in early 2013. That album will also be the final Young Man album.
“It was all kind of leading up toward this,” Caulfield said. “It’s kind of the culmination of all the different albums.”
Of course Caulfield doesn’t have any plans to quit music, but he is more intent on putting this phase of his life to rest and looking forward to the next.
“This whole project came, like, super naturally. The writing and the…conceptualization of everything was easy for me, ’cause it was pretty autobiographical,” he said. “But what I want to focus on next is, like, another experience, [and] in order to, like, have that experience to write about, I have to go out and get it.”
After the next album and subsequent touring, Caulfield is uncertain of what he will do next, although moving to New York or teaching in France are ideas he’s thrown around.
He also said he will maybe be in a band if the opportunity falls into his lap, but it’s not something he will actively seek out just yet. Instead, he will sit back and let life determine his next step.
“I think it’d be good to take a little break from music and try not to force anything,” he said. “When I try to write music now, sometimes it turns out really well, but other times I feel like I’m, like, trying to force it. And there’s no real reason to be doing that, I realized. There’s nothing wrong with just, like, taking a little break and letting things kind of sit and develop in my head.”
Young Man plays tonight at Magnet Club in Berlin. The show begins at 21.00.