We had the good fortune of connecting with Andy Brooks and Shohn Trauth and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andy Brooks, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks for us has evolved throughout our lives. For me {Shohn], I used to say “yes” to just about anything either for the story or just a way to better my own knowledge or just for fun. My whole motto used to focus around, if I don’t do whatever it was that was placed in front of me at the time, then I wouldn’t have the opportunities that could come from that potential experience. In doing so it’s taken me quite a while to realize what I’m actually good at vs. something I want to be good at. Now I tend to look at risk as, the more risk…the more potential reward. So for example in creating Young Optimist’s music, we could go by the book and follow the trends that are happening or write a song and say “it’s good enough”, but then we’re not taking any risks and we’re not putting time and energy into our music. So naturally, we take the opposite approach and let the music tell us when it’s done.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Art is almost never easy lol. We’ve both had our fair share of struggle whether it be wondering where our next paycheck will come from, or a mental struggle of a song not working and fitting together much like a round peg in a square hole. The biggest lesson we’ve learned is that art and music really has to come from within for it to hold up. If we don’t enjoy the track, or picture, or video we’re working on, it feels disingenuous, so we ultimately go back to the drawing board and re-work it until we’re happy with the result. That and as time goes on you always find things you did before that you want to improve upon, so every track we work on has a new perspective than we did before. Our brand is really about honing in on who we are and the brand means the same for everyone else. Don’t fit a mold. Stand up for what you believe in, and celebrate who you are.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?

For food…oh man. There’s so much in DFW. Velvet Taco is a must. Especially late. Going to Velvet has sort of developed into a ritual after our shows in Deep Ellum. Rodeo Goat makes KILLER burgers, and Cane Rosso will stuff the gut with unbelievable pizza. Other than that, we both love Deep Ellum for a good night out. Get trashy in Lower Greenville, or have a cup of joe at 1418 Coffee in Downtown Plano. Some off-the-path graffiti would be The Fabrication Yard…hands down. And hit up Arbor Hills Nature reserve, Oak Point Nature Reserve, and White Rock Lake for more outdoorsy stuff.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
You know, that’s a really hard question, because there have been a lot of people in our lives that have been there and helped us get to where we are currently both intentionally and inspirationally. We’ve both been in previous bands that have traveled the world and couldn’t have done any of that without our bandmates. Nor would we be anywhere without our wives and family support throughout the whole process. We also wouldn’t look anywhere near as cool without our photographer AETPhotos, nor our videographer, Jon Price. Musically though, we’re both all over the map. John Frusciante and Flea were both instrumental in how I [Shohn] play guitar, but Deadmau5, Jimmy Eat World, Grandson, and Linkin Park influence my [Shohn] production style. We’re also both influenced greatly by all of the interactions we have with people we encounter along the way. Ultimately though we wouldn’t sound and operate like Young Optimist without the combination of us both.

Website: https://www.youngoptimist.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/youngoptimistofficial/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/youngoptimists
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/youngoptimistofficial/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcxymweZhJBy3J16jU0poxA?sub_confirmation=1
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4BvAcWL9CfQta8ejVw6IvE?si=rG8DZHovQDu4onuLhwbaLw

Image Credits
All photos by AETPhotos and Young Optimist

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