Gang of Youths

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Gang of Youths
Gang of Youths (26637995948).jpg
Gang of Youths performing in 2018. From left to right. Donnie Borzestowski, David Le’aupepe, Max Dunn.
Background information
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Indie rock, Alternative rock
Years active 2012 (2012)–present
Labels Mosy/Sony
  • Max Dunn
  • Jung Kim
  • David Le’aupepe
  • Joji Malani
  • Donnie Borzestowski

Gang of Youths are an Australian indie rock group from Sydney. The band consists of principal songwriter David Le'aupepe (lead vocals, guitar), Max Dunn (bass guitar), Jung Kim (keyboards, guitar), Joji Malani (lead guitar) and Donnie Borzestowski (drums). They are known for their 2017 single "Let Me Down Easy" which became their first top 50 single in Australia. Their debut album, The Positions, peaked at No. 5 on the ARIA Albums Chart in May 2015 and was nominated for multiple ARIA Awards.

Their second album, Go Farther In Lightness, debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart in August 2017 and was nominated for eight awards at the ARIA Music Awards of 2017, winning four: Album Of The Year, Best Group, Best Rock Album and Producer of the Year (Gang of Youths and Adrian Breakspear).


Le'aupepe performing with Gang of Youths in 2017

Gang of Youths was formed in Sydney, Australia in 2012, with original drummer Sam O'Donnell.[1] Members of the band met attending Hillsong, an evangelical church although lead-singer and songwriter David Le'aupepe described himself during this time as a 'loner'[2] and stated that while "I still align myself with Jesus," he is "just not a great poster-boy for it."[3] Guitarist Joji Malani is Fijian, keyboardist Jung Kim is Korean-American, bassist Maxwell Dunn is from New Zealand and drummer Donnie Borzestowski is Polish-Australian; while Le'aupepe has Samoan-Jewish heritage.[4]

They started work on their debut album, The Positions, in 2013.[1][5] In September that year some tracks were recorded in New York's Marcarta Recording studio with Kevin McMahon.[6][7] By June 2014 they were in the Sony Music Australia recording studios in Sydney.[6] Drums on the album were shared by O'Donnell, Novacastrian Dom "Donnie" Borzestowski as well as session drummer Joel van Gastel. In October 2014 O'Donnell left the band and was replaced by Borzestowski. Le'aupepe is the sole songwriter and his lyrics on The Positions deal with his relationship with his former wife, her melanoma diagnosis and treatment for the cancer, their separation and his suicide attempts.[7]

The band performed with Kean Edwards[8] at South by Southwest festival in March 2014.[9] The Positions peaked at No. 5 on the ARIA Albums Chart in May 2015.[10] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2015 Gang of Youths received five nominations: Breakthrough Artist – Release, Best Rock Album, Best Cover Artist (by Nathan Johnson) for The Positions, Engineer of the Year (Adrian Breakspear, Peter Holz) for "Radioface", and Best Australian Live Act for the Gang of Youths National Tour.[11] In December they were recognised as the Live Act of the Year of 2015 and Best Domestic Tour in The AU Review.[12] Their single "Magnolia" came in at number 21 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2015.

In June 2016, a single, "Strange Diseases", was released, followed on 29 July by the six track EP Let Me Be Clear.[13] The 5 original songs on Let Me Be Clear were originally written as part of material for The Positions, whilst the 6th track was a cover of "Both Sides, Now" by Joni Mitchell. The band played at Splendour in the Grass in the same month.

In February 2017 the band finished recording their second album Go Farther in Lightness with a release date announced as August 18th. They then relocated to London amidst issues with the renewal of guitarist Jung Kim's Australian Visa.[14] In April and May the band toured the UK and Europe, followed by a June tour of the USA. An Australian national tour in September followed the release of Go Farther in Lightness, after which the band returned to London for another UK/Europe tour in October. Three tracks from Go Farther in Lightness were voted into the Triple J Hottest 100, 2017, taking out 2nd, 5th and 10th in the countdown. Their song, "The Heart Is a Muscle'", was used by Fox Sports (Australia) to promote the 2018 NRL season.[15]

On 12 March 2018, the group made their US television debut featuring on Late Night with Seth Meyers, performing their single "What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out?"[16] In July 2018, the band were the first artist to perform on MTV Unplugged Australia. [17][18] The concert was recorded and due to be released in October 2018.

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • David Le’aupepe - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards (2012-Present)
  • Joji Malani - lead guitar (2012-Present)
  • Jung Kim - keyboards, guitar (2012-Present)
  • Max Dunn - bass guitar, backing vocals (2012-Present)
  • Donnie Borzestowski - drums (2014-Present)
Past members
  • Sam O'Donnell - drums (2012-2014)




Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
The Positions
  • Release date: 17 April 2015
  • Label: Mosy, Sony
  • Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital download
Go Farther in Lightness
  • Release date: 18 August 2017[21]
  • Label: Mosy, Sony
  • Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital download
1 [A]

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
MTV Unplugged (Live in Melbourne)
  • Release date: 26 October 2018[24]
  • Label: Mosy, Sony
  • Formats: CD, digital download

Extended plays[edit]

Title EP details Peak chart positions
Let Me Be Clear
  • Release date: 29 July 2016
  • Label: Mosy, Sony
  • Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital download


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album

"Evangelists" [26] 2013 non-album singles
"Riverlands" [27] 2014
"Poison Drum" [28] The Positions
"Benevolence Riots"[29] non-album single
"Radioface" 2015 The Positions
"Strange Diseases" 2016 Let Me Be Clear
"What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out?" 2017 Go Farther in Lightness
"Atlas Drowned"
"Let Me Down Easy" 49
"The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows" 93
"Heroes"[31] non-album single
"The Heart Is a Muscle"[32] 37 Go Farther in Lightness
"Still Unbeaten Life"
(MTV Unplugged Live in Melbourne) [33]
2018 MTV Unplugged (Live in Melbourne)
"Fear and Trembling"
(MTV Unplugged Live in Melbourne) [34]
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.


  1. ^ Go Farther in Lightness did not enter the NZ Top 40 Albums Chart, but peaked at number 3 on the NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart.[22]


ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. Gang of Youths have won 4 awards from 14 nominations.[35]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2015 The Positions Breakthrough Artist Nominated
Best Rock Album Nominated
Best Cover Art Nominated
Gang of Youths Best Australian Live Act Nominated
Gang of Youths Engineer of the Year Nominated
2016 Let Me Be Clear Best Rock Album Nominated
Gang of Youths Best Australian Live Act Nominated
2017 Go Farther in Lightness Album of the Year Won
Best Group Won
Best Rock Album Won
Best Cover Art Nominated
Gang of Youths & Adrian Breakspear Producer of the Year Won
"The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows" ARIA Award for Best Video Nominated
Gang of Youths Best Australian Live Act Nominated


  1. ^ a b Mordue, Mark (5 September 2015). "Gang of Youths' Difficult Positions". The Saturday Paper. Schwartz Media. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Track by Track: Gang Of Youths - 'The Positions' - FasterLouder". FasterLouder. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  3. ^ "Gang Of Youths' David Le'aupepe Talks Jesus, Blackface, New Music & Life As A Lonely Millennial - Music Feeds". Music Feeds. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  4. ^ "Gang of Youths -". Yen. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  5. ^ Anagnostellis, Antigone (30 July 2015). "Why Gang of Youths' David Le'aupepe Is Looking for Bad Luck for The Positions Follow-up". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Fitzsimons, Scott (5 June 2014). "In The Studio with Gang of Youths as They Finish Their Album". Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Rolling Stone Australia — Gang of Youths: A Matter of Life and Death". Rolling Stone Australia — Gang of Youths: A Matter of Life and Death. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  8. ^ Richards, Jared. "Gang of Youth MTV Unplugged". Junkee. Junkee. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  9. ^ Garrett, Jonathan (15 March 2014). "SXSW Friday Round-Up: Bully, Happy Diving, Viet Cong, Gang of Youths". NME. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Gang of Youths". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  11. ^ ARIA Music Awards for Gang of Youths:
  12. ^ Woollams, Renee (9 December 2015). "AU Live Music Awards Announced in Sydney, Gang of Youths, Meg Mac Amongst Winners". the AU review. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  13. ^ "Gang of Youths return with a cracking new single, Strange Diseases". 
  14. ^ "Gang of Youths drop first taste of album #2 'What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?' - Music News - triple j". 
  15. ^ "Gang of Youths Fox League". 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2018. 
  16. ^ "Gang of Youths to Make US Late Night TV debut Next Week". The Music. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018. 
  17. ^ "'MTV Unplugged' To Make Long-Awaited Australian Debut With Gang Of Youths". Music Feeds. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  18. ^ "Gang Of Youths to feature on debut episode of Australia's MTV Unplugged". Tone Deaf. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  19. ^ a b c d Peaks in Australia:
  20. ^ "Discography Gang of Youths". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 18, 2018. 
  21. ^ "Go Farther in Lightness by Gang of Youths on Apple Music". Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. August 28, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2018. 
  23. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #460". auspOp. 17 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018. 
  24. ^ "MTV Unplugged (Live in Melbourne) DD". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 28 September 2018. 
  25. ^ "Gang of Youths – Chart History: Adult Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved June 18, 2018. 
  26. ^ "Evangelists - single". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 15 April 2018. 
  27. ^ "Riverlands". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 15 April 2018. 
  28. ^ "Poison Drum". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 15 April 2018. 
  29. ^ "Benevolence Riots". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 15 April 2018. 
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2018 Singles". ARIA. Retrieved 23 August 2018. 
  31. ^ "Heroes - single". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 15 April 2018. 
  32. ^ "My Heart is a Muscle- single". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 15 April 2018. 
  33. ^ "Still Unbeaten Life - single". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  34. ^ "New Music Releases For 28 September 2018". Noise11. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  35. ^ "Gang of Youths ARIA Awards search". ARIA. Retrieved 14 April 2018.