Melbourne celtic-influenced folk punk band Jay Wars & the Howard Youth last month released their new album, ‘Love In The Time Of Fear‘. Now comes the big launch show which is in the form of a mini-fest at The Public Bar in North Melbourne this Saturday 6th February.

Featuring a plethora of local bands, including Australian Kingswood Factory, Admiral Ackbar’s Dishonourable Discharge, Shadow League and the Suicide Tuesdays to name but a few, the night promises to be party central, with a magician doing shows between acts, and punk rock karaoke to follow the main act.

Full details await you [Here].

If you can’t make the show to grab a copy, you can order online at, with a small number of t-shirt bundles also available.

Give the album a listen below whilst reading The Hotseat answers completed by Jay this week.


Name : Jay Stevens
Band : Jay Wars & the Howard Youth
Job In Band : Vocals/Guitar
Website Address :
Hometown : Melbourne
Hometown is best known for : Multiculturalism, coffee, hipsters, and the best fucking music scene in Australia
Best venue in your hometown : Either the Public Bar, the Old Bar or the Brunswick Hotel.
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Frank Turner at the Arthouse back in 2011, supported by the great Isaac Graham. Great show.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : Either In-A-Palooza at the Brunswick Hotel in October 2015 or the fundraiser later that month for Sub v2.0 (Melbourne photographer) who is releasing a photography book about the Melbourne punk scene (with money going to charity). Both shows were a great time, albeit blurry.
How did the band first come to exist? Dan, Hayley and I were in a celtic folk punk band called Between The Wars between 2010 and 2013. We played our final show supporting Canada’s Real McKenzies in August 2013, and then broke up due to “musical differences”. It was a shame. I started doing a bunch of solo shows here and in the UK, and decided to record a solo record under the name Jay Wars. Having been really close when we were in a band together, Hayley and Dan joined me in the recording of that album, “Carry Me Home”, and then Crow, whom we knew from great Melbourne bands Where’s Grover? and Admiral Ackbar’s Dishonourable Discharge, joined the band a month after it was released.
How long has the band been going? Under the Jay Wars name, it’s been going for two and a half years. The Howard Youth part of the name was added in October 2014.
Is there an interesting story behind the name? Jay Wars was my nom de plume when I was in Between The Wars, so it felt right to continue with that moniker for playing shows here and in the UK, where I was known as that. The Howard Youth is a play off the Hitler Youth. We all grew up during Howard’s tenure, and I guess it’s a not-so-subtle way of referring to him (and the conservatives in general) as a Hitleresque figure.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Our new album, “Love in the Time of Fear” is out by the time you read this. It’s our first album on Whisk and Key Records, and our first on vinyl! Sweet, sweet vinyl. It’s a loose concept album, based around the different types of love and fear that we experience in our lives. There’s romantic love, heartbreak, stalky love, the fear of dying alone, the fear of one’s own government (and the fact that it should be them who fear US!), and the fear of losing those who are most closest to you. I’m so fucking proud of this record, we did it all ourselves and it has some of the best songs I’ve ever written.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? We just got announced to support Stiff Little Fingers on their Melbourne leg of their Australian tour. I think that will be pretty huge for us. I’ve been a fan of SLF since I was a kid and first heard “Alternative Ulster”. I thought it said, “I need a new monster.”
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? The Beatles. No doubt. I was (still am) obsessed with that band. As a teenager, all I wanted to do was write pop songs. Then I discovered Green Day, and from that, all the bands that went before and since, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Any band, album, or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly, If I Should Fall From Grace With God by the Pogues, Insomniac by Green Day, and Revolver by the Beatles.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? We were called the Manic Depressives, and we were a teenage cover band, playing Green Day, Metallica, Blink 182, Grinspoon and the like. I think everyone goes through that stage. We did some of my first ever originals too, like “The Oppressed Youth Freedom Anthem” (too much Silverchair), and “The Fear” (too much naivete).
Most prized music related item you own? My last band, Between The Wars, was named after a Billy Bragg song. Amongst other records, we released an EP called “The Rats” (which I am very proud of), and our manager got Billy Bragg to sign it.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Drinking or transcribing at court.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… hanging out with my best friends for days on end.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… the travel. Driving takes ages, and I’m deathly afraid of flying.
Any item you seem to always forget to take on tour? I have two amazing people (Liz and Teer) who keep us incredibly organised, so we tend to be pretty good with remembering things.
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Beer.
Got a favourite venue you’ve played… and why? The Brunswick Hotel is always a good time, as is the Public Bar. Both venues have awesome local shows. The Brunswick puts on festivals all the time, and the crowd there is always pretty awesome and listen to new bands. The Public Bar (although it’s just been sold) is a small enough room that even when there’s 15-20 people in there, it still feels like a sold out show. Plus, they have picklebacks.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? I am getting older, and thus am forgetting more lyrics than I remember. Swiss fucking cheese, my brain.
Any pre-show rituals? Clipping my capo on the mic stand, even though I seem to mostly forget.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Being so far away from all of the other cities. In the UK, it’s much easier to tour, as you just travel 30 mins and bang, there’s another city filled with people you don’t know and who don’t know you.
Last song you listened to? Joe Guiton – Leave Us Be
Last album you picked up? David Bowie – Blackstar (RIP)
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Faith No More, Jonah Matranga, Brand New Zeroes, the Lagan.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? The Suicide Tuesdays. Previously just Joe Guiton, solo, they are one of the best local bands going. Amazing live, amazing songwriter. Privileged to know them.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Album release, National Folk Festival, Stiff Little Fingers support, Australian Celtic Festival, shows after shows after shows.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Album? Weezer’s Pinkerton. What a record.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? I’d love to hear Del Lago cover our stuff. They’re much harder edged, and I think our songs would be interesting played by a louder, harder band.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? The Queers, Teenage Bottlerocket, Motion City Soundtrack (just never have been able to get to their shows).
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? I’ve personally played Melbourne’s Forum Theatre in a previous band, but I’d love to do it in our band.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? Shadow League. Say Craig has a broken arm, and I fill in on acoustic guitar and he just sings. I’m happy with that. What a band.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. The Ramshackle Army and the Suicide Tuesdays. Simple.
Got any final words? Our new album, “Love in the Time of Fear” is out now on Whisk and Key Records! Order it from See you on tour!

Pyne in the Closet
Don’t Cross The Line (feat. Ronan MacManus)
A Girl Called Hope
Done & Dusted
Let Me Start Again…
Abraham Brown
The Ballad of 1846
Play Another Song
One Last Love Song