The Parrish-based indie rock band Youth Antics burst onto the Sarasota music scene last year with shows at Ringling Underground and the Harvey Milk Festival. Ranging in age from 21 to 26, the ebullient group of self-described “best friends” share a passion for '80s New Wave, meme culture and Interpol. The band consists of drummer Cameron Luna, lead singer and bassist Derek Luna, guitar and synth player Dylan Nicholas and rhythm guitarist and keyboard player Panagiotis “Pete” Bell.
The group cites '80s synth-pop groups like Depeche Mode and Duran Duran, more contemporary pop artists like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber and rock bands like Interpol and Bad Suns as musical influences. With bubbly guitar riffs, low-pitched vocals and lyrics so wholesome they verge on saccharine, Youth Antics’ music provides a glimpse into the lives of a group of 20-something Southwest Floridians pursuing a shared dream of musical success.
The group has been playing together on and off since 2011, but college and careers got in the way and the friends split up in 2014. Then, in 2017, Derek Luna and Nicholas moved back to Parrish and started playing together again. “We wrote this song called ‘With You Tonight’ and it really sparked something in us," says Nicholas. "After that we really wanted to get back together. Writing this song, ‘With You Tonight,’ was kind of what started the band.”
Since the band was formed in January 2017, it has garnered a devoted following on social media, played shows across Southwest Florida and released two singles, a music video and a promotional clip. The promotional video—which features a Youth Antics’ rendition of the early 2000s internet prank “rickrolling”—was for the band's newest single “Resolution,” released earlier this month. “‘Resolution’ is a song about not being sure if you want to commit to something, or maybe even someone, and then at the end of it you realize, ‘You know what? As long as I keep a certain kind of mindset, everything will work out. I’ll make sure it works out,’” says Derek.
Next month, Youth Antics has plans to go on a “mini-mini-tour” and soon after release a music video for “Resolution.” The tour includes a show on Friday, Sept. 14, at the Blue Note in Tampa followed by a show on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Garage on Gaines in Tallahassee. So far the group’s Tallahassee show will be the farthest north they’ve traveled, but the group has plans to make it out of Florida as they pursue their indie rock dreams. “This is what we want to do—straight up,” says Nicholas. “We’re best friends and what we all realized was that what we were doing wasn’t really what we wanted. What we wanted was music and to be with each other.”