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Drummer Francois Comtois reveals how Young the Giant is preparing for OZY Fest

The indie rockers from California are set to play in Central Park at the annual fest on Saturday.

Young the Giant are readying to release their

Young the Giant are readying to release their fourth album, and recently released the single "Simplify." Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Winter

Young the Giant burst onto the scene in 2010 with a pair of hits including “My Body” and “Cough Syrup.” With the band recently entering the studio for a fourth album, drummer Francois Comtois has made it clear: the California rockers are in no way trying to relive the past.

“If anything, trying to capture something like that is going to yield something stale,” Comtois told amNewYork. “If we kept trying to go into the studio and recreate things, it would get to be a bummer. We still want to be having fun, recording new music.”

What’s not a bummer is the chance to play the OZY Fest — an annual bonanza of music, politics, food, arts and tech — in Central Park. We spoke with Comtois about the show, the acts they’re dying to catch and an update on the new record.

What attracted you guys to playing the OZY?

We’ve played quite a few festivals [but] there’s something about OZY Fest bringing together music, politics and food all in one place [that] for us is always enticing. And of course, playing in New York City is always intriguing, so it was a no-brainer.

Because this isn’t a typical festival, do you tailor your set list in any special way?

Oh yeah, we always try to tailor our set list to the audience. If we’re playing Lollapalooza, we want to go balls-to-wall from the beginning. All energy. It’s fun to get to play a venue [like this] where we get to curate our set a little more and go for more of a slow burn. You can still get to those high points, but you can take your time a little.

Are there any of the other acts you’re dying to see?

I really want to see [author] Malcolm Gladwell. I was so surprised to see him on the list. I listen to his Revisionist History podcast all the time. It’s not something you would expect at a music festival. I’d love to see Hillary [Clinton] speak. We always try to go out into the audience and see different acts and be a part of it with the crowd.

You just released a new single, “Simplify,” and you have a new album in the works. Is the single representative of the kind of themes and sounds fans can expect on the new record?

Yeah. The last record was more about looking out and trying to make a statement about the world around us. This one is more about looking in. Our lives and the relationships that make them so special. We recorded quite a few of these songs live, which is something we haven’t done since the first [album]. And it leads to a lot of songs that don’t get overbaked.

Young the Giant will perform OZY Fest Sat., 9 p.m., Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, ozy.com/ozyfest

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