Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Yeasayer Interview

Interview with the band responsible for my single of 2007:


You know sometimes, once in a never, you can get one of those beautiful hangovers? Not one of those earth shattering-shit-your-bowls-out-of-a-ringpiece-that-feels-like-its-been-soaked-in-stinging-nettles-for-a-week-every-five-minutes-accompanied-by-waves-of-nausea-that-make-you-feel-like-you-are-somewhere-lost-at-sea-with-involuntary-sweating-saline-fear-from-unwashed-pores hangovers. Nope, not one of them. Think more the day after a long session when you wake up with nothing to do and the sun is shining and you feel all dulled and fuzzy and everything is exciting and you end up having a hyper active day where everything falls into place despite not having planned a thing. Yeasayer sound like that. Effortless, blissful and ecstatic without a hint of contrivance or po-faced, over-wrought workmanship. Lazy people have compared them to the Beach Boys just because all four of them sing. They are in fact far closer to 4-Way Street-era CSNY with delicate vocal melodies all swaddled in intricate guitar figures and fretless sliding bass riffs. They may look like a bunch of hippies but sometimes that’s OK ‘cos you know what? If you don’t like If I Could I Only Remember My Own Name I don’t like you. Somehow Yeasyer have managed to recreate a lost Laurel Canyon inside New York and coupled with the fact that Jason Foster from Monitor thought they were so good he started a whole new label just to release their record and that ‘2080’ is by at least one million light ages the single of the year you have a pretty special band.

Guys, love the record but what is going on? You all look like you’ve walked backwards through a charity shop during some outtake from a C Movie version of a Cheech and Chong film.
Ira Wolf Tunon (bass, vocals): We get that lot. We just wear whatever and mix stuff I guess people don’t expect. Like hip-hop overcoats and these Eskimo style shoes.
Luke Fasano (keys, vocals): We really aren’t hippies though. I am not going to name names here but I find the whole new-folk thing pretty disgusting. I just don’t get it. Why bother trying to do something that has already been done so brilliantly before? It’s like trying to rip off Joy Division, what’s the point?
Chris Keating (drums, vocals): That worked out ok for Interpol.
Luke: True.

Where did all the vocal melodies come from? Were you all in the shower together one day and just happened to pipe up in unison?
Ira: It was always pretty integral to the sound. We listen to a lot of choral music and Anand listens to a bunch of world stuff. There were no showers involved.
Arnand: I have never understood the concept of instrumental rock music. If I want to hear just instruments I’ll listen to a film score. If you’re playing a guitar you’ve got to sing you know?

Why are so many of your songs about chasing the sun and winter and summer and stuff? Do you all suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder or something?
Luke: Totally man. You are bound to be influenced by something that affects you everyday. Even if only by abstraction.
Anand Wilder (guitar, vocals): Who wouldn’t be? You wake up in the morning and the sun is shining and you know it’s going to be a good day.

See, you are a bunch of hippies really.

Cosby, Trill, Gash & Lungs

Yeasayer have album entitled “All Hour Cymbals” available now on We Are Free records.


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