LET ME LISTEN IN ON YOU:
An EXCLUSIVE Q&A
Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton and Anand Wilder
SPAZ: Your album, EROTIC RERUNS, is now available. How are you feeling about the way the album turned out and the reaction to it so far?
YEASAYER: Well, it’s always great when people tell you they love something! We’ll assume they are being honest. It is a great record after all.
SPAZ: First off, what inspired the title of the album? And is there a lyrical theme on the album that inspired the title… or vice versa?
YEASAYER: Have you ever had that same uncomfortable sex dream, over and over and over again? It’s mildly inspired by that.
SPAZ: Did you approach the writing and recording of EROTIC RERUNS any differently than your previous albums?
YEASAYER: We took a less is more approach, and we also quit listening to Tony Robbins this time around. Can you tell?
SPAZ: The album is filled with instantly lovable melodies yet the arrangements and production on EROTIC RERUNS is unconventional. Do you love the idea of taking Pop music and turning it on its head? Some bands prefer to play it safe but Yeasayer isn’t one of them!
YEASAYER: No way! We’re done playing safe. Unless it involves motorcycles, skis, surfboards, or jumping out of or off a moving vehicle. Then we’re going to play it safe.
SPAZ: EROTIC RERUNS contains songs that take the listener to different places – from ‘80s New Wave and Funk to ‘00s Indie Rock. While some have referred to Yeasayer as an ‘experimental Rock’ band, how would you describe the band’s sound to someone who has not experienced it before? Personally, I hear a completely original Pop band. And being ‘completely original’ is a hard thing to be these days…
YEASAYER: Yeasayer is a completely original pop band.
SPAZ: It is often difficult to pinpoint your influences. Were there any specific artists – or events – that inspired this batch of songs?
YEASAYER: Lots of Hot Dad, Fossil Fuel, and Tonetta 777 went in to the making of this album. And life. We’re all a little more in touch with our animal side these days. It makes art enjoyable.
SPAZ: Tracks that leap out of the speakers on first listen include “Ecstatic Baby,” “Crack A Smile,” and “I’ll Kiss You Tonight.” Do you have a say in which tracks will be picked as singles and/or solicited to radio or do you leave that up to people outside the band?
YEASAYER: We’re releasing this record on our own label (Yeasayer Records), so we have entire control this time around. What a time to be alive!
SPAZ: The songs have many different layers to them and it often takes a few listens to fully comprehend all the great little hooks that inhabit each track. When recording, do you often have to stop yourselves from adding more elements before sending them to the mixing stage?
YEASAYER: We stop ourselves from stopping ourselves all the time. Like Carol Dweck says “Becoming is better than being”
SPAZ: What is your format of choice when listening to your music?
YEASAYER: Straight from the reel.
SPAZ: What’s next for Yeasayer?
YEASAYER: Touring all over the world. Holy cow.
SPAZ: What are you currently spinning on your record or CD players?
YEASAYER: Here’s a sampling of stuff we’re listening to. Ben E King – “I (Who Have Nothing)”, Shabazz Palaces – “Shine A Light”, Sniff ‘N’ The Tears – “Drivers Seat”, The The – “This Is The Day”, Homeshake – “Making A Fool Of You”, Summer Cannibals – “Simple Life”, X-Ray Spex – GERM FREE ADOLESCENTS, Iggy Pop and James Williamson – “Sell Your Love”, Happy End – “Ashita Tenki ni Naare”, Heaven 17 – “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang”, Mild High Club – “Homage”, and Ofege – “It’s Not Easy”.
Thanks to Yeasayer
Special thanks to Larry Germack, Clint Weiler, and Dave Rayburn