Following the critical success of their second album Odd Blood and having seen them perform brilliantly live, Yeasayer have become one of our favourite bands this year. Despite their seemingly endless set of tour dates, Anand Wilder from the band took the time to answer a few questions for Sucking Lemons…
Firstly you’ve just started your european tour; is it great to be back on the road again?
It seems like we’re always on the road, but the road is always pretty fun.
Some of the tracks on your new album contain parallels to Indian and African music giving a world music feel. Is this something that occurred unexpectedly or have you studied music from other cultures?
We just like weird sounds and interesting scales, so sometimes the songs have a world music feel to them even if we don’t intend them to.
How important is it that your music communicates a message? A lot of your lyrics seem to resound greatly with people.
Lyrics are sometimes important, and sometimes they’re just silly words.
You’re music has been compared to Animal Collective’s, are you fans of theirs?
Yes they’re a great band!
A lot of the tracks on second album Odd Blood are slightly more mainstream. Is this something that you intended to achieve?
We haven’t achieved mainstream success, although our fanbase has grown since the release of Odd Blood. Our first album was so muddy and lo-fi so for Odd Blood we wanted to make something with a bit more clarity, that was less drenched in hazy reverb, so the rhythms and simple catchy tunes would come to the fore.
What direction do you see your music taking in the future?
I don’t know yet. We want to get better.
Is it ever hard to strike a balance between pushing boundaries of creativity and experimentation, and keeping familiar elements that people can connect with easily?
Yeah, you never want people to be bored out in the audience by something that is over their heads. But you also want to challenge yourself and make unique songs that you don’t get tired of, so yes, it is hard to strike that balance of experimentation and familiarity.
Are there any festivals in mind for the summer?
We’re playing tons of festivals, Oya, Lollapalooza, Leeds, Reading, Lovebox, Exit Festival, Oxygen, T in the Park, Arvikafestivalen, Melt Festival, Latitude, Fujirock, Haldern, Sziget Festival, Frequency Festival, Pukkelpop, and Lowlands.
Your music contains both live instruments and electronics, how does this have an impact on your writing process and live performance? Presumably it gives more scope for creativity? When writing your music, is there a specific structure that takes place?
Well we rarely write a song with a guitar and a voice, although it’s something I’m curious to try out again. Most often we create a bed of sounds using computer recording programs, and just sing over top of them. Then the songs are revised when they’re brought into a live context, because sometimes what sounds great inside your headphones at home doesn’t translate to a rock band’s performance in front of hundreds of people.
And finally what is your favourite venue to play?
Oh probably Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn.
From The Sucking Lemons Team.