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Chris Keating from Yeasayer Interview (Part 2)

October 27, 2008

Below is part two of my interview I had with Chris Keating of Yeasayer the other day. I’m actually having a lot of fun transcribing all of this and listening over all the things he has had to say about music and life in the US. In this second exceprt we hear Chris talk more about South By Southwest, the birthing of Yeasayer and the plans for the next album.

Keep a lookout the third and final part of the interview soon.

PP: Do you think that there’s an overexposure of music at South By South West? There seems to be a whole load of stuff going on at the one time.

CK: I don’t know. I don’t really like those kind of things. Even this last festival we had 6 or 7 shows at South By South West and it’s fun to go to all the parties and it’s fun to be in Austin, but there were shows by friends of mine who had the “all access badge” kind of thing going on and I still couldn’t get in ’cause they were still at capacity!

I was all like “what’s the point of this badge?” and they were all “Well, sorry…”. I just can’t imagine that if I can’t get into those gigs, then I wonder about people who pay to go to these things. They’re small clubs and they cap out at 500 people. Sometimes though when you think that are 1100 bands and about 50,000 or even 100,000 people that go down there, well, you don’t get to see anything. You have to be really militant about it.

I think a lot of bands come from all over the joint too. The UK, all around the US, even from Australia too though and get dejected when they expect to have a great show but they end up at a coffee shop with a 5 person crowd at 1 in the afternoon *laughs*. I know that cause I have had that experience of doing that exact same thing!

I’m intrigued by Yeasayer as a band prior to that South By Southwest festival. Was there a lot of those concerts to 5 people at a coffee shop and how did you guys come around to making music really in the first place?

Well, we as a band came about when Anand, ho always been a friend of mine who I grew up with in Baltimore since I was about 10 years old, just started playing in bands and stuff in high school. Then after all the puberty was out of us we just started to just working again in 2004 and messing around with ideas. Yeasayer as a band happened in 2005.

We then got his cousin to play bass and then auditioned a drummer and so forth. For a while it was just a whole heap of playing in New York. We actually didn’t have enough money to leave New York an tour so all we did was played as much as we could in New York until we got a bit of exposure here and there around the place. Finally we did then some touring, as I mentioned which weren’t really successful even in that ’cause we didn’t have a record.

We just kind of kept doing it and pushing it harder with the touring for quite a while. The record came out and then there was a lot of enthusiasm about that, and doing all that, and working on it, and plugging it and so on and so on. It was taking a long time, about 7 months I think. Just pretty much after that, we’ve once again been touring for a year straight.

So that kind of leads me onto my next question. In the scheme of things All Our Cymbals has been out for quite a while for you guys and not so much for us cause we seem to always be so behind with things. You released it in early 2007 in the US, but I hear there are preparations for a new album very soon. How is the new stuff coming along?

Well, we’re working on it. It’s hard to say. I’m really looking forward to getting into the studio, but we have to firstly stop touring! That’s just one of the problems. As a means of getting yourself out there you have to tour but then it makes it hard to work on new material.

We’ve been working on the road as much as we can, and in our winter in the states we will be holed up in a cabin somewhere in Conneticut working on a record. Hopefully it will then be out in within a year.

I like the idea of holing yourself in a cabin during winter! Seems like you feel you need a hibernation period in a sense.

We were actually thinking of going to Texas or California or something to skip the winter. I just though don’t want to be away from the home base, considering we have been away from it for a whole year. I find New York just inspiring and Brookyln inspiring to make music. I wanna be close to that in the 3 – 4 months this new album might take. We just want to cut this one in half and get it out there.

Yeasayer – ‘Sunrise’ mp3

Yeasayer website
Yeasayer myspace

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