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Chris Keating from Yeasayer Interview (Part 3)

November 1, 2008

Here is the concluding part of my interview with Chris from Yeasayer conducted a few weeks ago. You can check out part 1 here and part 2 is here. In this conclusion, we hear Chris talk about how hard he works as a musician, and the musical concept of harmony in a band like Yeasayer.

It was really fun to do this transcription and listening back to what Chris had to say. I have quite a few more interviews banked up in my archives which I have previously done for my radio show, so I think I will slowly but surely transcribe them up here over time.

Are you a hard worker as a musician considering you have done so much touring?

I would like to think so. I know people who work harder as musicians though, but we’ve kind of considered that Yeasayer will be what we all do now as a full time thing.

I’ve read somewhere that R.E.M. played around 350 during one of their first years of touring doind that Murmur record. That is INSANE!!! So compared to that I think we’ve done about 270 shows per year, which is still a lot, but I’m in awe of people who do that kind of thing constantly. It just gets impossible to play every night, especially if you’re touring, but I’d like to think that it pays off if you tour as much as you can. People will start listening to you, even if you’re a terrible band even!

A friend of mine who has heard the album told me that what she thought was reverb drenched kind of vocals were more like harmony on the album (All Hour Cymbals). What type of fascination do you have with harmony? Why do you work with it?

We just really had a great focus with harmonies and getting a group focus on the record. We didn’t want any song to have any real individual singer. That was was just sort of part of the concept for this mish mash of the ideas that came out on this record. It was to form something bigger.

You don’t really have a lead vocalist in your band, do you?

It depends on the song. Live – it’s different, we do have a lead vocal on every song and don’t do harmonies. It just seemed to instill this idea of community in music and the larger of life quality that you can get in music. I was also a great fan of gospel harmonies and things like The Beach Boys was fascinating to me. It’s just a beautiful sound – a whole heap of people just singing with no instrumentation at all. So we all got excited about that and wanted to run with it. Maybe overdoing the harmony thing a bit, but hey, I’ll take the crap for that *laughs*.

Many thanks for dropping by Chris! It was a pleasure to talk to you.

Thanks very much we’ll come back again down here soon I’m sure.

Part 1 & Part 2 of this interview
Yeasayer – ‘Germs’ mp3
Yeasayer website
Yeasayer myspace

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