Eurosonic Noorderslag 2011 - Yuck Interview

Cajun Dance Party duo reborn
Eurosonic Noorderslag 2011 - Yuck Interview
Daniel Blumberg (vocals/guitar) and Max Bloom (bass) used to be members of the now defunct Cajun Dance Party. The two north Londoners decided to instead join forces with Hiroshima-born bassist Mariko Doi and New Jersey drummer Jonny Rogoff. This new convention - after Bloom switched to guitars - spawned Yuck. Hotly-tipped and pigeon-holed by some as nineties revivalists, Yuck will next month be releasing their self-tiled debut album. Clash met them in a Groningen pub and had a chat about their sound, intercultural communication and upcoming plans.

How did you guys meet?

Daniel Blumberg: Me and Max have known each other since we were about six and we’ve been friends since. I met Jonny in the Israeli desert while he was working at a farm. I was in Israel and I hitch-hiked to this place because I knew a few people there. We happened to keep bumping into each other and just started talking about music.

What did you click on?

DB: Titus Andronicus... Jonny was wearing an Animal Collective t-shirt and it was just in the desert , so it was quite random to be honest. When I came back to London me and Max started writing and recording stuff and we decided that we should put a band together. We managed to get in contact with Jonny and sent him the demos. Mari we knew from around London.

How old are you?

DB: All of us are between 20 and 21.

Do you accept the tag of nineties revivalists?

DB: It’s not something we discuss much about. We don’t discuss stuff in those terms.
Max Bloom: Me and Daniel found a certain type of guitar rock that was really appealing. It was really melodic and emotional. When you hear a band that you completely fall in love with, it just kind of changes completely the way you’re thinking. It’s more about the way particular bands have used guitars rather than an actual era.
DB: Like Smog (Bill Callahan), the way he plucks the guitar is amazing.
MB: It’s weird that there’s a certain label of bands called ‘grunge revival’ when there’s been guitar bands consistently making amazing music. There hasn’t been a stop or start or anything. There’s just been more attention given to it .

How difficult is it to be in a multi-cultural band? (London, Hiroshima, New Jersey)

Jonny Rogoff: There’s a language barrier. We don’t really speak the same language!
DB: For the first six months Mari just didn’t understand what we were saying! Johnny worked on his English accent... [laughs]
JR: We all came from different-styled bands, musically as opposed to being culturally different. When it all came together it made something quite interesting.

How would you compare music being made nowadays with twenty years ago?

DB: You can record music very easily now. We recorded our album on an 8-track. The 8-track probably only cost £150. So that’s how much our album costs. It was starting to happen twenty years ago, people recording stuff on 4-tracks. And it’s getting better and better. People can make the uninterrupted music that they want to. There’s no sort of discussion because it’s so cheap and easy to do. You can make music as a band without anyone having to approve or pay for it. That’s a very positive thing.

How does it feel to be talked about in major media?

DB: Those things are very difficult to react to. Especially when you’ve just started a band and you want to get your record out, it doesn’t really make a difference. Obviously it’s nice when people say something about us. It feels funny... We’re only making music. Lists are a bit odd.

When is your debut album going to be released?

DB: It’s coming out on Fat Possum on 15th February and then we’re just going to tour it.

Twenty years on what will the legacy of Yuck be?

DB: They released some records.
JR: They made some live youtube videos!
MB: Well, the world will end in 2011 so the legacy will only be one year long. [laughs]

Words and photo by Vasilis Panagiotopoulos

Read Clash's report from the Eurosonic Noorderslag 2011 festival and conference HERE.

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