It’s official: exclamation marks are in vogue! First, ¡Forward Russia! brought Spanish markings into British households. Now, You Say Party! We Say Die! have introduced excitable and unnecessary over-emphasis of, like, everything!
Hailing from Vancouver, that Canadian city lesser-known for its bands than Montreal, YSPWSD grew up together in a suburb surrounded by people who would all go on to form bands together.
“We used to ride bikes together, we had a little gang called ‘Smoking Spokes’, and it just ended up evolving into a band,” explains keyboardist Krista. “It rains a lot where we’re from, and so we’d stay inside when we’d rather be bike riding.”
The five-piece with a penchant for over-punctuation first decided to get together two and a half years ago and started playing the city’s living rooms.
“House parties are our favourite,” enthuses Stephen. “In fact, we just played a show before we left and there was a kid there and he was like, ‘My birthday’s in July. Would you come and play it?’ And we’re like, ‘Absolutely.’ We just do stuff like that cos it’s fun for us!”
So what’s the music scene actually like in Vancouver?
“It’s a strange community, because there’s so many different styles of music,” explains Derek. “But there’s no segregation between different genres, it’s like everyone just plays music and they all appreciate everyone’s music. It’s a really positive environment.”
Crammed backstage in Soho’s Madame JoJos just hours before their first sell-out London show, the band are tipsy as they settle into yet another well-lubricated interview. “These interviews get better and better as we keep drinking these beers!” slurs their soon-to-be-departed drummer, Bruce Dyck.
Bruce is about to rejoin his other band Fun 100, which contains his brother and best friend. But fear not! Another childhood friend of theirs, Devon, is set to pick up the sticks, although not before they finish their current European tour of duty.
But what do they sound like? Debut album ‘Hit The Floor’ is an excellent example of a band finding their own specialist musical niche and executing their songwriting around a certain sound brilliantly. A relentless onslaught of two and a half minute dance punk songs overlaid with great B52s-esque vocals and shout-along slogans create the kind of fun British indie kids are getting used to having on the dancefloor.
“These interviews get better and better as we keep drinking these beers!”
Later onstage, as they launch into their set, Becky writhes, prances and aerobicises her way around like a Kate Bush of the Noughties. Derek stands half offstage, Stephen jumps from his amp while Bruce looks like he’s near to suffering an apoplectic fit. Krista just grins behind her keyboard at the front. It’s an infectious buzz.
With their half science-geek, half cool aura they are reminiscent of the gang from Scooby Doo. Before you ask, Krista is Thelma, Bruce is Shaggy, and Stephen and Derek will have to fight it out over who gets to play Fred.
Going back into the studio in June and July, they plan to release a new EP in September with a full-length due in Spring. But what’s the new stuff going to sound like? “An onslaught!” laughs Stephen. “We definitely intend to keep our three-minute, excitable pop-punk songs, but it’s going to be interesting with a different drummer.” Our dancefloors await!