It may be the "most depressing day" in February, the weather might be just as grey and miserable but it is all smiles for the members of Yuck. This month Gigwise met up with the band to discuss the busy year ahead and the release of their debut album.
Max and vocalist, Daniel have been friends since an early age, they have been playing together in numerous bands, including the mildly successful Cajun Dance Party when they were just 15. “We wrote songs five years ago, people have bands when they are at school, it just so happened that we were given a record deal, obviously it kind of escalated then it ended”. The band were taking their GCSE’s whilst featuring in the numerous magazines and recording an album, they toured during the holidays, “the gigs were good, I would never knock my experience with Cajun”, the guitarist went on to say “I still appreciate how much fun it was but at the end of the day I never considered it to be serious.”
A couple of years ago, after the end of Cajun Dance Party, Max started writing songs, he played one to Daniel who was impressed with new direction they began to write together. ‘I was never a creative part of my last band, I wanted to start writing songs for myself, Daniel really liked them, we started writing songs because we were best friends.” The sound of these songs differs vastly from their previous band, showing their influences’ towards the shoegazey sounds of Teenage Fanclub and alternative rock from nineties American. The duo share their duties “We write in different ways, sometimes I write an instrumental and Daniel writes lyrics, sometimes I write the lyrics, Daniel writes on a piano.”
2010 proved to be a busy year after recruiting New Jersey born Jonny on drums and bassist Mariko from Hiroshima, the band gained a lot of attention after just one gig. It has been a year since Yuck became the Guardian Band of the Day but they haven’t let the hype affect them. Max states”(the media) didn’t really put any pressure on us, it is irrelevant what they press say, good or bad, it can be flattering but not influential. We write music for ourselves” The band spent a lot of the year on the road, sleeping in vans and on floors, their progress was steady and natural. Max’s personal highlight from last year was touring with his favourite band, Teenage Fanclub. “It was interesting seeing how the band worked, they are incredible musicians and people.”
When not on tour they recorded the album at Max’s house, “at the time it was stressful, working in a small and hot environment, as I band we don’t really enjoy recording” but they came out with an incredible sounding album. Having posted demo versions on their blog they wanted the record to have a similar sound. “Nothing inspired it (the album), it wasn’t thought out, just a collection of songs.” Max is looking forward to having the album finally out in the public but he will try and avoid reading what others have to say, “reading about yourself is a bit fucked up”.
This doesn’t mean that they will be taking it easy whilst on the road. “We are always playing new stuff, I am going to take my guitar to my hotel room when I’m on tour’ the guitarist claims “the bulk of writing gets done at home.” The sound of their material isn’t set in stone “I don’t know what inspires it until it happens,” but “I wouldn’t say our music in anyway is lo-fi, we just have distorted vocals.” Max is also working with fellow London-ers, Fanzine in his studio before leaving for the States on Sunday. They are one of very few UK bands to impress him at the moment, Porcelain Raft and A Grave With No Name were the only others to excite him.
After finishing their American tour, Yuck are also booked to play SXSW. “I just really want to go to America, the attitude to music is so different, I love England and a lot of British music but in America it’s a much bigger country, a lot of different platforms for independent music, amazing radio stations. I’m looking forward to seeing how people react to us.” They will be touring with label mates, Smith Western, a band they have a lot of respect for.
This is just the start for an ambitious and hardworking band who clearly appreciate the opportunity they have been given.