YUCK

DINOSAUR YOUTH

Yuck is a UK based band composed of Daniel Blumberg who sings, plays guitar and writes songs; Max Bloom on guitar; Japanese Mariko Doi on bass; and New Jersey’s Johnny Rogoff on drums. Fresh off a stint at SXSW, I talked to Blumberg and Bloom before their Vancouver gig. We discussed, among other things, band comparisons and the importance of visual aesthetics in music.

 

Typically, if you’re a new band on the blog and festival circuit, (and 21 like both Bloom and Blumberg), comparisons with alternative rock gods Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth would seem like a lot of pressure. However, for Blumberg it’s simply a nice compliment, “We don’t mind being compared to them. People make music and people talk about it. Your band will get comparisons to your music.” However, Bloom clearly defines the extent of their influences, “We didn’t listen to them when we were recording. Our music taste differs quickly. I really like Dinosaur Jr. but things change.”

Yuck released their self-titled full length this past February on Fat Possum Records. The record is often described as 90s lo-fi grunge, and the band definitely embraces those aspects in terms of making good music without any gimmicks. Furthermore, Yuck released three seamless music videos for “Get Away”, “Rubber” and “Georgia”. Who is the genius behind these abstract visual concoctions, you ask? “A guy in L.A. actually. Two Michaels worked on it. The director’s name is Michael Reich” explains Blumberg. The band has also released three singles on vinyl. “Yeah 3 out of 3. It’s nice to spend a lot of time on the artwork and having something we can listen to physically. We prefer, having a physical thing.” Bloom explains the importance of expressing themselves in all mediums:

“We do everything ourselves for the most part, but we don’t have the ability to make videos. Michael came along to do the treatment, and it stood out as something that was funny and ambitious. He came back with the first video, and it was the first edit. He’s been making our videos ever since. It’s important to have someone really good like that to work with you. We really like what he does. He’s really talented. He gets our music.”

Being thrust into the limelight can be a difficult thing to get used to for a new band (let alone any band), especially while being heralded for revitalizing a not so forgotten era; the 90s. “My dream was to play gigs” says Bloom. “I’m still sort of in disbelief. We’re supporting, but it’s still touring. I feel lucky to be on tour.” Although, embarking on a rigorous international tour can be just the antidote to stay focused. The sudden shift of lifestyle from playing music in your room to doing Rolling Stone interviews and four day music festivals in Spain can be a big transition, but luckily Yuck are staying focused on their music. I asked them what the most memorable show has been so far, “They’ve all been pretty good, but the Fillmore one in San Francisco” says Bloom. “It’s a very historic venue. It’s nice playing big stages. That one sticks out.” Although this is a band that oozes the past (i.e. Doc Martens and My So Called Life reruns), Bloom says they are looking to the future.

“It’s been fun going to America and Canada. You can feel things happening. I feel like people are really cool and nice. I guess we’ve been touring a lot. I guess when we get back we’ll just write and record, compile some songs we have together.”

In the meantime you’re going to have to catch Yuck on tour, “Festivals in the summer. We’re doing the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago, Way Out West Festival in Sweden, Glastonbury Festival and stuff like that” explains Blumberg. Although they’ve gained some clout in the music industry, there are some relapses, “We usually listen to whatever our tour manager has on in the van. It’s good though. Right now it’s Mt.Erie. He’s driving so he listens to whatever he wants. We don’t DJ in America.” Catch Yuck in a city near you, and relive the 90s without having to fear the haunting images of floral scrunchies.

 

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