Today marks the release of Glasgow foursome Yakima's new single, 'Thanks'. Its wistful, woozy, lo-fi loveliness will feature on their upcoming EP 'Go Virtually', which saw Benji Compston and Jon EE Allan of Happyness on production duties, and will follow early next month. Neil McArthur (bass, vocals), Kay McLaren (drums, percussion), John Houston (guitar, vocals) and Paul Bradley (guitar) tell us more about their band.
Hi Yakima! How's it going? Do you have anything fun planned for today?
Plans for today will probably consist of the usual; group chanting before a continental breakfast, perhaps followed by some light fair-weather activities and then hitting the rehearsal space to work on some fresh sounds - in an ideal world.
Who are you all, then? Where did you meet, and whose idea was it to start playing together?
John and Neil are on vocals and play guitar and bass, respectively. Paul is resident guitarist and sometimes badgermin contributor, while Kay is on drums and supplying backing vocals.
We all met through our formative years and via previous bands, which is probably better left there in the interest of maintaining any semblance of normality.
Did you hit on your 'sound' quickly? Did it go through many iterations?
Yep - only took seven years... But honestly, it has taken quite some time to get to a stage where we all feel happy with our sound. We started out writing songs that sound nothing like how we sound now. It's been a tough process with many occasions being in a state of total helplessness and ready to give in (pretty much every week), but we're all finally on the same page, in terms of style and influence, and feeling positive about the future.
What drew you to music? Have you always wanted to be musicians?
We love it. Although, John and Neil being state champion salsa dancers, Paul having the record for heaviest dead-lift in Ayrshire and Kay working in a bank, things could've looked very different if we hadn't all chosen music as our main focus.
Your new track 'Thanks' is lovely, where did it come from?
Thank you! The track is heavily influenced by the 'Terror Twilight' era of Pavement. That album has some of the loveliest melodies, and this is kind of an ode to it.
The song itself is written about the idea of not particularly liking what you see when you look in the mirror. It's not necessarily about a particular unlikeable trait or feature, but more just the overall figure staring back at you.
What do you most enjoy writing songs about? Where do you find your inspiration?
The best part about writing songs is layering melodies over an original idea. It can sometimes be quite difficult to imagine the finished article when we only have the basis of the song ready. The goal is to try and write a melody which counters the music and goes somewhere that doesn't seem too predictable.
Lyrically, we tend to approach darker subjects such as low self-esteem, insomnia, addiction and meltdowns. There's something really quite enjoyable about inserting these darker subjects into happy-ish melodies.
Inspiration usually comes from letting the mind wander and not thinking too much about one certain thing. It's nice to just see where it goes. We take influence from our favourite bands such as Pavement, Elliott Smith, Sparklehorse, Happyness, and way too many more to namedrop.
'Thanks' is on your upcoming debut EP, 'Go Virtually', right? Is that all done and dusted? How have you found putting it together?
Indeed. It's ready to go! It'll be released 3rd April, and we cannot wait to have it out there.
It's been great - we recorded lots of songs with Benji and Jon EE, some of which will be on the EP. Selecting which songs should be on 'Go Virtually' took a little perseverance but we got there in the end.
How did you end up working with Happyness?
Ultimately, we catfished them into recording us in a creepy wee haunted house in the middle of nowhere.
What's on your 'new band bucket list', what would you like to do over the next however long?
Release, tour, release, tour, release, tour, release, tour, BREAK, Release, tour, release, tour, release, tour, release, tour, SPLIT UP, SOLO TOUR, REUNION, Release, tour, release, tour, release, tour, release, tour, GREATEST HITS.
Yakima's EP 'Go Virtually' is out 3rd April.