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February 2021

Yassassin: "I'd hang out with Captain Hook, because he's a badass pirate"

It's time for LeeFest Presents: The Neverland.
Published: 8:06 pm, August 09, 2017
Yassassin: "I'd hang out with Captain Hook, because he's a badass pirate"
LeeFest Presents: The Neverland takes over John Darlings Farm near Tunbridge Wells this weekend for three days of magical fun including mermaids, pirates, hot tubs and tiki bars. A bunch of Dork’s favourite bands are also heading over, including Fickle Friends, Shame, Catholic Action, Fish, Kagoule, Wild Beasts - and Yassassin, who are looking forward to getting up to some festival mischief.

Are you looking forward to LeeFest? Is it a festival you've played before?
Really looking forward to it and no, we've never played here before! I love the festival season so I can't wait.
Raissa: We have a few new tracks in the set list so should be fun. I looked up "Markbeech" on Wikipedia (near LeeFest), and apparently, all there is is "a village hall, a pub - The Kentish Horse, and a thriving cricket club" there so I'm totally ready.

Is there anyone else on the line up you're looking forward to seeing, or catching up with?
I'd like to watch Childhood as I dig-diggeli-dig their new album and I'd also like to meet the secret special guests, whoever that might be, because who doesn't like a surprise?
Moa: It would be nice to see Childhood, Yowl and Kagoule.
R: Yeah! Looking forward to catching Childhood's set and also seeing Kagoule and Shame again.

It's themed around Neverland, from Peter Pan. When you were younger, what did you think you'd be when you grew up? Were you always destined for band life?
Not really, no. When I was a kid, I wanted to become a dolphin trainer. That was later replaced by the dream of becoming an actress. But believe it or not, my future acting career came to an abrupt end before it had even started as I didn't get into a specific renowned drama college in Sweden that I'd had my eye on. I was crushed for a while but got over it and resumed the music path and today I'm so thankful for that. In a way, I still get to act on stage when we perform.
M: I always knew I would play music in some way, but when I was a kid my biggest aspiration was to become a toy-designer/inventor.
R: I've always thought I'd find the Holy Grail. My mum's parents back in Italy are really religious, and I've actually always been weirdly excited by the Bible. It's a great book you know… very well written. I read it when I was 7…I was a bit of a weird kid, but luckily I became really interested in animals at about ten years old, and all that Theology buggered off in no time. Then I dreamt about becoming a vet. That didn't last long either though; I changed my mind again when someone told me I had to inject animals with needles. I finally got into music…

If you could hang out with any of the characters from Peter Pan, who would you choose and why?
Captain Hook, because he's a badass pirate. We could sing sea shanty songs and drink rum together.
M: Tinker bell because she can make you fly… although now I want to sing sea shanties and drink rum with captain hook too.
R: Can Yassassin be a version of the Lost Boys? Lost Girls? Not into fairies and pirates, I'm afraid.

If you had your own fairy pal, what magical mischief would you get up to?
I'd change people's voices into animal noises so that they'd sound like frogs, pigs or whales when they spoke and vice versa so that my cat could talk with a human voice, I imagine him having that kind of high pitched baby voice that you hear in cartoons.
M: Make everyone forget about their stress and problems and just live and love for a day.
R: So I had this amazing idea the other day in the pub. You have this gun that you can shoot people with when they are rude to you. I mean, it doesn't kill you but it won't let you speak until you've said sorry. You say sorry, and you get back to reality. Otherwise, you get stuck like that forever because you're rude and stubborn.

What do you think the main advantage of never growing up would be?
Worrying less about all the silly stuff I worry about.
M: Being more honest, open-minded, spontaneous, creatively free and fun
R: There was a designer called Bruno Munari that based most of his career trying not to grow up. He did this exhibition called "Forbidden NOT to touch" that allowed just children to get in (parents could go with them though). It was insane! That's the kind of thing you want to be doing if you are an artist - allowing yourself to feel that freedom and never grow up… We worry way too much about rent in London.

If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would you pick and why?
I think 25 is a good age, the dramatic teenage years are over, and you're a bit more settled in yourself, and you're only halfway to 50.
M: Yes, probably 25.
R: How do I know this? I'm only in my 20s. I might love my life, even more, when I'm 74. Can't wait to own my first dental bridge and have time for a couple of dogs!

What bands or musicians did you listen to while growing up?
Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Spice Girls, Mozart, Britney Spears, Radiohead, Oasis, Björk and the list goes on.
M: A lot of different stuff - Spice Girls, Simon and Garfunkel, Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell, PJ Harvey, The Beatles, Radiohead, Nirvana, Le Tigre, Ebba Grön, Håkan Hellström, The Cardigans, Prince, The Smiths, Smashing Pumpkins...
R: My dad was a punk… Then he decided to go all soft and listen to funk. The result is a groovy Post-Punk daddy, and he's my hero. The rhythm section followed me up until now. Anything that makes a groove, that's me! I mean, I've had my moments too. Practicing in a garage with your mates when you are all pretty much virgins... that leads you to heeeavy music. You want to be heavy, and you want to sound loud. There was a lot of Nirvana going on.

What else have you got coming up this year?
We're doing a few more festival shows this summer, and then we've got our debut EP 'Vitamin Y' out in September which I am so excited about. Following that, we're doing a small UK headline tour
R: Surviving the festival season (which is so fun) and preparing a wicked show for our EP Launch this October at the moment. We are also writing a lot which is even more fun! We have lots of UK dates for the rest of autumn to promote the EP so come and find us. We are well behaved!

LeeFest Presents: The Neverland takes place from 10th-12th August. Visit for all the info.

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