Written by Kevin Angel Monday, 05 October 2009 13:49
Features - Interviews
Over the past 12 months music has found itself re-emerging from the elitism and pretentiousness that plagued it for so long and all of a sudden started to get less about what you wear or what genre you listen to and more about just having a good time. Enter Yes Giantess a Boston-based 4 piece that are all about having fun. Soaked in 80’s dance nostalgia with a twinkling hint of mid 90’s pop, the band’s obvious appeal is that they don’t take themselves seriously and simply want to have a good time. Live the band is a tour-de-force of energy, catchy hooks and a whole load of synths/keyboards (3 in fact). The band have been making big steps in the U.K lately thanks to them gaining the much coveted opening slot on this Autumn’s NME Radar Tour, a tour showcasing the best of new talent that in the past has seen bands like White Lies and La Roux take to the stage and then go on to bigger and better things.
Freeq recently caught up with the band’s lead vocalist Jan whilst on the Radar tour and here’s what he had to say.
How did the band form?
We first met in Boston while at school, we'd been playing in various other bands together and while Karl and I were casually producing some of the first Yes Giantess tracks, then we had a sudden realization that we should form a band around these songs.
How would you describe your sound?
I suppose we're just electro-tinted pop music. We're influenced by the big pop acts of the last three decades, but it's not like we're going out and intentionally writing arena synth songs. There's a part of our sound that's owes a big debt to John Vanderslice, St. Vincent, Aloha and people like that.
Who has influenced you musically?
So many people have influenced us, people like Michael Jackson, Prince, New Order but also tons of Japanese and Korean Pop. On the other hand, I'm massively influenced as a songwriter by indie rock and folk artists such as John Vanderslice, Aloha and Annie Clark, the list goes on.
You have had quite an underground following for some time now, is mainstream success something you strive for?
Absolutely because Inclusiveness is one of the mainstays of pop music, this isn't for us, this is for everyone. It's about being together and having fun, so it only makes sense to include as many people as possible.
What type of response have you received from fans from U.K gigs you have played so far?
Everyone in the UK has been so welcoming, we feel extremely thankful and flattered every time we visit. It's not like in the US where people come to the shows to lose their shit, It's a bit more considerate here. If we can make one person in the crowd have some fun, it's worth it to us. We have fun no matter what; It's one of the best things about being in this band.
In the U.K at the moment, people have a real appetite for new music and discovering the next big thing, is it currently like that in America?
It is, People are so excited right now and that makes us excited. We're not out there trying to change the world. We just want to have an amazing time with all of our friends and fans. Simply the fact we're being allowed to do so is so mind blowing for us. Everyone is really receptive right now to just enjoying music and letting it be what it is. Some pop music is so incredibly vain, and we want to be totally the opposite of that.
Your sound is very complex and electro heavy, how does that translate into live shows?
We approach the live shows from the angle of a glam rock band. We want to be as loud and as stomping as possible, Fists in the air, that sort of thing. We've broken many a keyboard that way.
What kind of things do you write about and what influences the song-writing?
We write about being young and experiencing happiness, but we write it from the angle which we've experienced it, so we talk about amazing nights out, naive hopefulness, unspoken moments between friends, those kinds of things. If you ever hear us write a song about an ancient love long forgotten, we're probably lying. I mean, when you think about it, what the hell do I know about anything?
Are there any artists around at the moment you guys really like?
We’ve just finished a tour with Little Boots and I must say now that I'm a massive fan. Her live show blew me away.
Why do you think there has been a sudden influx of unashamed dance-pop like La Roux, you guys and Little Boots?
I don't think it ever particularly went away. People are always going to want to have fun, be unpretentious, and dance, I guess maybe people stopped noticing for a little while.
What can we expect from Yes Giantess next? is an album in the planning?
We've got another release on Neon Gold coming in December, and we've got some secrets planned for early next year. Definitely expect an album, or at least an EP. We've made such amazing friends and met some incredible people while on tour, so if the future is anything like that, I don’t think we could be happier.
Yes Giantess are touring the U.K with the NME Radar Tour until October 14th