Artist Interviews

Q&A: Yeasayer

By | Published on Thursday 4 February 2010


Formed in 2005 by guitarist Anand Wilder and vocalist Chris Keating, and inducting Wilder’s cousin Ira Wolf Tuton on bass a year later, Yeasayer set themselves a mission to create pop music that borrowed pieces of different styles from around the world, from African highlife, to Iraqi folk, to US hip hop.

Their debut album, ‘All Hour Cymbals’, released in 2007, brought them high acclaim, and led to the band becoming heavily involved in the production of Bat For Lashes’ ‘Two Suns’ album. On 8 Feb, they release their second album, ‘Odd Blood’, which sees them develop their sound into a more distinct and confident form. We spoke to Chris Keating to find out more.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started out playing music with Anand quite young, as we both grew up in Baltimore and played in high school together. We then carried on playing music together after university.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We were inspired by an ambition to make something that sounded new and different, to push ourselves in a different direction that was truly challenging.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Constant revision. We work with computers a lot, so making a track involves a lot of time throwing in effects and reworking ideas. We aim to maintain a sophisticated aesthetic whilst trying to keep it new.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Anyone who is constantly trying to push boundaries. Whether it’s The Neptunes, Jay-Z or David Bowie, someone who is meticulously evolving.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I wouldn’t have to say anything.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I’d like it to lead on to us doing what we’re already doing, but being able to play cities we haven’t played before – like Istanbul and Tokyo, or somewhere in Brazil. I want to be doing this until I’m 50, and then I’ll figure out something else to do.