Punk, Freedom and Bob Dylan...we chat with The Yalla Yallas
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
Hi we’re The Yalla Yallas from Leeds, UK we’re a band that evolved out of the punk scene but we make all kinds of music nowadays. We’ve been around since 2007 and are about to release our fifth album.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
We have a new single and album out in June. The single is called ‘I Wanna Live’ and is the opening track from our new album ‘What it Means to be Human’. The album is quite an introspective journey, trying to find what makes you tick. The single is the start of that journey.
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM?
This time around I think it started with Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood on the Tracks’. Then I was listening to a lot of modern psychedelic bands like Wooden Shjips, then there was a lot of Brian Eno and Spacemen 3. It’s an odd place for us to start coming out of the punk scene I suppose but I found myself becoming fascinated by drone notes, and a lack of choruses.
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
Spaghetti Incident by Guns n Roses. People like to rip into this covers album at the arse end of the classic G n R era but for me it set me off on an incredible musical adventure that took years to complete. I was about 11 years old when it came out and I loved Guns n Roses. I had bought it at a flea market in Florida. I didn’t know at the time it was a covers album. Then one day I must have read the liner notes and realised that these songs belonged to someone else and this was the days before the internet and I had little money, so I would have to scour the record stores looking for the originals by The Dead Boys, The Damned, and UK Subs. I was so pleased when my band supported UK Subs and they played ‘Down on the Farm’. Charlie Harper their singer told me after my set that he liked us and that we were different to the other punk bands, that we had a little more Rock n Roll, so I told him this little story to which we were both pleased with the full circle of life.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO?
I’ve never been a huge fan of music videos, I’m more into the music itself. I prefer to visual the songs and lyrics in my own head in my own way.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
Reading, Watching Art/Music/Nature documentaries, Cycling.
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
Most of the time and I like getting nervous, it reminds me that I care about the performance. It’s no coincidence that my weaker performances are when I haven’t been nervous and my best performances I have been incredibly nervous. I deal with it by being organised and having great people who I trust around me.
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
I had been playing solo for a few years doing this one man techno-punk outfit. I found myself in Amsterdam knowing my relationship with my partner was about to break down. I had this incredible urge to start a band. I put all of my anger of my failing relationship into my band and tried to get it all out of my system. The original bass player and one of my best mates Dempsey helped get us started and Will who is still our guitarist answered the ad I posted.
HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK TOGETHER?
I write all the songs. I arrange pretty much all of them too but we do all work together when it comes to rehearsing and recording the songs. I try to leave enough room for everyone to express themselves.
The writing process is pretty instinctive, I don’t spend too much time writing a song. They’re all written within minutes. I’m not capable of sitting down and writing a song, I have to wait for the songs. I can go through spells where I can write an album in a week and then not write a song for months. I try not to think about it and I always keep an album up my sleeve for later.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Everything really. I like to observe society and people. I love finding new music. Especially places I’m not allowed to go. Like we’re a punk rock n roll group and I found it extraordinarily inspiring to start writing ambient drone music because I can. So I guess a creative freedom inspires me.
WHAT IS NEXT?
So we’ve got the new album to come out this summer, and I guess we’ll see out the year with a couple of gigs. I believe I’ve already written the next album. I just need to let this album breath a little before we get to work on the next one.
PLEASE TELL US ANY SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS SO WE CAN SHARE.
Our official website http://www.theyallayallas.com is a great place for anyone to start, you can pick up our Vinyl, CD’s etc.. every day is Bandcamp Friday when you buy direct from the band