Monday, October 8, 2007
Besides being an extremely attractive band, Yacht Club! has been rockin' the music scene in Oklahoma for the past year. Although the music scene in Oklahoma is still growing, Jay Caston (vocals/guitar), Patrick Wetwiska (drums), Scott Harper (bass), and Ian Tennery (keyboards) are starting to make a name for themselves. The catchy riffs and rhythms along with Caston's smooth voice make for a pleasurable combination.
I spoke to Scott Harper of the band and asked him a few questions. Enjoy!
How and when did you guys meet?
We started playing about a year ago. We all knew each other through various degrees of separation in high school. Patrick and I became friends in college and started playing in his basement. Soon enough we brought Jay and Ian on to complete the lineup. Pat and I were very limited in what we could do with two people and it became quite frustrating at times.
What are some of your major influences?
For me personally, I would point at bands like can, my bloody valentine, gang of four, the flaming lips, etc etc etc.. For us, we don't look at bands and say "let's write a song like (insert band here). We're doing our own thing but there are certainly times when I hear a song like future days by can and think "holy shit, how did they achieve this texture?" Little things like that have more influence than an overall sound of a particular band.
What's the songwriting process like for you?
Most of the time I'll come to Jay with ideas and things here and there. We'll sit at our space trying it out in twenty different ways until we like what we hear. The music normally comes before lyrics. It's very important to build melodies around the music, not the music around a melody. Like many bands and for better or worse, we feel vocals are just another instrument in the band. We feel its the finishing texture to songs we write.
What's your outlook on the Oklahoma music scene
The Oklahoma music scene is much better than people think. There are amazing bands out here that very few people know about. I could go on and on about bands like the Evangelicals, Colourmusic, Student Film, and El Paso Hot Button. Contrary to what the average joe would think, they're all making music just as important and moving as a band in LA or New York might make. There are also quite a few venues getting nationally touring acts at a much more frequent rate. Andy (of the Starlight Mints) is doing great things with his venue, the Opolis. My favorite record store, Guestroom Records, recently opened another store which is a good sign. The scene is a bit underestimated. Expect big things from bands here in OK!
What are you guys doing currently that we can look forward to?
Well our first EP entitled "The Third Floor" will be coming our October 12th and we're currently working on new material for the next EP. We're also growing as a band and beginning to gain a better sense of each other's next move which really helps when trying to piece together new material.
Do you plan to tour anytime soon?
Right now we're all finishing up school but we're looking to put together a tour this summer.
Any new bands you guys diggin'?
I've really been digging the new Evangelicals record and the new Animal Collective. Some other favorite new(er) bands are the Joggers, 120 Days, and Black Moth Super Rainbow.
What's makes Yacht Club! different from all of the other indie rock/pop bands out there?
I think one thing that may make us different is our camaraderie. We all genuinely like each other and playing music together. We like to think this comes off in our live show but if not, test us!! We'll hug and kiss until the sun goes down! (joke). But seriously, we have no predisposition to "out-cooling" anyone like you see in too many bands today. We're all approachable in our everyday life and wouldn't change just because we're on stage and you're not. It should never be any different in my opinion.
Like Scott said, the band will be releasing their first EP, "The Third Floor," on October 12. If you're in/around the Norman, OK area, I suggest going to their CD release party at Opolis. Support the the band and pick up a copy or two.
Yacht Club! - According To Plan [MP3]
Yacht Club! - How To Get Away Part 2 [MP3]