Monday, March 23, 2009

Archive-Interview with Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs 2007

Brian Chase drummer (right)
I had the good fortune of interviewing one of my favorite bands a couple of years ago. Their new album is out! It's all I've been listening to lately.

MP: Where are you right now?

BC: I’m wondering through the hidden back rooms of the Orpheum Theatre right now. Kind of creepy, the rooms looks like no one has used them in awhile.

MP: Show Your Bones has been out for 11 days are you pleased with how well its doing?

BC: Of course, definitely, we only release something that we felt we can stand behind 100 percent. We’re surprised that big magazines like Time and The New Yorker, wrote about us. I think I feel more comfortable with our band in those magazines. I like how we came across. They understood her [Karen O’s] approach, which not too many people understand.

MP: Where did the album's name come from?

BC: We were actually struggling to come up with a record title for a long while. Karen was hanging out with her friend’s son whose nine and he came up with it. He had a way of describing a scenario when a cartoon character puts his finger in a light socket. Instead of getting electrocuted he called it showing your bones. We thought that would be perfect for the name of the record.

MP: Your record is created with a lot of versatile sounds, each song is different from the next. It seems like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have gone through a lot personal growth do you feel that way?

BC: A lot of stuff has happened to us. There has been some significant changes in our lives. From before Fever to Tell until now. I think Show Your Bones definitely reflects more introspection through everything that has happened to us. That’s the reason for the dramatic and epic feeling from the record.

MP: Each song sounds like it has its own story.

BC: It does sound like each song is a story, or its own little movie. The songs are really different and the lyrics serve a very specific theme. I think this is one of the biggest accomplishments of this record.

MP: How was working Squeak E. Clean (Sam Spiegel)?

BC: Overall it was great working with him. There were some clashes in the beginning. Clean had to learn our aesthetic and how we worked. Definitely, it was a learning process for both sides. He had some tricks up his sleeves when it came to recording. We all got to be really close friends with him and in the end we had a really good record.

MP: What were the challenges you faced in recording this album?

BC: Mostly what to add and take away when writing the songs. Most of the songs were written in the studio and its like being in a black hole, you don’t know what’s going to be good and what’s going to sound bad. It can be a frustrating journey all along.

MP: Some of the songs have stories that tell of a sad journey or a lost love? Whose heartbreak inspired this album?

BC: Heartbreak all around. We are big romantic saps. We all feel pain… from the heart.

MP: I enjoyed Patrick Daughter’s production of Gold Lion, but wouldn’t it make more sense if Karen’s new boyfriend, Spike Jonze produced the album?

BC: Patrick is a close friend of ours and he has done our videos before, we just decided to go with him.

MP: Is there going to be any more music videos coming out that you can tell us about?

BC: We are thinking of Turns Of You or Cheated Hearts, but it should come out in mid-May.

MP: It’s been three years since Fever to Tell in the life of a band this is a really long time to put out an album? What took you guys so long?

BC: After Fever to Tell we toured, it took about two years. We were on the road. Our band can’t write a record on the road. We had written a bunch of songs after Fever to Tell but we decided to record those for Show Your Bones. Actually, Honeybear is the only one that falls in that category.

MP: Do you think the next Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ album is going to take as long to come out?

BC: I wouldn’t be surprised if it took another few years for the next album, but who knows.

MP: The tour just began.

BC: It began a few weeks ago in D.C.

MP: How’s it been so far?

BC: It’s been a blast playing with new material, rediscovering our material live, it’s been fun.

MP: Any stories you would like to mention?

BC: No it’s too early for any crazy things to happen yet.

MP: Fever To Tell won best album of the year do you think Show Your Bones is going to win that high of an acclaim?

BC: (giggles) We will see how it goes. This is out of our control, not for us to decide. Though, it is off to a great start.

MP: So your playing in Boston tonight not too far away from your hometown in New York, what makes playing in Boston special?

BC: The dirty water of the Charles River I look forward to every time.
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