Okay, today we’re going to be talking about a band that you definitely want in on. Trust me.
You might recognize their breakout single, “HGX” from Pepsi’s Super Bowl commercial (or several other tv placements). You’ve probably never heard my personal favorite of theirs, “World Without End”, but you should go do that immediately. Seriously. Go hear it. Thank me later.
This is a group that is an alternative pop party on the surface, but has a lot going on in the deeper dimensions. I was pretty quickly converted to a fan of theirs by listening to their music, but then I got a chance to speak with them, and holy heart eyes! I fell in love with this band all over again.
From Bob Dylan to Cyborg Michael Jordan, and all the Reptilian Ballets in-between, this is not a conversation you want to miss out on. They’re bringing all the charisma and character that I fell in love with in their music.
Without further ado, here’s what happened when I got to sit down and chat with the lovely humans of Yes You Are!
Anie: Yes You Are! Can you tell me about the process of finding/selecting your band name? (It’s very fitting, btw.)
Yes You Are: We had a list of over a hundred names! Anything that came into mind we would put down – I.e. “Scuba Gear, Reptilian Ballet”, “Crystal Frog.” Etc… We even played our first show with no name. The second show was a little bigger and we had to have a name so our bass player, Willie, went over the list again and insisted that the right name for us was Yes You Are. We decided he was right because we liked the way it sounded. Kianna had put it on the list of names because it was a line we sung over and over again in an old song of ours called “Straight Into The Sun”. It went “I got you on the run / running straight into the sun / yes you are / running straight into the sun. / yes you are.”
Anie: That’s amazing! Speaking of the sun, “dark pop” is now one of my new favorite expressions/sub-genres. Can you explain what that means to you and/or why you feel that label resonates with your musical identity?
YYA: I think we’ve referred to it as “Black Pop” – but “dark pop” is good too. We liked the expression because of the secrecy and mystery it implies. Secrecy and mystery might be central to how we operate in the world of alternative/pop rock music. On the surface it looks like we’ve got the same desires and motivations as any other band, but we might be doing this for different reasons.
Anie: Dangit! I messed it up. Okay, “black pop”. That is an awesome answer and très intéressant.
Give me a sentence on the topic of: Bob Dylan.
YYA: Bob Dylan is the Tweedle-Dee to Yes You Are’s Tweedle-Dum.
Anie: Obviously. So, as soon as I heard “World Without End”, I was 100% converted into a fan of yours. I feel like depth and exploration into esotericism is a thing with this band. That’s my very favorite thing about art in any medium! Can you talk a little bit about what draws you in or inspires you in that vein?
YYA: Well, we just think there’s more going on here than meets the eye. The real secrets aren’t hidden away by people, but are just, by nature, not accessible until a person is really trying to find them. So once you find a few of those, you’re not going to be interested in much else. As far as inspiration and enthusiasm for writing goes, its a goldmine. Just an endless source of ideas and encouragement and its not some exclusive thing, there’s an open invitation for anyone willing to go hard.
Anie: Finding a compatible co-writer is so important if you’re not in a solo project, and it’s such a beautiful, open experience. What do you think it is about Jared + Kianna that is so dynamic and kismetic?
YYA: Most importantly we trust each other implicitly, we both respect each other and are fans of each other’s work. We’re both very honest in our own self evaluation and we acknowledge our individual strengths as well as our weaknesses. When we work together its like, the spaces where one lacks, the other one fills. Its like a puzzle. That magic doesn’t happen when we work separately. No other piece fits, so I guess this was just meant to be.
Anie: That is beautiful. What is the craziest/most random conversation that has happened during a band rehearsal?
YYA: When we’re all together it’s essentially just an unbroken cacophony of nonsense with small pauses for playing the songs or planning out a schedule. Friends who are not in the band have described hanging out with the us like slipping into another dimension – like they were Alice surrounded by some mad characters. I can’t tell you the craziest conversation, so I’ll just tell you the most recent… We co-created a character named Cyborg Michael Jordan who is a poorly maintained, malfunctioning robotic replica of the basketball great, designed to cheer up mentally distraught teen boys in hospitals. He has a theme song and he flies.
Anie: So my next question is, can I come to your next band rehearsal? Kidding! What is one song lyric or quote (yours or someone else’s) that has inspired you or resonated deeply throughout your life?
YYA: “I’m going to make you come to grips with fate. When I’m through with you, you’ll learn to keep your business straight” – Bob Dylan
Anie: I should’ve expected Bob Dylan! So, you guys are building up the the release of your debut LP, and it’s been a bit of a lengthy process. What has been your favorite part of writing/recording this record?
YYA: Whenever we hear an idea that’s working, that’s definitely my favorite part. I wonder if people realize how many hundreds of bad songs and bad ideas it takes to really hit the nail on the head. Learning how to fail the right way has made any successes feel like a real reason to celebrate. Which we do every time.. with food. Its basically all about the food.
Anie: Hear, hear! What are you the most excited about in conjunction with the album release?
YYA: We just can’t wait to launch this puppy! Its been a long four years and we have worked very hard. We are excited for what’s next, even though we don’t know what that is. We can say that we definitely expect to release our debut album and be touring next year!
Anie: Yay! I can’t wait! If you could accomplish anything with your music, what would you hope to do?
YYA: Inspire people. That’s all.
Anie: Honestly? Mission accomplished.
Are you in love with them yet? Yes You Are.
Support Yes You Are by visiting their website, following their socials, and buying/streaming their EP on your favorite digital music store (iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, etc.)
And stay tuned for their debut LP and more great things to come!