BONE UP! ALEC EMPIRE MEETS ....YIP YIP!!!!!!!

BONE UP! ALEC EMPIRE MEETS ….YIP YIP!!!!!!!

ALEC EMPIRE TAKES A BREAK FROM HIS TOUR WITH NINE INCH NAILS AND TALKS WITH YIP YIP TALK ABOUT , SESAME STREET, MUSIC AND NOISE, INDUSTRY AND MORE…

click here to watch original TV Yip Yips

Alec Empire:

“ Many of our readers might not know you guys yet…the two creatures from Sesame Street are quite famous out here. I remember driving my parents crazy by adapting the Yip Yip talking style for days, when I was a kid…they did almost turn me into that kid from The Shining…is that a dumb question that you get asked all the time? Or what’s the story behind the name?“

Brian:

„It’s not a dumb question, because it would seem like we definitely got the name from that. In fact, even I thought Jason got the name from Sesame Street for the first few years of doing Yip-Yip with him, until we had one of our first real interviews and they asked if we got it from that. I said „Yes“, and Jason said „No, I didn’t“. I wish we did get it from that, because it would make the question a lot easier to answer. Even I don’t believe Jason’s answer.“

Jason:

„It’s just a stupid name i thought of. It doesn’t mean anything. We had an even worse name before this one and we knew we had to change it, but we couldn’t come up with anything good. Most band names that mean something end up sounding dumb after a while, so we just wanted a name that didn’t mean anything. Something totally nonsensical.“

Brian: „Calm down, Jason.“

click here for more

Alec Empire:

“ I got introduced by Gabe from The Locust years ago, have been
listening to your music ever since. Are you part of a scene in the US?
Let us know where you are coming from…“

Brian:

„When we first started, we were really into that awesome wave of weird music from the late 90’s early 2000’s of The Locust, Lightning Bolt, Melt Banana, Arab On Radar, Crom-Tech, Neon Hunk, etc. I think we were really hoping to become part of that scene, and in a way, surprising to us, we kind of did. We were lucky to meet the people and bands that we did, and we are happy to have made it into a scene at all.“

Jason:

„We seem to not quite fit into any particular scene. I think we’re a little bit too happy or silly for the heavy experimental scene, but we seem to have some sort of foothold there anyways. Maybe we would fit better in the electronic/dance scene, but we see ourselves as more like a band and some of that stuff is more like deejays.“


Brian:

„Yeah, like we feel like we don’t fit in as well with the electronic scene, even though we actually probably fit in better there. But really it’s mostly who we’ve met, and who have met us, played with us, and liked us enough to be our friends and take us out on tour.“

Alec Empire:

“ Why we love your stuff is because it sounds great, I mean the sound of the music is serious (as opposed to most of these rather stupid digital joke 8bit 2 piece bands in Europe). I find it very interesting
that there seems to be more cool analogue & weird shit coming from the US. Tell us about why you sound the way you do and if there is a philosophy behind it…you know…“

Brian:

„That’s awesome that you see that our music is serious. Not that we are a very serious band, or we want to be taken very seriously, but yeah, I think a lot of people kind of think of us as more of a joke, and we are lumped with that kind of stuff so much, and we never understand why. We are seriously trying to make really interesting and fun music, and we are seriously trying to be a great band, even though we are hardly know what we are doing. It’s been kind of hard, and it’s taken us a long time to get our stuff to what we are doing now. It’s very rewarding when we finish and we know that we have figured out this music that seems to be pretty original and might possibly break some new ground musically, especially when it feels like almost everything has already been done.“


Jason:

„There’s a fine line between fun music and funny joke music. We are trying to walk a few fine lines. We want to make music that is fun, but not a joke. Music that is challenging, but not not too heady. Noisy music that is more than just noise. I don’t know why there is more weird shit coming from the US. I think a lot of people from the US think it’s the other way around.“

http://soundcloud.com/yip-yip/yip-yip-gender-changers

Alec Empire:

“ It looks from the outside like you’re doing everything by yourself…since years. You’re even documenting via Twitter when you are about to post new 7inches… and still you have your music up for
free download. Is that impression true, and what do you think about your way of doing things? Does it work as an example for other bands?
Tell us your view on the „business“ side of your music…(mainstream bands get praised as revolutionary innovators while they just copy the ideas from bands in the „underground“ who have been doing it since
years)“

Jason:

„Giving away free digital downloads is, I think, absolutely necessary in this day and age.
I don’t really want to have anything to do with the ‚business‘ side of music but dealing with the business side is unfortunately a necessary part of it for a band at our level. We can’t afford to pay people to do that stuff for us. Lucky for me, Brian takes care of all of that stuff.“

Brian:

„We haven’t been very good with the „business“ side of our band so far, and that’s probably why we’ve hardly made any money, and why we have to work at photo labs and deliver food to pay our bills. My view on the business side of music is I think the more people who hear of your music and hear of your live shows, the more money you make when you tour, and maybe you might even make some money off of albums you put out. So the most important thing to me, at least while we are still mostly unknown, is to get us heard.

Putting a price on every song you put out is not a great way of doing that, so we have put a lot of our stuff up online for people to check out and decide if they want to support us by buying our albums or t-shirts, or by coming to our shows. Maybe that kind of carefree idea of putting up one too many songs to download for free is why we are currently label less and wondering if anyone is going to actually put out this album we’ve been working on.“

Jason:

„As cheesey as it sounds, the more you think about the business side, the less you think about the music side. I’d like to say that it’s all about the music, but I’d also like to think that at some point in our lives this music could support us financially. We are nowhere close to that point right now and I don’t know if we ever will be.“

Alec Empire:

“ What are your shows like? In what type of clubs do you guys play? And how is your crowd? (this might sound boring but I think more and more bands are just about pleasing the crowd while you don’t seem that kind of band)“

Jason:

„Since we don’t quite fit into a musical niche, we get to play with all sorts of bands in front of all sorts of audiences at all sorts of venues. Our ideal shows are in well-run, all ages, d.i.y. venues with good sound. Those places are few and far between, so we will play wherever we can. Mostly we just want it to be loud. If it’s loud and we can hear our music the way it should be heard, it is a good show for us. If the audience is having fun it’s definetly a bonus.“

Brian:

„The crowds are different depending on where we are playing, and who we are playing with. We we toured with The Locust, the crowds and shows were all awesome. People at the shows usually seemed to know who we were, and were excited to see us. The sound systems were almost always great and really loud, which also helps a lot. Some shows can be weird, like when the crowd isn’t familiar with us, so they just kid of stand there and stare. We will end our set and go backstage and think that we sucked, but then end up talking to a bunch of people who say they loved the show and buy our crap.“

Alec Empire:

“ What is your favorite gear when you create new music? You are recording right now as I understand. A new record? Is this going to be different? How do you approach that process?“

Brian:

„Yes, we just finished writing our new album, „Bone Up“. We are going to start recording it very soon. The biggest thing that’s going to be different than our other albums is that this album is going to have us both doing vocals. This album is way more elaborate than anything we’ve ever done.“

Jason:

„In the beginning, we had more of that digital sound because all of those types of sounds were so accessible. We could get toy keyboards at thrift stores and digitally manipulate them with Sound Forge or some other software. But that got kind of boring and digital stuff always sounded sort of hokey to me. It was probably a year before I got my first serious synthesizer and since then I’ve liked analog over digital. Analog synths a lot more fun to play, there’s no programming and everything happens immediately.

And no matter how well you know your synths, there’s always a certain level of sonic unpredictability and slight variation. There are always graduations in digital knobs so you can hear the steps when you turn them. Analog knobs are just a clean sweep. Analog synths are more visually appealing, too. Lately, I’ve become more open to digital stuff. You can get so many sounds out of way smaller devices with digital.

We’ve been using this thing Simmons made called a Multi-Mallet a lot on the songs we’re writing now. It’s like a 90’s yamaha fm synthesis keyboard but with a xylophone-like controller. It has some interesting sounds, and looks cool. We use it on almost all of our new songs.“

Brian:

„Yeah, we like to think that we are using the best of both worlds. Jason uses all older analog synths, I use a mix of old and new analog and digital sounds from all sorts of different things we find, and I use them for the drums and backing sounds. I also use samplers to run everything live, and without that new stuff, we wouldn’t be able to perform this stuff we’re writing live.

Oh, and my favorite gear right now is my Moogerfooger trio (Freqbox, Ring Mod, & MURF), the Simmons Multimallet Jason already mentioned, my Casio CZ-101, and the Alesis D4 drum module.“

Alec Empire:

“ What are 5 favorite records? And why?“

Brian:

„Devo – Oh No, It’s Devo – This was the first Devo record that I got, so I think that’s the best way I can pick a favorite Devo album. Devo is the band that got me into synthesizers. If I never got this record and got so into Devo, I probably would have never been so interested electronic music, or started this kind of band with Jason. Devo rules!


watch Devo here

Cardiacs – On Land And In The Sea – This is probably my favorite Cardiacs album because I love every song on the album. It basically has everything that I would ever look for in music in one album. Organs, synthesizers, horns, weird rhythms and rhythm/tempo changes, lots of percussion, a great vocalist, and amazing song writing.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Doc At The Radar Station – The drumming on this album is insane. A lot of the time when I listen to it I try to only listen to the drums, and I try to think of how I could do anything at all like that with our rhythms. I also love how heavy it sounds without having anything really that heavy going on. The two guitarists are sick on this album. The horn, mellotron, marimba, and gong seal the deal for me. What a perfect combination of sounds. I wish there were more bands like this!

click here for BBC documentary on Beefheart

Nirvana – In Utero – I used to love Nirvana when I was a kid, and then I got back into it even more in the past few years. We started listening to it a lot on one of our tours and decided to try to do our first cover song when we got home. We wanted to do the song „Very Ape“ because we thought it sounded strangely like some of the stuff we were writing. Doing that cover first as an instrumental made me appreciate the songwriting so much and helped me understand some better ways of approaching how we wrote our songs. Then a year later when we re-recorded the cover with vocals, that being my first real attempt at vocals in Yip-Yip, it made me see how great his vocals and lyrics are. But yeah, the whole rest of In Utero is awesome too, and has been a huge recent influence on us.

The Beatles – Abbey Road – Believe it or not, I never really listened to this whole album until this year. With almost any Beatles album, you’ve basically heard every song somewhere before, but I never listened to the whole albums before. There are so many different kinds of songs on the album, and a lot of them are short and to the point. Every songs has this „thing“ that happens that just totally makes the song. There’s a lot of great sounds and effects, and the recording is kind of perfect. The vocals are also really great, and with us trying to do vocals now, it’s interesting to listen to stuff with such great vocals and great vocal effects and harmonies, and try to some how apply it to the weird stuff we are doing.“

click here for Beatles – Abbey Road (all DHR records from 1994-2000 were mastered there by the way)

Jason:

„Emerson, Lake, and Palmer – Tarkus – The first side of this record kills. There’s a lot of crazy synth sounds and prog shredding.
Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 – Equinox – Mostly I like this record because i bought it at a thrift store without hearing it. I bought it because it has an attractive cover with attractive people on it. The record is great and I wasn’t expecting that. I like the girls‘ voices and the music is pretty. Accidently finding a great record is one of the best things in life.


click here for Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66

Roger Miller – Dang Me – Simple, silly music. Most of the songs on this album are less than 2 minutes and none are longer than 2:30. They are all funny, silly, and/or endearing.
Devo – Duty Now for the Future – Devo is one of the best bands on the planet. I think this is my favorite album of theirs. I can’t say why, but i like it more than Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo.? Like Brian, the first Devo album i purchased was Oh No, It’s Devo and that one will always be special to me because that’s how i got into them. But Duty Now has more interesting time signatures and real drums. They sound more like a punk rock band.
Todd Rundgren – A Wizard, a True Star – Great songwriting, great sounds. Todd Rundgren is a wizard.“


click here for Todd

Alec Empire:

“ How do you see the future of music? I mean musically, not the „industry“ -no one seems to think about the music anymore, everybody is just about how and why the industry is in a crisis. But what about the music itself though?“

Brian:

„I think there will be less and less full bands as people figure out neat ways of using electronics, samplers, or computers with what they are doing live as a band with just a couple of people. Not that a full band who is great is a ever bad thing, but it will be easier for kids to start bands and keep them going because they won’t have to work with so many people.

I don’t know how some of the full bands we know do it, everything would be so much harder if there were more people in our band. Musically, I think right now it seems like there is a huge merging of all music in popular music and a lot of indie music too. It’s all kind of coming together, which can be neat sometimes, but sometimes just bad.“

Jason:

„I think it’s about time for a musical revolution. With the physical and sonic limitations shrinking to almost nothing, it’s going to be more about songwriting and how people use the crazy sounds that can now be created so easily. Once people start to figure out how easy it is to start a band, there’s going to be a glut of mediocre bands. The next few years are going to be interesting. I think it’s starting already.“

Brian: „Calm down, Jason.“

Alec Empire:

“ Who is responsible for your artwork, design?…everything also looks really cool. Is that an important part for you? When I talk to graphic designers or artists, they miss that challenge to make
something visual which represents the music.“

Jason:

„Brian does all of the illustrations, I do all of the digitizing and digital work on them. We design everything together. We come up with ideas for how things should look and I make them look that way.
Brian: Yeah, the art side has always been a big part of what we are doing. Before we started the band, I wanted to be an artist, but after we started the band, I realized that doing it with the band would be a better way to get my art out there anyways. We like bands who do their own artwork, it’s like an added bonus. Sometimes, like this past year, the art part calms down while we try to push the music stuff to a new level, but we always get back to it eventually, like when we finish recording. I’m sure we will start messing with art for the album, new music videos and maybe a zine/single thing. We are already working on new costumes for our next live shows.“

Alec Empire:

“ What have you got coming up in the future? Tours? Different plans?“

Brian:

“ We are about to start recording this album we’ve been working on, it will probably take us a couple months to finish that, and hopefully by then we will find a label to put it out. By the time we are done recording, we will be ready to start playing live again because we will have learned all the parts from recording it. We were hoping to do a tour in the fall. Maybe we will get to go back overseas like we did last year. I think a lot of this stuff will start coming up once we get this new stuff out there a little bit. We can’t wait to go on tour again!“

Jason:

“ I’m ready to start playing shows again soon. I’m excited about bringing this new stuff out on the road. We still have a lot of writing, tweaking, practicing to do before we’re ready for a tour. We’ve been working on this set of songs for over a year now and it is leaps and bounds beyond anything we’ve written before. I want it to get out there as soon as possible, but i want it to be perfect when it does. We really need to bone up if we want to finish it this year.“

Brian:

„Nice call back.“

click here for cool underground live clip

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but more important: the YIP YIP website !

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