The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are a Brooklyn based three-piece new wave garage rock outfit from New York City. Individually they are singer Karen O (short for Ohm), guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase. Brian and Karen both went to Oberlin College in Ohio in the late nineties. Brian was doing Jazz studies and musical theory. Karen was studying without a major focus (subsequently switched to NYU to study Film). They met Nick, a photography student at Bard, in a dive bar on the lower east side through a mutual friend.
A testament to their talent and live following the YYYs have done well in the relatively short 18 months they have been together. They are attracting a great deal of well deserved attention on both sides of the pond at the moment following their support slots for The Strokes, Girls Against Boys and The White Stripes in the US. They have recently had gigs in New York where the audience seemed to be all record company men, all crossed arms and scrutiny. I understand that for the proper YYY experience we should all have been at the last show in Philadelphia where the tracks Art Star, tick and the one getting a lot of attention right now Bang got the crowd so wild the stage was stormed by the audience all ‘dancing like maniacs’.
That’s America though, and I am glad to say they are contained to the States no more and open for The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s on their European tour. There may even be festival appearances in the UK in 2002.
There are MP3s for the uninitiated at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs homepage and I will only think the worse of you if you don’t download and cherish them NOW!
Having heard the new EP I can tell you it is well worth a listen. Karen’s Debbie (not Deborah) Harry-esque vocals croon, scream and tease over the intense drums and guitars of Nick and Brian. ‘Bang’, currently being played and adored on the football related veg out fest Soccer AM, is the stand out track for me. It’s disjointed feel has a strangely early Rolling Stones quality without feeling dated. The other tracks (‘Mystery Girl’, ‘Art Star’, ‘Miles Away’ and ‘Our Time’) range from the hip and groovy to the angry and schizophrenic seamlessly. As with the White Stripes you don’t miss the absence of bass as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs create a depth of sound with what seems like effortless panache.
The current eponymous 5 track EP is their only release (out soon in the UK through Wichita Recordings) although a track will also appear on the Kill Rock Stars compilation which should be out in May.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Factoids & Stuff
Nick used to work occasionally at a Puerto-Rican Deli ‘stocking beer and delivering pizza to lonely housewife’s and scary agrarian types with guns.’
Food arguments have been common on tour as Karen hearts the golden arches, Brian likes his Burgers Kinged and Nick’s a veggie.
Nick says ‘I cant imagine Karen’s feet smelling like anything but roses.’ but I am not going to tell you the question as the answer is more amusing on it’s own.
Like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? You should look up The Liars. I did, and they RAAAWK!
They are doing a Peel Session soon (not sure when though, Peelie has been playing them recently) and some Irish telly
Written in the wee small hours after too much espresso, by Bobster.
Many thanks to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Nick Zinner for his help and Wichita Recordings Mark Bowen for the free stuff.