Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder talks to Nick Hutchings about the forthcoming Yeasayer album due later this year TBC, the follow up to “Odd Blood” from 2010 whose hit “O.N.E.” features above
Anand Wilder: We got dropped by Secretly Canadian last fall and have just signed a contract with Mute worldwide and have just got back from 5 weeks of recording at Woodridge, New York at this place called Outlier Inn – it was amazing – free range chickens and goats and angora bunnies all over the properties .You had to close the doors to the studio so the chickens didn’t wander in.
(a video from the world music inflected – “All Hour Cymbals” – “2080” from 2007 confusingly )
We definitely had to get them to turn off the electric fence a lot because of the humming; the interference and we actually did record some live rain and thunderstorms. Last record, we didn’t get out to a studio and I think it was a mistake – not in terms of the record we made, in terms of the process – it just makes it harder to hunker down and focus when you can leave at 7pm to have dinner with your wife. Making music’s a funny thing – I wish we could just say “ok, we’ll meet you at 9 o’clock – 9am til 5pm that’s what we’ve got to do, but for some reason, something deep in our brains that says that art or music happens when the sun goes down or something. The first few days is just like “hello, what’s your name – let’s get to know one another again. I like making music with you”.
You’ve gotta read Ian Svenonius’ book Super Natural Strategies For Making A Rock ‘N’ Roll Group – he really breaks down how The Beatles is really a love story between John Lennon and Paul McCartney and their break up. The Beatles had set the architecture of the guys who all live together and look into each other’s eyes when they are singing, but really if you want to survive you have to have a separate life and ideally you should be able to find reasons to keep collaborating and I think we did with this album.
I have another side project other than Break Line called Seltzer Boys that I’m madly prepping for a show at Baby’s Alright – for my sanity I have to do other things otherwise it becomes too precious and sacred. And it’s funny, especially doing something like a musical – it’s so different. For some reason when you become an adult you have to specialise but it’s good to dabble and I wish I could dabble some more.
But maybe because of Yeasayer you can?
Definitely. The reason I’m talking to people about Break Line now is because of Yeasayer. And the reason I was able to make it legitimate in the case of the people I was able to get on the album is meeting talented players on tour. You have to specialise to accomplish anything but it’s definitely more fun to spread yourself thinly.
What can we expect from the new Yeasayer material?
We’ll see, it’s definitely not finished yet, that was phase one and now we’ve been listening to all the songs and we need to re-contextualize a little bit, so I don’t really know exactly what it’s gonna end up being. I think that it will definitely be a progression forward for Yeasayer, but it might be a rejection of our past stuff which is kind of always what it is. But I don’t know if we’ve even truly hit upon our sonic template but the songs are there and we have a record label which is always good.