Published on July 18th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
We were blown away by Yo’true’s recent “Pilot Light” single, awarding it four quails in a recent singles round-up and describing it in the following terms:
This is like some divine melting pot of Prince, ELO, Darwin Deez, Death Cab For Cutie, Stevie Wonder, of Montreal, The Stepkids and goodness knows what else.
Heck, it damn well near defies description with its relentless deluge of good ideas. Seriously refreshing stuff.
Have a listen for yourself, why not?
Naturally we sought to find out more, so we fired some questions over to band leader Ben J. Wood and he came back with the following…
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
It’s like my ultimate mixtape. My favourite bits of yacht rock, R&B and indie pop. Actually, just my favourite bits of music in general.
Someone used the term ‘outsider pop’ which I don’t dislike. I’ve got this sound in my head that I’m trying to create but without any technical music knowledge.
It’s all trial and error, except that the errors are the best bits.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
I share my time equally between East London, Yeovil and a tour van. I record first onto my phone, then into Cubase on my computer.
For the first proper recordings I went to see my friend Peter Miles at his studio in Devon to record drums, bass, vocals and Rhodes. For extra smoothness.
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
I signed a contract to have my first record released by Rogues Records. I met my friend Sarah whilst tour managing for some bands she was working with and she suggested the label as a good fit.
They’re fresh and enthusiastic. They’re a new label but they know music. I like that this is an exciting new project for all of us.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
The first LP is called Wild Rice. It has eight songs and is released in the UK on July 29th. I wrote much of it on tour or at home in Yeovil through 2011 and recorded it across three separate sessions in 2011 and early 2012.
It doesn’t sound or look like anybody else’s record. It’s completely self-indulgent and absurd, sentimental and autobiographical. I wanted to make it a little uncomfortable for myself and for whoever’s listening.
It’s the first time I’ve made something that I’ve been truly psyched about, so much so that there’s another new album in the works already. Time waits for no man.
Where can we hear your music online?
The first single, “The Dough”, is on Spotify and iTunes and such. It’s on SoundCloud as well.
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
My personal most exciting moment was putting together the most kick ass band imaginable. We’ve only played a handful of shows and no one show is any more important than another. I’ve just had the most incredible time being back on stage and surrounded by my friends.
Also, I finally got hold of a copy of my album on vinyl last week, seeing the artwork I drew on a record sleeve was quite a thrill.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
Sure! There’ll be an album release show on July 29th in London. More info on that soon.
We’re also at The Finsbury in London on August 15th and off to Italy for some shows that weekend. We’re ready to go, so there’ll be a bunch more shows confirmed shortly.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Ah, there’s this awesome band called Black Forest Ghetto from London. All hooks and grooves, like Cameo or Prince or something. I love it.
My friend Andrew has a new project called Give To Light. This is going to destroy when it finally gets a proper release. His song “We Can Only Do This Once” is a massive hit.
There was this band called The Flesh whose self titled debut album from 2006 was just the most thrilling, essential album. I don’t know, but it seems as though they got ignored/forgotten/crowded out.
People need to hear this record. Like, really listen to it, with big headphones and that. I don’t know what they’re doing now, and I didn’t really go for the follow up album, but this one is great.
Last but not least, a shout out to my brothers in Tellison. I love them.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Oh that’s an easy one. Michael McDonald, his ’80s solo stuff is best, but the Doobies stuff also rules and the Christopher Cross collaborations.
Next, The Mountain Goats. I’m desperate to complete my collection of Mountain Goats records, so this would be an excellent opportunity. That’s already an awful lot of music.
Drunk Horse made four albums and a couple of singles as far as I know, and they’re all total gold, although it’s difficult to convince most people of this. They play all the best bits of Southern boogie and garage rock ‘n’ roll with messed up timings and so much more brains than any other rock band. I’d definitely need those.
The last two would be The Dismemberment Plan and Ben Kweller. Both are consistently brilliant song writers. I already spend so much time alone listening to music, this is basically just my normal life.
Yo’true, thank you.
For more information, please visit www.yo-true.com