Interview: Yuck – New Album, SXSW, & More

March 14, 2016

London’s Yuck is a 7-year young garage rock outfit that immediately brought to mind the riffs, fuzzy hooks and vocals of bands like Dinosaur Jr. and early 90’s Weezer when they dropped their self-titled debut album in 2011.

After critical praise for the release, the band rode on an exciting wave of buzz only have their founding member Daniel Blumberg in 2013, followed by the introduction of guitarist Edward Hayes. The four-piece released their second album Glow & Behold that year.

Late this February, Yuck rolled out their third album Stranger Things, and after enough turbulent rock n’ roll cliches, the band shines through and sound more complete than ever before. We’re stoked to have them headlining our TuneCore Showcase, Friday afternoon on March 18th as part of our 2016 Austin Takeover.

Read our Q&A with Max Bloom, who plays guitar and assists with vocals (alongside Mariko Doi and Jonny Rogdoff) in Yuck:

You guys have been through a lot over 5 years! What has changed for Yuck when it comes to releasing a new full length? 
Max Bloom: I guess this album kind of brings together everything we’ve learned over our whole career. I think we’ve learned a lot about how we want to sound as a band and the best way for us to work, so that knowledge and hindsight definitely proved useful. I think we also really came together on tour over the past few years, so I think we went into this with the idea that we wanted to make 10 or 11 songs that would be really fun and enjoyable for us to play live.
Tell us a bit about the process of readying Stranger Things – from recording it to working with PledgeMusic.
The album was recorded over the space of about a year. I remember writing “Hold Me Closer” and “Cannonball” in quite quick succession, and then the others fell into place around those. We recorded very much at our own pace – its probably the longest recording session we’ve ever done. After recording it we sat on it for a while until we worked out how we wanted to release it. Our PledgeMusic page was our manager Kurt’s idea. It seemed like a really fun and interesting thing to do.
In general, how has releasing music yourselves or on a smaller indie label compared to your previous experiences?
Well there’s less financial investment of course, but the rewards are far greater. It’s nice not having to prove yourself or answer to other people.
Where is the band coming from emotionally on this record?
A lot of the album is about stuff that I’ve been going through personally over the past couple of years. It hasn’t been the most pleasant time for me, so it felt quite cathartic to write about it in a song.
Line-up changes are never easy, but Yuck seemed to bounce back from the exit of a frontman. What were some lessons you all walked away with from this?
Probably just to believe in what you’re doing and try not to care what other people think… which is easier said than done. It hasn’t been easy at all. The support and encouragement of my friends and the band have been really important.
How would you compare hitting SXSW to the days when you were a less well-traveled unit?
I guess we’re just better as a band now, so it’s probably easier for us to just rock up somewhere and play immediately without a soundcheck, which is often what you’re expected to do playing SXSW.
Is there added significance to a SXSW trip when you’re on the heels of a new release?
I think it feels more exciting for us. I hope the audience feels the same!
What kind of advice – no matter how general – would you offer to an indie band making their first SXSW trip in 2016?
Work hard. Play hard.
What are your plans for supporting Stranger Things after you roll out from a week in Austin?
We’re going on a long-ass tour of America which I’m really looking forward to. We’ll be hitting up a bunch of places we’ve never been before, like Las Vegas and some midwest cities. It’s going to be great!

Tags: featuring garage rock indie max bloom stranger things SXSW sxsw 2016 tunecore yuck