3 guys, 3 countries, one band, a million sonorities. This is Yossarian, a London-based band, which members come from all over the globe and together they are making one of the most interesting music projects we’ve listened in years.
We had the chance to chat with them about their story and their last releases. Speaking about releases, here’s the hottest one: Exit Universe is premiering here!
How did you guys met each other?
Ash (singer) and Joaquin (guitarist) first met in Madrid whilst they were both travelling around Europe. Sam (drummer) joined us later in London after he moved over from Australia. The core of Yossarian is made up of the three of us but we also play as a collective of up to 6 members when we are on tour.
To our readers who have never heard of you, how would you describe Yossarian?
We’ve been compared to bands like The National, Joy Division and Pink Floyd. Imagine a dark baritone voice underpinned by dreamy or accelerating guitars, with songs that ebb and flow into big build-ups including synths, strings and all manner of crazy sounds.
In 2013 you launched your debut album “The Little We Know”. Was that just “a little” for an 11-track album?
We all hail from different far flung parts of the world like Argentina, Australia and England, so we each brought our particular influences and ways of understanding music when we wrote “The Little We Know”. Being our first studio album, it may have been a melting pot of all the musical ideas we had at the time, which throughout the years became distilled into a more defined sound of what is Yossarian. Having said that, all three of our albums have their own journeys and eclecticism since we don’t really like being pegged to a particular style of music. We explore what we like and what stimulates us, so it matters little to us if a song in an album differs significantly in style from another.
What was your way of songwriting at that time?
The way we wrote “The Little We Know” reflected our fledgling knowledge of the process of recording and writing an album as a band, since we all brought our own songs to the band and then turned them into a “Yossarian song”. In later albums our songwriting process became more communal from the get go, with many songs starting from jam sessions we did together.
“Light Up My Head” is your second album, launched in 2016, what changed 3 years after the debut album?
Our second album, “Light Up My Head”, represented a chance to work on songs that had developed more organically as we played together as a band. We also had a more defined idea of the soundor sounds we wanted to reflect in our music. Armed with the knowledge of what we learned during the recording “The Little We Know”, we were able to be more experimental and explore new ideas in our songwriting.
You went on tour, Europe and the UK, USA,Australia and New Zealand, South Africa… How was that experience? And how it changed you as a band?
Touring is pretty fun. It can also be exhausting at times but we’re all pretty laid back and get along well so it hasn’t jaded us like we’ve seen happen with some bands. Being able to play shows almost every night has certainly changed the way we perform live and allowed us to experiment with all kinds of setups in order to try to find the combination that can make us have the best sound possible. You never stop learning though and each place comes with its own challenges. We’ve also enjoyed setting aside a few days during tours to go to a secluded studio in places like Dresden or the Scottish highlands to just jam and hopefully write a few songs.
Now you came out with your third single “Exit Universe” (Red Paranoia and He Hid Behind a Culture and a Wall, were the others) for your third album “All These Fictions”. It seems that you’ve put away the alt-rock from the other albums and are now going for something more“chill”, is that true? Is that what we might expect from the other songs?
It might be. We’re just getting old, but it’s probably due to Sam’s (drummer) influence. Some of the songs of “All These Fictions” such as Universal Basic Income, A Temporary Consensus of Truth and He Hid Behind a Culture and a Wall were written in what’s probably a rather unusual way. When Sam was back in Melbourne he sent us some beats that he’d come up with in his drum machine, and then Ash (singer) and Joaquin (guitarist) came up with the rest of the parts for it in London. This process may have led us to write songs that move away from the “alt-rock” label and lean onto a more modern and “chilled” style.
What made you create a song like “Exit Universe”? You use different instruments than before, you explore more the vocals harmonies and your music gains more deepness and space…
Exit Universe is a collaboration between Yossarian and tru-thoughts artist Rhi, so it combines her trip hop sensitivities with our somber yet uplifting melodies. The lyrics of the song follow the narrative of our concept album “All These Fiction”, challenging the listener to forgo the fictional lines and frameworks imposed by culture and society, and to seek their own counsel in the search for meaning. Halfway through Exit Universe, its melancholic tone gives way to a slowly building coda that starts shedding light on the shadows, and as the new backing vocals add layers upon layers over two contrasting guitars riffs, Rhi’s beguiling voice and Ash’s low baritone bid the listener to reach out with empathy.
Do you see yourselves changing the Music?
We will do our thing, explore new ideas and play around with what we find beautiful. I think we’d get pretty bored if we didn’t keep evolving musically. If we’re still around in 10 years, expect us to be making post alt-folk electro trip grunge.
Where would you like to see Yossarian in 10 years from now?
With most (if not all) of its members alive, preferably. Playing festivals like Glastonbury and continuing recording music. By 2028 we should be on our seventh or eight album.
If you could choose one band/artist to perform with, who would you choose?
Thank you very much! 🙂
The trio -whom perform as a sixtet in some extended live performances- is now working to launch their third album in the beginning of 2019. Pay close atention and don’t miss a thing about Yossarian’s following work. Here are their social pages: