Anytime anyone writes about you, they can't go without mentioning something from the early 90s. Usually they throw in comparison to Sonic Youth or Dinosaur Jr. or Pavement or something like that. Are those bands that you are into and admire? Or is it just that you've fallen into creating a sound that reminds people of things like that?
Well, we wrote and recorded the music in… a timeframe. And I listen to music, well, I feel young with music. I think I was 17 when I started to really listen to records and discover labels. For me and Max, we still need to listen to, like, the most important bands -- ones we've never heard before. So we go through massive phases with bands where we get really, really into something. And there are bands or artists that we always go back to, but sometimes when people ask that it's quite confusing. Some bands Max likes a lot more than me, but I completely understand when people compare us to the 90s because I find that a lot of my favorite music comes from that time.
Yeah, totally. I have a friend who I played the album for and he said, "Man, I really wish I had this album when my girlfriend broke up with me in 1996. It would have really helped me through my sophomore year in high school." [Laughter]
He had Red House Painters at that time [laughs]. I would recommend that to him.
Yeah, recommend that to his past self. What's the thing you're obsessed with now -- I guess the old, new stuff you're obsessed with?
At the moment, I'm actually going through this phase of really modern music. There's this label called Type Records, and they make… I think it's called "noise" or something like that [laughs]. I've been sort of listening to a lot of that. I'm still quite into my Smog relapse phase… which might not be a phase.
A permanent part of your life.
A lifestyle. [laughter]
That's not a bad one.
Lucinda Williams. I've been really into her lately. She's been making music for a while now. And this artist called A Grave with No Name out of London. I just put out a record with him. I love that record so much.
What's your favorite part about being in this band [Yuck]? Is it playing live? Is it what you're writing the songs for? Or is more about the way you and Max write the songs?
I don't know if I can answer that. We've been on tour a lot and, to be honest, it's been a bit confusing. And a bit frustrating yet exciting. For now, what I can say is that I'm definitely looking forward to writing more songs with Max and recording more songs. But everything changes in this band through a ridiculous variety of things. It's like a multimedia art.
Yeah, especially these days. You have to branch out in all different directions. I have to admit that when I first heard the record, my first instinct was that it was some kids in the Midwest United States, like Wisconsin, that were snowed in at their parent's garage -- part of it is that your accent disappears when you're singing. People say that to you ever?
People have said different things. Like someone the other day said, "I really like the new song. You sound really British on it compared to some other songs." I don't know. I definitely feel like some of the phrasing in America lends itself to the music and singing. It's not something I was thinking about when I was making the record. Yeah, I don't really think about it… [laughs]
The only other band that I've ever really felt that way about with a British singer was Dire Straits. I forever presumed they were an American band because of the phrasing.
I haven't heard them yet, but I will.
That's awesome [laughter]. I would say "Rubber" is my favorite track because I love long, fuzzed-out shoegaze things. It's probably the one track on the album where it's hardest to understand what you're saying in the lyrics. But I really like having that uncertainty to it. Is that something you think about when you're recording some songs? On the songs like "The Wall" and "Getaway" you can hear what you're saying very crisply and exactly what you're saying. But on "Rubber" it sounds intentional.
There were some things that lent themselves to that when we did our second session. We weren't thinking this was going to be an album yet. The root of the record is just from the direction of songs. So, I think we approached everything completely open, like with songs like "Policeman" and "Rubber" we went with whatever sounded really good. You know, it just sounded really nice that way. And with lyrics, I definitely haven't wanted to publish them or draw attention to them outside the song. But that didn't even come into it; it was more about how it sounds.