So many of these features are at least partly ‘re’-introductions – it’s unusual to find a band that seems to have no history (or baggage) other than writing songs and playing gigs in their current guise.
However, this Glasgow trio, save for a previous single, ‘Burn’, are new to us, and quite possibly to yourselves. And while there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s refreshing to hear their clear, distinctive guitar lines, flyaway vocals and strident rhythms combined with top quality hooks, making for an act well worth getting acquainted with…
We have John Houston on guitar and vocals, Neil McArthur on bass guitar and Kay McLaren on drums.
When? and Where?
Neil: John and I founded the band in 2012 after leaving other bands in the hope of creating something new. Originally, we had Graeme Davidson on drums, and from there we went through a few different drummers before Kay joined in 2013. It was around this point that we decided on the name Yakima. John and I shared a flat in the Southside of Glasgow for a couple of years, so pretty much all of the songs were written there.
John: We started off as a two piece, which quickly turned into a trio, then added another guitar player around 2013. We then became a three piece again, back in June 2016. There’s so much more space musically now – which has presented more challenges when writing, its not a bad thing, just different.
Neil: It’s difficult to describe it in one or two words, so I’ll go for alternative. I’m basing that on the stuff we’ve been doing in our current lineup – which is way better than anything we’ve done before.
John: We just write whatever sounds good to our ears at the time, with the hope that other people will like it too, if not, then that’s cool also. Each of our releases have been a total contrast to its predecessor. Approaching things differently on every record has allowed us to really develop our sound organically.
Neil: I don’t know if I’m honest. We all like playing music in general. To begin with we all came from different music backgrounds and weren’t completely on the same page with what we wanted to do, but recently we’ve managed to sustain a sound that we’re all happy with and enjoy playing.
John: I’ve always played in bands, it’s like second nature. I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t playing, I’d have nothing to talk about! I’m already boring enough as it is.
Neil: I think the goal is just to be able to keep doing it. Whether that means getting some sort of deal or doing it independently I think we’ll keep going for as long as we can. It’s a bit disheartening when there’s nobody at your gigs, but I put that down purely to bad PR. When we do play a gig which is relatively busy, or absolutely packed, it feels even better because we’re essentially not used to it. We’re certainly not doing it for the money – because we don’t get any…
John: Its not always about the “Deal” though is it? The thought of having to answer to someone else about your music, kind of takes the fun out of it. Having said that, if it was a signing of common interest and for the total love it, I’d be totally willing to go forward with a label backing us.
It’s definitely not the end of the world if it doesn’t happen, I feel as though we’ve “made it” every time we finish a new song, regardless if it gets any attention or not.
You can hear ‘Wabi Sabi’ now, from the double A-side single ‘Medicine for Family Entertainment’ out in March. The band play Glasgow’s Hug & Pint with Yip Man on February 4th.