Q + A with Yukon Blonde by Olivia Beteta
Yukon Blonde is a folk-rock foursome from Canada. Since their start back in 2005, the band has been making waves across international music charts. After positive reviews on their first self-titled album in 2010, Yukon Blonde embarked on a non-stop, whirlwind tour, which included appearances at the famed SXSW, and opening slots with indie giants like – Good Old War and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The Vancouver quartet’s newest album, Tiger Talk is out now on Dine Alone Records and is receiving even greater attention than their first release. Laden with hook-heavy lyrics and fist thumping energy, Tiger Talk is exactly what indie fans have been waiting for.
“It interesting seeing how many bands don’t really give a shit wither there is an audience there or not…”, explains Lead singer Jeff Innes.
“they play as if they are about to go offstage. It’s not what I want out of a concert, I don’t want to be that band, none of us do. We’ve always tired to play the best that we possibly can every single night. While the audience is watching us – it’s our audience and we’re going to try to play to them as if they are our audience…we’re gonna try to win them over…We’ve never played a show where we’re not bashing each others heads in onstage…we were raised to be entertainers like if you’re going to be in the music industry if you’re gonna be in a band, you’re gonna put on a show you’re gonna try your best to get everybody moving regardless of wither it’s three people or three thousand people.”
“We [Jeff, Brandon and Graham] have spent the last seven years kinda always singing together and playing together and because of it I feel like we’re better now than we’ve ever been. It’s taken us seven years to get on that level of understanding but we’re always trying to push each other. We don’t want to get in one of those comfort zones where we’re doing the same harmonies we’re always we’re always doing and write the same music we’re always doing, we just are always making sure that we’re kinda pushing ourselves.”
That constant pressure can be heard on the sophisticated sounding Tiger Talk. With more time in the studio, the band was able to give more attention to the sounds and layers of each song. That considered, listeners will be stunned to know in just how short a period of time, the album was written. Innes discusses the band’s lack of time to actually write as a symptom of their constant touring.
“Our first record came out on February 9, 2010 and January that year we started touring and we’ve been on tour pretty much since then… so if anything we’ve had less time.”
The more refined sound of the album, especially the rhythm, Innes explains, developed, because,
“We were in such a stride that we just…keep going. Things just make a lot more sense now so…I just think maybe we’re a little bit more efficient now, [we’ve] just sort of locked everything down…I just think everything is working well.”
Since the album’s release, Tiger Talk has received an onslaught of positive press. While that kind of acclaim can sometimes inflate a band’s ego, Yukon Blonde has not changed at all. In fact, Innes still remembers the early days, when the boys were known as Alphababy and couldn’t grab the attention of label executives.
“(When) we were in Alphababy we did tons of touring, just as much touring as we do now and we always played these shows … and no one would talk to us after the shows and it happened like this for years. That was the most humbling three years of my entire life. So now we’re at a really good label, we have a business manager. But no mater of anyone’s promises really or whose gonna be at what show or where we’re gonna go we don’t get our hopes up. We just want to keep mellow and do what we do best and not try to worry about all that shit.”
The past two years have been a whirlwind for Yukon Blonde. Innes, himself, in disbelief at how far the band has come. “I did not expect to be going to New York four times this year and actually have people buying our record in the Untied States. I did not expect this. This is definitely way cool.”
This summer marks the first time the band will have significant time off. The band will recharge their batteries and visit their homes, families and friends. The rest of the summer will be spent mostly at festivals and possibly heading back into the studio for more recording.