YEEVS x The Partae
What is your name and role within YEEVS?
My name is Bradley and I sing and play guitar
where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
We are based in Sydney but we normally meet up in the Blue Mountains as Tom, our drummer, lives up there. The music scene in Sydney has a lot of pockets of communities that feel very vibrant and healthy despite the debilitating effect that the lockout laws have had on venues and nightlife culture.
Wherever there are passionate people, there will be something going on. There’s always something on at any given week in Sydney and I feel at times spoilt for choice when picking a local gig to go to.
How did you first start playing music?
I started playing the drums when I was 10 and had lessons for a few years. Then I switched to guitar and was awful at it for quite a long time until I started to really hone in on how I wanted to play. I then picked up singing by again being quite bad at it for a while until I persevered. I never gravitated to anything else growing up quite like I did to music and it is a passion and a comfort that has been constant.
How did YEEVS form?
The three of us met at uni while studying music. Sean and I met on the orientation day and we’ve been in bands together over the years. Tom and I met a bit later on after uni and decided to jam one day. We thought it was great but didn’t pursue it any further until we bumped into each other again at the Glebe market fair and both agreed we should jam together again. The next time I went up to the mountains, I brought Sean with me and it solidified what we have been working on ever since.
You’ve just release your self tiled debut album, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
In terms of sound, all three of us have overlap in what we like and our tastes but we all come at it from differing angles. The main thing we wanted to come back to was capturing how we sound as a live band and to have high quality songwriting. We recorded it over two weekends at a farm in Wiseman’s Ferry and I think that environment definitely assisted with how it sounds. We didn’t need to rush and we could set the pace and be able to play day and night. In terms of lyrics, it’s about feeling much more at peace with yourself and being able to feel more comfortable in your own skin. Parts of the record sound really emotional and cathartic because in order to get to a place of calm, sometimes there needs to be turbulence.
How did you go about writing the music?
It was hard work. We demoed consistently the year prior and we were able to see the best parts and sections that could be worked on at a later date. When we finally got to the farm, Dan Holdsworth who produced the record, challenged us further to expand upon those ideas and to create more ‘moments’. Following on from that, I was still finalising what I wanted to say and how I wanted all my vocals to be phrased and Dan guided me with that too.
Suffice to say it takes ages to write music that you feel completely happy with and sold on. Our expectations within what we’re doing as musicians have gotten higher the longer we’ve been doing this and I think this album has shaped our writing process going forward.
What does this album mean to you?
It is a document of where the band is at right now and it feels completely authentic to how we sound, imperfections attached. I’m really proud of it and I feel like the three of us can breathe easy knowing that we’ve made an album completely independently and we can now just enjoy it as a snapshot as we move on to play the shows around it and then eventually writing the next one.
Where and when did you record and who with?
We recorded over two weekends in April 2018 with Dan Holdsworth. Dan’s a friend of the band and was the right choice for the album. Following on from those sessions, him and I would meet up to overdub and finalise vocals which took about 6 months on and off.
What programs/instruments did you use to record?
We’re a three-piece rock band so it’s predominantly vocals, guitar, bass and drums with a few embellishments here and there like keyboard and glockenspiel.
How did you approach the recording process?
We approached it in a way that meant we weren’t going to settle for versions of the songs that would rely upon bigger production techniques in order to maintain interest. The versions of the songs needed to be of a high standard for all three of us. That meant potentially rewriting parts as we went.
When you’re playing music, it feels great but when you also are looking at it through the lens of other people are going to listen to this, it changes how you think about the thing you’re creating. We just wanted it to be strong and concise in its execution. We also knew we needed to be in a comfortable environment where time wasn’t an issue. We all lead busy lives so to carve out a few weekends to do this meant that we could inhabit the whole process rather than it feeling like a rushed 6-hour session at a studio you’ve never been to before.
What did you find most challenging and rewarding whilst creating the debut album?
For me personally it was starting a new job while still being in the recording process and working in the evenings to get good vocal takes. In hindsight, I wouldn’t do anything differently but there was a month there where we were playing a residency, I had just started the new job that same month and I was spending a lot of evenings driving out to Western Sydney to keep working on a record that felt far from finished. I think the other two were really challenged in the initial stages with making sure their parts were locked in together and also cinematic at points. I’m awful at music theory so invariably the other two picked up the slack for that.
What do you have planned for the album?
We’ve got a seven-show east coast tour lined up to support the album, which we’re really excited about. After investing so much time and energy into the album, I’m looking forward to playing the songs live. It feels especially exciting now that people have had a chance to hear the album. Our favourite part of all of this is engaging with an audience and we can’t wait to do that with the new songs.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m listening to the new Empty Country single and B side that came out recently which I’m loving. Also at present it’s been a fair bit of Oh Reach, Aldous Harding, Art Of Fighting, Jack Ladder, Augie March, Foxing and American Football’s new album. It’s been a bit all over the place of late!
What do you like to do away from music?
It might sound like a cliché, but I don’t think I do much else outside from music. Maybe just catching up with friends and family or sharing a good meal.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2019 going into 2020?
I think for us we are focused on preparing for the tour that’s to take place. We’ve been rehearsing a lot to make sure we are ready for this run to make it as impactful as possible, both for us and the audience. Once that’s complete, I think we’ll start talking about ambitions for next year. We definitely are keen to start piecing together new material.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Right now I’m craving a Mary’s burger so that’s probably my favourite food. In terms of hangouts I would have to say Red Eye Records. I’ve grown up going there to buy music, my partner used to work there and it’s just got some really lovely people that work there. Red Eye’s my happy place.