Yeasayer: Psychedelic Pop Prodigy

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Part of the evolving indie band scene in Brooklyn, Yeasayer is psychedelic pop trio consisting of vocalist Chris Keating, bassist Ira Wolf Tuton, and guitarist Anand Wilder. More than just acid dropouts, they’re known for replanting psychedelic roots back into the 21st century, much like hipster brethren Animal Collective, ushering us away from most of the gibberish today we call music. Slated to perform yet again for St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2013, JUICE got the chance to speak to guitarist Anand Wilder, thankful for the fact that they’re still alive after almost being killed by a giant spider in Brazil.

You’ve played at big festivals from Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza to Coachella. Are you expecting anything different from St Jerome’s Laneway Festival?
We actually played at the first Laneway in Singapore back in 2011. It was raining all day long. It was a huge sensation. We were told that never before have people in Singapore stayed in the rain that long. It was pretty amazing. People came from all over South East Asia!

Besides the awesome city of Brooklyn, where is the strangest place you would actually love to live in?
I’ve always had fantasies about living in India, South America, or Japan. But I don’t know if I would be able to just drop everything and transplant my life, I have pretty deep roots now in Brooklyn.

In an interview with Rolling Stones, Keating mentioned how R Kelly is a “terrible piece of sh!t.” If R Kelly and the band were to collaborate, how do you think that would go down?
Oh gosh. I don’t know if that would ever happen. He [Keating] probably would be mad to hear that. I don’t know if we would really want to. But he’s got some good stuff out there.

Besides Keating’s aggression towards David Guetta, what do you really think of the EDM scene?
It’s not as interesting as other popular music I’m interested in.

What sets Fragrant World apart from Future Cymbals and Odd Blood?
I think the rhythms are a little bit more abstract than the other two albums and it’s probably more mature.

What is the strangest thing any of you have ever encountered on tour?
A giant spider that almost killed us in Brazil.

Besides the obvious genre you do, psychedelic pop, what are some other genres you like that might surprise us?
I really like folk music. I also like hip hop and some heavy metal.

If you could go back to the ‘60s, what is the first thing you would do?
The first thing I want to do is record all the hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, put them all in one album, and make the greatest album of all time. And maybe go see a Bob Marley concert or something.

A lot of your videos exude trippy visuals, and they’re all amazing! Mind sharing what goes on behind the process of making them?
Well usually we just pick a music video director whose works we’re familiar with and intrigued by. And then we have some dialogues and see what their ideas are, bounce our ideas with each other, and hope for the best.

Lastly, what is Yeasayer?
A band with ideologies and philosophies.

Yeasayer is part of St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2013’s lineup, which is slated to happen on Saturday 26 January 2013 at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Get updated at

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