INTERVIEW: The Yada Yada Yadas | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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If you like your music filled with fuzz, packed with pop sensibilities and laden with lo-fi, it seems Durham is a bit of a hothouse right now.

Sneaking up on an unsuspecting scene to be a highlight on the line-ups of all the region’s music festivals that matter are The Yada Yada Yadas – a four-piece who already have the backing of Steve Lamacq by way of his 60 Second CV feature on BBC 6Music. Singer Mark Owens was mildly surprised by the patronage: “I knew nothing about that until someone told me they heard it on the show, so it was a really pleasant surprise. I think it’s probably a result of us sending him [debut single] Oceans endlessly until he finally caved. We had to record an interview for his show to send over, and me and Harley [guitarist] could not believe how Northern we sounded, I bet people thought PJ and Duncan were having a big comeback with a new alternative direction.”

I don’t ever want the band to sound like a ‘Northern band’. Too many people are frozen in time around 2006, and need to let that wave of indie bands go

The Northern environment the band grew up in has had a marked influence on their sound, although not necessarily how you’d expect. “I don’t ever want the band to sound like a ‘Northern band’. Too many people are frozen in time around 2006, and need to let that wave of indie bands go. I think when the Spotify revolution happened, we lost the idea of any one genre of music dominating popular culture ever again, so we’ve got a lot of lost souls trapped in that noughties loop.”

Saying that, it’s clear that Mark has a lot of love for local bands at the moment: “There are so many that I love like Mouses, Dressed like Wolves, Swine Tax and Dylan Cartlidge, so it’s been great to play the local festivals to get a chance to watch everyone.”

Their most recent festival appearance was at Stockton Calling and there are a lot more to come, with the band booked to play Music Box Festival in Darlington and Evolution Emerging later in the year. The Stockton Calling appearance was an unusual one though as Mark ended up playing drums as well as singing due to them parting ways with their drummer the week before.

“That was a special one off! It’s too much hard work drumming and singing. I heard someone call me the new Phil Collins and I didn’t quite know how to take that, so the sooner we find a new drummer the better!”

With everything back on track with the band’s personnel, The Yada Yada Yadas are pushing on strongly with new single Seven Years, released on 4th May via Silent Kid Records. At its core, it’s a blissful, sugar-sweet, pop anthem but with handfuls of fuzzy, salty grit thrown in to balance the flavour. Then the hard work starts again and there’s a lot for us to look forward to: “We’re heading back into the studio to record some new stuff, which in terms of style is more lyrically surreal. Less grunge, more surfy – but the noise stays. Just a few subtle tweaks.”

The Yada Yada Yadas play Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough on Tuesday 15th May supporting Partner. They also perform at Music Box Festival in Darlington on Sunday 3rd June and at The Cluny for Evolution Emerging on Saturday 9th June.


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