Thursday, January 26, 2012

Way Way Way Yes

I recently came across an amazing up-and-coming band from my old stomping grounds of Columbus, Ohio. Way Yes is anything but traditional, blending a world of influences to create a unique tropical ambiance, capable of making even the most discerning toe tap for days. I was lucky enough to speak to them about music and chicken fingers on the verge of their Second Anniversary.
Way Yes
EDAS: Congratulations on your Two-Year anniversary as a band. How did Way Yes start and how has the group evolved over its lifetime?
Way Yes: Thanks! Time flies. You could say Way Yes started in Drivers Ed. That's where Glenn and I (Travis) met. We bonded over a shared interest in white Chevrolets and Radiohead and have been playing/writing together ever since. In the months leading up to us forming, Glenn and I had been listening to as much African music as we could get our hands on (which, thanks to the Internet, is a ton). We fell in love with the guitar work found in the Soukous music of the 1960's and decided to try and imitate that style in our song writing. The result was the Herringbone EP, a feel-good collection of songs that people could relate to.

After the Herringbone EP ran its course, we became obsessed with Brazilian music. We fell in love with the artists of the Tropic├ília movement of the late 1960's. Artists such as Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, and especially Os Mutantes became big influences on us pretty immediately. So all of that led up to us recording the Walkability EP. Whereas  Herringbone's main influence was in the guitars, Walkability's was in the rhythm and percussion. Also, the lyrical themes were a little darker than on Herringbone. We played the  Walkability songs for a while as a two piece. But the craving for a more full live sound led us to recruit multi-instrumentalist Max Lewis, who engineered both the Walkability and Herringbone EPs. He was so familiar with the material that it was the most logical step to take. After playing with Max for a little while he became a full-fledged member.

Way Yes - Walkability/Ties

Our next release was the Oranjudio 7" (named after the Columbus studio). Leading up to that recording we had been joined by auxiliary percussionist Tim "Timless" Horak. With Oranjudio we really just wanted to get studio recordings of the two songs "Automail" and "Tia". They fit so well together but we had already moved on stylistically to new territory and knew that they wouldn't make sense with the new material. Shortly after that we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to join Lefse Records. Now we're finishing up writing for our first full length and heading in to the studio at the end of February! So there you go... Way Yes: Unabridged, Unauthorized, and Undressed.

EDAS: Well my dog is named Tia, so I automatically love her new theme song, which can be found both on iTunes and on Spotify. Moving on, I am a former Son of Columbus and therefore lifetime Buckeye. I loved it, but it is certainly no tropical paradise. How does C-Bus, factor into your Afro-Brazili-ribbean influenced sounds?
Way Yes: The Columbus weather scene actually does have an influence on our songwriting believe it or not, but not as much as the music scene. There’s so much going on right now and we're really excited to be a part of it. On "Singing" from Walkability we got the chance to collaborate with Sam and Yoni from Maza Blaska which made that song what it is. We hope to do a lot more of that in the future. But we just want our music to make people feel good whether they're from Columbus or an actual tropical paradise such as Myrtle Beach or Virginia Beach.
Way Yes - Singing

EDAS: Wow, I hardly think Myrtle and Virginia Beach can be considered tropical. Sounds like you guys need a band trip to Jamaica or maybe Belize. In the meantime, what are your favorite places to go in Columbus?
Way Yes: We love going to and playing at Kobo and Carabar, both are great venues and bars. As far as food, you've got to get back here and have Ray Ray's if you haven't already. It's a food truck on N. High St. with the best BBQ. That's all I can think of right now. The other guys get out a lot more than I do. If I had answered honestly I probably would have said my basement and

EDAS: My favorite spot overall was definitely Roots Records on High Street. That was an amazing reggae oasis. I also used to live above the building that housed Johnny-Go's records, where I actually started collecting Vinyl, and Raising Cane's a restaurant that only sold chicken fingers, I used to eat there at least twice a week. Can you believe that they really only sell   Chicken Fingers?
Way Yes:  Raising Cane's  is a Way Yes tradition. Once a week after practice. Clockwork. Current combo of choice: The 3 Finger.

EDAS: You guys would be a HIT in NYC, any chance of a tour in the future?
Way Yes: Thanks and definitely! We have plans to head your way towards the end of April actually. We're hoping to do a larger tour once the record is finished. But in the meantime we're just doing little jaunts here and there, including a big second anniversary show this weekend at Carabar!

EDAS: Well I am already waiting for my tickets. What stops would you be excited to make on Tour?
Way Yes: Really excited to play NYC. Wouldn't mind hitting Portland, OR along with the whole west coast too. I've never been. I'm excited for the chance to go anywhere though. Being on the road is a lot of fun.

EDAS: I'm sure it is. In today's volatile musical climate, what do you think is more important, making records or touring?
Way Yes: It is volatile, isn't it?! I think making records is more important. Records are one of the great art forms in my opinion. Also, the records are what you get to leave behind as tangible proof that you existed. And with the wonders of the InterWeb and Time Capsules there's a good chance they'll always exist in one form or another. I know records aren't as profitable as they used to be, but they're at least being listened to by more people than ever. But with that being said, you gotta tour!

EDAS: I totally agree... Records are timeless. Every time I throw one on, I am transported into a  vacuum where the songs are able to just permeate every fiber of my soul.  Studies are even coming out confirming that music is being consumed at higher rates than ever. What is your favorite part about making music?
Way Yes: For me that would have to be the actual process of recording. Writing and recording are two things I don't think I could live without.

EDAS: What can we expect from Way Yes over the next two years?
Way Yes: You'll definitely be seeing a full length album within the next year. A proper tour. Battle of the bands? Raising Canes sponsorship? Sky is the limit.

Wow. Thanks so much to Glenn and Travis of Way Yes for taking the time to answer my questions and for making such amazing music. Check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@Way_Yes). If you are in the Greater Columbus Area, help celebrate Way Yes's Second Anniversary this Saturday Night in at Carabar. Click the poster below for more info.
Click above to RSVP
Finally, here is the song that first introduced me to this amazing band that I'm sure you'll be hearing loads about in the very near future. Check out "Important" and stay tuned for more updates from Way Yes, and more conversations with up-and-coming bands at Every Day, Another Song.

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