‘Fall‘, The Yacht Club’s third release, is out tomorrow (Friday 25th November) so I thought it was fitting to talk to Marcus, who I refer to as the mother of the band (since TYC is his baby). Marcus is truly passionate about his music and the band, so read on to hear all about the mind behind the EP.
“TYC will exist in some capacity as long as there’s breath in my lungs.”
How would you describe The Yacht Club to anyone who hasn’t heard them before?
TYC is a pretty eclectic mix of genres, but we’re predominantly a guitar based indie band. People have labeled us Math Rock and Emo before, and whilst we take influences from these places, we don’t really fit in anywhere! I think Indie Rock covers most bases without stepping on too many toes.
Who are your influences and have they changed with each release?
TYC has always been my little baby, so I’ve been fortunate enough to write and create what I want, and display what I’m in to at the time. “A” was very much written to replace the hole a band called Pennines left in the Math Rock scene. I totally adored those guys and had just discovered who American Football and TTNG [This Town Needs Guns] were and how to play in the finger style tappy tap stuff. I think that’s quite apparent on the EP too; there’s a sense of juvenile naivety that’s quite infectious. I was quite keen not to fall into the trappings of other bands and really focused on writing songs rather than showing off technically.
The self-titled record was a real miss-mash of influences. I listened to loads of Invalids, TTNG, Uchu Conbini, and Enemies. Pete Davis (of Invalids) even featured on ‘Talk’, the last track. It was all about trying to establish our name in the Math Rock community. In hindsight the EP felt very forced but we had fun and it sounds like an absolute whirlwind, which it was!
‘Fall’ is perhaps the truest sounding to my overall influences and what I would choose to listen to on a daily basis. I returned to my roots and was listening to loads of bands I used to when I was learning to play guitarArtists like City and Colour and Bon Iver played huge roles in influencing the sound of this record. We played around with a lot of reverb after listening to lots of Ben Howard, so it is a very different beast.
Why is fall so different to your previous releases?
‘Fall’ almost never happened. As a band we were kind of at a crossroads and didn’t exactly know where we were headed, or how we were going to get there. So I did exactly what I did with ‘A’: I wrote those 4 songs in a very short window of time and then went to record it with our longtime producer Thomas Hill soon after. Because the songs didn’t ‘ferment’ or have time to simmer for a while, the lyrics are super direct and it’s definitely an emotional upheaval!
I wrote all these songs by first singing a vocal melody and lyrics into my phone, then working out how to play them on guitar afterward, which is something I have never done with TYC before. I think this worked in favour for the songs, and it’s something I’ve been doing more and more recently for TYC material.
With ‘Fall’, it was all about the emotion of the songs, the message and how to convey that in a direct way without having to hide behind a flurry of notes. It was meant to be ‘this is HOW we can play’ rather than ‘this is WHAT we can play’. Not that we aren’t fans of that; there are definite ‘twinkle’ moments. But as a writer, I feel there is so much more to me than playing ‘Math Rock’, so it’s nice to be able flex a different muscle. I know some people will be disappointed but the reception we’ve had has been quite warm so far! We’ve had a lot of comparisons to ‘Owen’, which I think is only natural after the ‘American Football’ ones we have previously gotten. But hey, that’s ok!
What is next for you and TYC?
We’re currently writing our next release and it looks like it’s going to be a full length once we’ve finished. I had 30 demos sitting on my laptop, which was then cut down to 18. We’re still settling into our new line up and still working out how things are going to work but it’s been pretty fun writing 3 guitar parts! Sonically it is once again a different beast to anything we’ve done before. However, I’d say it’s a huge representative of everything I listen to and excited to see how this develops overall. We also have a February tour being booked with our good friends in ‘You Break, You Buy” so that should be super fun! It’s a bit of an open road for us at the moment; after ‘Fall’ I think we’ve managed to set ourselves up in such a way that we can literally go anywhere now.
What are some of your goals for TYC?
We’ve got a few things we’re talking about doing, including some acoustic sessions and things like that. It’s just pretty difficult to get the 5 of us in one room together. Ultimately I would love TYC to be a band that someone would listen to, to help them through a difficult time, or inspire them to write and create. If it becomes a band that earns money to sustain itself that would be perfect but realistically, we know it wont be the case. TYC will exist in some capacity as long as there’s breath in my lungs.
What is the best gig you’ve ever played?
We played an amazing show in Guildford called ‘DengFest’ which was an absolute delight to be a part of. We had people dancing and throwing shapes which was a first for us! Mark who ran it is a fantastic human being and we met some great people in Space Blood and itoldyouiwouldeatyou too.
Artwork by Lee Delves. Fall – 25/11/2016