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Interviewed by
Courtney Sanders
Monday 12th December, 2011 8:57AM

Yuck released their debut album earlier this year on Fat Possum and have been touring ever since. UTR caught up with ex Cajun Dance Partier Daniel Blumberg to chat about the year that was.

Hey Daniel, how you doing?

It's 8am over here at the moment, so I'm pretty tired.

You’re in the UK at the moment right?

Yeah we’re just doing our UK tour to finish off the year.

How’s it going? Because you were in the States for quite a lot of this year right?

Well we’ve toured since January mainly in the States but we’ve also done some tours of Europe and this is the second tour around England.

Has it been an exhausting year? How has it been touring for an entire year non-stop?


I think it’s been mixed. It’s been really great to be able to tour and play with great bands and get our music out there but yeah, obviously then we haven’t been able to record or really do anything else so it’s a mixed thing.

Have you had any sort of highlights over the year?

Um, we toured with Unknown Mortal Orchestra and that was exciting. They’re from New Zealand.

Yeah, are you familiar with their older band The Mint Chicks?

No, but I heard that they’re this cult band. Well I heard that outside NZ they’re a cult band but maybe in NZ they’re massive. We wanted to watch old Ruban and so we YouTubed them and it was real funny.

You guys were on the Unknown Mortal Orchestra for quite a while, right?

Oh yeah that was one of the four American tours we’ve done. Another one was with Tame Impala which was really great.

You released your debut album as Yuck earlier this year. Tell me a little bit about writing and recording the album.

The band started because Max (Bloom) and I started writing together. We’d been friends for ages, like 13 years or something - since we were little - so it was quite exciting to start writing with your best friend. So we would just write and record, and at the time I was working at a book shop and then I’d just go around to Max's and record. We weren’t really talking about what we were doing too much; we weren’t over thinking things. We were just making random songs the whole time. We were recording it in this bedroom on this eight track and then when we got the band together to play live Fat Possum wanted us to put an album out so we re-recorded some of the songs.

You mentioned that when you started writing it was pretty random. It came together into a particular sound – how would you describe the Yuck vibe? Is there anything you would reference as an influence?

It’s difficult because it still feels new, it feels like a new band. It's easier to talk about stuff we’re doing right now rather than the album - that's a difficult question.

Are you working on other stuff at the moment?

Well we’ve just been touring the whole year but in a different way yeah we are.

It must be quite weird being a new band and getting catapulted into year-long tours. Are you still getting your head around what’s happened?

Um, hold on I just got kicked out of the meeting and it’s too cold to stand outside - oh found a corridor...I think we decided to tour because from the start in terms of the live thing we’d been given lots of great opportunities. Our first tour was with Times New Viking who are a very inspiring band at the time we started so those gigs were exciting. We decided to tour it to the maximum because I don’t think we were that comfortable throwing our band in people's faces so touring makes sense because we’re a live band.

Do you find the media hype around the band weird?

Yeah it is totally strange. You write a few songs and suddenly you have to get your photo taken all the time. Obviously we’ve been given great opportunities at the same time so it’s a mixed thing. We’re serious about songwriting, and just want to focus on that.

So you want to be taken seriously rather than put into a one-hit wonder band?

Well I guess we don’t have much control over those things. It’s not like a passion of mine, music media.

You’ve been in projects before this. How is this different to your earlier stuff?

Uh, well, I did two albums before this album and one album after this album and they’ve all been very different albums. Yuck is me writing songs with Max and so that’s what the songs reflect and then obviously it's me, Max, Johnny and Mariko playing music together so that’s very different to the other projects and albums.

So are you not necessarily go into writing music with a particular sound in mind, is it more gauging the moment and going from there?

Yeah I think naturally we just choose what’s good and what we don’t really like.

Are you looking forward to working on new stuff?

Yeah I’m looking forward to recording new songs.

When does the tour finish?

The end of it is December this year, in 13 days. This UK tour is the end of touring the album and then we’re doing a few things next year. We won’t be doing too much. I don’t know what we’ll be playing at Laneway Festival but it’s very exciting to go to that part of the world.

Have you been here before?

Yeah I’ve got some family in Australia - my Grandpa lived there for a few years at the end of his life. I guess I’ve got family friends in New Zealand too, but I've never been there.

Cool, well we look forward to seeing you down here, thanks for taking the time to have a chat.

Yeah I’m not sure. They were like do you want to do it at 8am or midnight and I'm sorry I'm thinking I should have chosen midnight.

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