This February Yuck gave us Stranger Things, their third and arguably most personal album yet. We caught up with guitarist Max Bloom on their US tour last month to ask them a few questions about the album and touring.
Starting 2016 with the release of a new album must be really exciting. What do you think this year has in store for you?
Probably just focusing on touring. We’re just coming to the end of a really long American tour, and then we have some UK dates when we get back. There will probably be some more tours before the end of the year too.
Many saw Daniel’s departure in 2013 as a huge blow to the band, but Stranger Things is living proof that you’ve made the most of it. What can you tell us about your recording process? How was it different to Glow & Behold in particular?
It was quite nice to not be in a studio and just be in an environment that we’re all comfortable in. Glow & Behold was definitely a studio album, in the sense that we kind of ‘let loose’ with our ideas and didn’t really think that much about how we would translate the recorded versions to the stage. But with this album, I think we wanted to keep the recording as simplistic as possible and not get too carried away with overdubs, which also makes things more simple when it comes to playing live.
What were some of your influences for Stranger Things?
I was listening to a bunch of different things. I remember listening to Tusk by Fleetwood Mac, and also bands like Mission Of Burma, The Thermals, Shellac and Fugazi.
The album was announced at the beginning of the year, but you’ve said that you’ve been working on it for several months. Would you say recording at your own pace helped you construct a more personal sound?
Recording over several months wasn’t necessarily a conscious choice we made, that’s just what happens when you have band members living all over the world! It did give us the space to write a lot of songs though and take our time with things.
When listening to the album, the title track’s “I hate myself” chorus struck me the most. What are some of the themes you deal with lyrically? To what extent would you say they relate to your personal experiences?
The lyrics are very strongly connected to things I’ve been going through over the past few years. I don’t really write lyrics about stories or fictional characters, I can only really write about things that affect me or the people around me.
Is there a story behind the title?
It isn’t necessarily related to the subject matter of the song “Stranger Things”, but I thought it would be an appropriate name for the album. The word ‘strange’ in particular seems to resonate a lot with me when I look back on the last few years.
You recently had your album launch in London. Are you excited to be presenting your album to American fans?
It’s been great coming back to America. It’s been really unexpected seeing the amount of new fans coming to our shows, people who have only just discovered us on this record.
Do you find UK crowds different to the ones in the US?
It totally depends on where you are. The general consensus is that UK & European audiences are a little bit more reserved compared to American ones, there are always going to be exceptions to the rule. It also depends on what day of the week it is! People are obviously going to be in a better mood on Friday/Saturday. UK and US crowds are both great to play in front of in their own ways!