Talking with Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs


Drummers, those guys sitting in the back of the stage behind a wall of cymbals and amplifiers, often complain about being overlooked, and they usually have a point. Add an extravagant lead singer with a penchant for causing havoc on stage into the mix, and you’re likely to feel downright invisible.

But that doesn’t bother Brian Chase, drummer for the Amazon.)

Interview, Gold Lion music video and free download after the jump.

CH: Is it ever a pain to be in a band with a personality as big as Karen’s?

BC: (Laughs) Well, she’s a remarkable personality and I support everything she does 100 percent. It’s a real pleasure and an honor to be working with her. But there are times when people focus more on the superficial aspects of her performance, and that can be distracting.

CH: Why do you think people connect with the band?

BC: Our fans come up to us and say, “That was a really great show. I drove four hours from San Antonio to Houston and I’m really glad I made the trip. Now, can you give me some gas money?”

CH: At which point you pull out the company check book

BC: Oh totally. “Should I make this out to cash?”

CH: What are some misconceptions people have about the band?

BC: How we’ve been represented in the media has always been a sore spot for me. With bloggers out there writing about our shows creates an infinite stream of conflicting opinions about us. Hopefully that just cancels each other down. But it doesn’t matter in the end.

CH: I’m surprised to hear you say that. I’ve read almost nothing negative about the band in the press.

BC: I’ll rephrase that. Maybe it’s more the way that I’ve seen us portrayed in the media conflicts with how we see ourselves. You just have to take it in stride and not believe everything.

CH: Well, one rumor I heard was that you had to scrap the album half way through and start over?

BC: No, the first full attempt at making the record was kept, but the recording of the album had its ups and downs. We isolated ourselves in the studio and wrote the record on and off over the course of several months. At times we were losing focus and weren’t sure what to add or take away, but those moments when it all came together were magic.

CH: As it grows in popularity, is it inevitable that the band will become less of a unit. Like you might get more involved in your side projects, Karen might start acting…

BC: (Laughs) It’s not inevitable, but talk to me two years from now and maybe I’ll be completely cynical. For now I’m going to remain optimistic. As far as side projects go, it’s important for us to do other things to stay healthy musically. If we’re driven apart it will be because of other issues.

CH: Do you look forward to long tours like the one you are about to begin or is it just a pain in the ass?

BC: When it comes down to it it’s great to play music every night to an enthusiastic audience. The schedule can wear you down pretty quickly, but we’re pretty motivated to get on stage every night.

Download a copy of the single Gold Lion here.