Melt Festival this year was a blast and indieBerlin was happy to be there! In between bunches of great music and trying to stay out of the serious sun, we managed to sit down with a few of our favourite artists, and this is the first in our short series of Melt! interviews – Yellow Days needs no introduction – here’s the chat we had with him.
indieBerlin: Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get here?
Yellow Days: I got here through making music that I love to make and to create a sound that I felt I wanted to hear, to create a musical landscape that I felt was not there. You can say I got here through practice and work, I mean, you cant be a musician overnight, it takes years of working on it.
A bit rosy-eyed, but maybe more sinister.
Yellow Days: Since I was 15, but that was just for myself. I started releasing music on Souncloud when I was 16, I put like 2 songs or something on and then I did my EP. So I knew I was Yellow Days before everyone else did. I’m that privileged.
indieBerlin: But where does the name come from? Does it have a special meaning?
Yellow Days: For me, it is about youth and teenage years, that part of your life where you grow into an adult. It is about confusing and emotional times. I choose to write about things that are hard to deal with. The project Yellow Days is all about those days where everything is so tough and hard to deal with, when it wasn’t, really, in reflection. A bit rosy-eyed, but maybe more sinister.
indieBerlin: Since your music is so lyric-based, what is your writing process like? Do you start with the lyrics or with the melody?
Yellow Days: I tend to play an instrument, guitar or piano and I’ll just start playing. I feel like the way music works, you create it from your subconscious and you find out after playing what you are really feeling inside. So basically, I play for a while until I find something I like, related to a feeling and that comes because music is a subconscious thing before becoming conscious. They come from the inner corridors of your mind.
indieBerlin: Do you mostly write alone ?
Yellow Days: I usually do, 90 % of my music I write myself, and a few songs I wrote with other people, which I love doing. I love writing with my band the most because obviously we play together, so we have that musical and spiritual bond, it is an enchanting feeling… life… music… you know.
….you can feel the meaning from the playing.
indieBerlin: What would you say your main influences are?
Yellow Days: I’m very purist about everything and if I think something is a load of shit, I will say it and I won’t listen to it again. I listen to music that I think is real.
indieBerlin: So what do you think is shit ?
Yellow Days: Haaaaa, I won’t say anything here! But I listen to stuff I think is real. I love is blues music because it is always real, not some commercial rubbish. When it comes to instrumental music, I love Mac DeMarco’s instrumental albums in terms of sonics and effects and chords. A lot of instrumental art so it’s hard to apply a direct meaning to but you can feel the meaning from the playing.
indieBerlin: You definitely play with arrangements, incorporating discordant chords and making the melody almost uncomfortable. Do you intentionally play with the line of what’s harmonious and what’s not?
Yellow Days: Definitely, I think challenging people with music is important. I think that if it is easy then it’s not listening, it’s only hearing it. You have to create something for someone to listen to. The question I want people to ask themselves is “What am I actually listening to?” and that’s how you’re making a splash, it’s by challenging people. That’s what everybody is trying to do. Of course sometimes people try too hard. But I just love warble sound, I love weird shit, that lo-fi sound, I love it.
indieBerlin: So what’s coming up next for you?
Yellow Days: Working on my next album. It should be end of this year of next year, I’m still very unsure, because there is still a lot of work to do. I’ve been scratching the surface and it’s gonna take a long time but I am looking forward to it.
Be an individual, because fuck being the crowd, you know?
indieBerlin: Where do you record?
Yellow Days: All over London, really, I work with my producer Tom Henry and we work really closely since the beginning. I produce a lot of my own stuff and I bring him all my songs and then we work together. I cant wait to write more.
indieBerlin: What does indie means to you?
Yellow Days: I guess it means individual, standing out, individuality. As a genre, it’s been over-done, I think. But maybe slightly unprogressive, in the long term. Be an individual, because fuck being the crowd, you know?
Yellow Days: Vels Trio, absolutely brilliant.
Check out their EP- Yellow Ochre