music: interview: Tearist
Hey! *It's Yasmine of TEARIST. I feel totally insane. I just woke up from the craziest dream ever. It was hilarious and horrible! I had this dream that we (TEARIST) were billed to play with the Boredoms, and they didn't want to play with us!! I was so upset. Like, seriously, I was devastated. Crushed! So, my dad called them and was like,"Why don't y'all want to play with m'daughter **he's from the south**? She loves y'all! Y'all need ta play with her band or I'm gonna complain!" So, they did! They were like "Ok, Mr. Kittles." But I was so depressed in the dream. Like, really depressed.... I woke up with a tear in my eye! Like a fucking wet eye. No joke. What the fuck.... anyway... kind of rules, though... I would not put it past my dad to do that. He used to try to get me to sing in restaurants- like open mic style, and when I would say "no" he'd be like "Fine. Don't do it. But don't complain to me... when this could've been y'all's "big break." ..."y'all" is, also, me... singular ...anyway....so... it woke me up. But I'm kind of into getting woken up like that. *
Mstation: When and how did you first get together?
Yasmine: *Will made me a vegan milkshake when he worked at this ice scream place. I had my microcassette recorder with me and was like "Sir, the milkshake you made me was delicious. What was your inspiration behind this milkshake?" To which he replied "Well, It was all you. You gave me all the ingredients, and I worked to get it to your liking."... I interviewed everyone and was pretty annoying during that microcassette phase I assume. (It was at a show.)* *Then, we met a year later. * *I sang and danced in front of he and his friend Marcus (both ex-Silver Daggers) like they were my parents watching a show... i think i did "Stand Back" and a kate bush song... like did a full performance.* *The next day he and I went downtown and sat in this weird park and I noticed this rusty train car thing, and I was like "I wish we could just plug in ontop of that thing and play a show."* *It was at this moment - we decided to become a band... I even have the picture of the train car thing.* * *
What are your musical backgrounds?
*Will was self taught. Which to me is key... playing from heart and hearing as opposed to what someone tell you is the only way.* *I was in musical theatre and choirs throughout grade school. Then, my lungs collapsed (actually 3 times) and my voice kind of got deeper... and I had to relearn how to sing.* *Will was in Silver Daggers and various other bands. He is currently in Showgirls and XEZ (which is he on bass, me on vox/guitar and Marcus Savino on Drums).* *I have been in various bands that I felt didn't "represent me"... have done studio stuff- singing on the last Spoon album "Ga ga ga ga ga..." , Trail of Dead, Jeppe (side project of Junior Senior), etc...* *I play instruments... but only how I hear them. * *I am strongly against musical training... as I expressed. It should be innate and honest and personal to how you experience and feel the instrument.*
If you were following (slightly) in the path of anyone, who might they be? In Lo-V particularly, there's an echo of Siouxsie we think.
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*Absolutely no one. Honestly. We have never at any point used the words "Oh. This sounds like___" or "Yeah, we sound like a cross between ___ and ___"... those words seriously give me the grossest feeling in my stomach.* *I never compare us, and the comparisons we have received have never been the same... and I like that. It makes me feel like we're doing something right....* *In addition, I feel like my singing is a direct response to what Will plays and how it hits me emotionally... so, there is no way for me to reference another.... it's just too personal- and coming from a place where i feel "I NEED to sing this way to express this thing."*
Some people are calling you Art-Punk. Would you like to quibble with that?!
Or how about 'exquisite Dark Wave'?? Or maybe better, 'Disco/Noise'?!
* * *Man. "exquisite Dark Wave"? Really? Someone said that? That's great.*
So, we better ask whether you think audience genre-confusion is good or bad .. or irrelevant.
*Ok... so... I think it's pretty great. We don't think in terms of genre... And definitely don't follow the rules of any genre... so why would we want that? We are so many things, as musicians, as people... that I think it's great that people are having to make up genres... It, also, happens that they keep getting more elaborate and funnier and funnier without even realizing it... Like one blog... referred to us as "post-modernist postcards of analogue punk theatre"... which we both were like "yeah!" I We would never want to limit ourselves to a genre... I don't know how we, ourselves, even would... * *I mean, why should I be called "goth" just b/c I'm emotional. I don't even know what the term means anymore...* *What we are doing is about honesty... so, as we evolve as people- the sound evolves with us... who knows where we will go next. * *But bring on the genres! The more, the better... Let us confuse you!*
Yasmine has a really interesting and dynamic stage act - was that developed in any way or do you just get up there and do it?
*I was a figure skater for 12 years and a dancer for the years that followed (jazz, modern, contemporary)...* *Nothing I do on stage is premeditated. My body responds to what Will is doing with beats, and where I am being hit emotionally. Sometimes there is an incredible amount of stillness, b/c the emotion of the song hits me in a way that I can't find movement.* *Everything is done in the moment. * *I, usually, kind of blank out during performances and have no immediate control of what I'm doing, so sometimes I get hurt b/c I don't process that running into a brick wall, for instance, (which I did @ Glasslands in Brooklyn) would severely injure my tailbone for weeks.* * *
Do you think being in L.A. has affected what you do in any way? Or your attitude to what you do?
*For me, it has made me committed to the idea of being fully honest and vulnerable on stage. I want to go to a show and be inspired and moved and forced out of my complacency... b/c that's what affects me...* *I don't fully enjoy shows, lately, b/c I feel a genuine sense of an image that one is trying to convey... I just don't "believe" them... and I hate being lied to- musically.* *This being said... I have, however, been struck by certain local bands such as the band Former Ghosts and We Are the World, lately. Former Ghosts- b/c Freddy Ruppert is completely and brutally honest and open about situations that were very clearly painful for him. It is the most honest and literal one could be- thus making him extremely vulnerable on stage. I have the greatest amount of respect for this band.* *We Are the World put on a mesmerizing live show w/ choreographed dance... in a way that honors dance in the highest form. They create beautiful images with their bodies that empower the music. * *I think LA is wanting to feel. I really believe that. I believe that, majorly, because people that have approached us have most often begun with the words "Thank you."... and talked of the importance of the honesty in relevance to themselves.* * *
What have you got coming up?
*Well, immediately.. this week is busy... TONIGHT- we have a show at the Echo (w/60Watt Kid, Best Coast, Gowns).* *TOMORROW (Wednesday)- The Smell w/ HEALTH, Abe Vogoda, and Man's Assassination Man* *FRIDAY- Weird Records Festival w/ Nite Jewel, Xeno & Oaklander, and Frank Alpine*
* * *On Wednesday at The Smell show- we are being filmed and interviewed for a documentary about disco.*
*We are in the final stages of putting out our 1st EP on PPM.* *And so much!*
*We've been so extremely excited about the response and support we have been getting from everyone... It's been overwhelming and amazing.*
* * *I want people to feel. It's the driving force.*
Thanks a lot.
Tearist can be found on Myspace ... www.myspace.com/teariststst and around Los Angeles.
A podcast is here.
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