This Friday is Teenage Takeover 3, featuring local rock bands The Nox Boys, Chase the Monkey, and Pachyderm. The Yetis headline the event. Hailing from Allentown, PA (the city, not Mt. Washington), the band is made up of Christian (lead guitar), Nick (rhythm/vocals), Patrick (drums), and Freddy (bass), four guys situated between high school and college. Their classic surf-rock sound gained the attention of LA's Lolipop Records, who released the band's demos on cassette. We spoke with Nick about the band's new LP, their love for California, and what it's like to party in Allentown.
PMR: First of all, you are performing at "Teenage Takeover." How old are you guys? Can fans buy you a beer after the show?
Yetis: Yeah! We're really excited to play in Pittsburgh for the first time. I, Nick (bass guitar/vocals), am 20 years old, Patrick (drums) is 17 and Christian (lead guitar/vocals) is 22. Fans can buy us a beer after the show but Patrick and I just can't drink it at the bar! [ed. note, PMR does not condone underage drinking. Buy us beer instead.]
PMR: You've obviously got a west coast, surf-rock kind of vibe going. Is that just the type of music you guys grew up with?
Yetis: We definitely grew up with The Ventures and The Beach Boys but I think we got into the west coast, surf-rock sound when we were older. It was something that was just funny and exotic to us. We never tried to be a full-on surf-rock band, we just wrote a couple surf/beach songs for fun.
PMR: Who are some of your favorite bands, both new and old.
Yetis: We love Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala, The Sonics, The Beatles, Serge Gainsbourg and Chuck Berry! We really love rock 'n' roll mainly -- some new favorite bands that are around our age are Hidden Charms, Iceage, The Parrots and Twin Peaks.
PMR: I dig that line at the end of "Little Surfer Girl," where it goes "surfing's not the same out in the snow." How long do you plan to stick around in Allentown? Is it inevitable you end up in Cali?
Yetis: Thanks! That line came up because we wrote "Little Surfer Girl" in the dead of winter when it was really snowy. Our practice space has no heating so we were freezing in pea coats and scarves and everything. We like the snow but at the moment of inspiration it was kind of a drag! We want to move out of Allentown as fast as possible -- California is definitely in the cards!
PMR: Do you have a date yet for your debut LP?
Yetis: We are currently demoing songs right now. Hopefully new stuff will come out pretty soon!
PMR: How'd you get hooked up with Lolipop Records, who are way out in LA?
Yetis: We e-mailed them our demos and Wyatt was touring the East Coast at the time. They listened to the demos in the van and told us they wanted to put them out right away. Lolipop has been so great for us, we got a lot of new fans in LA and it's been so cool to see our demo tape part of so many Lolipop cassette collections.
PMR: What do you do for fun in Allentown? Is it pretty much the same as the "Little Surfer Girl" video? What's the music scene like?
Yetis: It's totally like the music video, but the most fun thing for us to do in Allentown is to play music. Patrick, Christian and I get together every morning and we work on songs, go swimming, renovate our practice space and pack up for shows. We play three-hour sets at bars and restaurants in Allentown every week but we drive to New York and Philly to play "real" shows. The cool thing about Allentown is that it's really close to those cities. But speaking of music scenes, we were just in Chicago and we were blown away by the camaraderie and sheer amount of great bands they have there...lots of young, talented garage rock bands supporting each other and playing together. We played with Modern Vices and Liqs. Along with letting us sleep at their house, Alex from Modern Vices invited us to a party at The Orwells' house where they had a band called The Symposium play and all the kids watching the band were freaking out and knew all the lyrics. It was such a great time.
Teenage Takeover takes place this Saturday, August 1, at The Shop in Bloomfield. Tickets are just $5 and available at the door.
We are very pleased to announce that we are giving away a copy of this fabulous Teenage Takeover poster, designed by Joe Mruk, and signed by the bands and Mruk himself. To enter, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be announced at the show on Saturday.
-- Brian Conway