Wild Yawp | The Family Interviews
Meet Wild Yawp
A pop-punk project evocative of that Riot Grrrl ‘90s mood, Wild Yawp is raucous, riotous, and rad. On their site, these lovely noise makers offer an excellent definition of their name (and ethos, tbh) for those unaware:
WILD (ADJ): UNCONTROLLED OR UNRESTRAINED, ESPECIALLY IN PURSUIT OF PLEASURE.
YAWP (N): A RAUCOUS NOISE; A CRY; A SHOUT
Get it? Got it? Good!
These folks are on a mission, have a solid backbone, and a well-founded fear of microwaves. Fresh from their release, If They Come For Me, we discuss the NYC scene, the evils of streaming, and more.
Read on, young grasshoppers. Take your vitamins. Brush your teeth. Go on your way.
History of a Famous Invention: A Mad Lib By Wild Yawp
The first electric PICKLE was invented in 1904 by a STANKY young thing named AMELIA EARHART. He and her brother AILEEN WOURNOS ran a small LISA FRANK NOTEBOOK repair shop, and in their spare time they studied SNEAKERS. When they started work on their invention, everyone said, "BLOOP!! You'll never get it off the TATER TOT." But they built a WARPED model out of old CHILDREN. and a used a DENTAL DAM. The model worked fine, and in ten minutes it toasted 24 slices of BEANS. It also used of up two gallons of SLIME an hour, and the top converted into a TOP HAT. They sold the patent to a CONCOMITANT millionaire for 8 dollars and lived QUEERLY ever after.
Would You Rather…
be transported permanently 500 years into the future or 500 years into the past? What would you do?
I would usually say the future, because traveling back to the past as a queer woman seems ill-advised. However, I'm no longer sure that the earth will exist in 500 years, so humans will probably just be living on a series of floating space stations, which I guess would be cool to see. I would probably just blow everyone's mind with mundane tales of life on earth. Yes, we one time banned straws thinking that would somehow get us out of this mess!
Some Questions with Wild Yawp
Do you believe the NYC music scene fosters community or competition?
I think unfortunately the NYC music scene is just too enormous to truly foster anything. When you have 500 different concerts to choose from in one night, there's no way anyone is going to be able to call that a community, and there's also way too many people involved for that to be considered competitive. But you find your people, it just takes time. And NYC certainly doesn't make it easy.
What was the headspace space you were in while writing your 2019 album If They Come For Me?
We got together in 2016, right before The Election. So all these songs come from a deep disappointment in the state of our country. I was (and still am) so angry.
Mostly angry at old white men for continuing to think power is zero sum, that if goddess forbid someone else should have a voice for once, then that would mean that they would automatically lose theirs. Angry at people my age who are complicit, and or complacent. Angry at myself, for not doing more to change the deep systems of oppression that exist in every layer of the world. Angry at the broken mess of this country, that even though the majority of people did not vote for that white supremacist monster who shall remain nameless, he somehow still became president. Angry that I am a queer woman who is forced to live in what bell hooks describes as our "imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy."
It's bullshit and I'm so over it. I'm also over cell phones. I think instagram is slowly killing us all, and I mean that genuinely, that is not an exaggeration.
What is the most dangerous thing to microwave? Why?
I didn't grow up with a microwave, and I still don't own one, and I'm embarrassed to admit that they honestly scare me so much that I've probably used a microwave like 10? times total in my life and every time it feels super dangerous.
Did you all start this project with a specific sound in mind, or did it develop over time collaborating together?
I was in a country band for a bunch of years, and we broke up in 2015. I was trying to figure out what to do next with my music, and I read three rock and roll memoirs in a row, by Viv Albertine, Kim Gordon, and then Carrie Brownstein. I was just like, I have to start a rock and roll band.
What are your thoughts on streaming platforms? Have they helped or hindered the industry?
Don't get me started on the streaming industry. I think it's horrifying and I could go on for literal hours about it. One very popular streaming platform pays us $0.004 per stream. That's not even a penny per stream, is it is actually less than half a penny per stream. And this particular company I'm talking about has a looooooot of fucking money, and it's all made on the backs of musicians, and we don't see any of it.
None of us - not even the big names are getting paid fairly on these platforms. I honestly think it's criminal. When I tell my friends what we get paid per stream they're shocked. That being said I'm sure it wasn't any better during the heyday of mainstream radio. I think it's always been pretty broken and the problem lies in capitalism. Capitalism doesn't value art or artists, so you can never expect to make money selling music. That's why artists and musicians have to become brands, and start selling other things to make money. It's pretty depressing.
You don't choose to make music for the money, I'll say that!
If the price was no option what would be the perfect bagel?
Egg cheese and pesto on a toasted everything. Always delicious, always affordable.
What is the most memorable thing to have happened to you on the NYC subway system?
There are so many stories, it's hard to choose the best or most memorable one. The other day, on the uptown 2, a man just straight up lit a cigarette and started casually smoking it. Nobody stopped him. I was personally kind of into it. It brought me back to when I was in college and you could still smoke in bars. Also, I feel like he just didn't give a single fuck and I always admire that.
Could you write us a Haiku?
I would but I'm never sure /what the exact count/ of syllables ever is
Where do you normally go after a show, to a party or home to sleep?
We usually close down the bar! I cannot sleep right after shows - I'm way too amped.
Which one of you is the most organized? Most forgetful? Most hungry?
I'm the most organized. Sid is the most forgetful (one time she literally forgot to bring her bass on tour). All of us are hungry all the time.
Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)