O duo estadunidense You Only Live Forever formado por Kevin Morrison e Julie Vo se alimenta de pos punk, indie, eletro e cria em seu ep No Control lançado no início do ano uma avalanche dançante em alta rotação.
Lembrando por vezes Ladytron, Garbage e por consequência o Curve, o You Only Live Forever é um das grandes provas que a música pop pode ser feita de forma brilhante sem se enveredar pela mesmice.
***** Interview with You Only Live Forever *****
Q. When did You Only Live Forever start? Tell us about the history...
Kevin: You Only Live Forever started as a recording project between Julie and me. We had both played in several bands in the bay area, and the band served as means for us to express some of the musical ideas we had at the time. Our first collaboration was the song “Desert Rose”, and once we put that song together we began a period of writing the rest of the No Control EP. After we started the recording process, we decided to start working with other musicians to create a band that could perform live as well.
Julie: Funny story is… Kevin and I met at an audition for his previous band. Though we ended up working in different bands for a period of time, we eventually decided to write our first song together which resulted in “Desert Rose.” After that song, we realized we had created the sound of our first EP.
Q: Who are your influences?
Kevin: During the time we were writing and recording the No Control EP I was listening to a lot of electro/alternative groups like Ladytron, The Naked and Famous, MGMT, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Faint. I was also listening to a lot of 80’s music like New Order and The Cars, which I think you can hear on these songs.
Julie: Prior to forming You Only Live Forever, I was heavily influenced by alternative rock/grunge bands from the 90’ s like The Smiths, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, The Sundays, Radiohead, Nirvana, etc. When I met Kevin, we discovered that we shared similar influences. At that time I was writing a lot of more French folk/dream pop kind of songs. Kevin inspired me to kind of push the boundaries of my musical comfort zone to do something more modern and electro.
Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
Julie: Kevin does not have an album of all time, but these are the top 5 Period Albums of my life. They are all characterized by strong musicianship, colorful lyrics, interesting themes/moods/imagery and a quiet soulfulness.
1. The Smiths “Louder than Bombs”
2. The Cure “Disintegration”
3. Radiohead “The Bends”
4. Kings of Convenience “Quiet is the New Loud”
5. The Beatles, it’s a tie between “Help” and “Rubber Soul”
Q. How do you feel playing live?
Kevin: I think playing live adds something to the experience that a lot of people enjoy. There’s something about being at a live performance where you know that anything can go wrong at any given moment. It’s kind of like sitting at the edge of your seat. There’s also an experience you get from hearing the music live that is quite different than listening to the record. It’s interesting to hear how the songs translate into a live setting.
Q. How do you describe You Only Live Forever’s sound?
Julie: Throughout the whole writing/recording process, it was really important to us to create music that was not only upbeat and pleasing to listen to, but also artistic with a sense of depth and a soulful quality to it.
Kevin: On our first record we utilized a lot of heavy guitars and bass. I was trying to create a sound that captured the excitement of heavier rock bands along with electronic elements, and a listenable quality that retained some emotion and memorable parts. On the new songs we’ve been writing, I wanted to bring out more bright and clean sounds like the classic piano and clean guitar, while the other new songs have a more dreamy electronic sound. It will be interesting to see how they all come together on our next record.
Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs?
Kevin: The recording process is our favorite part. Julie and I usually start by recording a couple of demo versions of the songs at home, and once we’re happy with it we take it to the studio.
Julie: Initially, we went through a few different recording studios but were never happy with the sound. It wasn’t until BZ Lewis got involved with the project that our sound began to emerge. BZ is a six time Emmy Award winning engineer. He mixed most of the No Control EP.
Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
Julie: There are a few local San Jose bands that we appreciate: The Trims, Silent Pictures and Claire on a Dare.
Q: Which band would you love to make a cover version of?
Kevin: For our live set we’ve covered “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In the future I’d like to possibly cover a song that will highlight some of our male/female dynamic.
Julie: I think it would be interesting to cover something quiet or acoustic and introduce an electronic sound to it. We might try covering a Beatles song and play on the vocal harmonies or maybe something with dark and pretty elements from the Cure.
Q: What´s the plans for future....
Kevin: For our next recording I’d like for us to explore some new territory. I want us to continue to grow as artists. I think the No Control EP came out pretty heavy, so we’ve been experimenting with different sounds and more electronic elements on the new songs. I think our next recording will show a shift as we continue to develop.
Julie: We are looking forward to finishing our next release, and our hope is to be invited to play at Live 105 BFD. We are also planning to create our first music video later this year. Stay tuned!
Q: Any parting words?
Julie: This has been a rewarding year for us. We released our first EP, played our first open air festival and gained a lot of support as a band. Our ultimate goal is to continue to create music that will resonate with people and stay with them long after. We hope you enjoy our music. Thanks for listening.