Interview: YJY

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YJY is: Ricky Lorenzo, Tim Fitzpatrick, Dave Sachs, Steve Sachs

We Formed In: January 2014

We’re Based Out Of: Hightstown, NJ

The Story Behind Our Name: The letters in YJY make a face. The J is the nose. See it?

You’ve Seen Us Before in Other Bands: The Timid Roosevelts (Ricky)

New Music Coming Out: Our debut EP, Couch Surfin USA, drops 7/7 on Sniffling Indie Kids.

Our Sound Has Been Likened To: Noisy pop music with guitars.

Photo Credit: Jill Hendershot
Photo Credit: Jill Hendershot

Can you tell us the story of how YJY came together, and why you wanted to play with them and form a band with them?

We got together the first time without any real intention of becoming a band. We were all in between projects and just looking to hang out and have fun playing music. That impulse is still at the heart of what we’re doing now. The fact that we’re still having fun is the reason we like playing together.

I absolutely loved ‘Couch Surfing USA’ – it’s brilliant. Can you talk about your musical influences – I hear so many different bands in that song, but I can’t seem to place my finger on them.

We’re drawing a lot from the music we grew up listening to — guitar pop from mid-90’s to the early 2000’s, stuff that came out when we were first picking up instruments. Sometimes it takes a while to digest those early influences and turn them into something new. In this case it took about 15 years. Slow and steady wins the race. We hope.

You’re releasing your new EP on the label, Sniffling Indie Kids – can you talk about working with these guys, and how they’ve helped in getting the EP out to the masses.

Before we teamed up with them, we were already working together successfully within the band to get things done. The fear in bringing more people in is that it can result in a “too many cooks” scenario, but working with SIK is not like that at all. They’ve been nothing but accommodating from the moment we started working together. We love the other bands on the label and it’s nice to be a part of the SIK family.

Think about the first time you were on stage with YJY — how do you think you’ve evolved since that date, and what’s been the biggest mistake you’ve learned from?

Our first show was at some Elks Lodge in North Jersey. It wasn’t completely disastrous, but it was nothing to write home about. Our biggest mistake that night was the volume. Our dad came to the show and we played so loud that he literally left with vertigo and was sick for two days. Lesson learned.

Since then we’ve gotten a lot tighter and we’ve defined our sound a bit more through the process of writing more songs. We’ve also learned how to play at the appropriate volume. Dad – we’re so sorry. Please come see us again.

What’s been your proudest accomplishment in YJY?

The process of putting out the EP required so much teamwork. Each step of the way required someone to contribute in a way that only they could. We’ve learned how to work together and when to get out of each other’s way in order to make things happen.

What do you love about being in YJY?

We’re really lucky that people have been so receptive to what we’re doing, but there’s no way of knowing how long that might last or if it will lead anywhere. The best thing about being in this band is that right now we’re getting to do what we love with people we love. That includes the people in the band, our friends in other bands, and everyone at our label. Everything else is just a bonus.

There are so many bands performing in the Asbury scene right now – what separates you from everyone else?

That’s a tough question. We try to write songs that are catchy and fun to listen to. We love playing in Asbury and it seems like we’ve been received warmly by the scene. What’s great about Asbury is that there’s still a lot of enthusiasm for rock and roll, and it has more than it’s fair share of great bands.

If someone has never heard YJY before what song would you recommend they check out in order to fully understand what YJY is all about, and why?

The best song to start with is “Couch Surfin USA,” the first single from our upcoming EP. The video is a great introduction to the band. It’s a montage of clips that includes live performances and footage of us doing dumb stuff with people from other bands. If you’ve played with us or come to see us over the past year, there’s a good chance you’re in it.

What are your plans for the rest of the summer? For the rest of 2015?

Our debut EP, Couch Surfin USA, will be available for download and stream on 7/7. We’ll be playing a record release show on 7/11 in New Brunswick at In The West, where limited run cassettes and CDs will be available for the first time.

Like us on Facebook to stay in the loop about upcoming dates – we’ll be playing shows until the end of the year. Once 2016 hits we’ll be taking a hiatus so that we can compete against each other and a growing pool of exceptional candidates in the Republican Presidential Primaries.

Bill Bodkin is the Owner, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He is beyond excited that Pop-Break will be seven years old in 2016 as this site has come a long, long way from the day he launched in it in his bachelor pad at the Jersey Shore. He currently works as a project manager in the telecom world, and is a freelance writer for NJ.com. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

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