Pretty good. Reeeaally busy, but I’m having a ton of fun.
Can you talk to us more about your track “World Wings”?
“World Wings” is kind of a song about realizing the responsibility of being an artist. It was the process of me realizing for the first time that people were listening to my words learning them, and repeating them. It kind of shook me. I realized I had to bring something of value to the table. If I was going to have the kind of huge platform that writing pop songs gives you, I had to be offering my most sincere insights and my most meaningful experiences to the listeners.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
It was kind of a process, for sure. I do remember the first time someone tweeted out some of my lyrics — just as if they were tweeting a quote, but it was from one of my songs — and I was like, “Woah, that’s happening?! People are listening that closely?!” I’m really trying to offer substantive meaning in these songs, not just so people can quote them, but so that I fully employ the beautiful system that is pop music; if I’m going to reach millions (as I plan to do), the message had better be a valuable one… otherwise, what is the whole system worth.
How was the music video experience?
It was a blast. My best friend Kenny Polyak and I started in San Francisco. We filmed at the beaches near Marin and shocked our bods with ice cold Pacific water, Then, we drove north to Tahoe and went snowboarding. While standing on the summit, we decided the desert looked great, so we went there next. There we found some natural hot springs, and then went back just north of San Francisco to grab some time in the Redwoods. What could be better.
The single comes off your new EP Goodpain – why are you naming the EP after this track in particular?
I think it’s an idea that holds all the other ideas from the EP within it. “Goodpain” as a concept is really very broad, and the other songs kind of deal with aspects of this one.
What’s the story behind the title?
“Goodpain” is the idea that one must go through periods of difficulty or struggle in order to get to the good part of anything – be it a relationship, job, life, or a sport.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing was sporadic and scattered. I wrote all on banjo and vocals, and then would start with drums in the studio. My producer Ariel Loh and I mostly recorded in a studio in rural Connecticut, and the woods did us good. We stranded ourselves out there for a couple of days at a time. We would immerse ourselves in these songs, sleep in the studio, and then get up, eat, take naps, and keep working, all in this converted barn out there in Connecticut. It’s fantastic.
Would you call this a departure from your previous work or a somewhat follow up?
It’s both. There are definitive aspects of Yoke Lore that will never change. I will always gravitate towards heavy layered vocals and melodically driven songs with lots of drums. But in other ways, yeah, this collection of songs I think gets a little lighter in moments where the last one remained darker. I think I was a little happier when I wrote and recorded these songs, to be honest.
What aspect of pain did you get to explore on this record?
The good and necessary parts, in addition to an understanding of pain in the perspective of time; not as a state or place, but as a tunnel – something to be moved through and to gain by.
Any plans to hit the road again?
I just finished a couple months of touring. For the summer, I will be playing some one-off festivals here and there before touring again, probably coming this fall.
What else is happening next in Yoke Lore’s world?
More writing and recording. I have a bunch of new tunes in the mix that I’m looking to start finishing up now that I’m back from the road for a while, so stay tuned.