Interview: of Montreal vs. Yip Deceiver


Interviewer: Bella Questions: Melissa Nastasi / Bella Photos: Cienna Willis

Last weekend at Webster Hall we had the chance of sitting down with members of an old favorite and a new favorite. Davey Pierce and Nick Dobbratz from of Montreal and Yip Deceiver. The guys gave us a whole new insight on what it takes to put on an oM show, and just what exactly a Yip Deceiver is. Give it a read. It’s a good one!

So how has the tour been treating you so far?


Davey: It’s been really good actually.

Nick: Yeah, it’s been lots of fun.

Davey, you worked on some props for the False Priest tour. Was that something new? Do you plan on doing it in the future?

Davey: I probably will do it in the future. It’s kind of something that fell into my lap. We needed somebody to make these props and I like doing stuff like that. I kind of just took it over.

Everything is different since you joined during Hissing Fauna, how do you keep up with all of the change?

Davey: It’s pretty easy actually. I mean because it’s kind of a natural progression you just sit back and watch it happen basically. You get so caught up in playing the shows and everything and you don’t even realize that everything’s changing so much.

Recently you can tell that the actual band members have been a lot more involved in the theatrics than usual. Is that something you guys plan on doing? Or is that something you enjoy doing?

Davey: I love it personally. I mean like it adds this whole kind of sense that it’s not just two different things going on on stage. Which in the past it has been. It’s been a bunch of people set up playing music while something else is going on in front of them. Whereas now it’s more like the performance lines and the music lines have blurred so much that it’s actually just one big thing.

Nick: I feel like it was a concious decision on this tour ahead of time to do exactly what Davey’s saying. As opposed to having two different things. I enjoy it, I like it. It’s changing every night right now.

When it comes to theatrics is it just David Barnes right now or do you all have a say in it?

Davey: He takes ideas from everybody. It is like Dobby(Nick) was saying. It’s a big evolving kind of thing. If you have an idea you can be like “Hey, what if we did this?”. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. And David’s very open to suggestions like if I walk up to him an I go “I really hated this one thing” He’ll be like “Okay, let’s see if we can make it better” It is his thing but he’s definately open to critism which is given.

Nick: And he likes to work with people’s personalities too. Whatever someones comfortable with.

You recently went on tour as Yip Deciever with Sugar & Gold. How was that tour?


Davey: It was great, it was really fucking fun.

Nick: Yeah.

Where did the name Yip Deceiver come from?

Davey: It’s actually, um, it was Clayton. We were actually drunk at a bar at like noon and we were trying to come up with a name for it. And we started making anagrams of my name. Yip Deceiver is what we came up with but we left an ‘A’ out and put an extra ‘I’. It’s a failed anagram of Davey Pierce basically.

How did you two come to working together on this project?

Nick: I joined of Montreal almost a year ago and during the time on the first tour I already heard Davey’s stuff. We kinda just started talking and we shared a lot of the same interests and influences. It inspired each other to keep working on stuff so it just happened.


Speaking of influences, you can tell that Yip Deceiver is very different from Inkwell. What influences do you have in this project that are different from Inkwell?

Davey: It’s pretty much all over. I’ve been listening to a lot of old 80’s and 90’s R&B, actually Dobby’s kind of the one that got me back into it. It does kind of come through in a way. The sounds that they use speak to me so much to me. The Inkwell stuff was kind of worn out of necessity. It was like we own guitars and a drum set and so that’s what we had to work with. And it was also like blatant punk rock, all the crap I used to listen to when I was 12. Getting the rest of that out of there so I can move on.

Yip Deceiver gained a lot of attention, which was mainly positive, for the Coquete Coquette remix. How did to feel to that feedback and that attention?

Davey: I mean obviously I was cool with it but I found just as much negative attention as positive attention. As you will with any remix. “This sucks compared to the orginial” Well it’s like thank you I guess, it’s not suppose to be the fucking orginial. But whatever, it was fun to do. I love the song. It was basically just me in my apartment with a bottle of wine and a drumset. I’d do it again, well, I probably will do it again. But I also did a remix of Sugar & Gold’s “It’s All Over You.” It’s on their new EP, it’s fantastic. Not the remix, but the EP.

Nick: The remix is fantastic. Which actually now that I think about it is one of the moments where we realized that we should be working together. It was kind of something that I written and Davey reproduced it; and it kind of the first thing we worked on together.

Davey: Actually the first thing we worked on we never actually finished. We’ve just been working on it for like a year now.

Davey, you had prior expierience playing two sets in a row with Jamey’s project, James Husband- and then again with Yip Deceiver, who had opened up for of Montreal for a few shows. Do you find playing sets in a row exhausting?

Davey: In some ways. It can be really physically exhausting but at the same time it’s like this is what we do. It’s kind of like we’ve been training our entire lives to do this. It’s so rewarding that it doesn’t really matter how exhausted you are because you can have such a great time doing both things. Especially if they’re so different. Playing with James Husband and playing with of Montreal are two totally different animals. I was on two totally different insturments and it was always fun.

Nick: For me it has a time limit. It got to a certain point on the last tour where I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. But for the most part it’s not like you have a slightly different role so you make due.

What do you find most rewarding about it?

Davey: For me it’s just like, it is the thing we’ve been working towards. To be on stage with all these people that are my best friends. There are all these kinds of personal jokes that you don’t want to say during the set. I look over at Dobby and fucking crack up. There’s one thing that he does that makes me laugh or it’s Clayton or Thayer or Dottie. It’s rewarding because every night I get to do the thing that I’ve always wanted to do.

Nick: That’s true, I forget that sometimes.

Davey: It is actually really easy to forget that sometimes. Like when you wake up and you’re just like “I just wanna get a job and wear a tie”

You have those moments?

Davey: Every once in a while. The grass is always greener sometimes. Where it’s just like I wouldn’t mind being home. We haven’t really been home for more than two weeks in the past seven months now?

Nick: Yeah.

Davey: So I wouldn’t mind being home for a year but at the same time if I’m home for more than week I get really tired of being home.

What’s in the future for Yip Deceiver?


Davey: We’re working on a full length right now actually. Hopefully it’ll come out October-ish?

Nick: That’s what we’re shooting for, yeah.

Davey: We’re doing a video for a song called Get Strict starting in May. There’s gonna be all sorts of nice little surprise guest stars. It’ll be a big dance video.

Dance video? Will you guys be dancing?


Davey: There will probably be a little bit of us dancing in it, yeah.

Nick: There will be a lot of other people dancing in it too.

Davey: Mostly other people dancing in it.

New York has always been a great crowd for you guys. But, truthfully, what is your favorite city to play in?

Davey: Surprisingly, Mobile Alabama has very recently taken that spot. Just blew everyone outside of the water. They’re insane down there, they’re amazing. The crowds are so into it. They’re having so much, they’re just so nice. It’s incredible actually.

False Priest did great on both the CMJ and Billboard charts. How did it feel as a band to do that great?


Davey: It felt really good. Where were we when we got the CMJ thing? Was that Stockholm?

Nick: Yeah, I think so.

Davey: I’m pretty sure it was Stockholm. It was like “We’re number one on the CMJ charts!” And it was kind of this weird feeling. It was like, well we’re not even really home and no one knows what CMJ is over where. But it feels really cool to know that you’re doing something that people really want to hear. I guess that’s kind of the ultimate goal, is to have an audience that’ll listen to your insane ramblings for the most part.

One last question, is it blackmail domination or black male domination?

Davey: Blackmail.

Nick: What do you want it to be?

Davey: Yeah, that’s a good point too.

Davey: There are teams now. It is a very polarizing issue.

Nick: Blackmail or black male?

Davey: Yeah.

Nick: -chuckles-

Davey: I’m on Team Blackmail. But at the same time he(Nick) has a point, it’s whatever you want it to be. It doesn’t really matter too much.


See more interview photos HERE!

of Montreal @ Webster Hall, NYC – April 30, 2011


More Photos HERE.
For those who know of Montreal might know them as a super flamboyant troupe that can round up a crowd of sweet smelling pretty girls and boys who lust after lead singer Kevin Barnes’ sexual copiousness. It wasn’t always this way, but as time went by members disbanded, got married, rehabilitated, and regrouped. In between, I guess you could say they found the voice they were looking for all those years. With over a decades worth of albums, of Montreal have traveled a lengthy journey to where they are now. Ten years ago you could listen to Kevin sing about fairies living life through an unconscious slumber (see album Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse) and before that of Montreal was part of The Gay Parade. (The album is a personal favorite of mine, but it’s narrative style seems to be a bit much for newer of Montreal fans. I still say it would make for a great play). It wasn’t until their 2004 release “Satanic Panic in the Attic” that the pieces started to stay glued together, and the songs became more like a journal for Kevin Barnes’ personal afflictions and affections . Now, of Montreal are an unstoppable traveling circus, and you’d better hope you have tickets to the greatest show on earth when they come to your town, because it is a show not to be missed!

The show featured opening band Painted Palms, a dreamy synth-pop collective that started the night amidst yellow, green and blue lights. Their psychedelic bass thumping tunes from their current release Canopy will get you lost in the woods on a breezy summer afternoon right by a water fall, even in a hot stuffy music venue in New York City.

The follow up to this scene was quite the opposite. It began with the entrance of of Montreal aficionado and Kevin’s brother David Barnes revving up the crowd in a suit. This was followed by some scantily clad ladies in flesh-tone unitards, and men baring capes and colors of the American flag. The set started with the tune “L’age D’or” off their latest E.P. thecontrollersphere. “For Our Elegant Caste” followed as Kevin sang the first line “We can do it softcore if you want/but you should know I take it both ways”. It’s actually Kevin’s alter ego “Georgie Fruit” who is the protagonist in the story, not Kevin himself, but that doesn’t stop the girls and guys from screaming their heads off.

The theatrics continued through out the night as they performed songs mostly from Skeletal Lamping, and “False Priest”, with an interlude of “My Bloody Valentine” performed by drummer Clayton Rychlik. You name it, it was on the stage, Painted Palms even joined in for a few songs and skits. Some of the stagecraft includes lucha-libre stylized mask and wrestling matches, a reenacted wedding, men in nude big breasted costumes, pig faces, booty shaking girls (and boys), balloons, streamers, and that’s not even everything!

Even with all antics on the stage, they performed an unyielding set without missing a beat.
Towards the end of the encore Kevin threw on a mask and pinned down some opponents which was followed by members of the band crowd surfing. Finally, at the end of the show, multi-instrumentalist K Ishibashi performed “America the Beautiful” solo on the violin while the audience sang only to have it turn into an official hoedown on the stage moments later. Though the photos capture a play by play of the show, it is nothing compared to the spectacle everyone witnessed. Wherever this journey continues to take of Montreal, I will be right there with them, and from the looks of it they are going to continue to flourish no matter where it is the freak train drops them off. Perhaps I should invest in a feathered boa and some glitter huh?

Words and photos by Cienna Wills

Of Montreal Announce Spring Tour (Yay!), Talk New Album


Though we are in the midst of awaiting another snow storm in New York, our favorite glam rockers Of Montreal are already warming things up by announcing their spring tour. The band has a few more dates coming up this month and then the party kicks off all over again in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Like all other Of Montreal tours, there will be plenty of costumed players and stage props around that will fill the stage. What new chapter the tale will take is up in the air but we are sure that Kevin’s brother, the infamous David Barnes, has something great cooking up as usual.

After this tour, Barnes and co. will head back into the studio to start working on the follow up to last years’ False Priest (Polyvinyl), in their “never rest,” fashion. New songs are already slated to be played on tour as well as old favorites, and covers. The next record Barnes admits to being inspired by the newest Sufjan Stevens release The Age of Adz. Go figure. The band will release the EP The Controller Sphere (Polyvinyl) which will be available on tour. Check out the tour dates below and get out your glitter!

Of Montreal 2011 Tour Dates

1/11, Mobile, AL (Soul Kitchen)
1/12, Tallahassee, FL (The Moon)
1/13, Orlando, FL, (Firestone)
1/14, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Revolution)
1/15, Tampa, FL (The Ritz)
4/2, Halifax, NS (Halifax Multi Purpose Centre)
4/28, Washington, DC (9:30 Club)
4/29, Philadelphia, PA (Theatre of Living Arts)
4/30, New York, NY (Webster Hall)
5/1, Boston, MA (Paradise)
5/2, Montreal, QE (Metropolis)
5/3, Toronto, ON (The Phoenix)
5/4, Cleveland, OH (House of Blues)
5/5, Chicago, IL (The Vic)
5/6, Omaha, NE (The Slowdown)
5/7, Lawrence, KS (Liberty Hall)
5/8- Denver, CO (The Ogden Theatre)
5/9, Salt Lake City, UT (In The Venue)
5/11, Seattle, WA (Showbox Market)
5/12, Portland, OR (Roseland)
5/13, San Francisco, CA (The Fillmore)
5/14, Los Angeles, CA (Avalon)
5/15, Phoenix, AZ (Marquee Theatre)
5/17, Austin, TX (Mohawk)
5/18, Dallas, TX (South Side Music Hall)
5/19, Memphis, TN (Minglewood Hall)
5/20, Atlanta, GA (The Buckhead Theatre)

Modern Mystery’s Top 30 Albums of the Year

The time is finally here where we announce our favorite albums of the year. Yes, it took a whole lot of thinking and a whole lot of relistening, but in the end we figured it out.  Trust us, it was no easy task this year. Take a peek at what kept our interest in 2010.

1. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Let It Sway”

This will forever be known as the album where SSLYBY fully matured. Working with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla,  the band produced a stunning record full of pop hooks and catchy lyrics. The result, Let It Sway (Polyvinyl), one of the greatest pieces of work our ears have heard by any indie band in a long time. We loved it so much we made a tribute  video celebrating the record which you can watch below. Congrats SSLYBY!

2. Vampire Weekend – “Contra”

A nearly flawless album, the VW boys started off 2010 with a burst of energy that continued througout the year. Neck in neck with the Yeltsins, Contra (XL) also shared the tale of a too-good-to-be-true indie band growing up in the public eye.

3. The Morning Benders – “Big Echo”

Another record that was running with the big boys on this list, The Morning Benders released Big Echo (Kanine) early in the year and exploded like no one could ever have imagined. It’s ab out time. They deserve it.  This is one of the catchiest albums we heard this year and it never gets old.

4. Of Montreal – “False Priest”

Of Montreal are always evolving. That is what we love most about the band. False Priest (Polyvinyl) takes them to a whole new level, dabbling in R&B and dueting with Solange Knowles. We may have been skeptical at first but it quickly won over our hearts and the dance floor.

5.  Surfer Blood – “Astrocoast” 

Everyone’s favorite “IT” band of the year produced a promising debut album called Astrocoast (Kanine). We followed the boys around CMJ 2009 and knew they were about to blew up huge. We were right, and now Surfer Blood has taken over the world.

 6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Before Today”

A chilling record filled with reverb and haunting vocals proved to be just the thing for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Before Today (4AD) stunned the indie music world and makes us wonder what the next Ariel Pink chapter has to hold.

7.  Jukebox the Ghost – “Everything Under the Sun”

A thriving piano backed by a guitar and drums made an unexpected assault in the indie world this year. Everything Under the Sun (Yep Roc) dropped jaws quickly this year and had Jukebox the Ghost playing with big name bands and appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman.

8.   The Love Language – “Libraries”

Much different from their first record, The Love Language stunned us with a near perfect record, Libraries (Merge) this year. There was a lot of buzz about this album and as the tracks leaked, we could feel the greatness building up. We were right.

9. We Are Scientists – “Barbara”

Without a record label in the U.S., We Are Scientists broke through this year with Barbara. They haven’t changed too much since the last time we heard from them, which is a good thing. They still have their driving 80’s vibe, W.A.S. charm and brilliant tunes.

10. Magic Kids – “Memphis”

This was an unexpected treat this year that had us putting Magic Kids on repeat. Memphis (Goner/True Panther) often has a lo-fi and retro vibe, and that is what really makes it special.

 

The rest of the list….

11. Miniature Tigers – “Fortress”

12. Matt Pond PA – “The Dark Leaves”

13. Wavves – “King of the Beach”

14. Sufjan Stevens -“Age of the Adz”

15. Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”

16. Free Energy – “Stuck on Nothing”

17. Javelin – “No Mas”

18. Best Coast – “Crazy for You”

19. The Drums – “The Drums”

20.  Tokyo Police Club – “Champ”

21. The New Pornographers – “Together”

22. Spoon – “Transference”

23. Hot Hot Heat – “Future Breeds”

24. Kids of 88 – “Sugar Pills”

25. MGMT – “Congratulations”

26. Harlem – “Hippies”

27. Broken Social Scene – “Forgiveness Rock Record”

28. Born Ruffians – “Say It”

29. Caribou – “Swim”

30. Interpol – “Interpol”