hot off the heels off their Daytrotter Session, and amidst the preparation of their upcoming tour with Thing One, and Pomegranates, blahblahblahscience caught up with frontman Erick Crosby of Yourself And The Air to talk music, inspiration, el trains and pastry..
b3sci: Erick – as a young band finding their way through the masses, what obstacles have YATA overcome and what have come to be your general feelings about the music industry?
Erick: well. when we first started out, everybody in the whole world was like ‘yeah right, the music industry is one of the most difficult to be successful in, so make sure you have a back up plan’ and i was like what the fuck is this, back up plan? that’s just like telling yourself that you’re gonna loose. we came in with that mentality, swinging pretty hard… and after a lot of really hard work, here we are today with a great team of people… i also really like the uphill battle of the music industry, it makes every time that you actually accomplish something that much better.
b3sci: what’s at the top of the hill?
Erick: building a long steady career and having the ability to travel and play… then living would be pretty solid.
b3sci: let’s talk glockenspiel. how did it become part of your sound?
Erick: we found it on craigslist. i’ve always been a very huge fan of the glock. we had made this plan that every month we would buy a new instrument and bring it into the band. that was the first, and believe or not, i think it was the last? the glock is its own mystery.
b3sci: you seem enchanted with the glock?
Erick: yeah it sits in my room, i write on it.. even eat on it too. it’s become an interesting part of my life.
b3sci: nice. so what influences you in your life? it doesn’t necessarily have to be music, really anything that influences you to do what you love?
Erick: nature. living. hearing stories about people doing extra ordinary things. not being on your death and wishing that you could’ve done this or that. just everything man, there are always down times, but then you can just see something, anything, and that can change your life.
b3sci: right, think about how many people live their lives wishing they could’ve done this or that? think of all the “greats” and how they lived their lives..
Erick: yeah and even when they (the “greats”) are doing it, they are just human beings. they are no different then you or me. ANYBODY can do something, they just made up their mind and decided to do it… it’s about doing stuff. doing what you want to do and going through it.
b3sci: what other than music must you do during your life?
Erick: i want to ride my bike, from here to all over the continent. and i’d like hitchhike across the country too. haha i’m gonna videotape it and then sell it to the travel channel. i have it all made up too.. it’s called “the fat of the land”.
b3sci: haha hell yes! you will inspire sooo many hitchhikers.
Erick: haha. man, they’ve inspired me!
b3sci: dig it. so Chicago’s in the house. which el train wins in a race? blue, orange, brown??
Erick: i think, would the brown? i dunno, i think. honestly i never take the el. i’m like bicycle man.
b3sci: when people hear Yourself and The Air for the first time, what do you guys want them to walk away thinking?
Erick: hmm, i’d want them to walk away thinking ‘wow, i didn’t expect that’. i don’t want them to walk away thinking ‘oh these guys sound like them‘ which is hard because that’s why we know music, because of what’s been done before. but to be surprised and have someone appreciate it, even if they don’t like the music, if they can appreciate it still, that’s always the best.
b3sci: what makes a great song?
Erick: movement man. it’s gotta give you the chills. you know, those songs. songs that can make you forget where you are. they take you on their ride, be in their world for that moment in time.
b3sci: what songs do you come back to that have that effect?
Erick: “Thru the Eyes of Ruby” Smashing Pumpkins. being from Chicago I have so much love for them, what they used to be and what they’ve done. “Space Oddity” is my all time favorite song of forever. and all The Beatles, it’s all like that you know?.
b3sci: what’s your fav numetal group
Erick: what is that?
b3sci: haha you know, like your linkin parks, limp bizkets, blahblah late mid-nineties radio. that’s all i got, I was hoping you’d know…
Erick: umm shit man, i have no.. i don’t know.. i don’t rock that way dude. ask my bassist and you’ll get a legitimate answer.
b3sci: what’s your favorite italian pastry
Erick: hmm, i only know the one, it’s the one that i eat. its got a cream in it..
b3sci: is it a cannoli??
Erick: yeah that the one. that’s pretty good. i dig that. i feel bad, i don’t know any italian pastries..
b3sci:it’s cool man, you, me, Major Tom – we’ll grab a beer sometime and talk italian pastries. i’ve got the book on it.
Erick: oohhhoooo, it’s on! i need the education.
b3sci: so Daytrotter = new music?
Erick: yeah it was a great experience, i’m a big fan of the site. we decided to track a few of the new songs that we’ll be recording for our new album in November.
b3sci: they sound great man! we’ll be looking forward to the record. bowie and pumpkins going out to YATA. keep it real.
Reviewed by b3