Don't call it a comeback.
Standing strong side by side – we’re Yuppicide!
N e w Y o r k – Yuppicide are back with a new album and an upcoming tour. Reason enough to discuss the situation with singer Jesse KFW Jones.
(Photo © Nathaniel Shannon)
S: First of all: congratulations to your new album
! We really like it, because it has the same power and spirit than the albums before. Who had the idea of playing together after all these years?
J: I was always against a reunion, but then a bunch of things happened to make me reconsider. We were approached by two different labels to re release our out of print back catalog (Dead City Records
in NY and Cupcake Records in Germany). We were asked to play the Black N Blue Bowl in NYC, which is a big fun 2 day show. Joe and I were working on a new project with Jay, and we started to focus more on Yuppicide and writing new material.
S: „Ghosts“ – one of my favorite songs – reminds me in a positive way of „Follow The Leader
“ from ’95. What is your favorite song, and why?
J: I like different songs for different reasons. I look at the album as a whole. Some of the songs are very angry and were therapy for me, since singing shit about some piece of shit won’t put you in jail, but getting physical with them might. Venting the sentiment helps me and I hope it helps others. We worked on all the songs quite a bit in rehearsals and then more with Glen in the studio, so they are have a place for me.
S: „Revenge Regret Repeat“ is also available on cassette, how cool is that? But is there anyone left at all, who is buying that kind of nostalgic gimmicks? Isn’t the appreciation for music gone, since the triumphal procession of Spotify, Soundcloud and Mp3s in general?
J: We were approached by LastExitMusic
about doing the cassettes and I agree, its seemed a little weird. But they were into the idea, and it’s their gamble I guess. Back in the early 90s we let a Polish company sort of boot leg our albums, just so they could be available in their struggling economy. We’re old school, I have a large CD collection and a decent collection of vinyl, and I miss the art work that is lacking with digital music. But you can’t stop ‘progress’!
S: To be honest: we’re always skeptical when a band which means a lot to us is talking about a reunion. It often seems like a puppet show with old man playing just for the money. I can’t forget the disaster that Jerry Only
and the „Misfits
“ produced an stage some years ago. Which one was the biggest disappointment for you as a fan?
J: Well I get excited to see the bands I grew up listening to, but it can be a little sad. Most of us have gotten a little grayer, slower and maybe a little heavy over the years! I saw the English Beat some years ago and it was just the main singer from the original line up – I felt like I was watching a wedding cover band, it was very disappointing. The Selector were much better! Burn and Civ killed it, they were both amazing. I think if you’re doing it for a paycheck it shows. Yuppicide has never been our career – but we care about it a lot and I think you can tell. Its also three original members from the start of the band and Jay our drummer has now played with us longer than any other drummer (we’ve had 4 altogether!).
S: We’re really looking forward to the Yuppicide tour in march! What kind of costumes can we expect on stage? Gas,- Devil- or Lucha Libre
-masks? Horror make-up, fake blood or even the meat
J: Haha. I don’t know. Sometimes I get inspired and go for it, and other times, it feels like a gimmick and a chore! It’s easier to orchestrate for one off shows, but for tour it has to be something you can use every night and that get pretty gross! I admire Henry Rollins
approach more and more – he just needs running shorts and a rug! I may bring some stuff, but it may not last the entire tour. There’s a Tom Waits lyrics that echo in my mind: “I don’t need no make-up, I got a mask for a face!”
S: Who is responsible for the routing and why don’t you play in big cities like Hamburg or Munich?
J: M.A.D. Tour booking
start booking dates once we tell them when we can travel. I don’t know the details, but I’m sure it all makes sense – a balance of distance between locations, who is already playing those dates in the same cities and other factors. We have jobs and kids and adult responsibilities that we cannot not ignore, so we can only come for about 10 days at a time. In the old days we can for 7 weeks!
S: Regarding the setlist: what can we expect? A balance between old and new songs, or „just“ the new ones?
J: We are coming to promote the new record: Revenge Regret Repeat
, but we know people want to hear the old tunes too! So our set has songs from our entire catalog, about 28 songs! I don’t know if we will play the all every night, but that’s what we’re working towards.
S: What kind of music, alternatively to punk rock and hardcore, runs in your tour bus?
J: We don’t usually listen to music in the bus over the main stereo. It’s too hard to find some thing everyone wants to hear and at the level everyone wants to hear it at. We’ll read a lot or listen to our own music. Once we had a video player and binged a lot of TV shows. I like all sorts of music, including some electronic music (Gasp!) I grew up listening to Reggae and ska
, I really like Nina Simone. My new favorite band is The Sleaford Mods.
S: You released „The Lost Tapes“ (tracks recorded around 1995) of your side project Blaze Camo
recently. What else can we expect from that band?
J: Blaze Camo is a project dear to my heart. It only lasted about 2 years in between Yuppicide (we broke up and then reformed for a bit). Two of the members live in Los Angeles now, and are busy with their careers. I think its some of best stuff I’ve ever done, so I’m psyched its available and I hope people check it out. Its a craze hybrid of influences from Fugazi to The Laughing Hyenas, with some Melvins and Hammerhead thrown in! If you don’t collect vinyl look for it on band camp!
S: In 2014 you presented a lot of your original artwork from the last years as the „Yuppicide Art Show“. Do you think that an event like that could take place in Germany
J: We would love to! It was a little hard finding the older pieces, but Steve has a lot in his archives. I showed mostly personal work.
S: After playing more than 20 years in a hardcore-band: how important is the DIY-philosophy
nowadays? For you on a private level and as a band member?
J: I think its easier to do thing DIY now, I mean there are so many more tools available. I think its become a natural philosophy for people now. I think it used to be harder, because the equipment was expensive and very complicated. Now you could record you demo on an iPad and shoot a video with your phone! I still like hand-made stuff, but I mix and match it with digital. Endless edits are too good not to take advantage of! I think the bigger change is how much stuff there is being made. In some ways that can be the down side of accessibility – once everyone can do it, then they usually do!
Thanks to Yuppicide for the interview – for more information please check these links: