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August/September 2015

by Briar Lawry

Fresh Talent: Yesses

by Briar Lawry

Fresh Talent: Yesses

Picture this. You’’re fresh out of high school and waiting for life to take off. Travel documents are taking forever and you’re doing a bit of work to keep things ticking along –– but Canada’’s waiting and so are you. Rather than just mooching around you make music. The kind of music that, a week or so after your EP drops, already has a “really weird-ly good”” response from friends and strangers alike.

Jack Brosnahan‘’s your man. By the time this goes to print, he’’ll be in the great white north –– but in early July he released his debut EP under the moniker Yesses.

Jack and a friend spent a considerable amount of time toying with names, before the friend struck gold.

“He came up with the idea of doing the word ‘noise’ but replacing the ‘n-o’ (because that’’s no, that’’s negative, that’’s no fun) with ‘yes’, making Yesise –– but we decided that Yesses looks better and is easier to pronounce. And I noticed that it looks kind of like Yeezus, which is cool, since Kanye is my biggest idol.”

The plurality works too as there are four bandmates on stage as Yesses. Jack handles guitar and vocals, Josh Bardwell plays bass, Mitchell Innes is on drums and bvs and Tom Monaghan on additional guitar. The EP however was mostly a solo project.

“It’’s just me and Mitchell –– I’m playing all the instrument-y instruments and he’’s playing drums. I recorded all the guitars, basses, keyboards at my computer. I just did it there at night, while everyone slept. And then I’’d send them to Mitchell, and he’’d record drums at his house, and then send all that to a guy I know from Christchurch who did all the mixing and mastering. And then I’’ve just asked these people to learn them in the last two weeks.”

This particular configuration may be a new one, but all four guys have played together in various ways for a long time.

“Me and Tom and a friend used to be in a comedy rock rap trio. We were not good. We were 14, 15?”

‘Fifteen,’ Monaghan confirms. “Embarrassingly old.”

“We did that for a while, and it was not good, but it was fun.””

Next came some mournful post-break-up songs, as well as an ongoing ”jazz jammy band” throughout high school. The evident variety of different bands and labels may account for why Jack’’s keen to keep things simple.

“I would consider it pop music. Tom says unconventional pop, but I wrote the songs and I reckon it’s just pop,” he explains, laughing off the suggestion from the others that they are ‘soft grunge’.”

Some great response to the EP has evidently surprised him.

“A friend from high school said he heard a stranger fan-boying over it at the university. It’s not The Beatles or anything…”

“‘Yet,” Monaghan pointedly interjects.