Auckland three-piece Yolanda have been playing their own brand of crunchy, groovy, neo-psychedelia since high school, and performing in their current incarnation since 2010. The band consists of guitarist and vocalist Pete Ruddell, bassist Carl Redwood and drummer and percussionist Bridge.
“It’s Honey Bunny’s real name, she a crazy biatch,” says bassist Carl of the bands quirky monicker – an obscure Pulp Fiction reference which reflects the trio’s offbeat style. The Yolanda sound is hard to pin down, influenced by an eclectic collection of artists which span the entire musical spectrum.
“We listen to all sorts. We’re all big on Death Grips, UMO, Nick Cave, Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu and Tono. Among many other things,” says Pete.
Their first EP ‘Yep’ was released on Bandcamp in December last year and recently released the follow-up, ‘Cahoots’, recorded with Ed Castelow of Dictaphone Blues at Auckland’s The Lab studio. The band then plans to tour in support of the new EP in April, something they are very keen to get into.
“We love working on stuff in the studio (especially with cool people like Ed!) but playing live is where we are in our own. Getting to make that much noise and go nuts is good fun. Best experience was probably our single release show at Cassette 9 last year – that crowd had a heap of energy and were just there for fun.”
And have the band had any negative experiences to date?
“I forgot to bring a bass to a radio show once. We brought the amp but didn’t bring anything to play,” Carl confesses.
“What an idiot,” responds Pete.
The diversity and experimentalism coming from fellow Kiwi artists in recent times is something that drummer Bridge also feels strongly about.
“There’s a cool vibe going on between bands and everyone involved. Plus the music people are releasing is seriously fantastic, the range and interaction between different kinds of music is just spreading. It’s great.”
Yolanda’s latest single I Got A Star is an infectious lesson in astute escapism.
“It’s about playing Mario Kart and getting the good power-ups when you don’t need them. Read into that however you like,” says Pete cryptically.
With the imminent release of their second EP and upcoming tour, when asked what the trio are most looking forward to in the coming months, Carl puts it succinctly; “Taking this noise show on the road.”