It’s difficult interviewing a band with a mission statement. When they’ve set it all out so neatly it seems a little bit cheeky to probe and question their artistic intentions.
That’s just what I did when I decided to talk to Jona Bechtolt of YACHT about their new album “See Mystery Lights” and their upcoming tour. Surprisingly, it went pretty well.
Jona used to work with The Blow. That kind of pop [sometimes verging on twee, sometimes just pure glitch] feeds into YACHT’s sound. Part psychedelic disco, part ambient mantra the new album effortlessly twists genres into something excitingly new. It’s difficult to know whether to dance or to meditate.
Here is some of YACHT’s mission statement
YACHT is a Band, Belief System, and Business conducted by Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans of Marfa, Texas and Portland, Oregon, USA. All people are welcome to become members of YACHT.Accordingly, YACHT is and always will be what YACHT is when YACHT is standing before you.
YACHT is about group consciousness. YACHT is about the individual man or woman. If you believe these assertions to be contradictory, consider the Triangle: it is both a collection of points and a shape.
The Triangle is also a concept map between three points. But it is not merely a concept.
YACHT believes all things, hopes all things, has endured many things, and hopes to be able to endure all things. If there is anything principled or pleasing, YACHT seeks it.
YACHT seeks to explore frontiers and to expand awareness of extraterrestrial Intelligence — which is not only real, but necessary.
YACHT believes in reforming an adequate language by coining new words. Through this and other processes, YACHT applies principles that demand the existing relationship between human beings and the other animals be changed.
YACHT believes in an Afterlife. YACHT does not believe in “Heaven,” or “Hell.”
YACHT encourages online dissemination of all things.
YACHT believes “Free Wi Fi” is not an advertisement of services, but a political statement.
You get the idea.
Here are some of the things that Jonah said that aren’t in the full interview [to be printed in Flux Magazine sometime soon].
We talked about tapes:
We were just discussing this. You could say that cassettes are the vinyl of the younger generation; it’s a medium kids romanticize because they never quite grew up with it in the mainstream, just as we romanticized 7″ records when we were teenagers. It seems like a very peculiar idiosyncrasy of human technological advancement that there is always a small community of people who refuse to let go, who see something important in discarded technologies and mediums. We think it’s essential. Attitudes like these keep us connected to our past long enough to understand it and formulate a strategy for moving forward intelligently.
We talked about the triangle
We’ve been lucky enough to gain somewhat of a reputation of loving,
and essentially owning, the triangle, and as such people from all over
the world have been sending us images of triangles almost nonstop
since 2008. As perhaps the most ubiquitous graphic symbol in human
history, the triangle seems to pop up everywhere. It’s hard to miss
them on a day-to-day basis once you’ve started noticing them.
The appeal of the triangle, for us, is its near-total adaptability. It
has had some significance or another in every eon of human culture,
every religious system, every symbolic institution. It may seem “of
the moment” in 2009, but it’s utterly timeless, and can stand for
essentially any concept, from the Christian trinity to the ancient
Hindu “seed of manifestation,” be seen as equally in pagan iconography
as album covers. It is practically a blank slate, open to manifold
interpretations, and for this reason we consider it the perfect symbol
And we talked about what he thought about the upcoming live shows.
We’re not in the business of making assumptions regarding the
collective beast that is the audience
Join the Collective Beast at these dates…
23rd July The Deaf Institute, Manchester
24th July Pure Groove Instore, London
24th July Cargo, London
25th July Audio, Brighton
26th July Truck Festival, Steventon