Musicscan: introduce YOB and its individuals, please. what is to know about you guys?
Yob: Well there's Isamu Sato who is the bassist, Travis Foster who plays drums, and myself on guitar and vocals. This is our 6th year as YOB and two and a half years as this particular line-up, which is the best line-up we have ever had by far.
Musicscan: what's your self-understanding of YOB - what does your band stands for? what are the goals you try to reach with your music?
Yob: YOB is meant to be a modern DOOM metal band that expresses reverence for the old school DOOM and pushes forward trying to create new sounds within our DOOM. We love to play music and this band is a love relationship in that regard. Isamu, Travis and I all see eye to eye on where this band is going musically and we are massive music fans. As far as goals go we are pretty much taking things as they come. We are always certainly trying to push ourselves to create the best music that we can, but as far as where we have been with labels and our new deal with Metal Blade all of that pretty much just presented itself to us and we rose up to meet these opportunities.
Musicscan: how did you first get involved with doom metal? what is your background?
Yob: I have always been a massive metal fan and in the 80's I loved Sabbath, Trouble and The Obsessed. Back then I didn't know anything about DOOM per say. I went to go see a show in 1991 with Brutal Truth, Cathedral, Carcass and Napalm Death. I was there to see Napalm Death. I was completely blown away by Cathedral. They were so fucking HEAVY. It was right before they released Soul Sacrifice. I can pretty much say that that show was my birth as a DOOM fanatic. In that time I was big into death metal and grind as well as hardcore and punk.
Musicscan: what kind of musical education do you have? how did your musical work develop through
differnet bands and years? i guess you have been in other bands before YOB.
what is worth to speak about?
Yob: I was in a band for a number of years in the late 80's called Chemakill(I was the bassist/singer) that was a metal/punk crossover band in the vein of The Accused/Poison Idea/ Crumbsuckers. That was a fun band. I have also played drums in a couple of hardcore bands too. I would say my playing as a guitarist didn't really start getting any good until I took lessons from Zoot Horn Rollo(Bill Harkleroad) from Captain Beefheart who lives here in Eugene. He helped me to understand my fretboad and develop melodic ideas that made sense. At the same time I worked in a high end vintage guitar shop where killer players would come in every day. Between those two things I started to grow as a player.
Musicscan: the word on your guys band has been spread quiete quickly over the world. How does all of this attention
make you feel?
Yob: It's great that there are some people out there who dig our music! As far as the attention goes, I would say we are a bit sheltered from it. We tour once a year aside from west coast trips up to Washington and down to California. We do get lots of fan e-mail though and it's great to connect with people who are just like us: bent on THE HEAVY!!! But we are big music fans ourselves. We worship our favorite bands and wear their shirts everyday so we don't see any difference between ourselves and anyone who is a fan of YOB. Our fans and YOB are cut from the same cloth.
Musicscan: what has been the feedback on your new Metal Blade record so far? personally i enjoyed it a lot...
Yob: So far the response has been very good to over the top good. I have seen reviews where people don't like it or can't get into YOB too. That's how it is with music. But the fact that the DOOM metal fans seem to appreciate what we do is the best. Plus we have developed fans outside of the DOOM scene too which is great.
Musicscan: i was surprised finding YOB signed to MB. How did this happen?
Yob: When we left Abstract Sounds we contacted a number of labels that we have become friendly with over the years. We were already starting to negotiate with a couple of them when Brian Slagel e-mailed us and expressed his interest in signing YOB. He had Catharsis and was a fan of that album. We were floored of course. We started to negotitate with Metal Blade as well as these other labels and it became obvious thet Metal Blade was going to be able to do the most for us. It was a complete trip because we would have never thought to send anything to Metal Blade. The fact that our music had reached them on it's own was incredible.
Musicscan: does doom naturally has to be doom-metal? there are some bands that play a style that i would consider to
be doom-rock. what do you think about those bands, that aren't following this traditionell metal-root?
Yob: Yes I agree that there is DOOM rock like in the bands The Obsessed, Pentagram,Spirit Caravan, Earthride,Internal Void, Unorthodox, Place Of Skulls, Witchcraft, etc. I love all of these bands and it doesn't have to be metal to be DOOM. I think these bands are following the 70's root of metal though. Proto-metal, if you will.
Musicscan: beside you are sounding very traditional at first i would say you try to include some kind of modern
appraoch as well, right?
Yob: Yes definitely. We love the old bands and sounds and for us we have to incorporate other sounds into our DOOM. At a certain point there have been many bands that have tried to emulate Candlemass, Sabbath,SLEEP and Electric Wizard. If bands only did that then DOOM would stagnate eventually.
Musicscan: how do you go about writing a record? what's your main focus creating new songs onto?
Yob: Honestly the songs just come. I would say that each album is a reflection of where we are at personally at that time mixed with our growth as musicians and what we are battering our eardrums with at a particular moment. That being said we are careful to try to not repeat ourselves. We hope that each new song and album that we write has it's own flavor that compliments everything else we have done before then.
Musicscan: what bands do you consider to be truly inspiring to you at the moment?
Yob: There are many: Inquisition, VON, Unearthly Trance, SLEEP, Neurosis, High On Fire, Grief, Bathory, In Battle, Krisiun, Graves At Sea, The Amenta, Akercocke, early Corrosion Of Conformity, Iron Maiden, Darkthrone, Khanate, Asunder, Cathedral, The Obsessed, Burning Witch, Ophiolatry, Earthride, the list goes on and on.
Musicscan: do you think you captured the intensity of a live show on your records?
Yob: The Illusion Of Motion is the closest we have come I think. It's pretty much impossible to do. There are some bands that get close...
Musicscan: right at this time there seems to be some kind of doom-revival? at least doom-bands get press again and more
people get introduced to those styled bands. what are your thoughts on this and where do you see the reason for it?
Yob: I guess at a certain point people become ready for something new. DOOM has been around for long enough that it is starting to sink it's talons into other genre's of fans. To me there isn't really a DOOM revival because I have been pretty much hooked into the continuum of bands and DOOM albums since 1991. To me there have been bands putting out DOOM albums consistently for all of this time. I guess the press has become more interested as of late, which is probably a good thing. But that being said DOOM has always been a personal thing for me and not a popular thing. You can't go down to a club and catch a DOOM gig the way you can with styles like punk and hardcore. So for me it has always been closing my doors and cranking up Cathedral and Burning Witch albums without paying too much attention to whether the style was getting press or not. YOB is getting lots of good press right now which is an amazing thing to me. I always thought that YOB would have 10 devoted fans out there in the world but that was it. Things have changed.
Musicscan: any last words?
Yob: THANK YOU for doing this interview Arne and thanks to everyone who has supported YOB! Keep the DOOM flag held high!!!