Scottish six-piece Yashin are preparing to release their third studio album this month. Described as a “new beginning”, ‘The Renegades’ will see the band push their music to further corners of the world. Ahead of its release, (unclean) vocalist Kevin Miles chatted with Killyourstereo.com about the album, touring with the likes of Limp Bizkit, and past musical experiences.
In an era where the attention spans of listeners are lessened, how much of a temptation was it to release a follow-up to ‘We Created A Monster’ sooner?
At the point where we released ‘We Created A Monster’, we had just come off the back of an incredible UK / European tour with Black Veil Brides. I think on paper, it would have been wise to strike while the iron was hot, but it wasn’t to be. At the time, we had written the core of what would be some of the songs featured on ‘The Renegades’, but those songs are indistinguishable from what they grew into in the coming years.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing/recording ‘The Renegades’?
We recorded with the Graves brothers at Innersound Studio’s in York. They’re incredibly gifted producers, and I think we were lucky to get them on board before they went to America to ply their trade. The most enjoyable part of the recording process was the fact that the Studio was so secluded. We lived there for three weeks and had BBQ every day.
You’ve toured with everyone from Limp Bizkit to The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. What were some of the main things you learned from performing with these different kinds of bands?
We tend to beat ourselves when something doesn’t go as planned. For some of us, it used to ruin our night. We learned very quickly that bands who have been out there doing it for 20+ years are still loving every minute of their stage time. The show must go on.
What’s the dynamic like being in a band with six members? Is it a case of more hands making for lighter work or, at times, can there be too many competing ideas?
On previous albums things were much simpler. We had a formula where we would start with a guitar based riff, mostly from Paul, and build the music in the studio in Glasgow. Once we had the guts of a tune, we would record it roughly and it was then up to myself and Harry to write lyrics and melodies.
This time around it was much more a case of all hands on deck. There seemed to be ideas coming from all angles, Dave and Connor really came out of their shells, myself and Harry blurred the lines between clean/dirty, where before we were quite regimental with who did what. Considering how far our influences stretch, it shouldn’t really work, but it does.
In a press release, accompanying the video release of ‘The Renegades’, there was a quote which read the music was, “An opportunity for likeminded individuals to forget the mundane aspects of their every day working life and come together through a passion for music.” What was an experience you had with music, before you joined Yashin, which made you want to start a band?
Growing up, one of my favourite bands was Atreyu. I remember listening to Alex talk between songs about how music was his passion and how no matter what our backgrounds were, everyone in the room was there for one reason. A love for music. That feeling never left me.
What are some of the harder aspects that still affect a professional band today?
I think people enter into the world of touring in an alternative band with delusions of grandeur. Unfortunately, it’s no longer the 1980’s, and anyone who thinks they’re going to earn any sort of living as a musician might need to reassess their options. You need to do this for the love of it and do what you can to make ends meet elsewhere.
I see you’re quite active replying to fan comments on Facebook. With social media making it easier to connect, how important is it to maintain a dialogue and interact with listeners?
We are blessed with some of the most incredible fans we could ask for! If they’re willing to travel land and sea to come to our shows and buy our merch, the least we can do is give them the time of day to reply to a comment or answer a question. Our fans are the life force of this band.
For us Aussies, being quite a distance from Scotland, what’s the current music scene like in your hometown?
It’s a difficult time for bands at the moment, not just in Scotland, but all over the UK. A lot of our peers called it a day recently including Glamour of the Kill and The Blackout. Bands like Grader and Departures are flying the flag for Scotland, and on a wider spectrum “Itch” [is] doing amazing just now. We were buzzing to have him feature on ‘Dorothy Gale’.
What’s the balance like between your current work life/social life? Essentially, when you get to step away from touring, what’s your main routine?
When I’m not on tour, I want to spend time with my wife, my friends and my family. I love playing Goldeneye on my N64, taking my car to track days, drinking Pina colada’s, and getting caught in the rain.
‘The Renegades’ is due out February 26 via Sony Music Australia. You can pre-order the album via iTunes.