Yonaka: “You’re never instantly amazing”

We caught up with the band at Reading Festival

It’s early doors at Reading Festival but Yonaka are already excited.

And they’ve got every reason to be. 

This summer they’ve played a whole bunch of festivals, visited loads of countries and released a brand new EP. They’re not stopping there though. There’s that big ol’ London headline show on the horizon, alongside the promise of new music.

We caught up with the gang ahead of their set for a little chat.

Hello everyone. How has your festival season been so far?

Theresa: It’s been the best summer ever. We’ve moved onto that point now where we get to mix travelling with the music. It feels good.

Rob: The novelty is still there. It’s really exciting still but it also becomes natural. ‘

Alex: We’ve played some of the best shows we’ve ever done.

George: And got the best reception we’ve had as well. We’ve only been out to Europe a handful of times and we weren’t sure what to expect, but it was really good. They just love music out there.

And your ‘Teach Me To Fight’ EP came out the other week and people seem to properly love it.

T: We’re really happy with this one. It feels right for us. With the last one (‘Heavy’) we didn’t really know where we were. On this one, we called the shots a lot more. We’ve just been writing loads and said ‘Ok these songs feel really good so let’s just put our favourite songs on it’. We recorded most of it ourselves, we only recorded ‘Fired Up’ with a producer and we had a lot more creative control over it.

I love listening to it, which is a good feeling because normally I’m just like, ‘ergh, turn it off’

Yonaka: "You're never instantly amazing"

It feels like you know who you are with this record

T: Definitely. That’s exactly what it was. We were working out what felt really good and what sounded good. We started writing in a different way, using a laptop and making loads of sounds. We feel like this is a really good representation of where we are, and where we’ll grow from.

R: It also shows where we’re going to go next.

T: If we could do it all again, we’d start with this EP.

G: But it was a learning curve

T: It’s just growing. You’re never instantly amazing

R: People can go back as well and see where we came from

And then moan about how they preferred your earlier work?

R: ‘I liked them when they didn’t know what they were doing.’

What do you want people to take from this EP? What’s the message?

T: Just to be a fucking badass. I want people to feel like no one can tell you no. I want people to feel like no one can tell you what to do. It just feels strong. I just want you to feel strong and like you can take on anything.

Do you know what’s next?

G: We’ve got a lot of stuff in the pipeline

A: We’re straight back in the studio.

R: We’re nearly done with our third EP. We’re basically finished. We’re 3/4s of the way done.

T: We want to put out an album but we’re so small, we don’t want to put it out and nothing happen with it. We want something to happen. We want it to be special. We know what we’re doing though. We’re just going to keep releasing music.

G: It feels really good to have this momentum as well. As soon as one EP comes out, we’re straight back in the studio doing the next one, just to keep it going. It’s not just for other people; it’s for our benefit as well. We feel so good when new music is coming out all the time.

T: We’re going away for the whole of September to write. Normally we’re just in Brighton, we write, then go home and chill or whatever and you get distracted by whatever’s there. We’ve got this really nice house in the middle of nowhere, we’ve got it for the month and we’re jut going to write a shitload of songs.

R: It’s going to get weird.

Words: Ali Shutler

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