Yankee Brutal is an American melodic hardcore band which has been active since 2011. Born from a fallen but not quite dead local punk scene, where they’ve flourished and grown out of different offensive bands. One of their main focus is their criticism of the American judicial and social systems, which is reflected in their songs and lyrics. The band consists of Wesley (Vocals/Guitar), A.j. (Vocals/Guitar), Mike (Bass/Vocals) and Josh (Drums). Since I heard about them from the popular site and zine Lukinzine, I had to listen to their two songs from the record. Which is titled “The Everlasting Greed“, out on the 16th of November, and can be per-ordered from the Dying Scene Records bandcamp. I digged it and decided to send away some questions about the band. So it became a brief questionnaire of some sort, which I will be keeping up for all you readers that don’t like the wall of text I normally produce. Hope you enjoy it. By the way, Wesley is the one answering the questions.
So you’ve been active since a year back, but what would you say have been your aim with Yankee Brutal and how would you describe yourselves?
– Yeah, we officially started YB in November of 2011, with the goal at that time being getting back into playing punk rock. I personally had some success with my previous band Another Damn Disappointment (Volcom Entertainment), but eventually left the band to pursue my drinking career. Haha. But seriously I quit playing music for half a decade, then woke up one day and thought to myself, what am I doing? Soon after we decided to go in to Mayhemeness Studio’s in our hometown of Sacramento and lay down a full length and started making a game plan to get out on the road, and stay there. I guess if I were to describe the band I’d have to say we’re a working mans band trying to make a life out of doing what we do best.
There’s a sense of you being critical against the American society, but where did that come from originally? Could you explain why you’re targeting it?
– There definitely is criticism in most of our songs. I can’t pinpoint exactly where it all started, but it was a long time ago when our eyes were opened up to everything wrong in our society. I mean, as far as politics over here go, it’s all a facade. We have big business dropping millions of dollars into political campaigns with the aim that who ever they fund will push anything that helps big business separate the margin between the rich and the poor. Risking completely erradicating the middle class. Hence “The Everlasting Greed“. As far as targeting it, I think it’s more along the lines of we write better songs (we feel) about things that are upsetting. It feels more real writing an angry song and I’d hope to enlighten others and instil that same burning passion I have into whoever else will listen.
What would you say are your favorite lyrics that the band have currently produced and who writes the lyrics?
– Personally I like the lyrics in Manifest Treachery the most. More specifically the chorus; “Fight fire with fire, Hate with hate, We fight with hate cause hate does not discriminate”. I (Wesley) write most of the lyrics myself if possible, but often I hit a roadblock and I’ll have to bounce what I have to the band and hear what they come up with. Then go back and often use their rhythms and melodies to reinvent what I already had and build off it all. So really we all have our influence on every aspect of the band.
Could you tell me about the creative process behind your latest album which is being released on Dying Scene Records? Why should people buy this piece of music?
– With “The Everlasting Greed“, we came together really with just 4 or 5 songs I had written over the course of a couple years just for my own amusement, and used them to start the band. Songs like Facedown, Welcome Home, and The Everlasting Greed were in our original practice regiment on day one. Of course they’ve all grown and matured as songs do when you play them over and over again. We used to demo the songs around 3 times each, adding parts, changing little things here ‘n there doing whatever we could imagine to really create music that we were happy with and that we thought others would enjoy mutually. And on that note I would recommend, if you like fast, shreddy, melodic punk. Support what you can, there are so few bands playing any style of punk rock these days, that if you want it to come back around, its going to take a group effort.
Not just from bands, but local scenes, individuals, podcasters. Anything it takes to keep rad music around I personally take part in whenever I can, just to keep it going as long as possible. I’m a firm believer in the “Occupy your local Scene” movement. Without a unified local punk/hardcore scene, it makes it hard for any band in related genres to really do anything. Being in a band is a lot tougher than I think a lot of people would imagine. So in conclusion, if you dig the album, I encourage you to occupy Dying Scene Records’ bandcamp page, and pick a copy up. All procedes are being reinvested in Yankee Brutal tours, merch, our next record and whatever other band expenses come around.
Thank you for answering!
– Hope these answers are sufficient, thanks for the support!