Monday, May 30, 2011

Interview: Yourself and The Air

Chicago trio Yourself and The Air create an organic blend of intricate and dreamy indie rock with spacey atmospherics on their excellent fourth EP Who’s Who In The Zoo, released May 24th on Lujo Records. The band has been touring constantly and gliding under the radar for far too long. Who’s Who in the Zoo should finally gain them the attention they deserve.

Here Erick Crosby from Yourself and the Air talks about the band’s new EP, plans for a national tour this summer, and what’s spinning in their stereos.


I am excited that Who’s Who In The Zoo is finally out! This is your first release for a label (Lujo Records), how do you think that will help you guys this time around?

I think it will help mostly get our name around to more people, but it also has a good effect us personally. It feels good to have a team to work with and it makes us wanna play better and write more for the future, so that way everyone gets the most out of the situation.

My favorite song on the EP is “Bicycles Plus” and has been since its debut on Daytrotter in 2009. What is your favorite song and why?

I would have to say “Sick Days”, only because it reminds me of when I was little–at least that’s what it’s about.

In reviews you have been compared to many great bands but who and/or what do you say are your influences?

There are so many to name. We were really into the indie rock scene when we were younger, by that I mean bands like Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Pixies. But nowadays, it’s kind of all over the board. Right now I’m digging Chad Vangaalen.

Who’s Who In The Zoo is your fourth EP. Are you currently writing or planning on a debut full-length in the near future?

Yes, we’re writing at the moment. Hopefully we can have a good amount of songs to put together on a full length for Lujo very soon, but we’re trying our hardest not to rush the process, and to not have to settle on the first songs we write, which has seemed to always be the case in the past. It’s always a bummer when you listen to a song and say, “Man, we should’ve left that one out.” So we’ll try to avoid that as much as we can.

You are getting ready to go out on tour to support the new EP. I saw you last June at the Southgate House in Kentucky when you were on tour with Friendo and let’s just say it wasn’t exactly a packed house, but you guys played like it was! What inspires you while on tour and keeps you going during nights like those?

Well mostly I think we all just enjoy being in other places than home–that’s enough can keep me going forever I feel like. Plus it’s always a bummer when you are that one guy in the place, and the band is super pissed.

What are you guys listening to in the van while on tour?

Lately, NPR. Ha ha! Getting real into talk radio. But I’m making a giant collection of cassette tapes for us to listen to. A lot of foreign music has made its way into that collection, plus a lot of old stuff I never really gave a good listen, like Funkadelic. Also, I’ve been jamming to some newer bands like Thee Oh Sees, Braids, Dustin Wong, Bear in Heaven as of late.

What other bands or musicians would you like to tour or collaborate with?

Hmm…maybe Menomena. We love those guys. It would be nice to write a song with Joe Walsh too. Ha ha, I’m serious though.

What one older and one current song do you wish you would’ve written yourself?

“Black Rice” by Women and “Heroes and Villains” by the Beach Boys.

Besides Erick’s project Hands In, what other side-projects are you guys working on?

Jeff has had a project since High School, called Trancedental, and also Jeff and Drew played a show under Wildcats and Gemstones. I’m unsure if that will turn into something or not.

Not that you would want to, but if you had to, who would you choose to replace yourself in the band?

Ha ha. I would say, John C. Reilly’s character, Dale Doback from Step Brothers, although he deserves packed arenas.

This interview also appeared on


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