By Caleb Sweeting
Not many artists can say they’ve collaborated with Peking Duk and Hermitude, but Melbourne-based producer Yeo can tick it off the bucket list. Of course there is a reason for this – Yeo (pronounced Yo) can write, sing and produce - the lot. I had a phone convo with the electro-guru ahead of his national tour promoting his new full-length album Ganbaru. We talked a lot about DJs and what separates the good electronic artists from the bad.
For people who don’t know you, can you describe Yeo in a nutshell?
At the moment it’s electronic-pop and it’s kind of shrouded in production; there’s a little electro influence and dance… It’s pop, always influenced by pop music.
In your previous recordings has this been different?
Definitely yeah. I’ve done like reggae, folk, country… (laughs) there’s a bit of variety in the back catalogue.
Nah that’s cool man. But I definitely think punters don’t just want to go out and see a band anymore, people crave that electronic element. But I think it’s good to have both, I mean you can really sing.
Yeah, thanks Caleb it’s really nice of you to say that. (Pauses) I wanna ask you a question.
Um, yeah? Alright…
How do you feel it all ties in with the insane popularity of DJs? You know there is a big difference between bands like us that tour with drum kits and big amps and then these guys get payed way more to show up with USB sticks…
Honestly?.. I think it’s a load of shit.
I’m more of a person who likes ‘real’ music, but then again I like to go out and get blind and rave like most 19-year-olds do. But I think having the best of both worlds, so to speak, is more appealing.
That’s good to hear.
Do you feel the same?
Yeah. Guys like Hermitude they play so much live you know, they’ve got so many synths and drum pads and stuff – that shit’s cool. You need to be able to see active movement and it comes back to music. Like I think production based stuff is really good, like I’m working with a producer at the moment and it’s like Froot Loops; all in the box, all on the computer, but when he plays, he performs. So kind of what I’m talking about is, he is a DJ so he plays his sets on two Pioneer decks but the thing is, what makes him good is he interacts with the crowd. You know? Same with Peking Duk, they really bring the crowd into it, they get guests on, they make it a show…
Yes. It needs to be more than just a DJ at your local pub down the road on a Friday night... Like it’s gotta be something that people wanna pay for and remember and want to see you again. You know?
So I’ll see you Friday night?
Yeah, we’re also bringing our own projections and killer visual show, I’m really looking forward to it!
Catch Yeo play this Friday night (March 4) at Pirie & Co. Social Club as part of Yewth Presents: alongside Tracy Chen, Hummingbird + Healthy Tapes. Tickets available here or $15 on the door.