by Francis Andrews in New Music on Thursday 7 February 2008

We featured red hot Brooklyn band Yeasayer on Lost At E Minor a few months back, so we thought it was time we checked in with keyboardist-sampler, Chris Keating. There’s a flurry of bands emerging from Brooklyn who are crafting some of the finest music around at the moment. What is it about the area that fuels this creativity? ‘Brooklyn is just a giant neighborhood where many different creative people have come and decided for some reason or another to try and make a home. New York’s proximity to many other major cities and cultural centres as well as its abundance of musical venues and opportunities seems to draw a lot of interesting people and plenty of herbs as well’. It’s claimed in reviews and biogs that you shot to prominence largely because of a live performance at SXSW festival. Did this make you nervous about how your record would be received coming out of a stereo? ‘I don’t really know that this is true. There weren’t very many people at either of our SXSW shows and we toured twice after that without very many people coming to our shows. Our record is what got us any attention in the first place’. Songs like 2080 sound like a party until your ears tune into the near-apocalyptic lyrics. What’s the deal here, are you anticipating the end with big drums and duelling guitars? ‘With so many politicians preaching end-timer ideologies the only option we have is to dance frantically on the titanic’. A number of this year’s most promising bands, including you, borrow from — or even base their music on — indigenous sounds from far flung countries. Why is this becoming such a fad? ‘We just draw on any sounds that inspire us at the time. I feel like we draw more inspiration from David Bowie or A Tribe Called Quest than indigenous sounds but we are happy to pilfer any sonic textures that are exciting to us at any given moment’. Is the ‘Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel’ genre you’ve coined a way of avoiding being pigeon-holed into a mainstream category? ‘That’s just something we wrote for MySpace. I wouldn’t mind someone coming up with something better. Maybe Disco-Rock?’

Listen to the Yeasayer song, Wait for the summer.