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Interview:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs get into an Empire state of mind
 

By GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

» See more SOUND CHECK

When the Yeah Yeah Yeahs released their first album 10 years ago, the New York rock trio's aspirations were modest according to guitarist Nick Zinner.

"Literally, when we started it, we just wanted to play at New York City nightclubs, and that was as far as we thought about it," says Zinner, 38. "So we definitely feel really, really lucky to have been able to play music for this long and to still play songs from 10 years ago and have, like, young kids who are super-excited about it, like an entire wide spectrum of fans in our audience."

These days the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' fans are excited about "Mosquito," the group's fourth album, which came out in June and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart -- the group's best showing yet. And it's made some history with the video for the album's second single, "Despair," which is the first-ever rock video to be filmed atop the Empire State Building -- with a cameo from King Kong, no less.

"It was really crazy to do," Skinner says. "It took awhile to get clearance from (the building management), especially when we went to them to say we wanted to shoot a video for a song called 'Despair;' they were worried about what that meant.

"But then once they heard the song and read the lyrics and saw the song was actually about overcoming despair, they got behind it. The whole thing felt really special. And, interestingly enough, it was my first time on the Empire State Building, so I had a helluva first time to be there."

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Maximum Hedrum perform Friday, June 28, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30-$45. Call 313-961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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