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Interview:
Storm didn't dampen Yeasayer's ambitions for new album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Yeasayer took its time making its latest album, "Amen & Goodbye." But that doesn't mean the proceedings were entirely calm.

At one point of the recording process, which was done mostly in New York's rural Catskill mountains, a storm damaged the studio roof and literally washed out some of the music the experimental rock trio had taped. But the group did its best to make proverbial chicken salad out of the situation.

"At first we were a little disappointed because at the time, when you're rally in the studio and you lose a few days' worth of work, you're like, 'Ah, man, that really sets us back,'" the group's Chris Keating says by phone from Boston. "But in the scheme of working for months and months and months, it just gave us new inspiration.

"So we were like, 'Maybe we can sample that one thing that's still there and build something around that.' You just have to be open to accident and chaos when you're creating any kind of art."

For "Amen & Goodbye" Keating and company certainly went for high concept. "I think we were trying to make something that felt like a document of sort of a future religion, an experimental religion from the future," says Keating, 34, himself the product of a mixed Jewish-Catholic home. "It's like, what if we lost all our texts and mythology and religions from our culture and we were forced to reinvent something. What would it be?

"We just thought so much amazing music has been made with religion in mind that maybe we could do something wtih that."

Keating says Yeasayer delved into plenty of source material for the album's lyrics, including Reza Aslan's acclaimed 2013 book "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth." But nothing, he says, was more illuminating than going to the original texts.

"Y'know, there's nothing more exotic and crazy and interesting and totally bizarre and sickening at the same time as reading the Old Testament," Keating says. "It's not just violent; It's venal. It can be truly perverse and evil -- battles, rape, incest, you name it. It's truly some of the most repugnant and horrific things I've ever read. So, yeah, that gave us plenty of ideas."

Yeasayer and Young Magic

Sunday, May 22. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Tickets are $25.

Call 313-833-9700 or visit majesticdetroit.com.


Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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