Part of the shoegaze renaissance that is encompassing the wider musical spectrum, Yeahrs are a loud, feisty and guitar-driven crew. Building on their love for hardcore, heavy rock and dreamy shoegaze, the band recently released a new EP called Transfer.Transform, a thoroughly loud and melodic addition to the Berlin rock scene. Aside from the immediate comparisons to the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Deafheaven, the EP is dazzling mix of catchy choruses, washed-out guitars and lush harmonies.
Exberliner caught up with the band’s lead singer Morgan Oliveira to find out how the band came to be and how they fit into the city’s up-and-coming shoegaze scene.
the human being is a creature in constant mutation
Who are Yeahrs and where do you all come from?
Yeahrs are Thomas (bass), Oyemi (guitar), Tom (drums), and myself (guitar and vocals). We all live in Berlin. Oyemi is from Dresden, and Morgan, Thomas, and Tom are from France.
How is Yeahrs pronounced: more like “yeah”, or “years”?
It’s pronounced like “years”.
When did you all meet up and get together?
Thomas and I (Morgan) met in Strasbourg, France. We were born there and lived in the same neighbourhood. We had a common interest in music and skateboarding, so we started hanging out when we were kids and we decided to make a band together years later when we moved to Berlin. Tom is also from Strasbourg. We knew each other from the music scene back then. We lost contact but then met again at a party in Berlin.
We didn’t have a drummer at the time and were looking for someone, so we asked him to join the band in 2019. We met Oyemi – the newest member of the band – at a gig we played in Berlin a few years back. I had already seen her other band, Jaguwar, when they played in Strasbourg. We talked and realised we had a good connection. We later became friends when we toured with her band, so when we decided we wanted to have a new member to play guitar we thought about asking her and she was up for it.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe our sound as a mix of all our different influences. If I had to put a genre on what we do, I would say something like post-shoegaze, but we have a lot of other influences that you can hear in the music: grunge, post-punk, dream pop, indie and hardcore, for example. It’s kind of a blend of all that, something cloudy and dreamy but heavy and rough at the same time.
We don’t want to be stuck in one generic genre, so to be able to play a gig with a dream-pop and a hardcore band at the same time
Who were your influences when writing your music?
I couldn’t really name any artist in particular, as we generally don’t really know where we’re going when we are composing – at least that was the case for this latest record. We definitely have trademarks of our own sound now and you can hear that every time we make a new song, although we try not to close doors on our creativity by trying to sound like this or that artist.
Would you say you’re part of a much larger shoegaze community in Berlin?
I think shoegaze is more a niche than a large community in Berlin, but it depends on what you put under that label. We see it more as sound, emotions and imagery that bring together different genres of music. It feels like there are more and more bands and artists that identify themselves as shoegaze using that same definition, which is a good thing because it creates bridges between music scenes that used to ignore each other. We don’t want to be stuck in one generic genre, so to be able to play a gig with a dream-pop and a hardcore band at the same time makes sense for everyone.
The metaphorical images of ghosts, vampires, mutants, holy and evil figures all somehow converged
What is your new EP Transfer.Transform about?
Transfer.Transform is the idea that the human being is a creature in constant mutation. New information, in its different forms, is transferred like data into the body and brain, causing mutations and constantly creating new versions of yourself. But the name and definition actually came at the end of the writing process.
It’s always interesting to look back at the lyrics and songs when they are all done and realise what’s the common thing in all of them, even though there were no directions nor intentions to do anything conceptual at the beginning. You can find recurrent themes in the lyrics that have a lot to do with growing up, evolving, building or rebuilding yourself through doubts, trauma, physical and mental changes etc.
The metaphorical images that we use of ghosts, vampires, mutants, holy and evil figures all somehow converged into something that inspired the name of the EP and the idea behind it.
What can we expect from Yeahrs for the rest of this year?
We are going play a few gigs in Germany and Europe to support the new EP, and then we’ll prepare the release of our first album that we recorded recently in Leipzig. We can’t really say yet when we will be able to release it, but it will be this year too.