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What started as a series DIY laptop recording sessions in a busy London share house has grown to become a three piece, Brisbane based, alt-rock band, Yeti Ghetto.
So far, the band have released two singles; the very recently released early 90’s lo-fi indie/alternative rock sounding Life’s a Killer and indie folk rock inspired Real Feels, which was released earlier this year. Both of these tracks are due to feature on their forthcoming, debut album, JINX, which as of yet, does not have a scheduled release date.
Hysteria caught up with the main brain behind the project, Scott Luderman to learn more about Yeti Ghetto.
Tell me about the project name, Yeti Ghetto. Is there a significant reason behind choosing it, or was it just something that sounded cool?
Yeah, there’s a significant reason actually! I’m a huge MF Doom fan, his music has always inspired my stuff. I was listening to his stuff and I heard him say something about the yeti ghetto slang. I thought ‘Oh that’s really cool!’. I always love they way that he puts words together and his music in general, so I thought ‘You know what? I might carry that on somehow’.
What inspired you to get into music, when did you realise that it was a serious concern?
I honestly don’t know what else I would do! I have been making music since I was about 12 or 13, in a whole bunch of different bands and stuff like that. I feel like that is something that I have done more or less forever in some capacity! I can’t really imagine not doing it.
Totally! So, Yeti Ghetto started off as a solo project and now it’s grown into a band?
Yeah, correct! It started as just me mucking around in my share house on my laptop. I had ideas for some songs and I put them together in the share house, which was pretty crazy! Eventually what happened was that I came back to Australia. I had some friends here who I’ve played with for a really long time. I showed them the tracks and we decided to link up and work on them a bit more, in a live sense, just put a whole new spin on the project!
You started writing in that crowded, chaotic share house environment? How did that impact on the music that you created?
It probably impacted more on my housemates to be completely honest (Laughs). Everybody hates Wednesdays, so I dedicated Wednesday to being recording day. All week, I’d think about vocals, guitars or anything that needed doing and then get up super early on a Wednesday morning, wait for everyone to go to work, plug in all my stuff and just go as crazy as I could until everyone started coming home. On Wednesdays there would be all this pent up energy from like “Ooh I’ve got to record this and gotta record that! Maybe I should try this!? Maybe I should try that!?”. It would be a manic twelve or so hours and then another week of “What else could I do to those tracks?”. Thankfully, my neighbours didn’t complain too much about anything, which was good.
I think that the benefit of being limited to a laptop and a pretty primitive setup is that you are not going to get everything perfect all the time. Just embrace imperfections.
[ Scott Luderman ]
What have been some of the biggest lessons that you have learnt from the process of creating this album?
Not to overthink too much. Because I didn’t picture Yeti Ghetto becoming a big project played live or anything like that, it was just for my own fun and benefit. I felt like I had so much freedom and I was not too concerned about if this was perfect or that was perfect. Obviously, I wanted it to sound as good as it could! But, I was able to really be free, there was no real pressure with it, in that sense, I just let it be how it was. I think that the benefit of being limited to a laptop and a pretty primitive setup is that you are not going to get everything perfect all the time. Just embrace imperfections.
Imperfections are part of the charm!
Yeah! I think it makes it more personal, you know?
Your most recent single, Life’s a Killer, is the second single to be released from your forthcoming debut album. Tell me a little bit about this track.
I actually remember starting that track. I didn’t have any ideas for the song in particular, I just picked up the acoustic guitar and came up with the little riff at the beginning. I thought “Oh! That could be something! That sounds pretty cool!” and then just sort of started fleshing out music. I thought that it was a really fun song, it just felt really fun. It was relatively easy to put together, it wasn’t too stressy. Then I started piecing the lyrics together. The ‘Life’s a killer’ thing came about because I was reading heaps of William S. Burroughs at the time and he has a poetry book called Life is a Killer. Living in London, everyone is always running for trains and buses, there is this 9 to 5, Monday to Friday stress of everything. So, it came as an anthem against that sort of thing. It’s just an anthem to have fun and to not take everything too seriously because, ultimately, life is a killer!
The accompanying video looks very retro. Tell me a bit about the video.
I got in touch, basically randomly, through the internet with this girl called Rachel Seropian, who is an experimental animator in California. I saw that she had done a whole bunch of really cool stuff. I sent her the song and she liked it and said “I’ve got some really good ideas for this!”. I filmed some footage around my house, random things that I felt were average day to day activities, chopped it all up and sent it through to her. Then she created an animated environment, essentially. It was really cool! That stuff always amazes me. I was really impressed with what she came up with.
Who was behind the artwork for Life’s a Killer?
That’s my friend Johnny Russell. He’s always done my artwork, he’s a great artist. He’s done artwork for Regurgitator and a whole bunch of other bands. I first saw Johnny’s art, maybe five or six years ago? The moment I saw it, it just really struck a chord with me. Whenever I have a song that I am going to put out there, I always contact Johnny and ask “Do you have anything in mind for this?”. Because I feel that his art is just really incredible. It is awesome that he had something in mind and that we were able to work together on it.
You’ve currently release two singles from your forthcoming debut album, we’ve talked about Life’s a Killer, the other one being Real Feels. Are these tracks an accurate representation of what JINX has in store for us?
Yeah, I think so. The whole album is everything in between those two moods; They have very different feels, those tracks. There’s a lot of introspective tracks, but there’s also lot’s of party, ‘banger’ sort of tracks. Yeah, so I do feel like they are good markers for what they whole record is going to be like.
What was your creative vision for this album?
I just wanted to have something that was really personal. I didn’t want to present it in any way that wasn’t me. I wanted to make something that documented my life at that period of time. That was essentially it. I wanted to be as honest with it as I possibly could. Sonically, I wanted it to be really raw and really fuzzy. I love playing guitar, so I love making whacky guitar sounds. I wanted it to be noisy and quite raw, but I also wanted the vocals, the lyrics and melodies to be things that people can cling to and hear through all that noise.
That sounds great! I can’t wait to hear the whole thing!
I can’t wait to see what you think of it!
Have you got a planned release date?
Yeah, it will be out later on this year. I think I’ll do another single after this one, about July-ish, then the album around September-October.
Other than the album release, what is the rest of 2019 looking like for you?
With the album, we will do a whole bunch of shows. We’ve already started working on a follow up album to this one! So, putting that together over the summer and playing a whole bunch of shows, essentially!
Already on to the next project!?
Yeah! You can’t stop me recording! I love it!
Have you been sitting on this one for a while then?
Yeah, basically. When I came back from the UK, I had to get myself sorted again in Australia. So I was like, wait ‘till I have the time to put it out properly.
Were you in the UK for a while? Did you go over there for creative purposes?
Yeah. I went over there to play music, learn and obviously I wanted to play as many gigs as I could, which I managed to do. I wanted to record in a lot of studios and try and learn as much as I could.
How is the UK scene different from the Australian scene?
I think the UK scene is so varied. When you have a dense population like that, there are just so many scenes, and they’re all happening at once. You can be really in tune with the scene that you are involved with, but there are scenes going on that you have no idea that exist, and when you do learn about it them it is like “Oh my god! This has a massive following!”. It seems like there is a scene for everything, you just need to kind of know where to look for it.
That’s really interesting. What sort of things were you getting inspired by?
I’m a bit of a Spotify nerd, I’m always listening to strange stuff on Spotify. It was kind of amazing to see … like I would hear a band on Spotify and, more often than not, they were going to be playing in the UK really soon. So you would go and see them, it would be a random track that you would have seemingly randomly found, and there would be heaps of people at the shows! These were people that I didn’t know, obviously. There were bands that I didn’t think many people would have heard of, but they obviously had reasonably big followings and were influencing a lot of people. It was interesting to see that play out in real life. It was like “Oh my god. This is all existing somewhere.” I would go into the show completely blind, might only be like 5 or 10 pounds to go to a show. So you’d go there like “I don’t know what this is going to be like. Is there going to be ten people?” And then there would be like hundreds of people! It was really exciting! A lot of the music wasn’t necessarily the kind of thing that you would associate with having a huge following. It seemed, to me at least, a little bit more underground. It made me feel so stoked for the band. I was really inspiring to see. A lot of these people put together records on their own. So you’d see people to that and its developed into this thing, which I’m sure they never expected or saw coming!
What are your long-term aspirations?
I’m just happy to keep making music, to be completely honest! I love making music. Essentially, I just want to play shows and make more music. That’s really it! It’s quite simple really! I don’t have any plans for world domination or anything like that. (Laughs).