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Interview with TURNSTILE singer Brendan Yates

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Photo by Jimmy Fontaine

AFL: YO! It’s great to talk with you. You are about to release a new album at the end of the month, Titled Time and Space is that still on track for the 23rd?

Brendan: Yes in about 2 weeks.

AFL: What is the title TIME & SPACE all about?

Brendan: It’s about our personal time and space. It’s about having time and space to step back and breathe. It’s more of a personal thing than an outer space thing.

AFL: You have released 3 videos to the album, how many tracks will the record have? Will you make videos for all the songs on the album?

Brendan: The new album will have 13 songs. I’m not sure if we will make videos for all the songs. Two of the videos we’ve made so far have been detailed videos and two have been visual kind of paint a little picture of the song instead of a full music video. But I’m not sure yet if we will do the rest.

AFL: tell us little bit about what’s behind the videos: Moon, will Franz sing on more tracks or just the one song? And how about I don’t wanna Be Blind and now Real Thing?

Brendan: Franz sings on the song Moon, which I think is a really cool song that I wrote. I wanted him to sing on it because it just felt right. The song I don’t Wanna be Blind, is probably the slowest song we have done as a band. I think that It’s a cool thing because, naturally I’ve been sporadic and all over the place when writing songs. I like them short with a lot of tempo changes, so this time it was cool to build a different kind of energy with a slow song. I think the song the Real Thing is a simple idea that kind of speaks for itself. The video paints the picture of a mystic montage of dream like things happening, basically living in a dream kind of thing.

AFL: Why did you decide to release TIME & SPACE on the major label Roadrunner Records (not directly a major label, but belongs to Warner Music Group) and not about „in-band“ label Pop Wig Records?

Brendan: Yeh, actually we have known Roadrunner for a few years now. They reached out of us a few years ago and wanted to do a record. At the time we didn’t know them that well, and we didn’t want to jump into anything so we put out the last LP and then did our 7” on Pop Wig. But over the last 2 years we have built up a relationship with them. We realsied that there are a lot of great people there and they really care about our band. We had lots of discussions about the possibilities of what we could do with our band and the direction that it takes. They put a lot of people at our disposal who were ready and able to take care of any issues we had. They helped us to come in contact and facilitate what it is to be in a band and put out our own label. We have a bunch of releases planed with Pop Wig. It’s cool to be involved in lots of different music styles and receive exposure. At the end of the day it helps us build upon our music.

Photo by Jörg Baumgarten of Kuckuck Artwork

AFL:  Here at AFL we have divided opinions about your music, on your three releases PRESSURE TO SUCCEED (2011), STEP 2 RHYTHM (2013) and MOVE THRU ME (2016) you have a much bigger hardcore influence on your two albums Nonstop Feeling (2015) and TIME & SPACE (2018). Coincidence?

Brendan: I think it’s a mix of things. It’s a correlation of different influences of what the band has already done. I think we should be always building upon what the band has already done. I think it keeps us from falling into a set pattern and certain sound, and getting trapped within that sound. To end up being intimidated to try something new, based off wether people like it or not. I think that since the band Turnstile started it’s obvious that some of our early stuff is directly influenced by old school New York Hardcore stuff. That influence has always been in the band but there has always been a lot of melodic singing. I think it’s a natural progression to build upon what the band has already done, to kind of step outside the box in a lot of ways, to do what feels right and not feel like you have to fit a certain kind of mold to be accepted in a scene. I think that also goes with anything in life. I think that anyone who listens to the music will have their own frame of reference, like hey I think this sounds like this or that sound like that sounds like something completely different, just because of the kind of music they listen to or have been exposed to. I think it’s cool that everyone can take what they want from the music, but at the end of the day we should be able to make music to what truly, truly what the band is and the individuals that make up the band. We write songs that we feel are good to play and make us feel good about what we play. We try to bring a kind of positive energy and build upon the spirit of what the band is, feel good feel natural.

AFL: Let’s move on. What has always interested me: what is the name of the band TURNSTILE?

Brendan: We felt like it was a cool word, so we went with it. Naturally I feel like band names turn into their own thing, we thought it sounded cool.

AFL: Turnstile has been around since 2010 years. Have you achiever your goals with the band, honestly did you ever believe that you would be so successful when you founded TURNSTILE? I mean, you are one of the hottest bands of our time and your shows are almost always completely full.

Brendan: Yah, you know that after starting the band the only thing we thought of was to have fun. To have a creative outlet. To be with your friends. The foundation of this band is that we are all best friends. For example Franz didn’t even know how to play Bass Guitar, but I just needed him to be in the band and he had never touched a Bass before. I wanted to be in a band with my friends so I made him learn to play. He did it and we started playing shows. The foundation is there; the more you play the better it feels. I think that if the band ended tomorrow that we would feel good with what we have accomplished. I have no desire to be the biggest band it the world, other than we always switch things up, take the opportunity to create and play music. I would like to take our music pleases that I have never been to or any band has been, and to expand and build upon that.  I want to make sure that our music sounds good to the hard working people that support our music.

Photo by Jörg Baumgarten of Kuckuck Artwork

AFL: I have to ask this question because it just interests a lot of fans (including me!). You are already confirmed for the summer in Hellfest in France. An exclusive European show or is there more to come?

Brendan: We have some plans to come to Europe in the summer. We will defiantly play some club shows and some festivals and do a proper European tour, Yeh.

AFL: What is your stance on concert goers taking photos and videos of your performance and posting it in social media?

Brendan: That’s cool; I’m cool with people doing whatever they want. People should be free to do what they want, as long as they don’t make someone mad, by getting in their face or something like that.

AFL:  Looking at your Facebook page is it up to date. The last time I saw you live I could have sworn that you preformed as a 5 piece, but on FB there’s only 4 band members listed is that correct?

Brandan: OH thanks for bringing that up. I personally don’t have FB. But I’ll have that checked out. We had our original guitarist (Sean) play until 2015.  We parted ways with him because it just wasn’t working out with all the touring, we are still friends. But Pat has been playing guitar since 2015.

AFL: Do you have you any last words?

Brendan: Yeh, I love  bands like Crime Watch, Fusion ,  Vision , King 9 ,  A lot of great bands,  and a lot of great people,  in our community that I hope I get to continue to be friends with and  help thrive. I appreciate the time for the Interview and showing an interest in our band.

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