October 10, 2017

Ferocious, fiery and full of energy, Yonaka are the Brighton-band that bounce between pop, rock, metal and everything in between. Fresh off the release the their debut EP “Heavy” and a summer jam-packed with festivals, we talk to vocalist Theresa Jarvis to find out more about their sound, their inspirations and erratic live shows…

Watch the video for their track “Bubblegum” off their new EP “Heavy”

Where did the name Yonaka come from?

The name Yonaka means the ‘dead of night’ in Japanese. We wanted a feeling of darkness to our music and when we discovered this word it immediately clicked.

How did you get together?

We all met in Brighton, where we live, and had been friends with each other for years before we started playing music together. George (guitarist) and I started playing together and we just had this insane connection! Rob (drummer) then joined and it felt even better. Alex, our bassist, filled in for us for a random show and ended up staying with us. It’s the perfect mix and we’re all completely in love with what we’re doing.

How would you describe your sound?

That’s tricky! It’s a blend of everything – we all have so many influences. I always think of it as ‘heavy pop’ but I’m down with people interoperating it how they want.

Tell us all about your debut EP “Heavy”

Releasing the “Heavy” EP was such a special moment for us. We have only released three songs prior so we were more than ready. It feels good to have a body of work out there that we’re all really proud of. We couldn’t have asked for a better response and we’re ready to take on the world!

What’s your creative process like?

It will either start with a melody or a riff. We build a skeleton of the song at home, generally just with guitar and vocals, and then we take it to the studio for everyone to put their magic on. We always try different ways of writing but this seems to be our formula. We’ve worked with the very amazing Rodaidh Mcdonald on the EP, who’s produced all of The xx/Sampha material. He’s brilliant.

How would you say your sound has grown and changed since you started out?

Being together overtime obviously makes us stronger as a band and the feel our music output has reflected that. We move with what feels good: the music is all based on a feeling.

What’s your live show like?

Erratic, sweaty and loud. Come down!

What are you inspired by?

So many things. Other artists’ are definitely one of them. We all grew up on different stuff and I think you can hear that through our music. Jeff Buckley to Amy Winehouse to The Mars Volta to Kendrick Lamar to Arctic Monkeys. Life is also a massive inspiration – ups and downs ignite something within us when we get to writing.

What’s next?

We’re heading out on a UK tour next week and will playing across the country of the coming months. We’ll be popping to Holland in between and we’ll also have our official video for “Bubblegum” coming out.