Meet the LA indie-rock outfit, Yacht Punk! They recently shared a brand new video for their single, “Indian Summer.” The video was premiered on Tuesday with Wolf in a Suit, who praised the video saying, “the music video takes a unique and refreshing route as it is a finely tuned blend of classic vibes and contemporary touches that makes it all really stand out.”
The single is off the band’s upcoming record, Ghosts, which is due out Friday, April 5th.
Laying on the floor of his unfinished basement studio in Beachwood Canyon, Graham Bockmiller realized it was time to go out on his own. The LA-based band Great White Buffalo had run its course, leaving him unsure what would come next. Graham spent the next year holed up inside his studio by himself; contemplating life, writing, collecting nude calendars of Eastern European women suggestively holding large trophy carp, and experimenting with the raw recording skills he had taught himself. Inspired by artists like The Strokes, Foals, and HEALTH, he began exploring new sounds and textures outside of the traditional rock staples of guitar, drums, and bass – testing the limits of his DIY recording chops in search for a more interesting, vibier sound. These songs would later become the beginning of Yacht Punk.
Graham tinkered on demos until a chance meeting with Michael Pozzi (guitar) at Davey Wayne’s on Hollywood Boulevard. Michael was all-in on the project after visiting the studio and hearing where the music was going, and they were soon joined by Graham’s roommate Tricky (drums, no discernible first or last name) and Justin Ricard (bass). They took the demos to producer and indie-rock guru Matt Wignall’s (Cold War Kids, Mando Diao, J. Roddy Walston and the Business) eclectic Tackyland studio in Long Beach. In his converted garage studio (where “Hang Me Out to Dry” was recorded), Wignall took the music to further and weirder places with his unique production black magic. Afterwards, the band brought the tracks back to LA, where they were finished with mixer/engineer Will Brierre (The Killers “Hot Fuss”). Their single “Need a Reason” was featured on Spotify’s New Noise and Fresh Finds playlists.
Learn more about Yacht Punk in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
It’s gonna be a day of full fledged rock and roll. First I gotta answer some emails, then I’m gonna do my laundry and then hit Ralph’s for some grocery shopping. Later on I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself watching Jeopardy with a big plate of tater tots in front of me.
Now that a new year has started, what musical goals does this band have for 2019? What are you most proud of about 2018? Do any of you make any New Years Resolutions?
Well we’d love to jump on a tour with someone later this year if possible, that and write some new gems to get out there after the album comes out on April 5th. 2018 was great because we all kept our blood pressure down and our heart rates at historic lows. We’re not huge believers in New Years Resolutions but I know were all trying really hard to eat less nitrates and be more emotionally present.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on?
Well the band kind of came together in pieces, unfortunately it wasn’t as if we all met on top of a mountain in a lightning storm and decided to join forces like the Justice League. Michael and I started playing together and then we added Tricky on drums and later Justin joined on when we needed a bass player. Trying to come up with names are quite difficult these days because almost all of them are taken. The next time you think you’ve come up with a good band name, google it and I’ll betcha my bottom dollar its already taken. So mostly the name came about because all the handles were available.
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
I think hometowns have had a big influence on us. We have slightly different styles but we all have similar taste in music so it comes together to create a nice goulash. I’m from the Bay Area so I bring some of that post-hippie, pre-tech pretentiousness. Michael is from Boston, so his jacket game is really on point from all that cold weather. And he LOVES fighting. Justin is from Baltimore so he brings that spontaneity that Maryland is so well known for. And Tricky is from Florida, so he comes with that trashy style that you cant find anywhere outside of Orlando. Im joking about all of that by the way. Sorta.
How has your various musical backgrounds helped shape the sound of this band?
Well we all bring slightly different styles and backgrounds to the table, but there’s a lot of common ground in the middle. So I think the intersection of our Venn diagram is where our sound rests.
How do you think that you have grown as a band since forming? What has remained the same?
I think we’ve just gotten better at playing together. If we’re practicing and we start jamming on something every kinda automatically drops into their place and we kinda know where to take a song without even talking about it, which is cool. What hasn’t changed is our deep and undying platonic love for one another.
Let’s talk about your newest song, “Indian Summer.” What was the inspiration for this track? What was it like shooting the video for it? How creatively involved with the process were you all?
This song I actually wrote a while back, even before the whole band got together, but it always kinda felt unfinished. Then one day I came up with the outro part and then it kinda brought it all together and made it more interesting. But the initial inspiration was kind of trying to catch the feeling of looking back on a fond time through a bittersweet lens. Sort of an end of summer vibe. So the footage from the video was actually kind of a test run. I bought a Super8 camera with the intention of shooting band footage, random stuff, etc but I needed to try out a couple rolls of film to see how it turned out. So over the course of 2 weeks or so I just shot a few rolls, I let some friends shoot some, and then got the footage back and it looked pretty cool. I had just enough to put together a video, and it kinda had that “end of summer” vibe so I went with it. Unfortunately I didn’t get to shoot the rest of the band in this one because it was sort of a test run, but were gonna use more Super8 in the future. Our next video will have all of the lads, promise.
How do you think this song prepares listeners for the rest of your upcoming album, “Ghosts”? How will you celebrate the release of this collection?
I think its a good example of what you’re going to get on the album. There’s some vibey parts, there’s some catchy parts, there’s some weird parts. I think its a good peek into the variety that’s on the album. We will be celebrating the release on April 5th with a show at the House of Machines in Downtown LA. It’s gonna be more of a party than a “show” and it should be a good time.
While it’s difficult, can you choose a few other favorite songs on this collection and talk about the inspiration behind them?
I think some favorites of ours are “Nightmare Pool” and “Need a Reason”. Although I don’t think either song was inspired by any one thing in particular, “Nightmare Pool” was inspired by the nostalgia of lost love and friends and “Need a Reason” was partially inspired by the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The video for the later was made from putting together shots from the movie if you wanna check it out.
What has it been like making your forthcoming sophomore album? What has changed about how you record music this time around?
I think while its still early, were writing more as a group than before. A lot of the songs on Ghosts was stuff I had kinda half finished before the rest of the guys joined, so this will really have more elements from all our backgrounds, which is exciting.
Generally, how do you all go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
Well like I said, Ghosts was more a collection of my ideas, but now we’re all chipping in more. Usually someone will come in with a little part and then we all jump in on it and see where it goes. Then maybe one or two of us will work on it in the studio, try to develop it more, and then jam it again, and then develop it more, and so forth and so on until hopefully we end up with something good.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
I think there’s the best moments can come from all of those. When we’re all playing something new during practice that’s sounding cool, that’s a happy moment right there. When we’re playing a show and everyone’s in the zone and just letting it happen, that’s another happy moment right there. They can come in all shapes and sizes, but the feeling is the same.
Where can fans see you perform next? What do you think makes an ideal show for this group?
I think an ideal show is one that feels more like a party than a “show”. Everyone gets together and has a good time with us and their friends. I think its more important for everyone to interact with each other rather than just kinda watching us on stage. We wanna be a part of that thing but not the main reason to be there.
Do you find that all of social media and keeping up with your fans has gotten so overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?
Yea I mean its a weird thing. In a world where everyone is constantly bombarded 24/7, we try to not just be constantly posting stuff just for the sake of posting stuff. We wanna post just the important or interesting things that are going on, quantity over quality. The juicy bits. I think Instagram has got to be the most important one and kinda leaves you the most room to get content out there and engage with fans. Facebook is a complete dead zone now, but we do appreciate the comments from our aunts and grandmas.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
For me music has always been an escape from the reality of the “real world” and all the problems that go along with it. I feel like its kind of a safe place where you can just put all that BS aside for a few minutes and just enjoy a moment of happiness, excitement, sadness, or whatever that song is doing for you.
What musicians would you love to work with in the future? What artists have really been inspiring this group and your music since day 1?
It would be great to work with a producer who’s done things we like, but as far as other musicians I think its kinda better to let them do their thing and let us do ours. I think it would be cooler to go out on tour with musicians we love rather than actually work with them. Some bands that we’ve been into from the start are bands like Foals, Broken Social Scene, Interpol, and The Pixies.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
This is pretty cliche, but I think the message of the music is whatever about it speaks to you. If you hear a lyric or a part that connects with you and speaks to you then that’s awesome. The songs have certain meanings to me personally but that’s kind of irrelevant. It’s really all about the individual listener at the end of the day.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about this group?
We’re just out here to share the Christmas spirit and holiday joy for every girl and boy.