Band Of The Week // THE Y AXES
Taking on the tires of modern life and ever-changing world in their newest album, San Francisco rockers The Y Axes create a body of work that rings especially relevant now.
Music-making in the modern age is an interesting thing; reality can create a sense of anxiety and hopelessness yet the new technology brings a way for people to connect and share their feelings. Bay Area rockers The Y Axes have leant towards the latter in their newest album No Waves, a soaring album that makes universal the personal feelings of anxiety that we are confronted with frequently.
Speaking about the album, the band shares:
‘No Waves’ is about facing a rapidly changing world head-on, often thrashing to keep from being drowned by hopelessness and anxiety. The album is simultaneously very personal and very congruent with the current moment, despite having begun to write the songs in late 2016. In the sense that we used to call ourselves ‘pop music from the future’, with ‘No Waves’ it seems like we’ve finally caught up to the present. Songs like ‘Nevertheless’ and ‘Get Away’ are about acknowledging the terrifying world we live in today- a world in flames in many senses of the word- but knowing this reality isn’t going away by ignoring it and not taking action. Other songs, like ‘The Gap in Between’ and ‘Moon’ are anthems of confronting self-doubt, letting it swallow you because the reality can’t be worse that the anxieties constructed in your head.
With such a careful thought process underlining their music, we chatted to them more about the themes of the album and themselves in general.
What’s a motto you live by?
Nothing really comes to mind as far as a motto, but off the top of my head I’d say ‘Be kind to others, be true to yourself, be kind of basic if it’s true to yourself.’
If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?
Our sound doesn’t commit to one color, I’d say. If our songs had colors, I’d say they have an array of different ones on each album. This album goes Green, green, orange, purple, green-red, orange, blue, purple, blue, blue.
If you could set the album to a movie, which movie would it be the soundtrack to?
If it’s an existing movie, I’d say End of Evangelion. If it’s a movie that doesn’t exist, it would be like a Red Dawn but the antagonists are either A Quiet Place monsters or part of our same government.
Anxiety seems to be a big theme in the album – what advice would you give to someone experiencing those feelings?
If you can, get some help from a doctor. Usually, I prevent anxiety from hitting by meditating or doing breathing exercises, but usually if anxiety hits me, that’s my brain telling me there’s something I’m not comfortable with happening that I need to pay attention to. Listening to my internal dialogue and finding what’s making me fearful usually helps. Communicating what you need to yourself and to others, setting boundaries where you need to, and knowing you have a right to say no are good ways to keep anxiety at bay.
You used to call yourself ‘pop music from the future’, what are your predictions for the near future?
Predictions for the near future: A new Bon Iver album, Lizzo becomes the most important figure in pop music for 2020, Beto O’Rourke on the cover of GQ magazine, venmo-like apps develop to gameify reducing your carbon footprint, and late-90’s goth comes back.
What does music mean to you?
I’m thinking of a metaphor for music as the air around us, notes coming together as harmonic and dissonant molecules that fill our hearts with life and emotion. Something about universal truths. It’ll probably come to me later.