Ask me anything Mon, Feb. 20, 2012 1 note
americagiveup Asked:
You should release your album takes. However rough they are, I know a good deal of people dying to hear them. Even if they're pretty bare, a load of us are gagging for more to our libraries than takes of Brklyn, Cavalcade, HRHRHYTHM and live versions of Dusk.

we’re trying to work out a way of releasing a collection of our tracks with some merch or for download x

Text Post Mon, Feb. 13, 2012 3 notes

Lately you may have been scratching your head wondering where we have gone. Of course, you may have not been scratching your head wondering where we are. Or you could have just been scratching your head, but not wondering where we are, or vice versa.

Regardless of your cranium itching, we haven’t been around in a while. The sad news it fills me with a deep sense of regret to bear is that we will not be coming back.

For a number of reasons, YAAKS isn’t a venture we feel we can pursue any farther. In hindsight, we rushed into things we were not yet ready for far too hurriedly and found ourselves a year down the line with some quite major flaws in the way we operated as a band.

In the current climate especially, you need to build a structure with strong foundations, but ours was a castle made of sand, and we’ve decided it’s time to close the door on this particular project, in order to open the door to another.

We’ve had so many people asking us when our album will be out, and it makes me truly very sorry to have to dash the cup from the lips of those people. In these times of political rhetoric and PR savviness, the word ‘sorry’ has become quite throwaway, but it is with complete sincerity and seriousness that I apologise, on behalf of the band, to anyone who finds themselves in disappointment.

I would like to stress that there is no level of finger pointing or blame laying going on in our camp. This is no one person’s fault. We are all concentrating on introspection and forensic study and trying to objectively take the lessons we’ve learned from YAAKS on board for the future.

As for the future, we are all seeking to implement those lessons as soon as possible in new and different musical incarnations, which you’ll be able to sample in months to come. So I urge you to watch this space because it’s one we we soon we filling with bright, shiny, new, exciting, sexy, weird and wonderful things.

Keep your ears peeled.

You can find us all on Twitter to stay up to date with our projects and movements, and for all you blog fans, I will be doing a similar blog thing over here (will be up and running very shortly), with 10% extra funny. Free.

I have to thank a whole host of people whose unwavering support and kindheartedness have been staggering at times. It’s difficult to put into words how far our appreciation goes to all of you, who have helped us get as far as we did.

So, in no particular order, my gushing and unbounded thanks goes to my Mumma and Papa Sztyber (Bank of/’s Taxi Service/Bed and Breakfast by) and my sister Sztybers; the missus, Hope, and her Mum’s and her Dad’s households; Chris’ Dad Jeremy (who’s house became like the YAAKS motel); Thom’s, Rob’s and Josh’s families; all everyone else’s girlfriends (special thanks to Jade and Sara for letting me sleep upon your magnificent floor); Tara, Steve et al at Qprime (bigtime thanks); wonder-producer Dave Lynch (for being the most patient man under the Sun); Rob Lynch (no relation); Leif Bratthammer III; Alex Sperrington Jr. Esq.; Frazer; Sonners; all our other mates who’ve helped us out; Geoff and the guys of Animal Kingdom (sorry about the lamp); Bradley Cooper; Nick Eyegrode and his weird shaped head; Giggs; Suneil and his six foot long dreadlocks; Rob Flynn and Tom Beck (#thanks); Matt Shaw; Ricky (whose surname I know not – he tour managed us once); Jo Brittain at Russell’s Solicitors, everyone at Anorak; Jake and Emma at CAA; Haircult in Brighton (for making us look fly(er)); Vince from Chapel Studios; Lee Baldry; Steve LeMacq and everyone at Radio 6; Everyone at Radio 1 (but Huw Stephens and Zane Lowe in particular, and Rob da Bank in mega particular); The Naked and Famous; Trophy Wife (Trifle Wife); Little Comets pet; O-Dessa; and all the other bands and music people that we had the pleasure of bumping into/playing with/stealing alcohol from; Nige and Dave from Supervision; Jim Chancellor et al at Fiction Records; Scottie from Polydor; all the festival organisers (Bestival, Camp Bestival, Radio 1 Big Weekend, Summer Sundae, Great Escape, etc. etc. etc.); all the producers who we pissed off; all the sound engineers who we pissed off more; all the magazines and blogs who wrote such kind words about us; and everyone who put us up/gave us lifts/gave us money/gave us lifts and gave us money/listened to us/came to see us/took pictures of us/drew us, etc.

Thank you all so much, these are debts we’ll owe forever, and our gratitude cannot be measured.

If I missed anyone out (as I’m sure I have), then thank you in advance for not getting too angry.

Please do keep an eye out, come over to the new gaffe, follow our movements on Twitter, stalk us using huge telescopes and telephone hacking techniques, etc., because I for one am not planning on bringing disappointment again.

I hate to leave with a cliché, but this really isn’t the end, it’s only just begun.

See you around

Max x


Text Post Sat, Jan. 07, 2012 3 notes


A return to normality.

No Christmas music, no stories about wind and rain and buses, no nonsense.

Just three good, solid albums. A couple from two of the best guitar bands of the noughties, along with a downtempo Ninja Tune cracker.

This is it.

The Strokes – Is This It (2001)

Well, this takes me back. When I was your age all this music was fields. What an album to see you through your teenage years, a perfect blend of gritty indie pop and slurred angsty vocals about young relationships. This lo-fi masterpiece connects with so many people on so many levels and that’s why it has been so successful. It is nearly always mentioned when the topic of ‘best albums of the 2000s’ comes up, and rightly so, it’s left quite a legacy, and quite an impression on a fair few people. Last Nite, Soma, New York City Cops, Someday. Ah God, I just want to put it on and drive around. Forever and always a winner.

Interpol - Antics (1996)


More Post-Punk guitar band goodness. Another teenage triumph. Solemn and caustic but in an immensely listenable way, much in the way Joy Division were, and it’s an influence worn clearly on the Interpol sleeve. Antics is dark and melodic in equal measures, and in my opinion the best album this band produced. It pulsates from start to finish and oozes cool. I must admit, Interpol are a band I managed to overlook until I made the discovery a few years ago. It was a welcome one. So if you’ve managed to overlook them as well, the welcome discovery is yours for the taking.

Bononbo – Days to Come (2006)

Voted album of 2006 by Gilles Peterson listeners (a very good standard of listener too), Days to Come is a downtempo, trip-hop gem. The music is sweet as a nut and it’s as good as this kind of stuff gets, clever, intense beats and warped, jazzy grooves sit tidily beneath silky smooth vocals. It’s actually about time I found out what the guest vocalist Bajka has done since, because the collaboration on this album is sublime. Move away from your Western guns, travel towards Eastern suns…delicious. It’s a treat of an album. Plus the cover reminds me of the polo sellotaped to the eye of the Cockney Hitcher in the Mighty Boosh. Pound ya banana!

Is that it?

It is.


Max x


Happy New Year YAAKpackers

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances (Tumblr being a knob and crashing whilst I was writing it, on two seperate occasions), my review of 2011 will come a little bit late. Probably somewhere in that ‘I’m-bored-of-reviews-of-the-year-gone-by’ period of time.

But in the meantime, I hope you have some time to rest, recuperate and take stock of the important things. It’s easy to lose yourself in a post-yuletide wilderness around this time of year, and there are a lot of trees to see woods through.

So as a treat here’s a story:

I hate winter. The only two things I like about winter is football and Christmas. I hate the cold. I have Reynard’s and my hands go orange and blue. Then my hands go white. Then my hands go even whiter. Then I have to get blood into my fingers and toes where there is absolutely no blood rather urgently or risk amputation.

I hate the dark. The dark is oppressive and affects my mood. It makes me feel like I have to waste my life indoors and it feels unnatural and unforgiving.

I hate the rain. I hate the wind. The wind and rain together make me really cold. I hate being cold. See above.

I hate buses. Buses take an hour and a half to get from Brighton to Eastbourne, which is a 40 minute car journey.

I hate having £5 in my bank account. I hate knowing I have to get the 7.30 bus tomorrow to get into work at 9.00 (this time a 25 minute car journey). Blah blah blah, first world problems, white whine, spoilt brat.

But I got off of the hour and a half bus I spent the last of my money on, into a foul evening of sheeting rain and howling wind, before the 7.30 bus tomorrow morning, into the cold, cold night that was driving into my face, making my ears ring, my teeth chatter.

And I listened to this.

And I smiled.

* * *

Open up your throat.

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