By Kieran Webber
Mr Yolk is the project of 22-year-old designer and songwriter Samuel Jones, whom is accompanied by band members Enzo Lauvergne, Charlie Carmichael, Antoine Jauneau and Rich Chapman. Together they blend the sounds of early brit-pop with psychedelic tangents, imagine if an Andy Warhol Exhibition could communicate with you.
Recently they released their debut album ‘Self-Portrait’ which was nothing short of fantastic, the collection of transcendent sounds danced through your ears with ethereal meander.
After getting our ears round the album we were eager to find out more about the bands creative process and influences, so we had a few words with them.
CLUNK: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! How have you been and what have you been up to?
SJ: I’ve been okay. I am currently writing my thesis at the moment so I am pretty busy reading and such. Kind of annoying as I can’t properly enjoy the books as I’m thinking constantly about referencing.
CLUNK: Your debut album ‘Self Portrait’ is out now but what can people expect from it?
SJ: I think there’s some good melodies in there. Some other sounds in there I haven’t used before within the psych kind of thing. It’s pretty apparent there’s a strong amount of grooves also.
CLUNK: When writing your music do you take influence from personal things or is it a tale/story you’re trying to tell?
SJ: I don’t tell stories, no. It will probably be personal in some way…I think it’s important to be aware of where you are at in your own condition. Music is to a degree about escapism yes but as a writer that has to end to a certain extent. If it doesn’t I imagine you would end up living in a completely deluded world which is probably damaging artistically. If there is anything toward that kind of lyrical content I would prefer to call it surrealism.
CLUNK: How long have you been making music and why did you start?
SJ: I’ve been writing songs for about 8 years. Constantly trying to get better. I started because at the time of 2007 or whenever it was it was all shit. The Klaxons, Snow Patrol, Arctic Monkeys, Foals, Coldplay etc. etc….Do me a favour, ya know?
“I’ve been writing songs for about 8 years. Constantly trying to get better”
CLUNK: Your music has heavy psychedelic elements but do your other projects carry a similar vibe?
SJ: I would say probably yes. Velvet Morning was my last project which was heavily psych based. My other one Rocket Ship TV is a lot softer and a bit prettier. There will always be experimentation with new sounds. That’s quite a nice thing to be sure in yourself about. It makes you feel you will always be stimulated.
CLUNK: Was there a particular person or artist that inspired you to make music, if so who and why?
SJ: The Velvet Underground growing up was a huge thing for me. Melodically, lyrically, rhythmically and in their creativity they had it all. Later The Stone Roses for me were a band I felt and still fell also bare these traits as well as a sense of real uplifting spirit in their songs.
Listen to ‘Baker Street’ here:
CLUNK: What are 5 albums that helped shape you as an artist so far and why?
SJ: That is an impossible question to answer!!
CLUNK: If you could collab with any artist (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
SJ: I would want to ruin any of Lou Reed’s songs so not him. I would probably choose someone who tends to collaborate a lot and are comfortable in that process. Ariel Pink…yeah him.
CLUNK: Outside of music what do you like to do?
SJ: I am a trained designer and that is a huge part of my life. It pairs with music brilliantly and allows me to have an understanding of that pairing and creative control over our LP sleeves.
CLUNK: What can people expect from your live sets?
SJ: Our recordings are very bright, well recorded hi-fi kind of sounds whereas live we play a lot more like a band. Elements of shambolicness at times but I like how it goes. It’s much more raw.
CLUNK: How would you describe the difference between playing live and recording music?
SJ: Recording music is probably my favourite part. Seeing something grow and that slow process of adding extra things that live you may not have. You can be so much more creative live because there is no audience and logistical limitations and at the end you have this thing that is there forever. It is a constant learning process too which I enjoy very much. Live is fun too though.
“Recording music is probably my favourite part”
CLUNK: Lastly, what can we expect from you after the album release and beyond?
SJ: Just more music and gigs. I have half of another album written so finish my fucking thesis then start recording and playing new songs/gigs etc.