It’s five years since we have interviewed YAITW, and now we are back with a new one!
For courtesy’s sake, please introduce yourselves and roles in Young and in the Way.
And occasionally we can be seen on the road with Max, Dustin, or Derrick, our spiritual advisers.
YAITW has been quieter than usual the past couple of years, since releasing your last album When Life Comes to Death. What’ve you dudes been up to?
Shortly after releasing When Life Comes To Death in May of 2014, we did a few small runs through the US, which included an east coast tour around Deathwish Fest in Boston. In 2015, we did a run through Europe with Converge, Trap Them, and Harm’s Way, followed by a one off performance in Denmark at the Roskilde Festival. So far in 2016, we’ve played a couple shows in North Carolina, and a 16-day run with Taake in the eastern United States and Canada. We will again support Taake on four shows on the west coast this month. YAITW is not a full time band, so touring can be difficult to align for us, which is why our participation in the second run with Taake was reduced from a full US, to four back to back shows in CA starting on June 10th.
Last month, you released your split with Arizona’s Gatecreeper, covering Candlemass’ “Solitude,” while they covered Pentagram’s “All Your Sins.” Given their death metal trappings and YAITW’s usual blackened crust, what made you want to cover songs by prominent doom bands?
We’re huge fans of a lot of doom metal, ranging from Candlemass and My Dying Bride to Mournful Congregation and 40 Watt Sun. We’ve been covering ‘Solitude’ for a little over a year now, and when the Split 7″ with Gatecreeper was proposed to us, it was a no brainer. Every year or so since it’s inception, YAITW has become obsessed with a handful of songs that we feel would be great as covers. We’ve recorded covers of “This Day All Gods Die” by Undying, “Sober” by Tool, Candlemass’ “Solitude,” and most recently “Twisted” by Zeke. There is no dominant genre or band we lean towards when covering songs; typically, someone blurts out the idea and if it sticks, it sticks. We’ve been throwing around the idea of covering Marilyn Manson… “Antichrist Superstar”… Tourniquet… “The Fight Song”… We probably won’t be able to agree on one.
Photo By Bobby Whitmire.
Will there be further splits or even collaborations on the horizon?
We’ve never worked on a collaboration before. However, we do have another Split 7″ in the very early planning stages right now with a band from Indonesia. Additionally, several bands within our circle will be releasing splits in the coming months with some of our favorite bands, including Whitewurm and Sovereign.
Having collaborated several times with Dominic Romeo’s label, A389 Recordings, most recently on your covers split, will YAITW be releasing future material through him? Will YAITW continue to release through Deathwish Inc. how did the DW relationship get started?
There are no further plans for releases with A389 at time this time. As for our marriage with Deathwish Inc., we were approached by Tre and Jake in 2013 with interest in releasing new material, which lead to a phone call with Jake, which lead to When Life Comes To Death. Deathwish is probably one of the most well-run labels in the world and the most supportive to a diverse roster of artists. Jake and Tre have supported YAITW since day one of our relationship. We are currently about 85% finished with our next Deathwish release which we’re hoping to start recording by mid-July.
When Life Comes to Death saw you moving away from the crust aspect into pure black metal territory. While former aspects were present, what influences went into crafting your last LP?
Our influences vastly range and shift daily; we write songs as a full band and nothing else – while Rick may have a specific riff in mind, Randy may be pulling from a totally different pool of influence. After almost 8 years of creating music together, we’ve settled very comfortably into our positions and although creating new material is slow going, the process hasn’t changed much.
Photo By Peter Troest
YAITW, along with your other projects like Ayr and Votnut, are part of the AC//13. If you will, please explain the group’s formation and purpose?
The formation of AC//13 was a obvious path to take after realizing that making music between the four of us was all we ever wanted,– we simply needed an organized outlet for more noise.
How do YAITW and your other projects fit philosophically and artistically with each other and with the AC//13?
The idea that our music and art would fit beneath the AC//13 canopy was almost immediately obvious with the creation of each new act. Votnut, Ayr, Worsen, YAITW, Raven Mocker – all of these bands align with one another, while several other bands we have been a part of simply do not, and it doesn’t take much conversation to come to that conclusion.
What artists and records are you dudes digging so far this year?
To make this answer easier, here’s a list of albums that one or all of us have had on heavy rotation lately:
Marissa Nadler – Strangers
Bell Witch – Four Phantoms
Batushka – Litourgiya
Make a Change…Kill Yourself – Fri
Burzum – Belus
Ryan Adams – Self Titled
Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
The Handsome Family – Wilderness
Jason Isbell – Southeastern
Whitey Morgan & The 78’s – Sonic Ranch
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
Shot in the dark, but what are your thoughts on this season of Game of Thrones?
Chris and Randy are both obsessed with the A Song of Ice and Fire series; however, Randy is a purist and refuses to watch the show, while Chris is a whore and will take any form of story he can get. So, we won’t be discussing the plot here.
The recent horror film, The Witch, uses imagery and quotes that’ll be sampled by black metal bands for years to come. If you’ve had a chance to see it, what are your thoughts on the film?
The Witch was probably the best movie we’ve seen all year; in fact, most of the band went to see The Witch after a matinee show in Kansas City on our most recent tour with Taake. Rick tends to overlook modern horror films because he’s kind of a horror buff for the fucked up, weirdo and mostly 80s flicks like Demons (Lamberto Bava), Videodrome (David Cronenberg) and From Beyond (Stuart Gordon), but he said he watched it at home, alone and under influences which proved very unsettling (the soundtrack included) and gave it his seal of approval. For some of us it was second viewing, but we have a unanimous affection for the film. Robert Eggers is a genius and we can’t wait to see The Knight. That being said, everyone reading this should take 3 hours and go watch Hard to be a God.
Photo By Peter Troest
If you could decapitate Donald Trump or upper cut The Pope, what would it be? Would you like them both to feel never ending pain?
Donald Trump and the Pope are global sycophants with their own agendas, and although we would rather see both of them ripped from their respective posts…we, here in North Carolina, have our own demagogues to battle with. Currently, we live under the tyrannical rule of world class fuckhole named Gov. Pat McCrory who, most recently, spearheaded the infamous “HB2” into law.
What was it like for you brothers growing up in the conservative state of North Carolina – did you get shit for being different?
From time to time, everyone takes shit for being “different,” regardless of where they are from or where they grow up. The hardcore and metal scene in North Carolina doesn’t typically respect the opinions and beliefs of conservatives, regardless of the fact that our state can be known for some pretty heinous opinions.
What role do you think the internet has played in the getting the word out about YAITW, early on or even to this day…?
Without a doubt, the internet has played a big role in people across the globe discovering YAITW. It’s also played the biggest role for YAITW being called racist, homophobic or being known for some other type of mindless hateful characteristic. The reality is that YAITW supports the idea of every human having the opportunity to live and die EQUALLY in this depressing shitty world, and we don’t give a fuck what you listen to, read, watch or what band t-shirt you are wearing. The internet is a cesspool of unsolicited opinions (including our own), and, aside from arguing about Game of Thrones theories and buying records off Ebay, we’d all probably be better off without it.
Photo by Ghost Monkey Productions
Give one of your best moments as band that happened while YAITW toured Europe.
During our 24 hours in Karlsruhe, Germany, we discovered a strange local fair/carnival with a ride called “Ze Encounter,” which was basically a 4D haunted house experience that contained wax figures of Capt. Picard and Johnny 5 from Short Circuit. The entire ride was in German and featured a Lovecraftian creature that escaped its glass pod and terrorized the patrons. Another interesting and somewhat surreal moment was being backstage at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark preparing for our soundcheck, and hearing Paul McCartney performing “Hey Jude” in the distance across the festival at the main stage.
Talk to us about how important it is for the band to control your design and merch concepts…Plus can you talk to us about your relationship with Angela Owens – how did you get turned on to her work?
Kable (and, by extension, the entire band) solely owns the creative direction of YAITW, and to an extent AC//13. Just like we depend on Rick to capture the sound of AC//13, we depend on Kable to capture the visual; however, nothing goes public without unanimous consent. As far as our relationship with Angela, she’s a North Carolina native and has been somewhat involved since the beginning of YAITW. She rode along with us on our first tour ever in 2010 and has shot several of our local and regional shows. She’s the eye behind the album cover for When Life Comes To Death, which was shot during a photo shoot we did with her in December 2013. Angela is extremely talented and consistent in her work, and we hope to continue working with her as long as she will allow.
Photo by Angela Owens
What does the word “discipline” mean to this band and how does this word impact your daily lives and the band?
It’s something we lack at times. We are lazy fucks with day jobs and night hobbies, we should probably be practicing more…
Any parting words for CVLT Nation’s readers?