Interview with The Yelins: ’60s Psychedelia & Modern Pop

Laurentz Lozano Discusses The Yelins’ Creative Process and Musical Influences

The Yelins are a Swiss band led by Laurentz Lozano that merges psychedelic rock with pop, drawing influence from the music and aesthetics of the 1960s and 1970s. The group’s discography begins with the self-produced ‘Echoes’ in 2018, setting the stage for ‘Moon On The Rocks,’ released in 2023. This album presents a mix of warm psych-pop tracks and energetic riffs.

The Yelins’ official website and Instagram

Laurentz, what first inspired you to venture into music and eventually form The Yelins?

When I was a kid, we had a summer house in France, and every time we would go there, my parents would often play great music in the car, so I was always quite “tuned in” to music. Eventually, an older friend of mine who lived there introduced me to Queen by giving me a bunch of cassette tapes, and from that day on, I became obsessed with them. I knew that all I wanted was to have my own band.

Can you describe the early music scene that influenced the sound and aesthetics of The Yelins?

In addition to the obvious bands we admired, such as Queen, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and being kids of the ’90s, we started The Yelins in the midst of the 2008 “Guitar Resurgence Movement,” influenced by Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, The Wombats, and so on.

What were the first challenges you faced when starting out as a band?

Finding people who had the same drive that I had. A band can be a very complex ecosystem, and I realized quite early on that even if I had lots of ideas and was eager to try them all, finding bandmates who suited the project and all of its requirements could be more than challenging.

How did your personal and collective musical influences converge in the creation of your debut album, Echoes?

I wrote our first album, “Echoes,” on my own. So from that standpoint, it was kind of a blessing and a curse. It allowed me to write music with a very strong sense of direction and purpose, while at the same time, the workload and self-doubt that you inevitably face while writing music were quite hard to overcome. It was only when we started to tour “Echoes” that the others’ take on it started to emerge and blend itself with my own. This is probably when I realized it would be nice to write and produce music with them for what was to become our second album, “Moon On The Rocks.”

Your music often incorporates a vintage ’60s and ’70s vibe. How do you achieve this authentic sound while keeping your music fresh and relevant?

Honestly, I have no idea. We usually just go wherever we want to with minimal restrictions. I think freeing your mind from any preconceived ideas is crucial in writing something strong and full of personality. I guess we try to go where our ears lead us. If it’s towards much more “modern” territories than a ’60s or ’70s vibe, then we just embrace it and go along with it.

The Yelins
The Yelins

What is your favorite piece of vintage equipment to use during recordings, and why?

It’s hard to choose, but we definitely love a good old synth or keyboard. We own a 1964 Farfisa suitcase, Roland Juno 60, Roland JV 1080, or even an original Korg MS20 for good old-fashioned bass lines. I guess the thing they all have in common is that they inspire you instantly, and you just find yourself not wanting to stop playing them.

What inspires the thematic and sonic diversity in Moon On The Rocks?

I think the will to go as far as each song requires us to go. It can sometimes feel busy sonically, hence this album having a bit of a “cinematic” feel to it, but nothing that we did not intend.

What has been the most electrifying moment during your live performances?

Our performance at the Supersonic in Paris, I think. To explain what happened that night would be a difficult task, but let’s just say that when the planets are aligned, there is no other feeling like it.

How did your partnership with Le Cèpe Records come about, and how has it influenced the band’s trajectory?

We just sent him our album, and I think the music did the rest. We were very well received in France and it probably made us realize how much of a different scene there is outside of Switzerland and gave us the thirst to go out even more.

What influences outside of music (films, books, art) impact your creative output?

I’ve always watched and enjoyed a lot of films and TV that have the tendency to make me feel nostalgic. I guess it opens up something in me that makes me prolific in writing my own lyrics. Of course, their soundtrack isn’t fully estranged from what attracts me in the first place, and if I had to name a few, I’d say Twin Peaks, Philadelphia, the ’90s cartoon series of Tintin, any Ghibli Studio film, or indie films such as Eagles vs Shark. I could go on and on, but I think I’ll stop here.

With a strong love for all things analog, how do you see the role of digital technology in music evolving for bands like yours?

Digital technology is a blessing if used in conjunction with analog gear. I wouldn’t want to have to edit an entire album by cutting tape by hand, and at the same time, I would want to record music without any real analog instrument or gear. Again, whether digital or analog, it’s all about the technique that inspires you the most, and I personally tend to see the digital world as a convenient time saver for the boring day-to-day tasks that help you focus on what matters the most: the feeling you inject into your music.

What’s next for The Yelins? What’s your next project?

We are currently working on our new video clip for our next single named “Pinger Duster.” It should be released in a couple of months.

Photos courtesy of The Yelins

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by retrofuturista

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