Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder was born and raised in Baltimore, but, like other participants in the Great Hipster Migration (2004-present), found he had to move to Brooklyn to get famous. Yeasayer released their first album, "All Hour Cymbals," in 2007, but got famous with their second, the faintly exotic pop/funk/soul/electro/rock extravaganza "Odd Blood."
Thanks in part to the wholly amazing sort-of-hit "Ambling Alp," Yeasayer has become so Internet famous, the Hype Machine blog designated them last year’s most-blogged about act. Walker (whose band plays the 9:30 Club on Thursday) talked to Click Track about what that means, exactly, and what comes next.
Do you feel like you had to move to Brooklyn from Baltimore in order to make it?
Yeah, I think so. I don't think Baltimore is the place you can play a bunch of shows and get discovered, as much as Brooklyn is, or Los Angeles. And I didn't want to go to Los Angeles.
Once you moved to Brooklyn, did it feel like things came together pretty quickly for the band?
Yeah, we actually played a show before I even moved to Brooklyn. The band was always getting booked for shows and then having to practice and create the songs to play the shows. Where when I was living in Philly and Baltimore and writing all this stuff, the idea of playing a show was foreign to me.
You must have been doing something right, to become the most blogged-about band on the internet.
I have a hard time believing that considering all the blogs that are written about Kanye West and Lady Gaga and all the superstars out there. So I don’t know. I'd really like to ask the people at Hype Machine how they figured that statistic out.
Is there a correlation between blog [attention] and people actually coming to shows?
I think that attendance at the shows is definitely reflective of our popularity on the Internet more than our record sales. I think we're playing bigger venues than bands who have maybe sold more records than us, and that's because of our popularity in the blogosphere.
Making a [solid, very pop] album didn’t hurt.
We were definitely trying to go for a more poppy thing on this album. I think pop — I was talking to my friend Jake from Hell — he's in a noise band and we were talking about how pop music can be a derogatory term because it can be somewhat dumb, I guess. And he said that he thought we could be popular, but we weren't dumb enough.
So then what do you do? Where do you go from here?
God, I don't know. I guess you just have to keep doing music you're interested in, that's exciting to you. Whether people like it or not, that's kind of out of your hands.