Getting in Touch with tUnE-yArDs

Q: What’s the story behind your band and album names?A: I came up with the name “tUnE-yArDs” when I was unaware that anyone would hear my music, ever. When I created my Myspace page, I was pretty daunted and I thought “how am I ever gonna stick out?”I refuse to be swept away. [The style of my name] is to slow people down is — to make them consider my music more. In this age of digital recording and machinery, it’s nice to be a pain in the ass sometimes.Q: Most of your newest album, “BiRd BrAiNs,” was recorded with a digital voice recorder. What make you pick this method?A: The preference has worn out, but I might make it again that way some day; but for this specific album I didn’t want a sterile studio environment.I decided to use the voice recorder with the ukulele, one of the most unintimidating instruments on earth. I was able to use tools that were almost child-like, where I couldn’t get a professional sound even if I tried.It allowed me to focus on songwriting, which is more important to me.Q: Who influenced you to make music, specifically the unique lo-fi way you do?A: I started recording and being open to the idea that I could record things that sound great in their own ways.I was listening to an early Devendra Banhart recording with my friend and we started making four track recordings with my little cousins and they sounded warm and nice.I think that’s what DYI and lo-fi does —you can feel very close to the person who is creating those records.Q: How was touring with the Dirty Projectors and what have you learned?A: It was, like, one of the best experiences of my whole life. They’re doing the craziest stuff on stage of any band I know now.What they’re doing is mind-blowing. It’s easy to get swept up in what a rockstar is, but they’re very humble.I have the upmost respect for each and every one of them. I wasn’t sure of anything and now I’m sure of life as a touring musician. Having an interview is new; nobody cares what I said before. ( tUnE-yArDs can be found by going to myspace.com/tunesyards or tune-yards.com )