Eww Yaboo — “Lost For Soo Long”
By Michael Lello
Nathan Andre thought the making of Eww Yaboo’s new album “Keep Dreamin’” would be an easy affair.
He thought wrong.
“It ended up taking about nine months to track,” Andre said, citing the individual band members’ schedules as part of the reason for the lengthy job.
The process, however, turned out to be a positive one, as the Northeastern Pa.-via-Brooklyn band ended up honing the material until they were comfortable with releasing it. Andre said the group went through all of the songs it had written since its 2011 debut EP, “Yeah What” and chose 11. There were about 25 songs in the running, and the band wrote them on a white board before discussing whether or not they’d make the cut. (One of them that did is “Lost For Soo Long,” which makes its debut above.)
“And it was a lot of fun,” he said. “We got to deconstruct the songs a few times, which was pretty exciting. It was way bigger (of a process) than I anticipated; I thought we were just going to bang it out.”
“Keep Dreamin’” will be released Friday, June 13 on NEPA label Summersteps. It will be available in cassette and digital formats, and the band will play an album-release show that night at The Vintage Theater in Scranton. Eww Yaboo will also perform on the Summersteps stage at Arts On The Square, which will be held Saturday, July 26 on Scranton’s Courthouse Square.
We asked Andre to describe the typical Eww Yaboo live performance.
“Well, I can’t be the judge of whether we achieve it, but we always want to bring intensity,” he said. “We don’t want to phone it in. I’m trying to break a sweat,” he added with a laugh. “We try to make the set diverse and keep the intensity high throughout the set.”
The band’s roots are in the lifelong friendship of Andre and Drew Carsillo, who grew up together in the Hanover area near Wilkes-Barre before moving to Brooklyn, where they started Eww Yaboo in 2009. While the band could loosely be described as post-punk and is part of the catch-all “all-ages” scene in the area, the influences on Eww Yaboo bleed across many genre barriers.
“God, to be honest, I’ve always just loved everything,” Andre said. “I know everybody says that, but I started out listening to metal and hardcore and going to all the Wilkes-Barre crazy metal shows at Homebase and punk bands. I was big into pop-punk in early high school, and Drew kind of ran parallel where we first starting getting into post-punk and free jazz and all this craziness. Over the years, you start discovering stuff you overlooked, like Bob Dylan and the staples of American music.”
The band’s sound has progressed as well, thanks in part to a lineup shift. When the band started, Andre played guitar and Carsillo bounced between guitar and drums. Andre subsequently switched to bass, giving the sound “a little more oomph” and making it a little less jangly, as he explained it. The trio additionally includes drummer Jared Kozemko
Andre also explained how the band picked its curious name. One night, “we were partying and having a great time,” listening to the 1977 album “Heart of The Congos” by Jamaican reggae group The Congos. During the opening track, “Fisherman,” The Congos yell something that sounds a bit like “eww yaboo.”
“First it was like a stupid name,” Andre said. “I didn’t want to pick something just to throw a few words together. But I realized, you know what? We came up with this with friends, and it kind of had that kind of shooby-dooby, do-wap thing to it. That’s cool.”