Our Exclusive Interview w/ Yacht Rock Revue

In case you didn’t see our previous blog post… (you can view it HERE)

“The Yacht Rock Revue is the Greatest Show on Surf and the finest tribute to ‘70s light rock to ever perform anywhere.  Ever.  Their spot-on renditions of Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Steely Dan, and the rest of the Time-Life Infomercial Catalog have enthralled fans across the United States.”


Our exclusive interview with Yacht Rock Revue - Revival Photography
This past Thursday night we saw these guys at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC and brought them an Elliott Guitar to try out. WOW, these guys great! Yacht Rock Revue is a 70’s tribute band, but they also recently released a 7″ vinyl that includes 2 Yacht Rock Revue originals, “Can’t Wait for Summer” & “Good Thing” … plus digital downloads of both songs with purchase. Yacht Rock Revue is ?Mark Cobb ( yes, you read that right... "?" Mark :) ); Nicholas Niespodziani; Peter Olson; Mark Bencuya; Greg Lee; Mark Dannells, and Dave Freeman.
As promised, here is our exclusive interview with the band....

{Revival} Tell us the brief history of Yacht Rock. How did you guys meet?

{Nicholas from Yacht Rock Revue} Peter (singer) and I met in 4th grade in Columbus, Indiana.  I met ?Mark (drummer) in college at Indiana University - we were playing together in the IU Soul Revue, and I asked him if he played rock and roll music at all.  He knew Bencuya (keyboardian) through their competing Bloomington funk bands, and we hooked up with Dave (saxman) through our mutual IU Music School connections in ATL. ?Mark, Peter and I had an indie rock band called Y O U here in Atlanta from 2002 - 2010 and we always were doing funny side projects.  Greg (bassist) and ?Mark started a thing called rock fight pitting Hall & Oates against INXS, Bob Seger against John Cougar, etc. and they recruited us to do an AM Gold night.  We picked Monkeyboy (guitar) up in the local five and dime and the rest is history.


{Revival} Yacht Rock Revue, Where did you get the name? What does it mean?

{Nicholas from Yacht Rock Revue} ?Mark and I used to annoy our coworkers at the insurance company where we were both secretaries by playing the "Dentist Office Mix" of '70s light rock songs.  We were fired on the same day, but the music was part of our severance package.  Monkeyboy wanted to put together an AM Gold night, and we came together for a lark. When we were working the AM Gold Night someone hipped us to the internet series "Yacht Rock."  While the execution left a little to be desired, the concept and name were perfect for what we were doing.  It's the perfect music for being half naked and rich on a yacht with a fruity drink in hand somewhere off Barbados.  We called our first show "Yacht Rock" and the name stuck.


{Revival} Who would you list as your top 3 musical influences?

{Nicholas from Yacht Rock Revue} My usual answer would be something snarky about John Oates' mustache.  But honestly, my biggest influences have been the musicians in my life.  My dad was a singer in a rock and roll band and my mom teaches piano.  The combination of his rock and roll attitude and her grounding in music theory gave me the foundation to succeed as a musician. I had great music teachers throughout elementary school and high school.  And I've always been influenced by the guys I play with, from Peter's steering me toward Phish in high school to ?Mark's college focus on Prince and D'Angelo, I've been fortunate to be impressionable around people with great taste in music. In Atlanta I've been fortunate to meet some great mentors: Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special, Peter Stroud of Sheryl Crow and Pete Drodge, and Time Smith of Jellyfish and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (see how I just name-dropped all those guys?) have taught me a lot about how to approach our profession.  Learning from guys who have been to the mountaintop has been an enlightening experience. So my final answer is Rupert Holmes, Chuck Mangione, and John Oates' mustache.


{Revival} Tell us about PleaseRock. What is going on with that?

{Nicholas from Yacht Rock Revue} PleaseRock is the parent company for YRR and all of the different projects we embark on.  Our goal - which we seem to be accomplishing - is to make it a boutique music company where you go when you want a killer band that does something a little different.


{Revival} You guys released a single on vinyl, Can't Wait for Summer / Good thing produced by Peter Stroud. Can you tell us about that?

{Nicholas from Yacht Rock Revue} We've always wanted to be in a real band, and since real bands release their own records we decided to go for it.  Stroud did a killer job producing that legit '70s sound!  We've done a couple more tunes with David Barbe over in Athens, and we plan on releasing an EP later this summer with all of our new songs on it.  We know our fans love to hear us sing H&O, but they seem to be warming up to the idea that we're capable of writing our own music as well.


{Revival} So you your music video, Cant wait for summer... I have seriously watched that thing 100 times and laughed my butt off every time... Who came up with the idea for the video?

{Nicholas from Yacht Rock Revue} I had a concept to do a comedy video called "Carry On Segwayward Son" a while ago.  When we were working on Can't Wait for Summer, it dawned on me that a video using segways and other quirky modes of transportation would be a great showcase for the personality of the band in a Monkees kind of way.  So we threw the shoot together using iPhones and I edited it all on my laptop.  It made me feel low-fi and indie like I did in the bad old days...  We made a lot of cool videos for Y O U (like Moviekiss Lite Brite) and it's nice to be back in the saddle on that stuff.  More are on the way.


{Revival} What’s been the most exciting thing about 2012 for you guys so far?

{Nicholas from Yacht Rock Revue} I think the most exciting thing for 2012 is yet to come:  The Greatest Yacht Rock Revival in the Universe on August 18 in Atlanta.  We get to back up the original smooth legends:  Robbie Dupree, John Ford Coley, Walter Egan, Peter Backett of Player, Larry Hoppen of Orleans, Starbuck, and the Dreamweaver himself - Gary Wright!  If that stamp doesn't say LEGIT I don't know what does.


{Revival} What’s next for Yacht Rock Revue?

{Nicholas from Yacht Rock Revue} This whole thing has grown so organically, we've just harnessed the wild energy that people have for light rock.  I think it's rooted in a desire to go out and have a good time with music that doesn't invoke anger or heartbreak or politics or philosophy.  Folks just want to dance and smile and forget about their worries (which sounds like lyrics to half of the songs we sing) and we get to be the enablers of those good vibes.  We're going to keep riding the yacht and see where it takes us.


Our exclusive interview with Yacht Rock Revue - Revival Photography

Our exclusive interview with Yacht Rock Revue - Revival Photography

Our exclusive interview with Yacht Rock Revue - Revival Photography

Our exclusive interview with Yacht Rock Revue - Revival Photography

Our exclusive interview with Yacht Rock Revue - Revival Photography

 Thanks for the interview, guys!
Be sure to find them on Facebook and Twitter to catch them when they're in your town!


Jason + Heather