Yip-Yip is Brian Esser and Jason Temple, two 25 year-old roommates & band mates. Formed in 2001 the band has proceeded to leave their mark on whomever they pass. You have to admit matching black and white checkered jumpsuits aren't something you see everyday. If you ever get a chance to, you should make sure to do so. The band is currently in studio and granted me an interview. I was worried my questions were on the boring side but things panned out quite well in the end. Thank you Brian.
Q: For anyone who might not know, who are you and where are you from?
A: Hi, I am Brian. I am one half of Yip-Yip, or Yip 2. I am from Illinois. Jason is from Connecticut. We both live in a house just outside of Orlando, Florida
Q: In most instances when I come across Yip-Yip I see you guys in your matching black and white checkered jumpsuits. Is it safe to say this is your guy's niche?
A: I guess it's becoming our niche. We have been using checkers in our last few costumes now, and I plan on working it into our next costumes too. It's a simple idea we had on tour, that surprisingly worked out well, and it's easily our favorite costume we've done so far. The past couple costumes have been modifications to that first checkered costume that make it easier to get into live, or easier to wear on tour all the time.
Q: You share the name Yip Yip with the Sesame Street hand puppets the Yip-Yips. Were these characters where you got your name from?
A: Actually, I think the Sesame Street aliens were called "Bob & Joe Martian", they just said "Yip" a lot. But yeah, almost everyone thinks that, including myself early on, but it wasn't until one of our first interviews a long time ago that it came out that it wasn't from Sesame Street. Jason swears it came from random ideas for a band name when we were trying to think of a good band name, and that was the one we liked best.
Q: How long have the two of you been making music together?
A: We started Yip-Yip in 2001, so 8 years now.. Crazy.
Q: Initially Yip-Yip began as studio recording duo and then you moved to doing live shows. Do you have a preference to recording over performing live?
A: I like the song writing & recording parts the best, but I also really like the planning that goes into making a new live set, or making a new live set up. We are basically doing that now. We are writing a new album, soon we will record it, and as we record it, we will also be preparing it to play live soon after. It's crazy, and it's a lot of work, and a lot of headaches, but usually at the end of it all, it's awesome to figure it all out.
Q: Not a lot of artists do their own live sets, but you guys do. Matching outfits, design, the works. Would you consider yourselves be be performing artists to any extent?
A: I would like to think that. We started the band as a "Performance Art" band, because we didn't have a way to play the music live at first, so we made videos and art for our live shows. It was a cool idea at first, but we quickly realized that it would be impossible to come up with a new show for every show, plus we really wanted to get a live music set figured out, so it's now way more about the music than the art side, but we try to do it as much as we can too.
Q: In addition to doing your own sets you also do your own artwork for your records while being signed to a label. Will this always be something that Yip-Yip fans can expect?
A: Yes, that is something I always want us to do. And hopefully more of it in the future.
Q: Is there one of you in particular that leads or is in charge of art direction, or is it a collaborative effort?
A: It is a great collaboration both with the music and the art. With the art, I do all of the drawings, and Jason helps cut it up make it fit to whatever we are making it for.
Q: Can you name some of the out of the ordinary instruments you guys use in your recordings?
A: We love music with old synthesizers and drum machines, and music with horns, especially saxophones. Those are main parts of our sound. We also use a lot of synthesized percussion sounds like marimba and vibraphone. We try to use those as much as possible, because it always sounds cool to us. We also use a lot of old weird musical toys. We have a ton of neat stuff we've collected over the years, and now the main challenge is to use all of it.
Q: How do your songs get their titles, do you have a process?
A: Not really, each album there has been some sort of weird random way we would make the names. The last album were all funny word combinations that we got from spam e-mails. The song names we have so far for this album we are working on come from random 3 to 4 letter words that print out as stickers at Jason's work. We are trying to start to do vocals in Yip-Yip now, so some of those songs, with those song names, we are trying to make lyrics for them that fit the random goofy song name, because we already feel like that is the name of the song. We might have to change some, because I don't know what a song name like "Fry Hats" could be about.
Q: On your website I noticed that you guys have your own video game. How did that come about?
A: My dad made us our website, and he makes video games too, so he thought it would be cool to put one on the site. We have been wanting to make a real Yip-Yip video game for the site for years now, but we never really seem to find the time around writing music, touring, and our normal jobs. Hopefully some day soon we can work on that, maybe after this album is done.
Q: Well thank you for doing this interview with me. Is there anything you would like to add?
A: Thank you Gabe! No that's it really, just let me know where you end up posting this online so I can post the link online for people. Thanks for sending this, I hope the answers are okay and not too boring!! See ya