As America celebrates its Independence Day by choosing to stay home, Indie Music Bus Interviews Yard of Blondes, featuring the French duet Vincent Jacob and Fanny Hill, formerly of France, a country famous for its own fight for independence. True to their fighting spirit, they are champions of sound and lyrics. Arriving in Venice, CA in 2010, the pair met and discovered they dream the same dream. They traded in their shoes for a pair of boots planted firmly in LA. After wetting their whistle at the “Whiskey A Go Go,” and the Sunset Strip, they rode a rocket straight to the top, they made it look easy. They work hard to live their dream. In a mere 10 years of living in the U.S., the duo formed a few musical groups to showcase their variety; formed partnerships with some of the greatest legends in the music industry; earned their college degrees; taught music and language to students; began their own record label; got signed by independent labels, Die Laughing Records; all of which culminated in a merge with Golden Robot Entertainment. Way to go! The sky’s the limit, and their growing audience will carry them along as they ride with us on the Indie Music Bus.
Fannie and Vincent run the “Secret Pole Dance Music” agency, Located in Los Angeles, CA, an independent label, PR service, and more. Vincent and Fanny were established artists prior to relocating to America. Choosing to settle in the California high-desert, they joined the Joshua Tree community, supported themselves as music teachers and formed the band “Yard of Blondes”. Since then, they have served as mentors devoted to independent music..
Fanny Hill and Vincent Jacob are quite the educated team! Vincent with a PhD in Philosophy, and Fanny with degrees in communication, finance and business. It is no wonder the band has such professionally written, deep lyrics and is so well rounded and organized.
A blend of French and California, the Yard of Blondes’ brings it together in their bilingual song “Je veux danser tout l’été” (I want to dance all summer long), a dance-catchy tune a bit afar from their previous recordings.
Listen to “Lowland,” “You and I and I” for their signature, a hard rock sound reminiscent of the grunge, add a pinch of surf, a smatter of GNR and a speckle of Nirvana, and sprinkle it all with a magic sauce that will leave your ears in awe.
The “Yard of Blondes” developed a unique sound with their culture and the mixing of genres. They have 3 EP’s released, their latest “Close To Home” is available, NOW, but hold on, there’s more! “Feed the Moon” will be released early 2021. It is hard waiting, but have patience and understand that the Covid-19 pandemic has practically brought the world to an abrupt halt.
Indie Music Bus plans to spin Yard of Blondes’ songs “Murderology” and “Lowland” during our premiere radio show, “Indie Music Monday”.
While preparing this interview you told us you were camping. Do you go often? Do you visit the same place or mix it up? Was this a vacation get-away or a time to write new music? It seems like it would be extremely hot in the desert now, is that where you were camping?
Hello! To be honest, it’s the first time we went camping for real together, usually, we’re more staying at motels and Airbnbs. A French friend visited us and did some road trip and at the end
of his stay, he left us his gear. So we were like… well, we got to use it now! Haha! And recently, some friends told us they were going to camp in Ojai for the weekend and we thought that was the right occasion. Not too far, not too hot, not to wild. Haha! We loved it and we’re going to do more this summer because we can’t really go back to Europe. So let’s enjoy California, there are worst places of living. I want to go to Big Sur next but of course, a quick trip to Joshua Tree/ Palm Spring might be in the plans, because we just love being there (although it’s super hot now so we’ll need a pool haha).
What was your plan when you moved to LA, did you plan to live in a desert? Was it to feed the moon and eat cactus?
Haha. Fanny and I landed in Venice in 2010. And the only plan was to enjoy the city of angels for a while and get inspired by the same environment our icons were inspired with in the first place. We actually met here, both coming from France, with the same dream. And then, we wandered in the desert and we discovered a lot of inspiration there too! But we always lived in LA. Whether you are in the city, in the desert, on the PCH or in the mountains, there’s always something (a sunset, a story, someone, a song… so many things) that will grab your attention and offer you the raw material for creation.
Congratulations on signing with (Die Laughing Records (USA) & Golden Robot (Australia)). Can you communicate how this transpired and what it means for Yard of Blondes? Has this changed the way you will do business music in the future?
We’re so happy! It’s just really cool to belong to a family of artists and the people at Die Laughing are just so chill. They have around this 1988 has an independent label, can you believe it?! We just release our live quarantine EP together. It wasn’t planned when we first signed but with the pandemic, it felt right to try and release something while our initial plans were pushed back. The release of « Feed the moon », our debut album, has been postponed to early 2021 but meanwhile, we’ll propose new singles off the album. Regarding the Label, they pretty much are on board with everything we suggest so it’s really cool! And they’re just the nicest people, really passionate people with the best rock n’ roll stories. Dave Dalton, grand pooh-bah of the label (he doesn’t like the term CEO) is a freaking legend! He’s in the Screaming Bloody Marys and he has played with so many other legends and inspirations such as Nirvana, L7, Hole, etc…
My wife and I were here speculating on what the meaning of ‘Feed the Moon’ might be. For now, we would like to keep our thoughts on that to ourselves until we read your answer at which time, we will reveal our thoughts. What is the meaning of ‘Feed the Moon’?
One day, a friend of mine posted a picture of her son holding a spoon with the sun in the back on Instagram. The caption was something like: « He asked me if we could feed the sun ». I thought that was the most poetic thing I ever heard. Children are amazing poets. It made me reflects on our songs. They were all songs from and for the night, written in the dark with the moon as a witness and muse, and they were talking about our hidden and vulnerable sides. I said to myself: what we’re doing is that we’re feeding the moon with our songs, our emotions and that’s gonna be the title. There was no question about it.
Walter & Darlene:
Dar: The title “Feed the Moon” led my imagination to Syfy, my essence being sucked up through the atmosphere, or otherwise expiring. I read two thoughts on the philosophy of feeding the moon, but I was not even close to the real inspiration that led to the naming of this EP.
Walter: I imagined the title had something to do with mythology; moon being a goddess.
We have been asking music folks about their staying-at-home situation. Some do live-streaming sessions on the various platforms to keep fans engaged and to make a few bucks in tips. What is your technical plan moving forward, Post Covid-19, relating to live-streams?
We started by doing some acoustic live streams and we really enjoyed it. So, we decided to push the idea a little further and found a way to involve everyone in the band. That’s how we came with this idea of recording a live EP. Everybody was in their home recording themselves and then we put it together along with some animations representing every song. And here it is:
I think we really loved the concept of playing from home so in the future I’d like to build a studio where we can broadcast live when we feel like it. It’s another approach, it’s more intimate. I feel you can try things online. You can play covers you wouldn’t play at a show. It feels like a really great lab to me.
We noticed during our research that Burak Yerebakan(guitar) is also a music producer in L.A. Will he be involved in that capacity on future works?
Burak is a producer and I am too. I just mixed our last release « Close to home » and Burak helped me a lot! he’s way more experienced than me. I really think that’s an asset for the band and we’re thinking on self-producing us in the future but one thing is certain, our mentor and friend Billy Graziadei (Biohazard) will be involved. He’s the one who produced « Feed the moon » and he taught me so much. I can’t think of recording our next album without him being involved.
It appears that Forrest Mitchell & Burak Yerebakan are session musicians, how did you find each other and are they now a permanent part of the band?
Forrest has been with us now for almost 3 years and Burak for almost 2 years and we all get along musically and on a personal level very well. We found Forrest through Tinder. Haha! I’m joking but it’s almost like that. Our former guitarist, Dylan Brenner (Now bass player of the amazing band Deat Poet Society) is a real tech enthusiast and found out about the app called Vampr. It’s like Tinder really, but you match musicians, not love interest (although I guess you could find love on Vampr haha). And that’s how he found Forrest. When Dylan left, well I used the same technic and that’s how I found Burak. He wasn’t really looking for a band but he had a profile for his studio. He looked so cool I sent him a message just to connect. And we got along pretty well. We met and we talked for hours and then it was natural for him to join us. They are now a crucial and organic part of Yard Of Blondes and I really hope we’ll keep this line up forever!
The National Independent Venue Association, which formed in April and announced the letter with 600 artist signatories, has warned that more than 1,000 independent concert venues face a permanent shutdown if they do not receive more federal assistance. Iconic venues like the Troubadour and the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles and the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York are all members the organization.
Would you want to go back to Sunset Strip to gig and revisit the past one day if the live venues survive this pandemic?
Of course! And we really want all these venues to keep going. There’s so much history on the Sunset Strip and at the Troubadour. Those places have an important part in the history of Rock N’ Roll and you are always humbled by the shadow of the greatest artists when you are on those stages. We need to protect those sites but also all the newer venues that program independent acts through the US, just like the Bootleg Theatre in LA which is one of the most flourishing venues right now in LA for indie artists. At least, it was before the pandemic and I hope they will find a way to survive before we can come back on those stages.
The first time we were introduced to your music was in 2019 with the video “Je veux danser tout l’été”. You performed and recorded it from the desert using a totally solar-powered bus. We feel we dropped the ball on not featuring you then. Do you remember how you came across Indie Music Bus?
It was Fanny that found about you guys on Twitter first and she showed me your blog and podcast. The tone was so cool and the artists you featured were equally cool so we wanted to be a part of it!
And you know, it’s ok not to be featured. It could always be another time with another song! And that’s what happened with you guys. No worries! « Je veux danser tout l’été » was a special song with a special history attached to it so I can understand it’s not for everybody. I think we touched another audience with this song, maybe an audience less familiar with Rock N’ Roll, and that’s cool too!
If you could go back to the past and give yourselves advice, what would your advice be?
Don’t wait for anybody to help you, don’t try to be anybody else and don’t try to follow any trend. You will waste your time and always be late. Do your thing, by yourself, and start NOW!
Use this space to say anything you like.
Thank you Indie Music Bus, you’re a very cool media. Thanks for the support and for giving a voice to bands that deserve it! We’re riding with you anytime!
Yard of Blondes Website and Socials
About the band
The emerging French/Californian rock band YARD OF BLONDES is composed of Vincent Jacob (vocals/guitar), Fanny Hill (bass/vocals), Burak Yerebakan (guitar) and Forrest Mitchell (drums/vocals).
With their female bassist, their raw energy and influences we can’t help but being reminded of bands such as Sonic Youth, the Pixies and the Smashing Pumpkins.
Yard Of Blondes released 3 EP’s since 2011, was featured along with Eric Burdon (The Animals) and Victoria Williams on the Hi-Desert compilation “Highway 62 Love Songs », and were remarked in 2013 by Rodney Bingenheimer, legendary KROQ DJ, who began playing their track Murderology. He was then imitated by more than 100 international radio stations (KROQ, Kerrang!, Doble Nueve…) . In 2014 French National TV France4 broadcasted a 60 minutes documentary about the band and in 2016 the band was featured on the compilation «I love you all the time» along with Eagles Of Death Metal, Florence & The Machine, Kings Of Leon, Jimmy Eat World and many more. All the proceeds were given to the victims of the Paris attacks.
During the summer of 2019, Yard Of Blondes came back with a lighter and upbeat single called «Je veux danser tout l’été», their first original bilingual song. The song came along with a remix by French superstar DJ and producer Joachim Garraud (David Bowie, Beyonce, David Guetta). The track is still broadcasted on French National channels (C-Star, France Television, MTV France …).
On Nov.1st 2019 Yard Of Blondes released the 1st single off upcoming album « Feed The moon ». The song featured a special guest: Davy Portela (Pleymo); both the song and the video were well received, especially in USA, France, and Latin America.