With three pianos in one corner, you could tell whose house it was–the biggest band of the New York High School moment– Yabadum. With high expectations I tracked these guys down for an interview at their digs. The basement had nothing short of a vibe; it was filled with chairs, tables, pianos, amps, mics– all of which had that right amount of grunge and grit. Yabadum breaks down like this: Chris Rivera on the guitar and singing-saw, Charlie Schine on the keyboard, Laszlo Horvath on the bass and mic, and Robby Jenkins laying the beat down on the drums.
The name Yabudum is an onomatopoeia, a play on the mumbles and stutters in the common speak of awkward teens. So think of it like this: “Yeah, but…. um.”
Laszlo and Charlie write the music, but as the band learns each piece, the song twists and warps with the input of the band, becoming a whole other creature. Their beat is tightly pulsating with perfect precision leading a melody that lilts along yet twangs with punctuated soul. In sum, it’s foot stomping, head swaying music.
Chris, wearing a necklace with a taxidermied squirrel foot, which he casted himself and his friend taxidermied (minute 34:30), is the self-proclaimed ‘crafty-guy’ of the group — he built a TV. Actually the TV is the TV that is portrayed on their album cover Careful Kid. Chris stands still in vintage clothes, using his music as a method of channeling his zen. He’s the band’s center of chill.
Charlie is the the “brains” of the band, bringing an endless stock of ideas, he is the idea man. He brings a contagious energy to the room that keeps the band going. His wardrobe is mostly made up of tasteful Urban Outfitters’ sale items. He likes photography and biking, but his main passion is music and school.
Laszlo is the “papa bear” of the band. His musical knowledge is vast, but to him he doesn’t think about the music theory, he just focuses on keeping the sound alive through lyrics and sound. As well as being the papa bear, he is also the troublemaker on their facebook page. He caused a bit of a riot because of a joking statement to do with Imagine Dragons (minute 22:00). His band mate, Chris Rivera described him, “if you were to leave him in a really cultured 60’s funk band, 70’s funk band, he would fit right in”.
Robby was snatched up by Yabadum as the hot new drummer on the scene last year. His personality is jovial, slipping in little jokes here and there throughout the interview. School and music are his two passions that take up his time, besides “jerking off of course” — only joking. He often looks to Jazz and Hip-hop for inspiration. Riffing off of J Dilla’s looped drum beats, Robby brings these offbeat edgy sounds to real life.
Yabadum lived up to my expectations and they were a pleasure to interview. Their new EP is coming out this week, so check it out!
You can listen to the interview recording here:
You can check out their stellar music here:
If you like their music show your appreciation here: