Yassassin

London

Name, where are you from?
A - Anna Haara Kristoferson from Stockholm, Sweden.
RP - Raissa Pardini, Italy. London based.
J - Joanna Curwood, London.
M - Moa Fahlander, Sweden.
RN - Ruth Nitkiewicz from Brisbane, Australia.

What do you do?
A - I sing lead vocals, play tambourine and melodica.
RP - Bass/Vocals.
J - Guitar/Vocals.
M - I play guitar and sing.
RN - I play the drums.

What is the band doing at the moment?
A - We are releasing our debut EP Vitamin Y in September and have just put out the first single from it called ‘Cherry Pie’. The music video presents our Ruth in a rather sinister light.
J - We're playing a few festivals in the UK and France and writing new songs too.  

What influences your sound?
A - We have quite a broad taste between the five of us and listen to everything from folk music to hip hop to punk which you’ll probably hear when you listen to our music. I love mixing it up and personally can’t think of anything worse than being stuck in one genre, what a nightmare.
RP - I guess what you could say about living in London is that there are so many inputs coming your way every day. There’s a bit of everything all around you. You are inspired by many different cultures and traditions, people and places. It’s all really confusing sometimes but when you have the chance to sit down and start writing then all of that takes shape into new music, new projects and new collaborations. You’ve got access to anything you can possibly find in London so it’s all about experimenting with what you have.
J - Lots of things…it depends on what mood I'm in. One day I could be walking around and be influenced by people passing by or something I see or hear. Another day I could hear a great song I've never heard before and be inspired...or conversely be influenced by a record I know inside out.
M - Everything and everyone around me. 

Describe your style in three words:
A - No f***s given.
RP - Play. It. Loud.
J - What is that?!
M - Energetic, catchy, bubbly.
RN - Sissy That Walk.

How should your music be listened to?
A - Either live at one of our gigs or on a speaker system cranked up so loud that the neighbours might start complaining…depending on whether they have good taste or not.
RP - Come down and see us play to experience the most of what Yassassin is.
M - Open minded, happy and full of love.
RN - Blasting on a car stereo doing 100 down a highway.

What music defines the teenage you? 
A - That’s when I discovered British rock music and started listening to a lot to bands like The Beatles, The Libertines and Oasis.
RP - I was a weird kid to be honest. Italian subcultures never really existed, music wise. I felt a bit lost with identity for years and it took me a while to understand completely what I loved doing. I still don’t have the answer though! It’s partly because I started off with Northern Soul and I ended up going in a completely different direction. Northern Soul gave me that sense of community and that exciting feeling of looking forward to something every month. The up beat of the rhythm section and the energy of amazing soul singers. I think that defined the way I play bass and the way I see music nowadays. That started a journey that has taken me from Post Punk to Acid House to even African Funk Music and Eastern European electronic experiences. 
J - Nirvana, Hole and Christina Aguilera.
M - PJ Harvey, Le Tigre, Nirvana, the Cure, Radiohead, The Smiths, El Perro Del Mar, Håkan Hellström.
RN - Veruca Salt and Hole. My first band played covers of their songs, so they will forever remind me of high school. 

A British icon that has inspired you? 
A - David Bowie.
RP - Poly Styrene. She isn’t recognised as a British icon as much as she should be really, but what a hell of a woman. You don’t need to be an icon to inspire people, being yourself is more than enough sometimes. And she definitely taught us that lesson.
J - Johnny Marr.
M - PJ Harvey.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
A - I normally stream music online, but the last physical album I bought was 'Allas Sak' by Dungen. I love everything by Dungen.
RP - I’ve been buying loads of records from Sounds of Universe and Phonica in Soho recently. So lots of Acid Jazz and new weird synth artists. 
J - The Wharves album 'Electa'.
M - Flamingods new EP 'Kewali'.
RN - 'New Ways Out' by Belbury Poly. I like a bit of spooky synth wave. 

What’s the best gig you’ve been to?
A - Stevie Wonder when I was about 10 years old. He just blew me away completely. His voice is obviously incredible but he also exudes this sheer joy and passion when he performs on stage, it is impossible not to get goosebumps.
RP - I think Eagulls in Rotterdam last year. I was on tour with SULK in Germany and we decided to drive to Rotterdam to see them on our day off. It was such an unexpected gig. They are definitely one of the best things that came out of UK in the past few years.
J - The Libertines at the Rhythm Factory in December 2002.
M - Impossible to answer, I have been to so many gigs that blew my mind and heart away in different ways.
RN - There have been many, but a memorable one for me was Livid, a festival in Brisbane in 2003. On one stage, it was Yeah Yeah Yeahs, followed by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, then the White Stripes. My young mind was blown. 

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