Music Interview: It’s All About You

“Party Prog” Quartet Progresses

Geoffrey Plant
5 min read
ItÕs All About YOU
YOU (L-R): Eric Lisausky, Austin Morrell, Hiram Camp and Alec Wilkes (Courtesy of the artist)
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Self described “party prog” quartet YOU has their listeners’ minds in mind. The outfit’s new release is a limited edition, color vinyl, split 12” with equally tripped-out co-conspirators Sun Dog. Featuring excellent production and intricate cover art reminiscent of the mesmerizing page borders in R. Crumb’s Weirdo magazine, this latest three-song side by YOU is a danceable collection of heavy high-hat and bass, boom chicka wah wah, ’70s B-movie chase scene numbers—updated with psychedelia. Skillful recording aside, though, YOU is driven by touring, playing live and making the scene. Alibi spoke with YOU members Eric Lisausky and Hiram Camp as they prepared to hit the road for you and for everyone else who likes to listen.

Alibi: Give us the Five Ws on YOU.

Eric Lisausky:
It’s me on drums, Hiram Camp on guitar, Austin Morrell on guitar and Alec Wilkes on bass. Hiram lives in L.A., Austin lives in Portland and Alec and I live in Albuquerque. We’re playing March 2 and 3 in Denver, March 4 and 5 in Albuquerque and on March 6 we’re playing the Mineshaft in Madrid. I feel like we’re at our best as a live band. Albums are awesome and I love how the 12” and the 7” came out but I feel like our most abundant energy is captured live. That’s our goal. To have a room to gig somewhere, whether it’s Albuquerque or Portland or wherever and just have a place to play. Personally I don’t want to work or get a career.

Hiram Camp: It’s the DIY lifestyle. Our generation, we can decide what we want to do and I like to play rock and roll music and go on therapeutic adventures. You make a million connections around the country—Eric’s the mastermind of networking us.

Eric: Yeah dude. When we came back from the tour, it just me hit that I’m not in a car with a band, getting ready to play, reading a comic book or some shit. And we’re people people so it’s really easy to be like “what-up, weird scene?”

Hiram: No one’s “the quiet one in the group”.

How did this split 12” with Sun Dog come about?

Hiram: I went to high school with two of those dudes, so I’ve known them for years and years now. I think one of the most essential parts in making the record is proximity. They live right down the street from Eric. That’s where they practice. They live right next door, we’re all friends. We were looking for someone to do a split with; to combine Albuquerque bands—local bands—and do a double release. Also, it was a fun project to do with friends. That closeness is important to both bands.

The 12” has lots of bass, the mark of a good pressing with quality vinyl.

: I think the record sounds better than the test press. We just had to say “yes” because it takes, like, four months to get that shit going. It wasn’t our favorite mix but all 500 copies of ’em sound fuckin’ sweet. We were nervous. It’s a lot of money and shit. We were especially nervous about working with Sun Dog: They’re really about it; They’re intense musicians.

Who is the cover artist, Thomas Christopher Haag?

: He’s a Kansas born, New Mexican desert-dwelling, sometimes Washington-living artist. He’s really prolific. We bonded because of a show we played in a super small town in Washington. He’s just chill, smokes weed on the patio all the time. He also happened to have some art at 516 Arts and at Downtown Contemporary Gallery.

How do you feel about Captain America’s [Music Writer Brett Maverick] characterization of YOU in the most recent and extremely tardy issue of the zine Wig Wam Bam?

: What? I didn’t hear about that.

Eric: There’s a zine this dude in Albuquerque made and the last last page has a review of that Mannequin Pussy/Amanda X show we had at Burt’s a while back. There’s one sentence that describes us as “YOU: pseudo-psych Counting Crows for millennials.”

Hiram: Wow, I must have a really warped sense of self-perception if that’s accurate. We totally could be that, I guess.

Eric: Counting Crows is one of the first tapes I bought when I was younger. I don’t care. It might be Austin’s voice. It’s funny: I’m more mad at the rest of the zine because what is being reviewed is just the softest shit. There’s like seven shows that are reviewed in here and it’s the lamest shit. There were awesome shows that year and it’s all 66 Casino, Kimo Theatre. That’s my biggest upset about that.

Hiram: Well, that’s bizarre. That’s the weirdest description of our band so far. I feel like “black metal disco” is the way to go. Especially this split we did with Sun Dog. That’s some of our more distortioned out, dance blast music. Listener’s are going to dig it; despite what one critic wrote.

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