The Yawns on the band’s origins, playing goNORTH and living with PAWS

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On the Radar – No 229: Hailing from five not-so-sleepy northern towns are The Yawns, a band not afraid to indulge in 1980s Pastels-drawn reveries or unveil their debut album without any preceding singles releases.

The Yawns

Literally recorded in a garage, their self-titled first release breezes through the sound-waves with enviable nonchalance, and although only clocking in at less than a half-hour, it’s ensured The Yawns will be waking people up with their leisurely lo-fi garage pop for a good while yet…

Frontman Sean Armstrong talks to Harris Brine about the band’s origins, some Freudian psychoanalysis and living with PAWS…

Hello The Yawns. Straight off the bat, can you describe who The Yawns are in your own unique way?

It’s hard to describe. It’s something that happened over a period of time, with many factors involved. We’re all quite different, but to others might seem the same. I think we wanted to start a ‘pop’ band to start with. Very ironic or something. We didn’t have a singer.

You’re all derived from towns scattered across the Highlands, slightly similar to FatCat’s wonderkids PAWS. Did one of you skip class at school to smoke behind the bikesheds with Philip and Josh?

We’ve all collected like sediment. Rikki, Gav and Mini are from Aberdeen way, and Emma is from near Stirling but I went to the same school as Josh and Phillip in Tain. We didn’t really meet at school, but became great friends after, and eventually lived together in Glasgow. I don’t see them so much now though, they’re rockstars and I’m a bum.

Your debut album is available for £3 (or more). Let’s say that The Yawns hypothetically never existed… What else should our readers spend their £3 on?

There are a lot of things you can do with £3. You could buy another album or go to a gig. There are a lot of cheap gigs where you will see something really great. Go for a drink with a friend. Go for a walk. Somewhere you haven’t been before.

Yawns are intensely contagious, and theories now suggest they’re part of a process which helps cool the brain down. When things get a little to hectic, what helps cool down The Yawns?

Sometimes Gav lights some incense and the aroma has a very relaxing quality. Opening a window can help calm me down personally. I like to feel the breeze. Watching a film or reading can also be a good source of escapism.

You’re about to embark on a European tour, where you’ll travel through Rotterdam, Prague and Vienna. The founding father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, was a Vienna native for most of his life. If Freud was to diagnose you with a disorder, what would it be?

Just now, we all have a pretty bad case of the Monomania. Our super egos are borderline non existent.

And another Yawn related question…What type of music bores you to sleep?

I think, or maybe just hope that we have the capacity to find all music interesting in a certain way. We don’t listen to a lot of electronic music, but maybe that will change. I like falling asleep to music, it feels like you’re subconsciously taking it in somehow.

Thanks for your time. Finally, you’re heading off to goNORTH. Which bands on the bill are essential for checking out?

We are very excited to be coming to Inverness! No bands, including ourselves are essential. Just have a wander and a wonder, and enjoy yourself.

The Yawns will play MadHatters in Inverness tonight (Thursday) at 9.30pm as part of this year’s goNORTH festival.

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Nick is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor, covering music, pop culture and comedy.

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