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Austrian band YUKNO talks sound, sustainability and staying humble in the public eye.

Since depart­ing from the hum­ble spaces of the small town where they grew up, the two broth­ers Georg and Niko­laus Nöhrer have expe­ri­enced noth­ing but suc­cess. Using music to express their own growth and explore the melan­cholic fan­tasies of today’s dig­i­tal­ly bound youth, the duo behind Aus­tri­an band YUKNO under­stand and cap­ture the cur­rent zeitgeist.

Exper­i­ment­ing with the con­cep­tu­al bound­aries of sound, they have sought to elab­o­rate upon the imagery that seems to waft out of their songs and with­in their music videos, which some­times offer rather intense sto­ries, encour­ag­ing a new inter­pre­ta­tion with each watch. 

From their ori­gins in their first band Neodis­co, this is a pair that is com­fort­able with change. We got the chance to chat with the duo and learn more about their begin­nings, future ambi­tions and per­spec­tives on sustainability.

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You’re two broth­ers, from a small-moun­tain­ous town of 800 in lush Styr­ia, where I assume there isn’t much of a club and exper­i­men­tal music scene. So, how was it that you came to pro­duce your own music and step out onto the wider, Euro­pean scene? Who inspired you there?

Yeah, that is true. There is hard­ly a music scene in Ober­feistritz — except, of course, for the usu­al Styr­i­an brass-bands… We have been pro­duc­ing our own music for quite a while; start­ing out by mak­ing beats on the ancient Yama­ha begin­ners’ key­board of our child­hood. We kept drift­ing from genre to genre; try­ing out dif­fer­ent things and fig­ur­ing out what we want­ed to do — with us work­ing togeth­er being the only con­stant. There are many artists and songs that inspired us. It’s hard to point in a spe­cif­ic direc­tion though — it is rather a pot­pour­ri of influ­ence that has brought us to where we are today.

Your first album, Feuer’, was back in 2015, two years after depart­ing from your orig­i­nal band, Neodis­co, how do you feel your change in music –in terms of tran­si­tion­ing from the club-esque sounds of Neodis­co to the dark­er and more melan­choly sounds of Yukno – has changed you both on a per­son­al lev­el? It must be quite exhil­a­rat­ing to be able to musi­cal­ly explore two very dif­fer­ent sides of your per­son­al­i­ties and in the pub­lic eye….

We some­how felt that Neodis­co was over. We had been through a process of redefin­ing and reimag­in­ing our­selves cre­ative­ly two years before releas­ing the Yukno Feuer-Ep in 2015. Con­sid­er­ing the change in music, in hind­sight, it feels like more of a per­son­al change that led to the cre­ative one. Well, these things are prob­a­bly always inter­re­lat­ed and mutu­al­ly depen­dent. Long sto­ry short, we had start­ed Neodis­co at a young age and at some point we want­ed to do things dif­fer­ent­ly. Turns out, our sound got more melan­cholic and intro­spec­tive, which feels more true to us, at least for now – we’ve always tried to keep the club-aspect though. Look­ing back to the old stuff is always inter­est­ing, of course. I guess we would do a cou­ple of things dif­fer­ent­ly now…

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You’re obvi­ous­ly close to one anoth­er, not just as broth­ers but also as friends, how does your rela­tion­ship influ­ence the way you make music?

Judg­ing from the time we spend stuck togeth­er in tour bus­es – yeah, we are pret­ty close… Seri­ous­ly though, our rela­tion­ship influ­ences our music on a large scale. Find­ing a coop­er­a­tive cre­ative voice is always tricky. There is a lot of com­pro­mis­ing involved as well as pon­der­ing and deci­sion mak­ing. Being broth­ers and hav­ing spent so much time mak­ing music togeth­er makes the cre­ative process eas­i­er. For instance, there is no thresh­old for point­ing out stu­pid ideas…

Work­ing in the music indus­try, you must be aware of how much waste devel­ops through fes­ti­vals and con­certs in gen­er­al, how do you think the events/​music indus­try could improve to active­ly sup­port a sus­tain­able future?

Frankly, work­ing towards a sus­tain­able future and work­ing for the music indus­try doesn’t seem like a per­fect match. At least for now. See­ing fes­ti­vals resort to reusable cups and eco-toi­lets are cool and all — how­ev­er, not hav­ing a fes­ti­val in the first place would be even bet­ter, envi­ron­men­tal­ly speak­ing. But I mean who are we to judge, pol­lut­ing the envi­ron­ment with tons of tour bus emis­sions along our ego­tis­ti­cal pur­suit of hap­pi­ness. Still, I think art, and music in spe­cif­ic, plays an impor­tant role in the pro­mo­tion of a sus­tain­able future. Art talks about these things and peo­ple lis­ten. We do too in our songs. And that’s impor­tant. Even though we still fill our tank with diesel.

How is Neubau Music sup­port­ing this?

We have been a part of Neubau Music since the begin­ning. The idea of Neubau is to rethink many of the out­mod­ed struc­tures and meth­ods you often find in the music busi­ness. This also means bring­ing ideas for a sus­tain­able future to the table. Now that I’m think­ing about, they should buy us one of these new Tes­la semi-trucks for our next tour. Let’s make that part of the agenda.

26 Aug 2019 · neubau eyewear