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Made in Austria Made in Austria

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