14th November 2019

YONAKA @ Manchester Academy | Interview and Gig Preview

Brighton’s brightest band –  YONAKA, take to Manchester’s music scene on the 21st November at the Manchester Academy 2 as they continue their UK tour, following the successful release of their latest album, ‘DON’T WAIT ‘TIL TOMORROW’. I had a chance to interview the alternative rock quartet ahead of time and get their thoughts on touring, mental health, and their promising future.

Q: Was there a specific point in the band’s history where you thought “wow this could really be something”? Was it a singular moment at a gig or rehearsing or just clicked slowly over time?

“I think when we wrote one of our very first songs called “Lady V” which no one will have heard, it gave me this feeling that I had never felt before of hope and euphoria that something could happen for us and this band could be something special. I still believe this band will really be something it takes a long time sometimes but it’s going to be totally worth the grind. And the journey is an emotional rollercoaster but one I couldn’t imagine not being on.”

Q: Has your favourite song changed since the album came out and you have toured more? You all previously said ‘Don’t wait ‘Til tomorrow’ or ‘Punch Bag’. Has it changed over time?

“So for me I think my favourite song of all that we have written is creature but punchbag just feels so so good when we play it live.”

Q: How are you feeling about touring again? You have spent months away from it rehearsing and preparing for your tour, now you are back on the road with your own headline show, how excited are you?

“Honestly, we cannot wait for this tour to start. We’ve been putting a lot of work into these shows especially having a stage set up, and have been working the tracks lots and adding additional sections. Just really trying to get something special together. The merch, the show, and the music all ties in to this fight for what you want and don’t let anyone take it for you kinda vibe.”

Q: As a band you have always been advocates for speaking out when it comes to Mental health. Do you have any advice you want to spread to your younger audience? Especially those who may not feel themselves at the moment and listen to your music as an outlet.

“For sure. I think a massive one is to talk. Talking out loud and talking to someone who will listen to you. I struggle myself with mental health and know so many people in the same position. I want people to know that they aren’t alone. The heavy blue hazy feeling that weighs on you so much will pass. It may come back but know that you got past it in the first place. I want you to know that living in that experience and emotion gives you strength when you come out of it, and that you will come out of it. If our music can help you anyway just forget about it for a minute, then I feel like I’m doing my job.”

Q: Do you have any hobbies/things you like to do away from music to relax and unwind, so that you are refreshed when you come back together?

“I loveeee cooking it makes me calm and I love food like I do music so I love trying new things all the time and it generally makes me real happy. I also love exercising completely clears my mind and gets a lot of unwanted adrenaline out of me.”

Q: You have some new Merch out for your tour and it’s clear to see you all love it. What was the creative process behind it? Did you ask for a specific design or leave it to the professionals?

“So this merch run I teamed up with our friend Sophie Mo and basically word vomited and sent lots of very bad sketches then she did her magic, put her spin on it and brought it to life. We really got stuck in with this merch run and I am so excited for people to wear it! I’m very hands on control freak so I don’t really ever just leave something up to someone else I don’t think I would be able to sleep.”

Q: You have your UK tour at the moment, but what can we expect from YONAKA in the near future and throughout 2020?

“Ok so lots of stuff. We will be back to America in 2020, there will be new music, there will be stripped versions of tracks from the album. Lots of stuff!”

Exciting, young, and energetic, YONAKA are not a band to sleep on and will continue to rise. With support acts including Zuzu, and Rusalka, it promises to be a lively night full of dramatic performances.

You can catch YONAKA on their UK tour at with tickets still available to select shows.