An Interview with: Yesterday
Kids today grow up quickly. They learn about whatever they need to know through their phones and while it’s given them the opportunity to pursue and study their interests - it’s also forced them to become cognizant of the world’s problems. Yesterday is one of the young artists who clearly understands the issues teenagers are facing on a daily basis. Only twenty years old, Yesterday is now living in Florida with two of his friends while pursuing his art and perfecting his craft.
Yesterday has always been an artist. Even though he initially garnered a following through YouTube and SoundCloud, Yesterday has been of apart of several bands and projects in the past decade. Inspired by the alternative rock movement of the early 2000’s, Yesterday blends the sounds of the past with the attitudes of the present.
What is your name, age and where are you residing right now?
I’m Jerry, 20 y/o and i live in florida atm
dope, nice to talk with ya Jerry, I'm Seth, so have you lived in Florida all your life or did you move there at some point?
Moved here a few months ago for some reason. Born and raised in nj.
So what was growing up in NJ like and were you interested in music from a young age? Was there any experience or reason in particular you sent it to FL, perhaps the weather?
i look back at nj very fondly. u dont know what youll miss til ya miss it sometimes lmao. i moved to florida to get a house with 2 of my friends who are also creatives and to feed off each other being in a constantly creative environment, and also cuz getting a house out here is cheaper. definitely not a fan tho, there isnt much to do and everything is far away from each other, unlike nj lol. growing up in nj was really cool tbh, being right in the heart of the state, i was 30-45 mins away from nyc so me and my friends/ fam would go there a lot. i usually spent my time playing games, making music or getting faded with my friends haha. i started playing guitar when i was 9 and ever since then ive been hooked (ty guitar hero for inspiring me) i started writing music when i was 16, did some solo stuff and eventually started a band with my friends. we always used to jam out in my homies basement and cover alt rock/pop punk shit all the time for fun, so it formed pretty naturally. all in all i formed and sang/played guitar in 2 bands and had a solo acoustic project before i started yesterday up. initially it was an experimental hip hop/rap/r&b project, but then i heard @BARR3N and @anobodyreally for the first time and realized i can merge my 2 fav music genres like that, and the rest is history haha.
What is it like now living with two friends from home? Is it what you expected or can it be hard to be in the south compared to the north? And how has it effected your musical process? Were any of your bands moderately successful? How did you come across barren and anobodyreally and since you play instruments do you prefer to produce your own tracks or have input on the production process?
living with my friends has its ups and downs, but the downs arent rly their fault. i feel like nj is inspiring and florida is bland and uninspiring, so ive been struggling to rly write a lot cuz of that. but being in a creative environment helps, plus we made a studio where i can track live drums and ive always wanted to start incorporating live drums to yesterday. that also answers the north/south comparison: it sucks, especially because im far away from big major cities that are popping for music like nyc or la or even miami from where im located (5 hour drive). non of my prior projects had much success, besides my last full band that saw a solid local following, but sadly i had to end that cuz the band wasnt really functioning past our first batch of songs. and yes i do like producing and usually have input, or, if anything, will do some cuts and add sfx’s myself for most of my songs on top of someone elses production.
I hear ya man so you must be psyched to go on tour here up north, is it your first tour with the yesterday project and how do you prepare for it? Do you rehearse prior or freestyle it mostly while creating set lists on the fly? Also, how did your idea come about?
yeah and i fucking love boston :)) so im excited! plus me and barren hangin is gunna be a blast! im currently prepping and rehearsing just to get my voice ready, its gunna be 30-40 min sets every night so i gotta get ready physically for all of that haha
what do you think about the pattern of artists singing over their prerecorded tracks? Is it just an aspect of the punk scene or do you as an instrumentalist think artists should be giving more attention to their live sets?
i dont think too much of it, its pretty necessary nowadays with all the sampling and specific sounds to have some kind of backing track or electronic instruments. i do it cuz i dont have a band atm, but i always love a good full band set! and the tour kinda just came up in conversation! me and barren both wanted to tour, and we figured we should cuz we make similar music and have a similar audience so we put it together!!
Tell me, what is your recording process like? Do you write your lyrics as your listen to a beat or do you create the lyrics as your producing the beat? And what do you think are the main subjects you are trying to express through the music?
i usually finish production and then get a name and start writing to tracks. after im done tracking the instruments, i get the vocals down and mix!! i usually touch on whatever im expiring at the moment, and that usually entails themes of relationships (platonic and romantic), sadness, loneliness, mental illness, drugs, the big picture of life; whatever it may be that im feeling in the moment
i take lots of influence from my mutuals as well as early 2000-2010’s alt rock, punk, and emo music
What is it about early 2000-2010s music and themes which people of today relate too so much? And do you see the movement as just beginning or had the death of artists such as x and peep felt like it's impeded its growth or has it only made fans demand the style more?
i think that a lot of it has to do with thats what lots of us listened to growing up, and hearing it in a new, fresh way that ties in the best parts of modern hip hop is all a fan couldve asked for nowadays haha. also, i couldnt tell u why, but its kinda weird to meet someone who doesnt go through depression or has crippling anxiety nowadays, so its easy for people to relate to this music now more than ever. and honestly i feel like x and peep’s death has impeded its growth a bit to a degree. lots of people levitate towards people who sound more like them. eventually though, i think artists like me, fatse, nothing,nowhere, and lil xtra (just to name a few) are gunna push the genre forward. there seems to be a bit of a divide in the genre, some of us (like me) are going in a more alt rock direction, while others (like safe sin, for example) are going in a more pop/rap direction. its hard to say where or if this genre is gunna be going, but i believe its just getting its feet wet.
Another off topic question, do you think Soundcloud is still the main platform artist’s use to grow your audience and find new music or culturally has Spotify become the norm? Also, when you first were getting started do you have advice for artists on promoting their work?
Soundcloud is still the best hub for music imo, although the tide is slowly turning to spotify. once spotify comes more community and artist based instead of just mainly@focused on streaming. i try and post stuff everywhere now, cuz soundcloud doesnt pay out as much, but its definitely the best and easiest way for anybody to check you and ur music out, and then follow up with other social/music platforms from there because of how soundcloud bios work. i havent really done much or any promotion other than posting it everywhere, so i have no advice on that. the only reason i got any kinda of initial traction is because i got lucky and the youtuber running sad chill found out about me as i was in a really dark place in my life and was posting a bunch of music consistently.
Outside of music what are some of your hobbies or things you like to do or not like to do? what is going on in your life outside of music?
currently bartending on the side to pay the bills and such. i like smoking and hanging with my girl for the most part but i watch a lot of youtube and play a decent amount of smash ultimate. other than that, music’s my life man! im clearly a homebody lmaoo
Same here I watch a ton of movies, what is bartending like and when did you start?
Started ab 2 years ago, i do it on and off. its better than any other job a musician with a hand tat and no college degree can get, tips are basically my salary, and coworkers are usually decent, so i cant complain haha
Sounds like its got it's perks, so what are some of your hopes and fears going into the year? what are you up too tonight and how did you decide to go by the name "yesterday"?
ok fears first, i wont end up doing as much stuff as i should have and performing, that shit always has me nervous.
that is understandable bro, but don't sweat it.
haha ty man, i just get worried ab the little things wayyy too much sometimes but that can kinda b a good thing too.
yea sometimes it's the voice of self-doubt in your head that pushes you to perfect the details and create your best work, I think, also - do you think there is a link between creativity and insanity, as if the more they deviate from normal behavior the more creative they become?
yeah i think so, at least, i know im a little crazy for sure haha. to answer the rest of that, i hope to do as many shows as possible, do some music videos, and have an album finished, and maybe some singles and eps on the side. oh and i want to do more merch, im tryna get into using photoshop and premiere to make my own videos and designs as well.
lol aren't we all...but dope man i look forward to checking those out - do you think with the approaching election artists and art has an obligation to become political, the way the original punk movement became? or now with the internet and anonymity does the artist not owe their audience much at all?
i think they owe it to themselves more than anything; to be expressive however they may be, and tell their story so people can really feel whats goin on in our world.
i dont think fans are entitled to expect anything but greatness, and if the artist wants to, respect and appreciation for their support. ive made a friend or two that started out as a fan interaction cuz i needed a 3rd in apex legends haha
my point with the first message was really that: anybody creating art, expressing their struggles through that medium, are actively showing and representing the problems with our world rn. so whether its intentional or not, this political climate is so fucked that it naturally lead up to this movement again.
ok im not sure if that sounds pretentious or not but damn that took a while to type correctly lmaooo
sounds good to me man, no worries too i appreciate your effort
is the song "restart" somewhat about having to leave NJ and start a new life of sorts in FL? also how will you guys be traveling for your tour - by car? are ya guys planning to stay in Air BnBs? and what do you think of today's "clout culture" in which people think their experiences are flat unless posted to several channels? also how do you think being in a healthy romantic relationship affects your art?
restart is more about no matter what comes ur way, the main thing that counts is that u get up and keep goin. from my move, to failed relationships, to friendships, school, whatever it may be, and my move definitely falls under that. im renting a car and we're probably staying in airbnb's or at my families house, since ny philly and nj are all right by eachother and im staying with my family for a few days after the tour ends. clout culture is stupid and toxic but on the other hand, no one would have the tools and opprotunities without the stuff clout culture is built on, sadly. being in a healthy relationship definitely throws a curvball to my creativity. relationships take a lot out of me mentally, so sometimes i put too much energy into that and end up having writers block for a while haha.
I feel the same way actually, being in a relationship - even one that is great - takes a lot of me as well, another question that popped into my head was do you think artists need to experience some degree of "failure" in order to reaffirm the idea they aren't just regular men/women?
yeah it takes a toll genuinely loving somebody, i can get why lots of people nowadays dont even want to deal with it lol. i think failure is necessary to figure out what an individual really wants to do. if you contiune to want to get back on ur feet and keep going instead of giving up completely or moving on to something different, it'll show.