Y!kes only formed at the beginning of the year, but have made a storming go of things so far. The four piece rock explosion hailing from Birmingham are bursting with character and plenty of ideas, and have three rollicking singles out so far that have each generated positive reaction online and have been received well at shows! The band are full of ambition and were in good spirits before supporting Heavy Rapids at the Actress and Bishop when BG caught up to find out all things Y!kes!


Hey guys! How are we doing today?

Matt: We’re feeling good!

TJ: I went to a funeral earlier but this (gig tonight) is pretty upbringing.

Joby: We had a photoshoot followed by rehearsal late last night running through our new single Visceral which we’re playing for the first time tonight!

Having formed in January, how have the first six months of the band been?

Liam: Unreal! It’s at the point where we’ve seen people walking around wearing Y!kes tshirts and we’re getting so much good response online – people just seem really psyched about the band so it’s been good!

Matt: We played at the Sunflower Lounge this one weekend and were out at Asylum after, and we kept noticing people wearing Y!kes tees because it’s a yellow fluorescent logo so it sticks out – that was really cool!

TJ: The week after that I went to Uprawr on my own and two people came up to me and asked if I was the drummer for Y!kes – I was amazed!

What’s the idea behind the band name?

Joby: Me and Liam were in a pub in Lichfield, we’d got a load of band names written down but we couldn’t really all agree on one and I was just looking through Facebook at people’s statuses looking around for words really, the word Y!kes popped out at me and I saw people posting it as a caption which is quite common. I mentioned it to Liam and we were both like ‘yep that’s it!’

Liam: We didn’t actually realise it was such a meme word at the time and we actually get loads of people tagging our Facebook page accidentally! Some of the things we’ve been tagged in have been really weird too.

Joby: Sometimes when bands are thinking of names they can spend like six months, just trying to think of a really clever name and it’s usually something that just clicks instantly likes Y!kes did.

Matt: I think as well bands often come up with names that just sound a bit boring, but people like to say the word Yikes! It’s fun, and it sounds great in a Brummy accent (laughs).

As a Birmingham band what about the city do you find influential?

Joby: It’s a great city, it often gets knocked for it’s music scene but I think it’s great.

TJ: So many cool bands kicking off!

Liam: The scene we’re in in particular is really close knit and everyone gets on, looks after each other and supports up and coming bands.

Joby: We rehearse at Uprawr as well and there’s a great little tight knitted community around there too!

You claim to have a ‘flare for theatrics’, does that mean we can look forward to some choreographed moves?

TJ: I think the main theatric thing we do at the moment is we have a six foot bear walking around with human teeth! (laughs)

Joby: The thing with the bear is the idea was originally for our Uncanny Valley music video which I felt was a great idea but I was skeptical about using it past the video because we don’t want it to become gimmicky. But we do like the idea of using it – it’s our logo, drawn.

Liam: We’ve started putting it on merch and stuff because when people see it they’ll think Y!kes so that’s sort of where we want to go next with the whole bear head thing. We’ve got some totally different videos coming up soon, we do a lot of really ‘out there’ stuff with our music videos

Matt: Stage presence wise when I first joined, I was just standing in the back a little bit boring and these lot were bollocking me (laughs) ..and now I stand a little more to the front! I can see what’s gonna happen tonight already though Liam’s gonna run round with his guitar and jump into the crowd, Joby will be doing some magic and TJ’s gonna wear the bear head while drumming or something! We want people to watch us and go “Y!kes! They look mental”

You’ve released three singles so far, is there a debut project in the works?

Joby: We’ve got two more singles coming out pretty soon and then we’re gonna move on to doing an EP. We’ve already got a lot of stuff demoed to go too, content wise we’re stockpiled. So we recorded six drum tracks at Magic Garden studios in Wolverhampton and we wanted to keep a lot of it in-house so we’re mixing all the rest.

Liam: We do a lot of our own stuff, we come up with the concepts for the videos ourselves, made the lyric video and more so everyday we’re learning new things which is cool.

Matt: The music videos are quite fucked (laughs). Uncanny Valley is a bit weird but then in Y Factor we’re all dressed up in drag! Having to explain to my Nan that we need to record a video in her front room where I’m dressed up like a Catholic Nun was a bit mental, she was bamboozled!

What do you hope that people will take from listening to your music?

Joby: When I’m on stage and someone says “I really enjoyed your set”, you know if one person says that then the gig has been a success. I think the main thing is after the gig people find us on the socials and just start supporting us!

Liam: All I want people to take away is that at the core of our theatrics and performance and whathaveyou, these are good songs – I want people to recognise that more than anything.

TJ: Some of the things we post on social media, like advertisement videos – we did one promotion video for a gig that was Liam with the yellow jacket he has on now, hood up acting like a drug dealer saying “you wanna buy some Y!kes?!” (laughs) and people found it funny which is great. Hopefully it makes them more likely to then check out a song and support the band!

Matt: You could be the best band in the world on stage but if you come across boring online it’s harder to attract people to a show. Getting the personality across really helps, doing all these weird and wacky pictures and videos gets peoples attention and shows them we’re fun!

What do you hope to achieve in the next year?

Joby: A lot! Things have moved so fast since we started the band, and the thing you know with social media – everything snowballs and we’re currently already at about 2000 likes on facebook so next year I’m hoping for about 6000.

Liam: The streams are just popping off every day it’s mad! In a year I’d like to see us at some festivals, if we can what we’ve already achieved in six months then I think that’s very possible.

Joby: I’d love to be at festivals by then. We’ve got a lot of music dropping in this next year and I’d love to go and do some really big shows. A supporting tour is another thing we’d like to achieve by next year, at least one if not a couple.

Matt: Next year we crack America! I won’t be happy until Donald Trump’s wearing a Y!kes tshirt! (laughs)


Follow Y!kes on Facebook and look out for new music dropping soon!

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