Yearling hits the stage nonstop
Tragic Hero Records
Tommy LaCombe, owner of Tragic Hero, knew exactly what he was doing. and why. when he signed Yearling to his North Carolina record label (www.myspace.com/tragicherorecords). Since the signatures hit paper, Yearling has been hitting stages nonstop, sent off on national tours and, recently, even further — Japan. Their 2007 release The View From Here came to the United States in May. With an unexpected response of praise and high demand, it continued out to the Asian markets later on in December (purchase it on itunes.com or www.smartpunk.com). Our state, even closer, our Triad, is known for a handful of homemade success stories — Yearling is no exception. Based in Winston-Salem, these guys bring a lyrical dance of positive lyrics and close-knit friendship messages. After all, most of their musical career is based on friendship. Their favorite bands and those they’ve toured with are groups they’ve grown alongside in North Carolina over the last few years — not to mention members themselves stress the title of each other as “friends” above “band mates” since the beginning. Mike Schroeder (drums) and Sid Menon (vocals, guitar) met in 6 th grade and immediately started a band — or as much of a band as you can muster at 11 years old. High school had hit by the time they came across Tony Collins (bass), and the three continued. Finally, college brought them to NC State University in Raleigh where they completed the group upon meeting guitarist George Hage, who originates from Charlotte. Most scene regulars might recognize Menon from the North Carolina death metal band Glass Casket. If you’re from the Triangle, you’ll notice him working the sound at the Raleigh venue known as the Brewery (www.brewerync.com). Or, you might just remember him for his killer hair. But wherever you notice them, you notice the confidence. It seems most bands today are too afraid to mention or group themselves into any specific area of music, in fear that criticism from that “grouping” may alter the perception of their listeners. Most bands I ask avoid answering this question, pair negativity with labeling or play it safe by grouping too many vague descriptive words into one answer. Though when the question was proposed for Yearling,
they answered simply and proudly, without explanation or disclosure: “rock pop.” Pop rock, at first take, makes one immediately think of the negative conotation of “pop.” Today, one of the smarter, longer-lasting trends of this genre is to put the “rock” before “pop” in the music making — something that Yearling has hit on the head. And Yearling’s head-smashing abilities do not go unnoticed, as they’ve picked up many sponsors along the path to stardom. Some of their favorites: Ahpeele (www.ahpeele.bigcartel.com), and Cawaii (www.cawaiiclothing.com). You may notice a few other North Carolina bands on the site listed for this Japanese line. The busy bees have recently finished recording the rough draft of their next album, and have already begun the editing phase. So how does the music come to be? Collins explained, “Usually Sid or George comes up with the riffs, and then Sid and Mike work out the arrangement. For other songs we work out the whole thing together at a practice, but this happens less often. Sid usually works on vocals and lyrics alone and writes his parts. After the song has been structured, we play with it a while and try to improve it, or scrap it if we decide it’s not good enough for whatever reason.” Whatever it is, the process works, and their devoted practicing and positive attitudes shine through their live show every time. “They are honestly one of the most genuinely charming, well-mannered and warm-hearted group of guys you’ll ever meet,” a fan swooned at their Saturday night show. There’s a hometown concert coming up at the Harbor (www.myspace.com/ theharbornc) on Aug. 11 with My Epic (www. myspace.com/myepic), Harvard (www. myspace.com/Harvard), Love and Reverie (www.myspace.com/loveandreverie) and Greensboro’s Tim Hooker (www.myspace.com/timhookermusic). Don’t miss it.