Davey Pierce, half of the dance-pop group Yip Deceiver, speaks about his sound, music, and upcoming tour.
Davey Pierce is a multi-instrumentalist and one-half of the indie-dance band Yip Deceiver. Based in Athens, GA, the group’s sound is characterized by Pierce’s larger-than-life 1980’s synthesizers and sequencers.
The band formed in 2009, shortly after Nicolas “Dobby” Dobbratz joined Pierce in the band Of Montreal. The two hit it off and started working together musically during breaks in their tour schedule. In 2010, Yip Deceiver had a remix featured on the B-side of Of Montreal’s “Coquet Coquette” single.
The duo’s first album, “Medallius”, was released on Sept. 17, 2013. Their next release is the first of three EPs that the band is going to release, as opposed to a full-length album. The YPD EP will be released Oct. 9 and will feature more of a rock sound than their first album.
We talked to Davey on the phone before he prepares to launch into Yip Deceiver’s 10-week upcoming tour with Electric Six, which starts on Sept. 23, and comes to Indianapolis’ Joyful Noise Recordings next Friday, Sept. 25. The Indianapolis show, with Andy D, is donation only and starts at 8 p.m.
Are you currently at home?
Yep, I’m in Athens. It’s amazing here, it’s a small town but there is a bunch of really cool stuff. Great restaurants, great bands, you know. I love it.
So have you performed in Indianapolis before?
Yes we have. We’ve played Joyful Noise before. We know Karl [owner of Joyful Noise Recordings], he’s a friend of the label.
Is it tough playing a gig that is donation only?
It’s kind of at the tail end of a smaller tour, so we could either drive home from wherever the hell we are or we can just do a show with our buddy in Indy. So we might as well do that.
What instruments are you playing live?
I play keys and guitar. Dobby plays keys and bass. John Swint pretty much just plays the drums.
“Medallius” is turning two years old on the 17th…
Yeah we are really excited about the two year anniversary. It’s been a little bit but we’ve both been really busy. We’ve decided now is the time that we will go ahead and put out another record. It’s actually going to be a series of EP’s instead of doing another record.
Why three EP’s?
We have a bunch of songs that we have been recording and I don’t know, instead of just throwing out a record and seeing what happens we might as well put out five or six songs every three months. They will all be released on CD’s at first and we are going to do a deluxe version of all three of them on vinyl. Just trying it out, you have to keep trying all sorts of new things because now-a-day’s it just doesn’t work.
You guys don’t do much of the modern thing... do you record on equipment from the ’80’s?
We record onto a computer, that’s the only thing we use a computer for. All of our equipment is old, I use old sequencers and all my old analog synths. I’m addicted to that stuff but I’ve had to stop buying because I just don’t have the room to keep them all.
You can really hear that on the record. “Obnoxia” sounds a lot like Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.”
Thank you. I love him! He is one of my biggest influences.
Who else influences you?
We both love ‘80’s and ‘90’s R&B like Chaka Khan, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, and all them. I grew up listening to a lot of yacht rock stuff, dad rock is what we called it, Hall & Oates, and Ambrosia, all that. Which I guess is becoming fashionable again which is cool, maybe I’ll be considered ahead of the curve on that. I’ve definitely been stuck on Hall & Oates recently, I’ve dug out all my old LP’s and just listen constantly. I really enjoy that stuff, but I try to not let it seep in too much.
Another ‘80’s thing you do is music videos…
I like music videos as an outlet, like a companion piece for a song. I think that people’s attention span for music is so short that if you don’t give them something else to latch onto it’s hard to get people to pay attention to anything.
So what’s the new sound for “YPD EP?”
It’s a little bit more rock. It’s still dance music for the most part. We don’t want to go so far from what we actually do that it would sound like a different band or something. It’s definitely more live, a little bit less sequencing, a little bit less electronica.
So you met Dobby through Of Montreal right?
Yeah he joined Of Montreal in 2009 or so and we met then and just started working together.
When did you join?
It was early 2007.
Is it nice to get to record for yourself as opposed to Of Montreal?
I’ve heard Kevin Barnes is a little controlling…
I wouldn’t call it controlling. Of Montreal is his thing, it’s always been his thing and you know when you’re that invested in a project you have to make sure it turns out the way you want it to turn out. I’m the same way with my band. If I write a song and it doesn’t turn out the way I thought it would, then it’s gone. We throw away way more than we would ever release. I get it, it’s part of being a creative artist. You don’t want to put out anything you aren’t 100% sure of. It was great though, Kevin is one of my best friends and I still love him and we hang out all the time, so it’s good.
Who writes most of the music?
I do most of the music writing, and probably most of the vocal too. We work as a team a lot, especially with the vocals. It tends to start with an idea for a melody over a track that we’ve had forever. We sit down and work it out and see what it wants. We try to keep it organic.
A lot of people like to get formulaic like people know what a pop song is supposed to be and write it so that everyone will pay attention to it. We don’t really go for that, because not everyone likes what we do. We just try to give the song what it needs.
Your music is still really easy to get into…
We write pop music, we both love pop music, we grew up with it. In the ‘80’s and ‘90’s everything was pop, shit even metal went pop in the ‘90’s. Metallica doing “Enter Sandman,” all of a sudden this thing that was completely inaccessible became the biggest thing in the world. I kind of appreciate that on the one hand, but on the other hand I think that album is kind of terrible. But you have to hand it to them for writing one of the catchiest metal records of all time. I just like that idea of taking something that normally wouldn’t be pop, in the ‘80’s most of the pop wasn’t melodic it was techno. I like the idea of bringing melody to it. Hey if we can do that, it makes me happy.