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Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Late Night in 2006
Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Late Night in 2006
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Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Wikipedia
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs.jpgYeah Yeah Yeahs in 2002. From left to right: Brian Chase, Karen O and Nick Zinner.
Background information
OriginNew York City, New York, United States
GenresGarage punk,[1] indie rock, art punk,[2] dance-punk, post-punk revival
Years active2000 (2000)–2014
LabelsTouch and Go, Wichita, Interscope, Fiction, Modular, Polydor
Associated actsHead Wound City
MembersKaren O
Nick Zinner
Brian Chase

Yeah Yeah Yeahs is an American indie rock band formed in New York City in 2000. The group is composed of vocalist and pianist Karen O, guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase.[3] They are complemented in live performances by second guitarist David Pajo, who joined as a touring member in 2009 and replaced Imaad Wasif who had previously held this role. According to an interview that aired during the ABC network's Live from Central Park SummerStage series, the band's name was taken from modern New York City vernacular.[4]

The band has recorded four studio albums; the first, Fever to Tell, was released in 2003. The second, Show Your Bones, was released in 2006 and was named the second best album of the year by NME.[5] Their third studio album, It's Blitz!, was released on March 31, 2009 in the US and on April 6, 2009 elsewhere. All three albums earned the band Grammy nominations for Best Alternative Music Album. Their fourth album, Mosquito, was released on April 15, 2013.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Formation and Fever to Tell (2000–2004)
    • 1.2 Show Your Bones and Is Is EP (2005-2007)
    • 1.3 It's Blitz! (2008–2009)
    • 1.4 Mosquito (2011–2014)
    • 1.5 Hiatus (2014–2016)
  • 2 Musical style
  • 3 Touring and performances
  • 4 Awards and nominations
  • 5 Discography
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Formation and Fever to Tell (2000–2004)

Karen O and Brian Chase first met as students at Oberlin College in Ohio in the late 1990s, where Chase was a jazz student at the conservatory. Karen then transferred to New York University, and while in New York met Zinner in a local bar, where they formed an "instant connection." During this time they also shared a loft with future members of the band Metric.[6] The two formed an acoustic duo called Unitard but soon decided to "shake things up a bit" by forming a "trashy, punky, grimy" band modeled after the art student, avant-punk bands Karen O was exposed to at Oberlin.[7] After the drummer they initially recruited bowed out, Chase joined the line-up.

The band wrote a slew of songs at their first rehearsal and soon wound up supporting The Strokes and The White Stripes, earning a significant buzz for their arty and garage punk scene. In late 2001, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs released their self-titled debut EP, which they recorded with Boss Hog's Jerry Teel, on their own Shifty label.[8] Early the next year the band stepped into the international spotlight, appearing at South by Southwest, touring the U.S. with Girls Against Boys and Europe with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and headlining their own U.K. tour. Wichita Recordings distributed the group's EP in the U.K. and Touch and Go reissued it in the States.[9]

In 2003, the band released their debut album, Fever to Tell, which received several strong critical reviews and sold more than 750,000 copies worldwide. The album's third single, "Maps," received significant airplay on alternative radio. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked "Maps" as 386th in their list of the The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The video for their 2004 single "Y Control" was directed by Spike Jonze. In October 2004, the band released their first DVD, Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow. The DVD included a concert filmed at The Fillmore in San Francisco, all of the band's music videos to date, and various interviews. Later the same year, the band was also featured in Scott Crary's documentary Kill Your Idols.

In November 2009, NME rated Fever to Tell the No. 5 Best Album of the Decade.[10]

Show Your Bones and Is Is EP (2005-2007)

Their second album, Show Your Bones, was released on March 27–28, 2006. Karen O told online zine Drowned in Sound, "Show Your Bones is what happens when you put your finger in a light socket," crediting "9-year old antigenius wonder-kid Drake Barrett for the insight."[11] The first single from the album, "Gold Lion", was released on March 20, 2006, reaching number 18 in the Official UK Singles Chart. It has been noted by Leah Greenblatt that "Gold Lion" sounds startlingly similar to "No New Tale To Tell" from 1980s alternative band Love and Rockets.[12]

The band toured throughout Europe and the United States during much of 2006, and also helped to curate an edition of the British All Tomorrow's Parties festival.

In December 2006, the album was named the second best album of the year by NME magazine, and "Cheated Hearts" was voted the 10th best song. Rolling Stone magazine named it the 44th best album of 2006, while Spin magazine ranked it number 31 on their 40 best albums of 2006.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' third EP, titled Is Is, was released on July 24, 2007. It includes 5 previously unreleased songs and a short film, which was recorded and filmed at the Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. The songs were written in 2004, during the Fever To Tell tour, and performed live often.[13] Three of the five tracks were featured on the Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow DVD.

It's Blitz! (2008–2009)

The band's next album was released in March 2009 and titled It's Blitz!.[14] The band says the album sounds different from their previous ones but "still like Yeah Yeah Yeahs." It was originally set to be released April 13, but following the leak to the Internet on February 22[15] the band's label, Interscope, pulled the release date closer to reduce the leak's impact.[16] The album spawned three singles: "Zero", "Heads Will Roll," and "Skeletons."

It's Blitz! was named the second best of 2009 by Spin Magazine and third best of 2009 by NME along with "Zero" from the album listed as the best track of the year by both.[17][18][19][20]

Mosquito (2011–2014)

On December 9, 2011, Karen O reported to NME that she had been working on new music with the band, hinting a new album was possibly in the making.[21]

On January 14, 2013, it was announced via their official Facebook page that the new album would be titled Mosquito. It was released on April 16 of the same year.[22] The album features production by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, Nick Launay, and LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy.[23]

The first single "Sacrilege" was released on February 25, 2013.[24] "Despair" was released as the second single on July 23, 2013.[25]

Hiatus (2014–2016)

As of December 2014, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are on hiatus.[26]

In 2016 the band received writing credits on the Beyoncé single 'Hold Up'.[27]

Musical style

Their style has been described as "an art-rock trio who made an edgy post-punk, dancefloor-friendly racket that mixed up Blondie with Siouxsie and the Banshees."[2]

Touring and performances

Alongside performing headlining tours across the world, the band has supported artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Björk, The White Stripes, The Strokes, Liars, and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

The band became one of the first western rock acts to play in China when they headlined the Modern Sky Festival in Beijing in 2007.[28]

The group performed their single "Zero" on the NBC television show Saturday Night Live on April 11, 2009.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs performed on the Late Show with David Letterman on April 5, 2013.[29] They headlined and curated ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror festival at Alexandra Palace in London on May 4, 2013.[30]

Yeah Yeah Yeahs played at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, in Indio, California on April 12 and 19, 2013,[31] and at the Firefly Music Festival on June 21–23, 2013.

Awards and nominations

Grammy Award

MTV Video Music Awards

NME Awards

Shortlist Music Prize

UK Music Video Awards


Main article: Yeah Yeah Yeahs discography

Studio albums

  • Fever to Tell (2003)
  • Show Your Bones (2006)
  • It's Blitz! (2009)
  • Mosquito (2013)


  1. ^ "NY-based Yeah Yeah Yeahs headline Love Garage". The Jakarta Post. 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2015-10-27. 
  2. ^ a b McLean, Craig (June 13, 2009). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs: why fans of the art-punk trio can't say no". The Times. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ Phares, Heather (May 17, 2002). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  4. ^ Nuno Brandão (2012-12-21), Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Live from Central Park, 2004, retrieved 2016-02-08 
  5. ^ NME.COM. "A decade in music - 50 best albums of 2006 | NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  6. ^ "YYYs shared a loft with Metric". Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  7. ^ Hanley, Lynsey (February 26, 2006). "Lynsey Hansley talks to Yeah Yeah Yeahs". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  8. ^ "Jerry Teel". Discogs. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  9. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs". mtv. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  10. ^ "The Strokes' 'Is This It' tops NME albums of the decade list". NME News. November 17, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  11. ^ Roberts, Colin (January 11, 2006). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs LP and single details, yeah". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  12. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (June 16, 2006). "Did The Red Hot Chili Peppers copy Tom Petty?". Entertainment Weekly (883). Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  13. ^ Maher, Dave (July 13, 2006). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Release New EP of Old Songs". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  14. ^ Breihan, Tom (January 21, 2009). "New Yeah Yeah Yeahs Album: It's Blitz". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  15. ^ "Diditleak". Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  16. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs to release album early due to leak". NME. March 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  17. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 2009". Spin. December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  18. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2009". NME. Retrieved December 13, 2009. 
  19. ^ "50 Best Tracks of 2009". NME. Retrieved December 13, 2009. 
  20. ^ Spin Staff (December 7, 2009). "The 20 Best Songs of 2009". Spin. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Karen O: 'I have been working on new Yeah Yeah Yeahs music'". Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  22. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs's Facebook". Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs Go 'Raw, Chaotic, Dreamy' on April Album 'Mosquito'". Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs Twitter". Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  25. ^ "iTunes - Music - Despair - Single - Yeah Yeah Yeahs". iTunes Store. Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Karen O says Yeah Yeah Yeahs 'are on a bit of a hiatus'". 2014-12-22. Retrieved 2015-10-27. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ Sisario, Ben (November 25, 2007). "For All the Rock in China". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  29. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Awesome Choir Director Bring 'Sacrilege' to 'Letterman'". Spin. April 5, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  30. ^ Murray, Robin (January 28, 2013). "I'll Be Your Mirror Grabs Grizzly Bear, Yeah Yeah Yeahs". Clash. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Lineup". Coachella. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  32. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (January 12, 2004). "White Stripes To Perform At Grammy Awards". MTV. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  33. ^ "49th Annual Grammy Awards Winners List". Grammy Awards. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Grammy nominations 2010 announced – Beyonce, Lady Gaga, MGMT shortlisted". NME. IPC Media. December 3, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 

External links

  • Official website
  • BBC artist page
  • YYY Pins, early list of links to interviews, photos, etc.
  • "Yeah Yeah Yeahs: The Love Cats", Exclaim!

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