Artist Spotlight: No No Yeah Okay

Electronic soul band No No Yeah Okay opened up the 88Nine Radio Milwaukee after-party at The Cooperage late Saturday night, performing along with Amanda Huff and Vincent Van Great. The band advertised Saturday as their last show “with their current vibe,” implying a major stylistic change.

No No Yeah Okay consists of vocalist Colin Plant, guitarist Chris Quasius, bassist Josh Paynter, and producer Mark Gage. Formed in 2015, the group creates a hypnotic flavor of soul-infused pop coordinated with psychedelic visuals projected onto a screen – a trademark of theirs since they formed. Their last EP “Cabal” came out in early 2018, and they dropped a new single “Changes” this past April.

“Chris hadn’t really played guitar and I hadn’t really done production or anything like that when we were figuring it out,” Gage recalled about the band’s formation. “We were lucky enough to have two extremely talented musicians in Colin and Josh join us and be willing to figure it out with us, and it became something really cool.”

“I did kind of learn how to play guitar,” Quasius laughed.

Plant describes the band’s single from this year and how it speaks to where the band is at.

“It’s our evolution to no longer being a band (laughs). I mean the band has been going through changes; people started businesses and have children and have been losing their jobs…we actually made a recent decision to go into a writing kick and not do any shows for a while…not that we do them in abundance, but we decided not to hit a stage until we have a completely new kind of show. It’s gonna take some time to do that, so it’s our last show for our long time.”

“The last year was evidence that we were just chasing shows for a while,” Gage added. “It got to a point where we had fun doing it but we were chasing shows and weren’t writing new music. We found that it became creatively mundane and stagnant. What we started doing this for was Chris and I just fucking around with instruments and then we were like “holy shit, what kind of band can we be if we introduce a rapper (Colin)?” and then we started singing for the first time. Then we took a guy (Josh) from a rock band and saw if he could do electronic music, and it became a fun experimental discovery thing…and it worked, which was the plan, and it became a job/chore at that point to maintain a presence. We haven’t challenged ourselves in a while, and so we’re gonna take a little time out and challenge.”

Gage discusses the process in which their visual component is accomplished.

“We graduated into a system where we could play the visuals like an instrument – like I was triggering them live during the set, and working through changing them. They have a really dope TV in there with a massive display and I couldn’t hook into it because it was so far away so I had to use one of the very first videos I ever made for the band, which we just set on a projector and pointed at us. I had to reach pretty deep into the files to find that video to make this work, and it aged well.”

We anticipate what No No Yeah Okay will do in the years to come.

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