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"Dress smart casual, but don't wear too much aftershave." Max Bloom, guitarist of Yuck is giving me wardrobe advice ahead of the band's show at The Independent this Wednesday. Bloom is, for lack of better terms, a somewhat-reluctant frontman. Heralded for releasing one of the albums of the year in 2011, Yuck made a name for themselves as the mysterious 90's drenched indie band that could. Formerly led by Daniel Bloomberg, Yuck spun songs like "Georgia" and "Get Away," drawing comparisons to Dinosaur Jr., Pavement and the like.

After the success of 2011, the band stayed mum, until fans let out a collective yelp in April 2013, when it was announced that Bloomberg would not be joining them on recording the second album, Glow & Behold. Bloom took the reigns and led the rest of the band, whose new LP includes singles "Rebirth" and "Middle Sea." Bloom was kind enough to talk with me about the changes that Yuck has undergone before they head to the Bay this Wednesday.

TBB: How does it feel to be touring the US again?

It's really exciting! It's been a log time since we've toured the US, and it feels really good to be back! Like seeing an old friend after a long time.

TBB: What was it like to work with a proper producer and record in a studio for the first time with Yuck?

It was really different. Obviously I'm used to just doing everything myself, so it was weird at first giving some of the responsibility to someone else [producer Chris Coady]. Then again, it was nice to be able to have another creative mind in the room, and be able to consider what we were doing rather than getting too carried away with the recording aspect.

TBB: The material for your second album was recorded in a church-like studio outside of New York, what was that experience like? Why forego a traditional studio environment?

I guess a church is kind of an ideal place to record music in many ways. They're all kind of designed with great acoustics. I felt really fortunate to be recording there, not only because of the amazing acoustics and what you could achieve sound wise, but also just being in that secluded atmosphere was pretty special. Being in a place of god felt slightly weird though. I hope god was pleased with our work at least.

TBB: After Daniel left you took over the frontman role in Yuck, how was that transition for you?

It was okay. It was a learning curve just like anything. It didn't take long to relax and have fun, but I feel like I learnt the most from playing live.

TBB: What's shifted, for better or worse, in the band dynamic? Did you consider changing the name of the band?

The dynamic has definitely changed, especially with the addition of our live guitarist Ed Hayes. Things feel a lot more fun and relaxed than they used to, and the band is also sounding better than it ever has, probably because the atmosphere feels a lot better. I don't think that changing the band name was ever considered, it wouldn't have felt like the right thing to do. The sound of Yuck is something that I don't believe rests with Daniel, I don't think that his leaving stopped us from being Yuck.

TBB: The first single off "Glow & Behold" is called "Rebirth," obviously a statement about the state of the band after Daniel left. Tell me more about the importance of that first single and naming it "Rebirth".

That song isn't actually called "Rebirth" for that reason, but I obviously understand why people would think that! We chose to release that song just because it felt like a good song for people to hear first, and then we realized how it would be interpreted after that, but I didn't really feel like changing the title at that point.

TBB: San Francisco is very excited to welcome you guys back to our fair city, what are you looking forward to about playing here?

We've always had really good shows in San Francisco. I'm looking forward to playing the Independent again. The other guys get to stay there for 5 days, I have to fly back to London for my sister's wedding so I won't be able to enjoy the area as much as they will!

TBB: The material for "Glow & Behold" consists of ideas and songs you had on the back burner even when you were writing and recording your 2011 debut. What felt right about these tracks to be worthy of the second album?

There were actually no songs on this album that were from the first album period. I started writing this album straight after the first one was released, so it's been a long time in the making.

TBB: How do you feel about the resurgence of 90s alt rock / grunge? How does Yuck fit into this?

I'm not really sure how we fit into that, it's not really something I think about when I'm making music. I think it's mainly a journalistic thing which I can totally understand, but I'm sure a lot of people who like our music probably don't think in those terms.

TBB: What bands are you inspired by? Old and new.

Right now I'm listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley and Cocteau Twins. I also listen to a lot of Big Star, and this band called Cleaners From Venus. There's a new band in London called Polterghost who I also like a lot, and the band who are on tour with us right now called Alvvays are really good.

TBB: Any side projects you guys have your eyes set on/are working on?

Not really, we did some new recordings recently though.

TBB: What can we expect from your set at The Independent on Jan. 29? Oldies but goodies or only new material?

A mix of oldies, newbies, and some new shit!

Yuck, GRMLN, The She's
The Independent
$15, 8pm

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