(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #106: Oli Burslem of YAK

By on Friday, 11th March 2016 at 11:00 am

Ahead of SXSW in Austin next week, just as we have in the past 2 years of our preview coverage of the big dance, we’ll be bringing you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2016 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. To round off the week in style, today’s set of answers are from Oli Burslem, frontman of London-based psych rockers YAK. The band’s debut album ‘Alas Salvation’is scheduled for release on the 13th of May on Octopus Electrical/Kobalt, so bets are the YAK lads are pretty excited to be going out to Austin and showing America what they’ve got.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Playing some shows and having a party.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
I haven’t looked who is playing, to be honest. I’m not much of a planner, and I know we are gonna be pretty busy, so I’m all open to a surprise along the way.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
A wedding suit.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
A pint of weak cheap lager or if I think you’re worth a bit, then a double bourbon. Maybe Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reverse, something expensive.

What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I’ve played a couple of times before in the U.S. but never Austin. I have no expectations for SXSW. For us it’s just another gig. I have heard some mixed responses about SXSW from bands who have played there, but we’re just happy to be getting out there in front of people. I’ve never been to Texas and I can’t wait to see all the bits in between. I watched a doc about Townes Van Zandt in Austin the other day and it’s got me excited.

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
My first musical memory is at church singing monotone Anglo hymns. The first music I can clearly remember being obsessed with was anything Elvis….

What was your favourite song as a child?
Bill & Ben – ‘The Flower Pot Men’ (theme song).


What song makes you laugh?
Sleaford Mods’ ’14 Day Court’.

What song makes you cry?
Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Waiting Around to Die’.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Chopin’s ‘Funeral March’.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Buying and selling antiques to the well-to-do of London. For exaggerated prices.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
If I ended up in Heaven, I would very surprised as I’m an atheist. So I would ask God to stream ‘God’ by John Lennon, which is on the ‘Plastic Ono Band’ album.


Thanks to Oli of YAK for taking the time to answer our questions!

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