Listening to the music of YUCA is a transformative experience, which is why they fill so many stadium seats around the world. It is not just the question how only three guys can make so much ear-grabbing sound, but the positive images and messages they put into those sounds. Always thinking, always pushing the envelope, always experimenting, these three artists have built a well-deserved reputation as one of the best alt. rock groups in Canada and a major draw in Asia, the USA and Europe.
True to form, they are out with a new album and a new idea for distributing music in this crazy world of downloads, streams, CD’s and purist vinyl. All their music will be free with songs from new albums being released one at a time. The first song now available for free download is “Limitless” and it soars. It is everything its name implies – music without limit. With precisely tuned drums and bass driving high octane beats carrying Matt Borck’s gale-force interior voice, it hooks you from the first verse. Backed by the vocals of his band mates woven together with heavy-string guitar riffs and hypnotic gestalt energy Matt throws back his head and proclaims ”There’s nothing that can hold me/I am limitless”. Whether it makes you groove on headphones or dance all night, “Limitless” is a hypodermic full of rock injected directly into your pleasure centers.
I was able to talk with lead guitarist and singer Matt Borck about the longevity of the band, the new album and their new distribution model as they launched Faces.
Patrick. Matt, before we talk about the new album, Faces, and the first song you have released from it, “Limitless” I have a couple of questions for you. First, how have the three of you stayed together for so long – ten years and counting, and second, when you play live you are moving so fast – is anyone leading?
Matt. Our secret is that we absolutely love being together. From the beginning we have communicated together well, and you know, a lot of bands don’t. And we love and respect each other, we are family. We take the time to care for each other and listen to each other. When we are in the studio there is nothing that has not been said. When we go on tour or record, I love them too much not to say everything that needs saying. And there is a deep desire to perform together.
Patrick. Who is in charge on stage?
Matt. When we started the band we were rehearsing 5 hours a night 5 nights a week. We wanted our hearts and souls to connect. We decided to rehearse a lot to make sure that our internal hearts just clicked, so when the magic happens we just go along for the ride. When we perform - this sounds weird - but it feels like we are going in slow motion. It is the connection that spending hours in the studio makes happen. So when we are on stage we are letting the audience lead us…it is a magical moment. It feels like I am in my living room and completely engaged.
Patrick. A living room with 50,000 seats! Your new song, “Limitless” has a great concept, that we are all limitless. You tell us in the lyrics that “There is nothing that can hold me”. But usually after 10 years, people began to understand their limitations. Not you and not YUCA. What is your secret?
Matt. We were sitting down having a drink with our label one day and talking about what’s coming up and I realized that the future is ours. I realized that we had fans around the world. When we went to Japan and did stadium shows, a dream came true. We realized that maybe we were putting limits on ourselves. We realized that we were more than a rock band, we wrote many kinds of songs. So we deiced to try many different things, take more risks. We keep trying something new and it keeps us young. And it is working with this album.
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Patrick. You have a line in “Limitless” “The earth is moved by our dreams”. What are your dreams…how do you want to move the earth?
Matt. I have a ridiculous amount of dreams and I am terrified I won’t have enough to time to do them all. Being able to perform with two guys I love and respect is a dream come true. More doors are opening up every day, that is a dream come true. I want to become a household name around the world. This year has been a year of writing ridiculous amounts of music and I am going to keep in this waterfall as long as I can.
Patrick. A dream of music fans is free music and apparently you are about to make that dream come true. Tell us about the distribution model for the Faces album.
Matt. Neil Young said it best when he said that downloading music is the new radio, and I have to agree with him. All the music I found and discovered has been from friends who found it online and when they provide me with a download then I can give it to others and then I buy the band’s other songs or their swag or their concert tickets because I want to give back. We looked at music distribution from a business perspective and we looked at where our downloads are coming from. We let the music take us – it shows us where to go. We tell people we will easily give you our music for free because we are confident that if we give you our music you will buy our concert tickets or our merchandise. That is why we have been together for 10 years – we treat this as a business.
Patrick. Explain your tour strategy
Matt. Touring is a big one and we take a business approach. We track where our downloads come from. We follow the music. Where we get a ton of downloads and purchases from is where we tour. Why? Because we know that’s where our fans are. That’s why we toured Japan and Asia because we were getting a ton of downloads from there.
Patrick. So if folks in a city download a ton of your songs that is where you will tour?
Matt. Absolutely. People should go to our site, www.yuca.ca and download our songs. We already have demos from all the songs on this album and we are releasing them for free one at a time, so you can hear clips and when we release them, download them for free.
Patrick. Thank you for taking the time. Looking forward to seeing you LA.
Matt. Me too. Thanks Patrick.
Patrick O’Heffernan. Host, Music FridayLive!