Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with PictureYes

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with PictureYesA long time ago I was introduced to this band by a good friend of mine. I never had the chance to work with them directly but their name always seemed to float around my circle of friends. I had heard their work, was always impressed with their sound, but never had the chance to actually form a direct relationship. That was until Josh Corken asked if I knew who these guys were. He knew a couple of the guys in the band and the rest is history. He sent out an introduction email, we touched base, caught up, and I took some time to see what these guys were up to now days. Still playing rock music and still melting faces all over the Circle City, these guys took some time to sit with me. Get comfortable and relax as I am pleased to introduce to you PictureYes.

Where did you guys come up with that name?

(Justin) PictureYes came from a poem of sorts that one of our original guitar players wrote. It had something to do with an old man looking out a window late in life and reflecting on his past as he watched the world go by around him. I don’t recall the line exactly, but it was something like, “…and as he saw the world the picture was yes…”, or something like that. I think it has a different meaning to all of us, but meaning nonetheless.

Why no spaces?

(Justin) Picture and yes are two words used by everyone. Separately they are common. PictureYes with no spaces is our word and we’ve assigned our meaning to it. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but for me it stands for understanding that life is short and to not regret how I live or the choices I make. PictureYes is my (our) band and a huge part of my life. It’s a commitment and a lifestyle I have chosen and love.

When did you decide to take a run at this?

(Aaron) 1997, 2000, 2005, and finally 2009.  This time it’s personal.

Where did you guys all meet?

(Aaron) It was a Star Wars Convention.  Funny thing was we were all dressed up as Jar Jar Binks in Gene Simmons make-up.  Every single one of us.

Explain your logo to me a little bit. Who designed that?

(Justin) I’ve always been a sucker for fonts and typography, so back in the day I was trying to give creative direction to a designer and I think in a sort of Forrest Gump voice I said “…Uh, I like typography a lot…” and that’s what she came up with. We are actually going through a re-branding process right now and entertaining ideas. If anyone has any, get us on our Facebook page.

You guys are rocking Facebook. Did you drop the MySpace thing all together?

(Justin) I wouldn’t say we dropped it, but as trends and social networking go, anymore, there is a stigma attached to being one of those annoying MySpace Bands. That site is so inundated with the same type of stuff that it’s really hard to maintain a following and garner new support. To me, the secret is staying ahead of the curve when it comes to social media. Society is so finicky and people love trends so it’s about being ahead of the game. Yesterday it was MySpace, today it’s Facebook and Twitter, and tomorrow who knows?

So you are you on Twitter?

(Justin) Yep! You should follow us!

What is the biggest crowd you have ever played for?

(Justin) We did a show in Fort Wayne with about 2,500 people in the audience.

The smallest?

(Justin) The out of town club dates in cities where no one knows who you are can be tough. When it’s the bartender and the sound guy. Ah, the good old days!

Do you guys play very often outside of Indianapolis?

(Steve) We just started planning our first tour outside the area.

Do you have a favorite venue?

(Dave) I would have to say the Music Mill is me favorite.

(Ande) My favorite venue in Indianapolis is, without question, The Vogue. It is the one place where I can focus on the performance without having to worry about the quality and evenness of sound on stage. Combine that with five hundred or more people and you have the makings of a great show.

What was it like performing on WISH TV Channel 8?

(Dave) Awesome! Especially when the weather man grabbed Ande’s guitar and ad-libbed on live TV.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

(Aaron) Really there’s only one.  Batman.  I would say the conviction at which he approaches his goal of ridding Gotham City from crime is second to none.

What does a typical Friday night look like for you?

(Ande) When not on stage, it often looks like a bottle of Captain Morgan, headphones, instruments, and Pro Tools.

What is the best concert you have ever been too?

(Steve) For me it is a toss up between the Motley Crue Dr. Feelgood tour and KISS farewell tour.

Did you watch any of the World Cup?

(Ande) I did manage to see portions of four or five of the matches.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you go?

(Ande) I would travel to southern Spain.

Who writes all of the lyrics?

(Aaron) How do I say this without sounding like a conceited, self-centered front-man?  I do.

Where do you get inspiration for a new track?

(Aaron) It all comes from personal experience.  Whether it be first hand, vicariously, or otherwise.  Some times I pick up a newspaper and easily find subject matter that frustrates me into writing a tune.

Do you ever forget the words to your own songs?

(Aaron) Oh yeah, but I’ll mumble something unintelligible that sounds close enough. Or I’ll just play the wrong guitar chords.  That generally takes the focus off of the missed lyrics.

Any tattoos in the band?

(Dave) I’ve got three.  Two bass clef designs and a gangster rat.

(Justin) My wedding anniversary date and a couple stars on my foot and finger.

(Steve) I’ve got a music themed sleeve with Japanese inspiration and a back tattoo with dagger and tribal art.

(Ande) “Impermanence” on my ribcage done by Chicago artist Nexer.

What are you drinking on stage?

(Steve) A bottle of water and Jack Daniel’s on the rocks!

Do you guys have jobs outside of music?

(Ande) Yes. I’m a secret shopper.

If you could only play one song for the rest of your career, which one would you choose? (I hope you say Enemy Blind.)

(Dave) My Addiction.

When can I expect a full disc from you guys?

(Aaron) We’re hoping, at the latest, early next year.  The plan is to be in the studio by the end of the summer 2010.  I would prefer a Christmas time release.  The disc would make a great stocking stuffer for your little rock and roll lover.

What about some merchandise? I want to wear a PictureYes shirt. Not going to lie!

(Aaron) Soon, soon.  We have a lot of great ideas and plans for the band in the coming year.

Describe your genre in one word.

(Aaron) ROCK’N’F’N’ROLL!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

(Steve) I would like to be on a national tour in support of our third record.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?

(Aaron) I would say we want to be remembered for making a solid rock album, putting on an entertaining show, and writing a few catchy tunes that stick in your head like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

(Aaron) PictureYes has a hard-driving, big rock and roll sound.  Check us out.  You just might like it.