Yard Act on post-punk tag: “We’ll outgrow it like every other band worth their salt”

The Leeds band's debut album, 'The Overload', is out on Friday

Yard Act have spoken about the post-punk tag that often gets attached to them and their music.

The rising Leeds group sat down with NME for this week’s Big Read cover interview in which they discussed their anticipated debut album ‘The Overload’ (released January 21), not shying away from the chart success of many guitar bands before them and more.

At one point during the chat, frontman James Smith broached the subject of the band being labelled post-punk – a catch-all term for British guitar music – which has seen a bit of a revival in recent years through the success of bands like IDLES and Shame.


Asked whether the tag has helped or hindered Yard Act, Smith replied: “I think it helps people get into it.

“We’ll outgrow it like every other band worth their salt will. It really helps here on the mainland. It helps people understand there’s a British guitar movement coming through to get excited about.”

Also discussing whether audiences have moved on from “being shouted at from a political pedestal” like so many artists used to do during punk’s heyday, Smith said that was “for audiences to decide”.

“The last thing I would want from music is to have what I already believe repeated back to me because it’s just back-patting,” he continued. “It’s self-congratulatory and it achieves nothing, except perhaps comfort.”

He added: “It’s a tough world and if you find solace in a band telling you what you believe in then, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

Yard Act


Elsewhere during the interview, Smith spoke about the influence of Arctic Monkeys on the band.

“The way Alex Turner wrote lyrics around social observation definitely helped me grow in confidence,” he told NME. “To go into that amount of detail on specific objects, to make them seem poignant and profound was really cool.”

He continued: “Before that, the music I was listening to wasn’t doing that. I never got into the poetry of The Libertines – that always felt too flowery – and with The Strokes, you could assume everything was set in a dive bar in New York.

“In Leeds, if you were some ‘art school New York’ band you wouldn’t be championed in the same way. We’ve all got that kind of mundane normalness about us that people up north latch onto because it all is a little bit fucking bread-and-butter.”

Yard Act have previewed ‘The Overload’ with the singles ‘Rich’, ‘Payday’ and the album’s title track. They’ll showcase the record on their 2022 UK headline tour, which kicks off next month (find ticket details here).

Last week it was announced that the band will perform at Coachella 2022.

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