- READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Elton John: “I’m not interested in the past – not even Elton John’s past”
He told Music Week: “It’s so great to see Nova Twins, Wet Leg, Let’s Eat Grandma, The Linda Lindas, Haim and all these girls rocking out and making the best music. Apart from Sam Fender, none of the boys are doing it, the girls are. It’s a breath of fresh air, because it comes from innocence and pure joy and that, for me, is what music is about.”
John also namechecked Harry Styles while commenting on the charts, saying that “there’s not many good records in the Top 20”, before noting that acts including Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen should chart higher than they do.
“The odd thing comes through, like Sam Fender or Harry Styles, or you get a new artist coming in at Number Three and then disappearing to 80-something.
“It’s depressing – there are a lot of good albums that deserve to be in the albums chart, like Juanita Euka, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen. What I want to know is why aren’t they there? Because of people like me!”
John, who is a fan of the Leeds-based band, contributed piano to the new studio recording. ‘100% Endurance’ is the latest single released from Yard Act’s debut album ‘The Overload’, which was released in January.
Speaking to Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music 1 as part of his UK City Spotlight on Leeds, Smith said: “We had a lovely afternoon together at Metropolis Studios in London. It was beautiful. We wanted to shine a light on ‘100% Endurance’ a bit more, now the album had been out a bit and we felt we’d established the one side of Yard Act.
“It felt like there’s ways we could accentuate and highlight the melody and the emotion of that track without over egging it, while still sling in a string section and loads of lush Elton John piano all over it. And then, obviously, because he’d been so kind about us and he’d been calling me a little bit, we thought why not ask him?”
Smith said that John’s response to the collaboration offer was “abso-fucking-lutely”, adding: “I think he’d been for a Chairman of the Board meeting at Watford or something [prior to the recording], and then he came to us. It was bananas.”