If you were to do a poll of kids in high school right now (and not those that are future history majors/AP History students) and asked them who Boris Yeltsin was, how many do you think would know the answer? Clearly, none of them would remember much of his tenure as Russia's first President (cause they either weren't alive yet or were toddlers), and I'm skeptical that many would know who he was period. Thankfully, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
are carrying the torch for the rock of Russian stability after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
SSLYBY just dropped their newest music video, "Trevor Forever," a fun bit of jangly, noisy power-pop off the band's upcoming newest record, The High Country
, which will be out June 2nd on Polyvinyl Records. It's a fun video, shot at a cassette factory, and it shows the band's historical roots (both culturally and sonically) while pushing SSLYBY onto the next trajectory of their career. We also had a chance to do a short e-mail chat with the band about the video and how they relate to the past.
The video for "Trevor Forever" starts off with repurposed footage of Mr. Roger. What made you decide to include such an iconic figure of children's television in your video?
SSLYBY: I used to work for a temp agency in town and I worked at all these weird factories in Springfield. I worked at a mustard factory, pickle factory, freezer factory, plastic factory, and a Solo cup factory. I always felt like I was in one of those Mr. Rogers episodes where he would go to factories and show kids how they made things like crayons and toothpaste. I think that's where I got the idea. The cassette factory (National Audio) seemed like the perfect opportunity because it's in our hometown and it's the largest cassette factory in the United States.
On a side note, I highly recommend working at a mustard factory. The machines do all the work for you and one of my friends would lie down and sleep when the boss wasn't around. I was living the dream until they transferred me to the pickle factory.
Beyond the Mr. Rogers intro and outro, the video focuses on a tour of a cassette factory. I haven't seen a cassette since the 90s. And your band is named after Boris Yeltsin who was the first Russian president after the fall of the Soviet Union. Clearly, the past fascinates you. What sort of role does the past play in inspiring your music?
We used an Abraham Lincoln quote from his first inaugural address in our song "Modern Mystery." It's about how the states can't be torn apart because they're bound by the "mystic chords of memory."
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin has always had that sort of Pixies/Nirvana esque punk-pop feel, and "Trevor Forever" is no exception. That sort of noisier/grungier guitar rock is making a resurgence these days. What do you think are the roots of the sort of timelessness of this genre?
We actually recorded in the studio where Nirvana recorded Bleach
and some In Utero
demos. I like guitar bands who stick to their melodic guns and write really satisfying hooks. That stuff never goes out of style. Two of my favorite Seattle bands from that era are Flop and The Fastbacks. They didn't really sound like grunge bands. They just wrote good songs. I think that's all we're trying to do.
What can your fans expect from your new record, The High Country, once it officially drops?
Worldwide Yeltsinmania. Our foreign investors are predicting a 2-for-1 stock split.
Be sure to check out Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin's upcoming tour dates below.
05-30 Springfield, MO Outland Ballroom
06-19 Kansas City, MO Riot Room
06-20 Columbia, MO Rose Music Hall
06-26 St. Louis, MO Off Broadway
06-27 Chicago, IL Subterranean
07-31 Boston, MA Great Scott
08-01 New York City The Studio at Webster Hall
08-07 Los Angeles, CA The Satellite
08-08 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
08-14 Dallas, TX Three Links
08-15 Austin, TX Holy Mountain
08-21 Joplin, MO JB'S Downtown
Also, watch our exclusive session with the band below.