Kick back, listen up

By HermineBloom

Indie rock foursome The Kickback, originally hailing from South Dakota, is currently saving their money to buy equipment in order to record their new EP, which is expected to be released this summer. Admittedly, these guys aren’t fans of the middleman or a stopwatch when it comes time to record in a studio, but they’re also well aware they may not be able to record a full-length album with their budget.

Described as pragmatists with a warm sense of humor, The Kickback comprises brothers Billy Yost on guitar and vocals and Danny Yost on drums, as well as Tyler Zee on guitar and vocals and Zach Verdoorn on bass. The Chronicle caught up with three of the band members to talk about their individual tastes, the varying tempos within their songs and their

all-in-the-family dynamic.

The Chronicle: What’s the dynamic like with two of you being brothers?

Danny Yost: On my end, I know it gets weird for the two other guys because Billy and I can talk to each other differently than most people can communicate. We also know what each other is thinking without having to say anything. Having brothers in the band I’m sure is a little bit weird, but I also think there’s a connection there that a lot of bands don’t have just because we grew up listening to the same music and we have a lot of the same ideas about sounds and the direction of the band. It’s a different dynamic, but it’s an amazing one.

The Chronicle: How do your individual music tastes contribute to the overall sound of the band?

Tyler Zee: There’s some middle ground for sure. I think more recently we might be more on the same page than we were … or maybe not.

DY: Before, when we were all playing together, I think everyone listened to ridiculously different music. Zach is into old school funk, whereas I came up listening to punk rock.

TZ: I’ve been into classic pop stuff like the Beatles and Elvis Costello. Maybe more of singer-songwriters.

Billy Yost: I was mostly exclusively into oldies until age 12, and that’s what my mom listened to. I was a momma’s boy. The thing that’s kind of nice, at least for me, is that the earliest influences took a stronger hold than the crap I was forcing on myself.

The Chronicle: Do you guys experiment with varying tempos for your songs?

BY: I’d probably call that growing pains. We go through a lot of phases depending on how I’m feeling about myself at the time. The older stuff is a lot more upbeat. The newer stuff, we try to control sounds a little better and work more with vocal harmonies because those are what’s most important to me. So with the new stuff, we’re doing a bunch of slower, down tempo stuff and now we’re starting to go bigger again, but in a different sort of way.

TZ: I was just going to say that you can go to a punk rock show and nod your head all night to the same tempo, but we all think it makes it way more interesting to listen to and way more of an experience. This isn’t a stagnant group. We’re always trying to work on things and push certain things. I just feel it’s so easy to get into one vein of music and that gets old to all of us really fast. We just think within one style of music, there’s still a million different ways you can take it. So why just settle on one way of doing things?

The Chronicle: You guys really came alive in one of your live show video clips. Do you thrive on stage?

TZ: I think live we might have a little brighter sound. I don’t know the right word for it.

BY: Manic, incendiary.

TZ: Yeah, when you play a show, you’re sitting for hours waiting and then it’s time to go. We just try to make the most out of every second we have on stage.

DY: The way we’re trying to approach recording right now is that the record is one thing and the show is something else entirely. The show is the reward, but the record is what’s going to be around hopefully for 100 years.

To listen to The Kickback, visit They will be playing at the Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., on April 25 at 8 p.m.