Pop punk’s You vs. Yesterday against the world at Blind Bob’s
By Justin Kreitzer
Photo: You vs. Yesterday’s Kramer Welker takes listeners high and low Dec. 23 at Bob’s; photo: Jesse Darland
Dayton has such a great and varied musical history that includes—but is not limited to—the strutting funk bands of the ‘70s, the lo-fi ‘90s alternatives Guided By Voices and The Breeders, and the more recent pop-punk bands like Hawthorne Heights. The emerging pop-punk band You vs. Yesterday are making their case for membership in the Gem City’s most well known musical acts. The band consists of vocalist and guitarist Kramer Welker, keyboardist and vocalist Eric Hickman, guitarist Jonathan Hart, bassist Cody Collins, and drummer Michael Murray. The band released their promising debut EP, Remember This earlier this year and are already working on their next release, due early next year. You vs. Yesterday will be playing with Night Beast and Flee The Valley at Blind Bob’s on Friday, Dec. 23.
In anticipation, the Dayton City Paper spoke with Kramer Welker about the band’s formation, their influences, their upcoming album, and more.
For the uninitiated, how and when did You Vs. Yesterday form, and what inspired the band name?
“You vs. Yesterday formed in September of 2013, after John and Kramer’s former band split up. The four of us joined together to create music we felt was missing from today’s scene. Our original drummer came up with the name, after seeing those words on the back of a football team’s jerseys. After really thinking about what those words meant, he presented us with it, and we fell in love with the concept of always striving to be better than you were the day before.”—Kramer Welker
You compare your sound to popular emo-tinged pop-punk bands Fall Out Boy, Paramore, and Mayday Parade but who are some of your least obvious influences?
“We all draw from different genres of music, anywhere from ‘80s arena rock gods such as Def Leppard and Journey, to Buddy Holly and Elton John. A few of our members love heavier music as well. Eric, our pianist, even enjoys classical.”—KW
Your recently released EP is titled Remember This. What inspired the writing of the songs and are there any unifying lyrical themes that tie the songs together?
“Remember This was loosely based off a former relationship of mine. The ups and downs were captured, and I feel like if you listen closely enough, you can pull the story we had to tell.
I remember being at a very low point in my life, and writing the lyrics to the title track, and truly needing to believe in what is said in that song.”—KW
The super-catchy vocal tradeoffs and propulsive rhythm of the EP’s opening track, “Both Of Us” sounds like a fun one to play live. What is your favorite song to play live and why?
“We really enjoy playing a new song called ‘Open Door Policy’ right now. It’s got a fun melody to it, and the bridge is crazy emotional. It’s about getting things off your chest after losing someone you love to another.”—KW
Although your debut EP was just released earlier this year, what is next? Where are you in the creative process for your debut full-length album?
“We are gearing up to release a new EP in the first quarter of the new year! I can’t give out too many details yet, but you’ll definitely be seeing something soon. As for our full length, we are constantly writing, but we haven’t set a timeline for a full LP yet. When the songs we have feel like they should be told all together is when we will worry about that. We try to put out the best content we possibly can. Quality over quantity.”—KW
The first EP was produced, mixed, and mastered by Tyler Smyth of Dangerkids. How was that experience? Will he be assisting you with the new EP?
“Working with Tyler Smyth is always a pleasure. He’s one of the few people that really understood the sound we were after, and really pushed us to write the best songs we could. He’s like our sixth member. Unfortunately with Tyler living in L.A. now, we couldn’t fully track our new EP with him at this time. Instead we went to Nick Ingram of Capitol House Studios in Columbus to engineer the record. Tyler is still mixing and mastering the EP though. Super thankful he had the time to still be involved.”—KW
What can be expected from a You vs. Yesterday show?
“You can always expect emotional highs and lows, duel vocal melodies, and for five best friends to try and help you forget whatever’s been dragging you down for 40 minutes at a time.”—KW
What does the future hold for the band (touring plans, any exciting news to share, etc.)?
“We are currently booking for next year. A tour or two is definitely on the horizon! Look out for new music, visuals, merch, and plenty of tour dates.”—KW
You vs. Yesterday will perform Friday, Dec. 23 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. in downtown Dayton. Night Beast and Flee The Valley are also on the bill. Show starts at 9 p.m. For more information, please visit BlindBobs.com