Broke-Ass Band Interview: Yesway

Here’s what’s up. Kacey Johansing was once in in The Blank Tapes and Geographer. She currently performs under her own name and in Honeycomb and The Botticellis . She sings like an angel and plays percussion like nobody’s business. Emily Ritz has played in Devotionals, heads up Honeycomb, and somehow conjures Jolie Holland, Aaliyah, and “Sexual Healing” all at the same time. Put the two ladies together and you’ve got Yesway, the hottest new supergroup in San Francisco. And I know what you’re thinking. Can a supergroup be made up of just two people? YESWAY.

Catch them this Thursday, June 2nd, at Bottom of the Hill with The Botticellis and Breathe Owl Breathe (amazing touring band!!!). Read on to find out what these ladies said when I asked what they like to do during downtime, what’s in their sock drawers, and a bunch of other questions that allowed plenty of space for homoerotic answers. Yesway. And since I’ve now read this through a few times, I’ve gotten used to ending paragraphs with that word. Yesway.

Introduce yourself!

YESWAY!

Describe your sound in five words or less.

Hawaii, Pygmy, Best Friends Forever.

Tell us about your band name.

The two of us toured Europe together last summer co-headlining shows as Kacey Johansing and Honeycomb. After many requests we decided we should record our songs as a duo. While looking through photos and videos from our adventures in Norway we exlaimed, “Norway! No way… YESWAY! And that was it.

Favorite thing about San Francisco?

Being able to escape to the magical places surrounding the city. The Headlands, Bolinas, Tilden, Big Sur.

Favorite SF restaurant?

Well, we now represent Oakland so we’d have to say our favorite sushi place, Kansai. They are open ’til 3am most nights and have a late night happy hour with tons of sexy names for their sushi rolls.

Favorite SF bar?

We’re not big bar goers. We’d rather pick up a bottle from the corner store and go on an adventure.

How do you prepare for a big show? What will you be doing the night before?

We spend most of our time together so we never really have official rehearsals. Once we’ve written a song it’s in our blood and we just get super excited to share. Usually we watch Arrested Development and draw pictures to relax our crazy brains.

What can people expect at your shows?

On most occasions you will find one microphone, two bodies, tangled legs and entangled voices going on a journey. We’ve been told that it is a huge turn-on.

What do you do during downtime on tour?

We color. we dance, romance, make videos, watch videos of kitties on Youtube, pet kitties, go on field trips and make friends.

What’s next for the band? (i.e. plug your next show!)

We are currently working on finishing up our first batch of recordings and will be releasing some of them on a split cassette with The Botticellis at Bottom of the Hill on June 2nd. Our favorite band, Breathe Owl Breathe, from Michigan will be playing that night as well. We are also heading out on the road in July with The Range of Light Wilderness for an epic month-long tour on our big blue bus!

Three things you’d take to a desert island?

Our markers, a guitar and a machete (in hopes that the coconuts will already be there).

What movie can you watch over and over and never get sick of?

Let The Right One In. We love Swedish films and vampires.

Favorite season or time of year (and why)?

There are seasons in SF? However we both grew up in seasonal places. Emily prefers autumn and Kacey loves the spring.

Three things that are in your fridge right now?

Sauerkraut, avocado, honey.

Anything in your sock drawer besides socks?

A strap-on.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty, i.e. money:

Have any tips for aspiring musicians trying to make it on their craft?

Start a duo! Less band members = more money… no but seriously just do whatever it takes. A big band can work well too at making money if everyone contributes their time and energy. One of our other music projects Honeycomb raised enough money to record in a studio by busking.

Best money saving tip in general?

Put it in the pocket of a jacket you never wear and forget about it.

Where do you live now and what are some good cheap/fun things to do in that area?

We live in Oakland where it is always fun and cheap.

What do you refuse to spend money on?

Underwear. Who needs em’?

What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought and how did that feel?

Emily’s guitar and Kacey’s blue bird bus, called Birdy Bird. It felt life changing, empowering, and exciting. Come for a ride on Birdy Bird with us and we will sing you a song! Magical adventure guaranteed.

What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?

Finding each other.

What is your favorite free thing to do?

Make out.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?

A sailboat.

What’s one GOOD thing about not having a ton of money?

Thrift store shopping!

Any last words?

We are constantly trying to figure out how we got so lucky to have found each other. We know our connection both musically and as best friends is very rare and powerful. When we sing together we often can’t even tell our voices apart. We are in love. Yesway.

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About the author

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.

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