2 Sep 2015

Interview: Yo La Tengo

9:51 am on 2 September 2015

Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan chats about the band's new record, Stuff Like That There.


Yo La Tengo.

Yo La Tengo. Photo: Dusdin Condren

In 1990, New Jersey indie rock outfit Yo La Tengo released a stripped back long player, Fakebook, a set of 11 covers (with Cat Stevens, Daniel Johnston, Gene Clark and The Flamin’ Groovies numbers all making the cut) and five originals.

Marking the 25th anniversary of the album, Yo La Tengo has delivered a follow-up, Stuff Like That There, which sees the band revisit Fakebook’s format including a mix of cover songs, ‘covers’ of Yo La Tengo tunes, and brand new originals.

This time around, the Ira Kaplan-led quartet connects the dots between artists like Hank Williams, The Cure, The Parliaments and – again – The Flamin’ Groovies.

“One of the reasons why it was appealing to go back and revisit [Fakebook] was that I do think it stands by itself, and it’s really not much like the records before and it’s not much like the records after it,” says Ira. 

“We enjoy playing songs that we didn’t write … first and foremost, these are songs we think we do well. The record is richer, in our opinion, by mixing songs that people might know with songs it’s very unlikely that they know. 

“We just think that makes it more interesting, rather than a tribute to [Gerry] Goffin and [Carol] King, or something.”

PODCAST: Samuel Scott chats with Yo La Tengo frontman Ira Kaplan.