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Yes father.

IN A VOCAL ranging from faux-Brit to amateur opera to pinched Prince-like screeching falsetto, Tim Wenzel of the lo-fi Portland, OR band Yes Father takes stock observational humor material (cell phones, car alarms, shitty managers, rollerblading, etc) and ingeniously boils it down to its pure ridiculousness. Peppered with overwrought musical cliches and joined by Phil Stern (drumming on a suitcase) and bassist David Leavitt, Yes Father play songs that jump genre a la Ween, albeit with a stronger emphasis on silliness, rock and roll gusto, and crowd participation. Their song "Tripper," featured in Thrasher's 2006 King of the Road video, has become a sing-a-long fave among skaters; although, we neglected to credit them for their work. Welcome to the family, boys!--Michael Burnett

Your song "Rollerblading Into the Night" has become an anthem for the inline community, yet everyone in the Yes Father skateboards. How were you able to take on the persona of a 'blader to write that song?

Tim: Well, everyone has given the rollerbladers shit for so long I decided to take the opposite stand and joke about it. It's actually a way to cover up a secret longing in my life. Even though I skateboard, I've always secretly wanted to rollerblade.

David: That song's an oldie.

Tim: Yeah. It's an oldie. I've been playing it for 10 years, maybe.

Phil: See! It's not a fad. It's a fucking lifestyle! In your hometown of Portland, Oregon, rollerbladers aren't really accepted at the skateparks. What are your thoughts on that?

Tim: It's a shame.

David: Yeah, 'cause rollerbladers go a lot faster than skateboarders.

Phil: They have eight wheels; we only have four. They win.

So Dave, I hear that you're the poon hound of the band. Like the rapper Mike Jones, you also have a song with your phone number in it. How's that paying off?

David: What's my number? Yeah.

David: It's 503.975.9165. Tim: It's not like the Mike Jones song. We're not concerned with money. I wrote the song so Dave could get laid more.

Does it work?

David: I guess my reputation precedes me. We've played the song at a bunch of shows, and the most phone calls I get are from my bros making fun of me. I'd say it's sort of backfired on me in that way, but my friends have an easier time remembering my phone number. There are different benefits to the song.

Phil, you play a suitcase as your bass drum. How do the sound guys mic that thing now that you're playing some bigger shows?

Phil: From the side and at the rear. Can you fit the rest of your kit in the suitcase?

Phil: I usually borrow a chair from somebody, so the only thing that doesn't fit is the snare and the snare stand. I also keep some blocks of wood in there so when we play outdoor venues or festivals the bass pedal doesn't sink into the sod, 'cause I'm really giving it to that thing. There's also Duct-tape and extra sticks, too. And memories.

Your song "Tripper" was in the most recent King of the Road video, and a lot of people want to know if it's based on a true story?

Tim: It's based on a true story with fantasy added. It's about a guy in Portland we used to call Tripper Skipper.

Did he really like to swim covered in Halls' Mentholatum rub?

Tim: I'm pretty sure he did, yeah. It's basically a shout out to all the trippers, because everyone's got at least one tripper in the bunch. This song's for that guy. So the encounter in the steam room?

Tim: Fantasy.

You had a song in a skate video. What's your next big move as far as promotion of Yes Father?

Tim: Hopefully to not get paid at our next gig.

Phil: We don't get paid in money. We get paid in beer, and occasionally, poon.

I know that the Portland music scene is pretty serious. Has Yes Father met any resistance among the more stoic fans?

Phil: No, 'cause we never even took it seriously. If you come see us at your local arena or living room, you'll see that we're a couple beers in and want to get everyone into it and laughing. We're not part of the peacock rock scene. That's what I like about it. You don't have to worry about being cool or how white your white belt is.

David: We're pretty much geared to play house parties. That's our volume level. Are there any rumors that you have heard about the band in the press or on the streets?

Phil: Someone thought we were actually called No Father.

Tim: No, it was Don't Daddy. No, but aside from, "You guys still aren't very good," not much.

Weren't you called Portland's Best Party Band by the local entertainment paper?

Tim: Yeah. We had the cover three weeks in a row. The first was us getting undressed. The next week was full penetration, and the last cover was us cuddling.

If people want to track the music down, how would they do that?

Phil: Call Dave.

Tim: Yeah, call Dave.

Tim: You could also come by my record store. It's in Portland, and it's called Q is for Choir. So either MySpace, Dave, or the record store.

What should someone know if they're nervous about coming out to see a Yes Father show?

Phil: Probably that their band is better than ours.

David: Wear a fanny pack. You'll fit in.

Tim: 'Blade to the show. Fucking 'blade to the show has always been our motto. 'Blade to the show, get in free.

Phil: 'Blades get in free.

Tim: Skate to the show, pay double.
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Author:Burnett, Michael
Article Type:Interview
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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