KISS has its army, Yarn has its Yarmy.
The Brooklyn-born sextet of Blake Christiana (vocals, guitar), Trevor MacArthur (vocals, guitar), Andrew Hendryx (mandolin, harmonica), Rod Hohl (electric guitar), Rick Bugel (bass) and Robert Bonhomme (drums) is touring hot on the heels of their latest release, "Almost Home," an album which would not have been possible without the band's enormously devoted fan base and donations to online funding platform, Kickstarter.
Christiana took the time to answer some questions in advance of the band's April 20 appearance at The Purple Fiddle.
Graffiti: It seems that Yarn has this guerilla approach to marketing in that the fans are almost like another band member. So tell me about this massive fundraising effort for the new album? Fans raised something like $5,000? That's pretty cool.
Christiana: Our fans actually raised over $20,000 to help us finish our new record. It was amazing to see that kind of support. I love our fans. We offered different rewards for different levels of contribution. A $10 contribution would get them a download of the album, a $2,000 contribution would get you a house concert, and so on.
Graffiti: Yarn made its first appearance at SXSW this year? What was that experience like?
Yarn plays The Purple Fiddle in Thomas, April 20 at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show. www.purplefiddle.com.
Christiana: Austin is an amazing town and SXSW is crazy. We had a blast. Caught up with some old friends, hung out with our buds at Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, and closed the town down both nights we were there. Our shows went great as well. On Friday night we played a showcase hosted by our booking agency, New Frontier, and it was pretty much sold out. On Saturday, we did a show and interview at Opa with our DJ buddy, Big Kev. It was all great.
Graffiti: It's kind of cliche that bands get tired of being on the road - and you guys seem to be constantly touring ... Is the band feeling burnt-out at all? How do you unwind? What makes you want to keep getting out there?
Christiana: It's hard to get burned out when you get to do what you love to do night after night. I just got home from being on the road for the entire month, I have a few much needed days off, but I'll be ready to hit it again [soon]. I can't sit still for too long. I will do a whole lot of sleeping over the next few days, gotta recharge the battery.
Graffiti: You guys hail from Brooklyn but Yarn plays music that seems like it's straight outta the hills of West Virginia ... where does that country/Americana musical influence come from?
Christiana: Americana music is just that, American, it has no borders, not anymore anyway. I grew up listening to old country and old rock-and-roll. If you listen to what is playing on rock radio these days, it ain't rock-and-roll, I can tell you that. We're just trying to play good music for people who like good music.
Graffiti: When you step on The Purple Fiddle stage at the end of April, what can the audience expect?
Christiana: Love The Fiddle, we are going to have a party, it's just going to be good old fun, something we all can't get enough of, I hope anyway.