Writer / Jessica Lollino
One part tribute band and one part comedic act, crowds are filled with nautical fare and many, many captain hats. YRR’s jokey demeanor and fun, on-stage antics bring a bit of flare to the somewhat cheesy, but also classic, music they play from the 70’s and 80’s. It must be catching on because Yacht Rock Review plays all over the country. It seems everyone enjoys the escape.
I had the chance to chat with Nick Niespodziani, one of the singers, to talk about how Yacht Rock Review came to be, how they approach each show and what the Indy audience can look forward to at the next show.
Why did you decide to start YRR?
We didn’t really decide to start Yacht Rock Revue, it decided to take over our lives. We’d all tried to make it as musicians and were starting to head off into different careers when we did the Yacht Rock show as a one-off lark. It sold out, the next one sold out and before we knew it we had an office and a van and our mortgages were getting paid on time.
For the uninitiated, what is the philosophy behind Yacht Rock? In your opinion, why has it gained such ground, especially in younger crowds, rather than “that’s old cheesy music.” Is it attitude? humor?
At Yacht Rock shows, it’s always 72 degrees with a 20 percent chance of rain with a cool breeze. Always. It’s popular first and foremost because the songs are so great. They are happy tunes with great melodies, complex musical changes and timeless hooks. It’s music that creates an escape from the day-to-day, which people need now more than ever. I think all generations identify with that vibe. I would like to think part of it is because, as cover bands go, we’re pretty great too. But maybe I am outpacing my polyester dry cleaning bill with that statement.
I’ve been to your shows, but for those who haven’t, maybe give a taste of what sort of antics they can expect?
We’re just up there having fun. We take the music very seriously, but don’t take ourselves seriously. We’re singing and dancing for a living!
What makes a great crowd? What do you like to see (besides an array of captain’s hats)?
The exchange of energy between the band and the crowd is my favorite part of playing music for a living. We make jokes and say, “The crowd goes mild!” or “Keep the excitement level at six out of ten, any more than that will rock the boat.” But in reality, I prefer when the crowd are like a bunch of crazed zombies ready to eat each other’s brains if we stop playing Hall and Oates songs.
What is a song you’d love to tackle, but haven’t yet and why?
We’re always looking for the biggest challenges to face down. Next month we’re doing a show of Led Zeppelin vs. The Who, recreating the Talking Heads movie “Stop Making Sense” live and performing Prince’s “Purple Rain” album in its entirety. So, we keep our brains busy. In terms of Yacht Rock songs, we’ve tackled the big epics but there are a few on the periphery of the genre that could be fun — “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys or maybe Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Do you guys ever go international?
We’re WAY into international action. We’ve been to Mexico three times this year already. Tropical destinations and Yacht Rock are a natural fit, so our travels take us to the ocean on the regular.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
A shot of tequila.
Join me, Nick’s shot of tequila and Yacht Rock Review on April 21 at the Vogue Theater. I’m crossing my fingers they play Rupert Holmes’ “Escape.” You can also keep tabs on Yacht Rock Revue at pleaserock.com/tribute/yacht-rock-revue.