I had the honor of talking to Kianna Alarid, vocalist of Tilly & The Wall, to discuss her exciting, new musical project, Yes You Are.
Q: Let’s start with introductions and talk about the band — who’s a part of it? Who are we to thank for making such a neat sound?
Kianna Alarid – songwriter / lead vocals
Jared White – songwriter / rhythm guitar
Jacob Temeyer – lead guitar / keyboards
Joseph Wilner – drums
Willie Jordan – bass guitar
Jared and I are the founders and co-songwriters of Yes You Are. We operate in a true collaboration in that what we are trying to do can’t be done one without the other. We have extremely different personalities which can be highly explosive and also highly comical, but our joint vision is what binds us together and always, eventually restores order. Jacob was the first member we recruited when we went from being a two person recording project to becoming a band. He plays lead guitar and keyboards and is super gear savvy. He is also a great audio engineer so he’s indispensable really. He can fix, mix or set up almost anything we could need. He’s also really weird.. in a good way. Joseph, our drummer, was the next addition. He has great hair, wears nice clothes and gives the appearance of being a normal person, but he’s really not. He has a Masters degree in psychology and knows how to use it. Willie, our bass player, I’ve endearingly nicknamed “Wild Willie” because he’s brash, he parties hard, he’s got wild curly hair and best of all, he’s a really crazy performer. He’s super fun to watch. He brings a slightly loose cannon vibe to an otherwise very tightly run ship which keeps us on our feet.
Q: Yes You Are is such an inclusive, intriguing name for a band – really gives the audience a sense of community. Does this name have a cool origin story? How do you think it relates to your overall sound and message as a band?
KA: We only knew we wanted a three syllable name. Like Bob-Dyl-an, or Je-sus Christ, or The-Bea-tles. “Yes you are!” is a line from a song of ours called “Straight Into The Sun.” We like the affirmative nature of it, but it’s not as light as one might think at first. It should give a sense of community in a way, because none of us are exempt to universal law. We’re in this together, although it applies to each and every individual on their own personal level. You are what you think you are. You get what you think about. So, for someone who believes they can achieve amazing things and believes they can be the greatest, it affirms it. But the same goes for dark thoughts. It was just the best name out of a list of names when we picked it, but the deeper meanings have arisen since then and we think its perfect for what we are doing. As with many of our experiences, we just do what feels right and usually we find that that kind of faith brings about the full meaning of things.
Q: I’m sure Tilly & The Wall fans who are brought to your new music are wondering – how did Tilly influence, or not influence, Yes You Are? They are both so uniquely distinctive, but do you feel they bleed together in unexpected ways?
KA: Tilly was a band born out of innocence. Yes You Are was born out of experience. They are like night and day, as far as the way the bands came together and the writing processes. The thing that the two bands do have in common is a very exciting live performance. The shows are totally different from each other stylistically, but there is still that authentic and uncontainable energy.
Q: Do you all have any exciting shows lined up that can get fans excited? Shows or destinations you hope to play in the future?
KA: We have a lot of fun shows coming up around Kansas City, all the cool festivals and such, but one that we are super excited about is a show we are playing at a Royals game on June 1st. It’s going to be a blast playing at Kauffman Stadium, and then we get to stay for the game. We are all huge Royals fans! As far as our future, we have a very expanded vision… we want to play all the best shows and biggest stages in the world.
Q: The internet is only teased with a few of your songs – “HGX,” “World Without End,” and “Echo.” What can Yes You Are (or even Tilly) fans expect as far as the future of Kianna Alarid’s music? A full length record or new releases in the works perhaps, from either project, or is the future full of secrets?
KA: Yes You Are is currently working on our full length, debut album. We have 12 songs tracked and in various stages of completion. We have big plans for the album and what follows it… Yes You Are is full of secrets.
Q: If you could describe your writing process in three words, how would you do it? Does it include any rituals or interesting quirks?
KA: Love/hate relationship. Make it fast. Get out quick. Pleasure and pain. Agony and ecstasy. Drug free zone. (Sorry a bunch popped up.)
We approach song writing with a pretty intense and serious goal in mind. It basically entails a lot of time, research, focus, hard work and paying a lot of attention to the signs swirling around us. This is key.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with Yes You Are that you feel you couldn’t do in any other music venture?
KA: We are trying to show people what may not yet be visible to the eye. I believe we have a few things to say that I couldn’t possibly do in ANY other music venture. Yes You Are is a group unlike any other.
Listen and watch to one of their released tracks, “World Without End” –