Yes Yes Yes Karen O: The only thing I hold sacred are rocker hairstyles | Yes Yes Yes

aAfter nearly a decade, the American rock trio Yes Yes Yes They are back with an urgent and exciting album, cool it. Front and center as always Karen O, 43-year-old Karen Orzolik, the band’s singer and one of the most charismatic and intriguing figures to emerge from the independent New York scene of the 2000s. She now lives in Los Angeles with British director Barnaby Clay and their seven-year-old son.

Have you ever questioned your ability to compose music again with anything you’ve done before?
I don’t know the answer to this question, because I am a future-oriented person: I think about what’s next more than it was before. But the secret sauce on cool it It was just that we waited to be charged and inspired and totally indulged in the urge to enjoy making music together again. So this helps.

Is it fair to say that this record came more easily and was more in tune with the band than some of the previous records?
Well, because of the extreme separation of these two years, because of the pandemic and things, there was a very deep sense of jubilant celebration that he was back on the table. After he robbed me of this choice, I really understood how precious it was. Then on top of that, everything was creeping in in a very intense way for the years before that: there was a lot to respond to as a human and also as an artist.

What are some differences that make an album in a file 40s instead of making one on your 20 seconds?
For one thing, humility. Life has defeated you. In your twenties, you feel free, and the devil might care, like: “Who cares what happens tomorrow? Let’s celebrate like the last night of our lives!” So there’s less self-awareness in that sense, but you’re also very immersed in your twenties. Now that I’m in my forties, there is humility, but also a deeper compassion and care for things bigger than me. I understand that I am no longer the center of the universe! Perhaps the stressful period was in the middle: my thirties.

You still have the distinctive black bowl cut. When was the last time you did a different cut or hairstyle?
I went to the blond mosquitoour last record, so I lived blond for nearly three years.

Yes Yes Yes in 2006, from left: Brian Chase, Karen O and Nick Zener.
Yes Yes Yes in 2006, from left: Brian Chase, Karen O and Nick Zener. Photography: Paul Natkin/WireImage

Did you feel differently?
Yes, it was really important at that point in my life to break away from the black bowl cut and experience the world as a blonde, which was sometimes more fun, I guess. But yes, I go back to the bowl, because I feel like I look weird without the fringe; I don’t even recognize myself without banging at this point. And that’s the one thing I hold sacred: rocker hairstyles.

In the 00 seconds, you’d say: “I want to be successful But I don’t want to be famous.” Do you think you achieved that?
to a certain degree. And that feeling I still have. After I had my baby in 2015, I was thinking: “I’m going to direct my career toward a life behind the scenes now.” But somehow I kept finding myself in the spotlight. But yes, the holy grail is to be successful without being famous.

Is this easier to achieve living in Los Angeles than New York?
I think yes. In Los Angeles, even if you’re not necessarily antisocial, you can be a little reclusive. There is a lot of privacy in this sense. But it seems like a lot of celebrities have moved to New York, because New Yorkers play it great and generally don’t bother people much.

There is a new documentary based on Meet me in the bathroomAnd the Lizzie GoodmanAn oral history of the New York rock scene 00 seconds. Do you think the book and movie accurately depict the scene?
Lizzy did a great job with this book: you captured the essence of the scene and the feeling of what it felt like to be in a band in New York at the time. The film resembles a period back in time to the early 2000s. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago in some ways, but there’s also the realization – going back to the old thing – that it was 20 years ago and that’s enough time for people to think about it in an almost historical way.

What is the most exciting contemporary music?
It was one of my favorite records comfort me by [Australian punk band] Amyl and the Sniffers. I just love [frontwoman] Amy [Taylor] So much, I think it’s the real deal. And the record is this wonderful combination of heart, grace and balls to the wall.

What have you liked about culture lately?
I was a big fan of the show to cut-I thought it was brilliant. Really resonates with me.

There are some important themes in the new record, especially climate Crisis, but you don’t sound pessimistic. Is it difficult to keep going?
The gift of being able to write music is that you act from a higher self that transcends all noise and desperation. Making music, it’s an exhilarating process: it doesn’t sound unlike what I imagine a NDE to be, where you can tap into the deeper realities. There is a lot of fear, separation, loneliness, and despair, but what music helps me do is tune in to this deeper understanding of how everything is interconnected. This excites me and I hope you can feel it in the music.

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