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The CrossroadsKC Interview with Guitarist Christian Wrisner of the Yotes

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The Yotes (Image by Jorden Durkee)

The Yotes are one of Kansas City’s best up-and-coming rock bands. They recently won a contest to headline X1051‘s Bye Week Brewfest October 8th at CrossroadsKC at Grinder’s. Guitarist and vocalist Christian Wrisner recently discussed the beginnings of the Yotes, his approach to songwriting and the growth of the Kansas City music scene.

Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?

Yes! My dad was a guitarist that had always been connected to the music industry in some way or another. My mom is really good at singing off pitch.

What was your earliest musical memory?

My earliest memory was at the music shop where my dad and I shopped for my first guitar. I was 6 and remember being in that shop for about 2 hours. I went home with an electric-blue mini guitar and a lightning guitar strap—yeah, I was pretty cool.

How did the Yotes first come together?

The Yotes started out as Kyle (drummer) and I in early 2015. We had both previously been a part of a horrible pop-punk band and ended up starting our own group. We wrote music for about 7 months before we wrote “California Lovers.” That’s when decided to form a full band. Our first show was at the RecordBar in December of 2015.

What is your creative process when writing songs?

Anytime I get an idea, I sing out melodies and talk them through on my voice memos on my phone. I’ll go home and record the idea on my laptop. Then I will bounce the idea to Kyle. If it catches on, we end up playing it live. If it doesn’t feel right playing it live, we leave the idea at that.

What was the first song written for the EP?

California Lovers.”

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The Yotes (Image by Jorden Durkee)

How did the song “Waste My Time” come together?

It actually had started out as an absolute disaster. Kyle was writing music with someone else and I was sent a phone recording of gibberish, in “C”. I took the tempo and 1st chord that I could make out and turned it into the demo for “Waste My Time” that same day. Then Kyle and I recorded the rest of it in my basement.

You are playing CrossroadsKC for Bye Week Brew Fest on October 8th? What do you enjoy most about the music scene in Kansas City?

I actually love how much it has grown now. There is this large community of musicians that feels connected together. I am also constantly discovering new bands in the area. Kansas City seems to have something going in the right direction.

What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

The best advice that I have ever taken in was a quote from Annie Clark of St. Vincent. “Be good to the music and the music will be good to you.”

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