Yard Act About Meeting Beck and When to Expect Their “difficult” Next Album


Yard Act spoke to NME about meeting Beck during their recent US tour, as well as the fact that the lyrics for their next album are coming to an end. Watch our full video interview with the band above.

The Leeds-based band spoke to NME on the Mercury Prize red carpet earlier this week, fresh off a show in the US where they were “kings of New York three days ago.”

When asked if they “broke” America, frontman James Smith replied: “Yes, now it’s broken! Someone at the Philadelphia airport knows who I am. America is evil.”

Guitarist Sam Shjipstone continued: “I like it. I’m not sure about the stupid little rules that are everywhere, for example, you can’t drink in the back of a van, you can’t cross the road, you can’t pour your gasoline into a canister, you can… you can’t smoke at a gas station or on a plane.”

Smith then agreed: “They agree with some things, like carrying a gun, but with other things, like crossing the road, you end up in jail! It’s a fascinating place. Especially the west coast; the scenery is gorgeous. You’re doing this top-down movement, and it’s rude. It’s like nothing else. It’s still a wild, wild country, and I get a lot out of going there.”

While in the States, the indie foursome also had a fair chat with some of their musical heroes.

“We went to Beck’s house and it was not bad,” bassist Ryan Needham said. “Gustav’s band, with whom we toured, one of them knows him. We ended up in this house. I think he was very tired, and then 14 people in leather appeared. He was very friendly, wasn’t he?

Smith also told: “Two of the Fugazi also came to our show in Washington, DC. I met [the drummer] Brendan Canty. Also, Channel 4 News – Siobhan Kennedy was there, which was interesting. We also met a drummer from Spacehog in San Francisco! We have celebrities in America!”

The last time NME caught up with Yard Act, they stated that the sequel to their Mercury-nominated debut album “The Overload” was taking the form of a “free concept record”. Is that still the case?

“It’s not free. It’s complicated, and it’s over,” Smith said. “We didn’t actually record any of it—even though I wrote all the lyrics.”

Yard Act play William's Green at Glastonbury 2022. Credit: Andy Ford for NME

Teasing that the album was “about a U2 roadie who has a son named Bono,” Smith added that fans should expect their second album “sometime at the end of next year, unless they are invited to any tours!”

“We need time to write this down,” he added. “We haven’t had time yet. We’re going to figure it out.”

Speaking of live performances, the band has just announced some of their biggest dates for a UK and Ireland tour in 2023, where Smith teased that fans can expect “confetti guns on monopoly money and maybe a couple of new songs.”

The Mercurys saw the band compete for the prize with songs such as “Seventeen Going Under” by Sam Fender, “Prioritise Pleasure” by Self Esteem, “Reason To Smile” by Kojay Radical and “Harry’s House” by Harry Styles, but eventually lost to “Sometimes I Can Be an Introvert” by Little Sims.

Watch our full video interview with Yard Act at the top of the page, where they also discuss their fellow nominees, favorite karaoke songs and the danger of gambling debts.


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