HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Kevin Yost Interview

Currenly living in Pensilvania USA, one of the most renowned house music producers of recent years, Kevin Yost, has made numerous achievements in dance music for over 10 years including the hit album "One Starry Night" that sold over 50,000 copies worldwide. Having released many cool and jazzy masterpieces through i!Records in New Jersey, he has raised his profile not only as a great DJ, but also as a talented sound producer, especicially with his DJing being a platform for only his own original tracks.

Even with his own band, 'The Kevin Yost Group' that he put together in 2004, also acquiring quite a good reputation, Kevin himself has still managed to released his latest album "Future Flashback", which again has added another notch to his consistantly rising reputation. In timing with his Japan visit in late April, HigherFrequency got a chance to sit down with Kevin, to chat about his musical roots, production style and more.

* If you would like to view the video interview...Click here !

> Interview : Eri Nishikami _ Photo by Mark Oxley (HigherFrequency)


HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : You Just went to Nagoya ?

Kevin Yost : Last night, yeah.

HRFQ : How many times have you been to Japan ?

Kevin : This is my fourth time.

HRFQ : What's your impression on Japan ?

Kevin : It's really different this time, it's hard to describe.....

HRFQ : Please try to describe it.

Kevin : Well, it's great, it is a totally different society now, there is so much going on, it's great, a fun place to play.

HRFQ : Cool, I read in your bio that you are from Pennsylvania, Waynesboro ?

Kevin : Waynesboro, yeah.

HRFQ : Is there a big music environment over there ?

Kevin : No....

HRFQ : How did you get into club music and DJing and all that ?

Kevin : A friend and I started DJing, school parties and stuff like that, and he turned me on to House music, and I was like eleven years old.....

Kevin Yost Interview

HRFQ : And you were already into house music at that age ?

Kevin : Yeah, as soon as I heard it I loved it.

HRFQ : Where are you based at right now ?

Kevin : Same place.

HRFQ : Pennsylvania ?

Kevin: Yeah.

HRFQ : Is it hard to work from there ?

Kevin : The nearest airport is like two hours away. And the nearest cities are Washington DC and Baltimore.

HRFQ : Do you have parties down there ?

Kevin : No, there is nothing there, nothing but 'rednecks' it is really in the country, lots of cows, very country people you know.

HRFQ : Why don't you want to move somewhere, where you can like.........

Kevin : Well, it is where I grew up, it is near my family, I have a niece and nephew, and they all live there. Also I travel too much so it wouldn't make sense to move somewhere else. And also it is actually a nice place to be after traveling so much. It is a nice place to make music, you know nice and quiet.

HRFQ : Cool, So how did you come to work with 'i! Records'.

Kevin : I think it was 1995, I had already been making music for about five years. but just for fun, because I liked it. And then I sent out demo tapes to a whole bunch of labels and one who called me back was 'i! Records', so since then i have been working with them.

HRFQ : What were you using back then ?

Kevin : I started out DJing so I just had two turntables and a mixer. Then a friend of mine got a drum machine, which by todays standards was pretty crappy, it was like a 505, a Roland 505, something like that. But I thought it was amazing, so I borrowed it and messed around with it and thought.....wow, this is what I want to do. Because I was a drummer.I played drums growing up. So I took the money from my gigs and got a cheap drum machine and a eventually got a keyboard, it was a very simple process.

HRFQ : Cool, so what do you use now for your productions ?

Kevin : Very basic. I use a PC, I was using Macintosh but I switched over. I'm using a lot of Roland gear, I use Cu-Base, different effects, a lot of the drums are recorded live, so a lot of live stuff going on.

Kevin Yost Interview

HRFQ : So are you interested in new technologies like Final Scratch, Tractor, for Djing ?

Kevin: Yeah.....

HRFQ : Have you used it ?

Kevin : No, but I have seen it used. Definitely a cool technology but I play a lot of CD's when I play, because I play a lot of original stuff. But I don't trust computers enough, I can't imagine being in the middle of a set and have the computer do something crazy, but it is definitely an amazing concept you know.

HRFQ : I heard that when you DJ, you only use your own mixes and productions. What is the reason for that ?

Kevin: Well, back in the day, people would book me and I would fly across the ocean, and my records would be the same as the opening DJ was playing you know. And I started making so much music so unless I started releasing four records everyday they would never be heard, and then people started coming to see me because of my music so it didn't seem much sense in playing someone else's music. You know a few years ago it was important to play someone else's music to give them exposure, but the way things are now, so many people are djing now that it is not really necessary. So I think it makes sense now, people who come in here, hear things they have never heard before, so it has worked out pretty good.

HRFQ : You get to play all the various kinds of music you play ?

Kevin : Yeah, yeah. Because sometimes I have so much stuff that is not out yet. And a lot of Dj's play the same tracks so you know.

HRFQ : Where do you get your inspiration for playing music ?

Kevin : I don't listen to a lot of house music or electronic music at all, I listen to a lot of Jazz, Classical, classic rock, stuff like that, 80's kind of stuff. I mean I love house music but I try not to get my influence from there. I think also, living where I live, away from all that gives me my own sort of influence you know.

HRFQ : And you turn them into house music, is that how it is ?

Kevin: Well I sit down and I have an idea and I work it out or I sit down and it just happens, you know. It depends.

HRFQ : Who is your all time favorite artist ?

Kevin : Thats hard. Because there is classical, Jazz, House music, you know. I like jazz because those guys were just amazing you know, I mean today everyone who is doing electronic music were nothing compared to those guys you know. You know every night there were so many notes you know.

HRFQ : You said you played percussion and drums as well, we are really interested in your 'Bongo Maddness', did you play drums on it ?

Kevin : Yeah I play everything on my tracks except on the new album, we had some vocals, saxaphone and a flute.

HRFQ : What do you play ?

Kevin : I play all the keys the percussion, and the drums, everything.

HRFQ : Tell me about 'Kevin Yost Group', is it a band ?

Kevin : Yeah, it is me and like five other people, and we toured last year in Europe, and it is like a complete live show, a lot of live percussion, live bass, saxaphone, live flute, vocals...

HRFQ : Jazz band ?

Kevin : Well the show we did last year was a good mix you know, there was 'down-tempo', there was House, there was even some Drum and Bass.

HRFQ : Did you make the music for that ?

Kevin : Yeah it was all original, from scratch, it really wasn't based on anything I had done before. But it was fun you know. It was tough, a lot of work you know, sometimes it is hard to just get me and my records to some other place, but to bring five other people, and someone in the band had never flown before. But it was good, it worked out really well.

HRFQ : Are you planning a tour ?

Kevin : We did the tour last year, and it wasn't really based on anything. The next tour I want to do I want it to be based on the new album coming out. So hopefully this summer and on to the fall.

HRFQ : Are you planning a tour in Japan ?

Kevin : Hopefully, it is really tough though. You have to get the gigs and the people to come, because it costs a lot of money to come out here, with 5 people. So it is tough, you know, I wish I could have a bigger band than that but it is too expensive.

HRFQ : What is 'music' to you ?

Kevin : Everything. I don't know what i would be with out music it feeds me it makes me happy it lets me make other people happy.

HRFQ : Ok this is going to be my last question. Do you have any messages to your fans all over the world ?

Kevin : Just thanks for you support, you know especially these days when it seems that everyone is a DJ, and everyone is making music, so it is difficult to get that support, so it does mean a lot to have them there and have them support me.

Kevin Yost Interview

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