THERE ARE BANDS that try and really brand their sound and aesthetic, and then there are bands like Yuma Nora. Made up of Amy Vecchione, Aaron Reyna, and Jake Anderson, Yuma Nora goes through their musical life like jellyfish, moving wherever the tides take them, though still verily under their own power. Live or on record theirs is the sound of saying "eff it" to popular opinion, stylistic rules, and social climate and—basically—doing whatever the hell they want. Which means, their creative evolution has been a glorious thing to watch. From shrieking spazz rock to spiritual noise drones to space burbles, Yuma Nora comes with confidence and it is a damn inspiring thing.
MERCURY: When I say "Yuma Nora's place in the world circa 2006," what kind of thoughts jump into your head?
AMY VECCHIONE: Our place is to make the best music we can. We're not out for popularity, we don't really have an agenda. We're sort of older now and feel like we can do whatever we want, having settled on our procedure, how we do things, we're just going for it.
We feel really comfortable delivering really powerful performances onstage, embracing our audiences and whatever it is they brought to the show that day, emotionally, spiritually, or otherwise. We're working together onstage sonically to just play the best music, and that's about it.
We're not new to music, and we've reached a point where we don't really care about anything else except the three of us working together on the stage and how it sounds. We love playing together. Our place is to love playing for people and together, and then go have tea and cupcakes while strolling through the zoo.
I'd have to say that for me personally I'm trying to set by example [the idea] that people don't really have to be in and obey a scene in order to make great music. I hope that my purpose in this band can serve to help people find awesome freedom in music and culture, and not feel confined by it. I am not scared, but I believe lots of cool people are. I think they should confront those fears, sock people in the jaw who are assholes, and then get onstage and rock people's socks off. But that's just me. That's what I want people to come away with after they've heard me sing and Aaron blast and Jake fly on the guitar. Feel as free as you can. Do what you want. Have a good time. Be nice.
People have this idea that to "succeed," they need to team up with other bands or become part of a labeled scene or movement. Are you saying you guys choose to exist outside of this kind of thinking?
Since we've reached the level of success that we were aiming for, that's not really applicable. That doesn't mean we don't have goals. We do have goals, however we rest easily being outsiders, and being unclassifiable. As example, one member of our band thinks we're a collective, but I wholeheartedly disagree, and I think we have three exact members. Fame is the most ridiculous pursuit of all time.