Yacht (band)

For other uses, see Yacht (disambiguation).
Yacht and the Straight Gaze
Background information
Origin Portland, Oregon, Marfa, Texas, Los Angeles, California
Genres Electropop, alternative rock, dance-punk, synthpop
Years active 2002–
Labels DFA Records, Downtown Records, Marriage Records, States Rights Records
Associated acts Of Montreal, The Blow, Bobby Birdman, Jeffrey Jerusalem, Key Losers, Lucky Dragons, Architecture in Helsinki, Devendra Banhart, The Hollywood Vampires, The Badger King, White Rainbow
Website teamyacht.com
Members Jona Bechtolt
Claire L. Evans
Rob "Bobby Birdman" Kieswetter

Yacht (stylized as YACHT, Y△CHT or Y▲CHT) is an American dance-pop band from Portland, Oregon, currently based in Los Angeles, California. The core group consists of Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, and when touring expands to include Rob "Bobby Birdman" Kieswetter.

Yacht has released albums on States Rights Records, Marriage Records, DFA Records, and Downtown Records.


Early history

Bechtolt chose the name Yacht in reference to Y.A.C.H.T., an alternative school in Portland, Oregon. Bechtolt told Spin, "It stands for Young Americans Challenging High Technology. It refers to an education program that was held in Portland, Oregon. I was enrolled when I was 16, back in 1996."[1]


Yacht was Bechtolt's solo project from 2002 to 2008.[2] During this period, he released three albums, Super Warren MMIV, Mega and I Believe in You. Your Magic Is Real, on record labels in the Pacific Northwest area.

In January 2006, Yacht was commissioned for two performances for the New York based art and technology platform Rhizome, as part of its Crap-tops vs Laptops show. In February 2006, Yacht performed at the Museum of Modern Art's P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center and produced an hour-long Internet radio program with Clear Cut Press, a Northwest-based publisher of new literary work. In April 2006, the Aurora Picture Show commissioned a Yacht performance as part of its Media Archeology Festival in Houston, Texas.[3]

For the 2007 release of I Believe in You. Your Magic Is Real by Marriage Records, Bechtolt performed a concert on an actual yacht[4] on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. In October the same year, Yacht played at one of China's earliest music festivals, Yue, organised by Split Works.

Live performances during this period included dancing along to music[5] as well as elaborate PowerPoint presentations.


In 2008, Yacht became a duo with the introduction of longtime collaborator Claire L. Evans as a full member. She contributed vocals to many of the songs on the 2009 album See Mystery Lights,[6] Yacht's first full-length release on DFA Records. The album cover was designed by the Texas-based artist Boyd Elder,[7] who had previously designed album art for The Eagles. Pitchfork rated See Mystery Lights an 8.5, calling it "a triumph", and Rolling Stone wrote that Yacht "split the different between Talking Heads and electro pop, and make a breakthrough album of digital ear candy." It was chosen as a "Critic's Choice" by the New York Times critic Nate Chinen.[8]

During this period, Yacht began publicly discussing their personal philosophy, and published a book called The Secret Teachings of the Mystery Lights: A Handbook on Overcoming Humanity and Becoming Your Own God which explained their beliefs,[9] a list of which is maintained on their website.[10]

In January 2010, Yacht added a live band, The Straight Gaze, consisting of the musicians Rob "Bobby Birdman" Kieswetter and Jeffrey Brodsky to their live show. This incarnation is known as Yacht and the Straight Gaze.[11]


In November 2011, Yacht worked with the Youtuber and longtime Yacht supporter Mitchell Davis on their music video for the song "I Walked Alone."

In June 2011, Yacht released Shangri-La, their second album on DFA Records. They made a double video for its first two singles, "Utopia" and '"Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire)", directed by the experimental filmmaker and documentary maker Rene Daalder.[12] In 2012, they recorded "Le Goudron", a cover version of the Brigitte Fontaine song (1969). In early 2013, the retailer Kohls used Yacht typeface imagery and lyrics from "Shangri-La" on a series of T-shirts made available online, until the band notified the company about possible legal liabilities.[13]

In an August 2012 interview with New York Music News, Evans explained the Yacht band, business and belief system: "Yacht is the name we give to all the projects we do together. Usually that’s recording and performing music, but as we emphasize in our axiom of "band, business, and belief system," there are both materialistic and metaphysical dimensions to our work. It's full-spectrum."[14]

In December 2012, the band celebrated its 10-year anniversary by releasing the single "Second Summer".[15] The video was produced by the Fox animation studio, Animation Domination.

In August 2013, the band released "Party at the NSA,"[16] a song satirizing the National Security Agency's unwarranted surveillance of private citizens, and donated all proceeds from sales of the song online to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The comedian Marc Maron plays the guitar solo on the song.[17] Yacht and the design blog Nothing Major created a T-shirt of the "Party at the NSA" artwork, of which sale proceeds were also donated to the EFF.[18]


In 2014, YACHT signed to Downtown Records, and released an EP, "Where Does This Disco." To accompany the release, Yacht designed a limited-edition compact disc that served as commentary on the obsolescence of the medium. They discussed the project at WIRED's WIREDxDesign conference in October 2014.[19] WIRED called the project "music not as a thing in itself, but the beginning of a chain of experiences which had no edge." [20]

On October 16, 2015, YACHT released I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler, their first full-length album on Downtown Records. The release was preceded by a series of technological subversions, including a drone-captured video of a billboard,[21] a website which sent fans faxes of the album artwork,[22] and video that only played when Uber prices were surging in Los Angeles.[23]


On May 9, 2016 it was reported a sex tape with Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt was leaked and the romantically involved couple responded by admitting to making the tape then saying they are taking some control over distribution by selling it for $5 on their website. It was later revealed that the leak of the sex tape was a hoax designed to promote the band.[24] The duo admitted to the hoax and released a video inspired by combining a sex tape with the X-Files.[25] The stunt was criticized by many media outlets.[24][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34]

Lizzie Plaugic wrote for The Verge: "By successfully getting news organizations to give coverage to this hoax, they've lent credence to the very real and persistent assumption that victims of sex crimes are doing it only for the attention."[35] Anna Merlan from Jezebel said, "What Yacht did is troll people's innate sense of horror, disgust and compassion when confronted with a terribly violating crime. This is one of the grossest publicity stunts I've ever seen." [24][26]

Band members

When performing live, Yacht is accompanied by the following band members:[36]


Studio albums

Other releases


  1. David Marchese (August 16, 2010). "How They Became YACHT". Spin. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  2. "YACHT Interview: SXSW 2010". Spinner.com. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  3. "Media Archeology: Software Cinema". Aurora Picture Show. April 2006.
  4. "Photos: YACHT on Yacht (Portland, OR; 05/05/07)". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
  5. "YACHT destroys the stage at NME SXSW show". NME News. March 14, 2008.
  6. Lindsay, Cam (August 2009). "YACHT Do More Than Rock". Exclaim!. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
  7. Wolk, Douglas (August 2009). "Boyd Elder's album cover for YACHT". Print. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
  8. Chinen, Nate (August 2, 2009). "New CDs". New York Times.
  9. Talbot, Lindsey (July 30, 2009). "Q&A with Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans of YACHT". Teen Vogue.
  10. "YACHT Today". Teamyacht.com. 2012.
  11. Ryan White (January 26, 2010). "YACHT becomes YACHT & the Straight Gaze". The Oregonian.
  12. "YACHT 'Utopia/Dystopia' Music Video". NME. June 2010.
  13. August Brown (March 8, 2013). "Kohl's designer might have ripped off YACHT". Los Angeles Times.
  14. "NYMN Interview – Claire Evans of YACHT". Nymn.com. August 30, 2012. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  15. "YACHT – "Second Summer" Video". Stereogum. 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  16. "YACHT — Party at the NSA". Partyatthensa.com. 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  17. Christian Hoard, "Yacht feat. Marc Maron 'Party at the NSA'", Rolling Stone, August 21, 2013
  18. Dugan, John (2013-08-16). "Interview: YACHT - "Party at the NSA" / Features / Nothing Major". Nothingmajor.com. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  19. Kyle Vanhemert, "A Band's Obsessive Ode to the Compact Disc", WIRED, December 16, 2014
  20. Cliff Kuang, "6 Ideas That Define Design in 2014", WIRED, October 7, 2014
  21. Zoe Camp, "YACHT Announce New Album I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler Via Billboard", Pitchfork, July 29, 2015
  22. Lizzie Plaugic, "YACHT want to send you their new album art by fax", The Verge, August 11, 2015
  23. Evan Minsker, "YACHT Premiere 'L.A. Plays Itself' Video in Conjunction With Uber Surge Pricing", Pitchfork, September 22, 2015
  24. 1 2 3 Anna Merlan. "YACHT's 'Stolen' Sex Tape Was a Complete Hoax That They've Been Planning For Months". Jezebel.
  25. YACHT Download Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  26. 1 2 "UPDATED: Indie duo Yacht lands in hot water over fake sex tape scandal".
  27. "That YACHT Sex Tape Was a Hoax -- Vulture". Vulture.
  28. "'Reprehensible to no end': Indie rock band YACHT fakes sex tape leak, sparking Internet outrage". Chicago Tribune. 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  29. "How indie band Yacht duped us with their sex tape stunt". LA Times. 2016-05-10. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  30. *Please enter your name. "YACHT issue statement on "sex tape" hoax, release actual video on Pornhub". Brooklynvegan.com. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  31. Coughlin, Tobias (2016-05-10). "YACHT the Fuck?! Indie Band's Sex-Tape Hoax Shafts the Media - Slog". The Stranger. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  32. Andrews, Travis M. "'Reprehensible to no end': Indie rock band YACHT fakes sex tape leak, sparking Internet outrage". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  33. "An Open Letter to YACHT re: Sex Tape Publicity Stunt". Huffington Post. 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  34. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/14/arts/who-trolled-us-best-azealia-banks-gene-simmons-or-yacht.html?mabReward=CTM&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=1
  35. Lizzie Plaugic (May 10, 2016). "YACHT's sex tape hoax underestimated the empathy of the internet". The Verge. Vox Media.
  36. "YACHT Recruit Full Band for Tour". Pitchfork. January 2010.
  37. "YACHT – "I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler"". Stereogum. 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yacht (band).
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.