Local band Yail ends hiatus, community rejoices

Monty Daniel

Once in a while, a band comes along and creates bonds between community members so deep that it truly hurts when they disappear. Last August, local band Yail went on hiatus, and the Northern Colorado music scene, while accepting of this break, was heartbroken. 

Lucky for them, Yail has returned and is ready to bring everything they have back to the stage. 

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Members Jackson Watkins, Nick Visocky and Larson Ross reunited late January to play a show at Pinball Jones Campus West, gathering a crowd of fans who filled the venue. The Northern Colorado music community embraced their return by thrashing and singing along to their music. 

“A lot more people than I was expecting to show up came to our post-hiatus show,” Ross said. 

Their signature style of noisy, catchy rock music strives to highlight one thing in particular: science. 

Their EP “Lung Disease and Scarier Things” came out in 2018 and was met with much praise. 

“It’s hard to find local bands these days with such a unique sound, but the combination of Visocky’s expertise on percussion and Watkins’ passion for science and skill in creating perfect math rock riffs means Yail is not just another band to overlook,” said former Collegian writer and current local musician AJ Frankson, also known by her stage name Janet Earth. 

man yelling into microphone
Jackson Watkins of local band Yail puts a lot of emotion into their music as he yells into the microphone at their show at Pinball Jones Campus West Jan. 23, 2020 (Monty Daniel | The Collegian)

Taking a break from something one loves is never easy. This was especially the case for Visocky, drummer for Yail.

On top of playing drums in Yail, Visocky also played in Bloomers, Forestry, Agony City and Covered By Water. According to Visocky, the mental stress of playing music constantly was starting to take its toll. 

“That really kind of scared me because I have such a deeply rooted passion for music,” Visocky said. 

He was faced with a choice: leave music for a while and get better or continue to create music but keep feeling weighed down. 

“I didn’t know if I was even going to come back to music or what was going to happen,” Visocky said. “(Watkins and Ross) agreed that I was such an integral part of the band that they wouldn’t feel right continuing without me.”

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Despite the fear of the unknown, Visocky took well-needed time off and came back fresh and ready to jump into music again. 

Going back to the beginning, Yail began as a way for Watkins to write more songs about science. He had been writing some science-based songs for his previous band, Blue Lane Frontier, but he wanted to have a platform to experiment more with them. 

Thus, Yail was created.

Our friends and peers in the community have been so supportive of our band, and it was really cool to see the amount of support and excitement built around our return.” -Nick Visocky, drummer for Yail

“Nick (Visocky) and I recorded an album kind of as a joke, but then we were practicing and were like ‘This actually sounds kinda cool,'” Watkins said. 

According to Visocky, the first time he and Watkins practiced they created the five songs that comprise their EP all in the span of four hours. 

“It all just happened so smoothly and naturally; it was kind of unbelievable,” Visocky said. “We ended up changing the songs slightly when recording, but for the most part what you hear on the recordings was derived from that first practice.”

In August 2018, Ross joined the band on bass. 

“I had missed playing bass a lot,” said Ross, who is also part of the local experimental band The Red Scare. “I play guitar in most of the other projects I’m in. Having an instrument that I’m not usually playing is really excellent for me.” 

man plays bass
Larson Ross of Yail plays bass at their hiatus-ending show at Pinball Jones Campus West Jan. 23, 2020 (Monty Daniel | The Collegian)

The band is a collaborative effort between them, especially when it comes to songwriting. 

According to Watkins, the members of the band will write frames of songs individually, then it fully forms when they all practice together. 

Often they will work together on structuring the songs while they individually write the parts for their respective instruments. 

But to Watkins, Ross and Visocky, their bond reaches far beyond being in a band together. 

“It’s nice to develop friendships with people that aren’t just like ‘Oh, I’m in a band with this person,'” Watkins said. 

During their gap, the three friends spent time together outside of music. This helped solidify their bond and make it much more meaningful when they came back to Yail. Watching these three on stage, one can’t help but notice their incredible chemistry and dynamics. They move perfectly in sync with one another, proving that, while a break may negatively affect some bands, Yail is thriving. 

“Being back has been nothing but amazing,” Visocky said. “Our friends and peers in the community have been so supportive of our band, and it was really cool to see the amount of support and excitement built around our return.”

You can listen to Yail’s most recent releases on Bandcamp or catch them at any of their upcoming shows. 

Monty Daniel can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @MontyDaniel_.