Ross Murakami. Credit: Hannah Mills

The Yip Yops have been one of the most experimental and notable names in the local music scene for quite some time. The band has performed at Coachella, enjoyed success in the Tachevah festival, and even went on a U.S. tour in late 2019. Their latest bit of excitement: Yip Yops Ison Van Winkle and Ross Murakami, along with Hannah Mills, were recently featured in a 7-Eleven commercial. Learn more at www.facebook.com/yipyopz. Murakami is the latest to take The Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

My first concert was AFI! I was in fifth-grade. I don’t remember what venue, but I got to be a part of their meet-and-greet, and that was huge for me, because I was obsessed with them at the time, Davey Havok haircut and all.

What was the first album you owned?

The Beatles, Meet the Beatles!, their first U.S. album. It was originally an anniversary gift from my grandpa to my grandma, and then she passed it down to me decades later. My grandpa wrote, “From me, to you,” on the front of it in pen.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I’ve been listening to some H.E.R., Little Simz, and the latest Jessie Ware, Remi Wolf, and HMLTD records. I’ve also been on a Roxy Music kick for a hot minute, for some reason. I love what Andrew Marshall does with his electronics for Billie Eilish, so I’ve been listening to her a little more lately also.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get? Hyperpop. The majority of it just isn’t for me, and that’s OK. To each their own!

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live? DAFT PUNK DAFT PUNK DAFT PUNK.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I don’t listen to all that much Top 40. For the most part, I feel pretty disconnected from it, but every once in a while, I get sucked into a guilty-pleasure pop song. For the moment, it’s “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I love the Gothic Theatre in Colorado—definitely my favorite show from the last tour. Fantastic crowd, really great place to play. Take us back, Denver.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

It’s all about that “YEET YEET,” by Pete Davidson and Timothée Chalamet: “You never loved me mom, but I needed you woahhh.” Such talent.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

There are multiple levels here! Prince and Depeche Mode made me fall in love with music as a kid. MGMT exposed me to a more underground world of music as a teen. Radiohead cracked everything open and made me want to play music, which changed my life completely.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Maybe I’d ask Bono if he’s found what he’s looking for yet. I personally am still searching, so some clues would be nice.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

I’d like this on record. To whoever shows up to this thing: Please have someone play “Birthday” by the Sugarcubes (Björk). This is my all-time favorite song, and I listen to it every birthday I have. I intend to listen on my death day as well.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Prince, Purple Rain. Best album of all time.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak.

Matt King

Matt King is a freelance writer for the Coachella Valley Independent. A creative at heart, his love for music thrust him into the world of journalism at 17 years old, and he hasn't looked back. Before...

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