Yell For Help: “collisions,” “mashups,” and a sort of “zeitgeist”

LA duo Yell For Help recently released Love Will Keep Us Together, their debut EP.  I, naturally, assuming it was a snarky nod to Joy Division, was very excited… It...

LA duo Yell For Help recently released Love Will Keep Us Together, their debut EP.  I, naturally, assuming it was a snarky nod to Joy Division, was very excited… It turned out to not be any kind of a nod to Ian Curtis, Hooky, and crew… but it’s still quite a cool EP and Yell For Help are a quite cool guy and girl.  Yell For Help are Fann and Mike Pappas and the four songs found on Love Will Keep Us Together blend the sassy sonic antics of electro and hip-hop nightclubs, with a concentration reminiscent of the most powerful rock’n’roll and indie pop songwriting.  In only four tracks and a little over 14 minutes, the EP first beckons you to the dance floor, then the bedroom, then a profoundly introspective existential trance, and finally a postmodern speakeasy.  I recently got a chance to chat with Fann and Mike about the most important things to know about Yell For Help and just how they came about.  Although the band’s history is still quite brief, they have their first show ever coming up next month and are hoping for some kind of a tour later next year… oh, and they already have additional music in the works…

Fann explains that she considers the most significant and interesting thing about Yell For Help to be their very own seemingly contradictory backgrounds: “Musically, the most important thing about us is, or what I always like, is the mashups.  Musically, we come from really different worlds and, for this project, we meet in the middle. Mike came from more rock and alternative and I came from more of a hip-hop scene.”  Mike adds, “I think as a guy/girl group, and there are a kind of a lot of them around now, we want it to be more aggressive than most of them and more up in your face.”


I ask what they each consider to be the highlights of Yell For Help and Fann endearingly gushes with excitement over the band’s recent and upcoming accomplishments: “We just shot a new video for the song ‘Trigger Happy’ and it came out really good and we’re really happy with it and we’re playing our first show ever in January at the Satellite and it’s a really good live show, it’s just the two of us.  That’ll kick ass.”  Mike, on the other hand, a man of few words, is brief, but to-the-point: “Just getting the EP out has been the highlight for me.”  Although later he goes on to admit that he was quite excited by one particular review the band has gotten: “We had one critic have the word ‘zeitgeist’ in the review and that made me happy… I had always hoped that would happen, so there’s one thing checked off the list.”

The origins of Yell For Help are as charmingly haphazard as their sonic amalgam. “We met a few years ago and just decided we had to be in a band together,” Fann tells me, who has spent her entire life in LA.  Mike, on the other hand, is a little newer to the LA scene: “I moved out here two year ago and was interning for a really pop producer.  When we were working on the EP we were kind of finding our sound and finding out what felt right and I was balancing that pop sound that I was working on every day with the more rock thing that I had grown up with.  As far as the kind of music I’ve been making recently, it was a collision of what I was into before I came out here and what I was now doing.” And then, Fann very eloquently and concisely sums up exactly what it is that Yell For Help are all about: “We like pop and we like alternative, but we like it to sound a little fucked up.”

Band Interviews

During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.