(PCM) The name Renee Yohe may be familiar to you from all the support work the non-profit organization, To Write Love on Her Arms has done in her honor. Following the success of her acclaimed book, “A Purpose For The Pain,” which documents her journey from self-destruction to her new outlook on life through a series of heartbreaking and inspiring journal entries, Renee is now channeling all of her creative energy into her music career with her new band, BEARCAT.
Renee Yohe’s musical endeavor, BEARCAT, have released their self-titled debut EP on June 5th. The name Renee Yohe may be familiar to you from all the support work the non-profit organization, To Write Love on Her Arms has done in her honor; or from the film based on her story, Renee, starring Kat Dennings and Chad Michael Murray, which premiered at Florida Film Festival this Spring. From published books to film, connecting with others has always been important to Renee, and through BEARCAT, she is now able to do so using the most authentic platform, her music. Her hauntingly beautiful voice has already drawn comparison to Zooey Deschanel, Kate Nash, Fiona Apple and Adele by Filter Magazine, MTV Buzzworthy, The Insider, Hello Giggles, USA Today and Seventeen Magazine. You can purchase it on iTunes, here: http://bit.ly/M9m19b.
Q: Can you share with us a bit about how BEARCAT came together?
Renee Yohe: Well, it was a long process in the making (although many other artists or bands have certainly had much longer histories). In a nutshell when I was finally ready to step outside of my comfort zone and pursue singing I was fortunate to find just the right mix of people, we rode it out for about a year and then a lot of changes came my way… a lot of things fell through and some incredible opportunities came up for me, I was signed as a solo artist and brought some awesome guys with me and here we are!
Q: How do you feel about comparisons being made between you and Fiona Apple and Zooey Deschanel on a musical level? Who are some of your top musical influences?
RY: It’s honestly pretty mind blowing… I would never consider myself to be anywhere near their level, but it’s certainly flattering as I love them both very much, I actually don’t like many female vocalists and they happen to be some of the very few. I lived off of Extraordinary Machine for a very long time… so, I’d say it’s a huge compliment, but I would certainly hope to make a mark of my own. I’d say I’m majorly influenced by Doris Day, Fiona Apple, Patrick Watson and a lot of fifties/sixties soul.
Q: How would you best describe your music to a first time listener?
RY: Hmm.. that’s a good question, I’m not really good at describing it to people when they ask, I guess I’d rather they just give it a listen and decide for themselves, it’s awkward to try and label yourself or categorize your heart, I think it’s just a little bit of everything that I love. Haha It’s been described as jazzy sixties, soulful pop?
Q: Personally, I like to view music as a universal language that we can all speak and understand even if we take different messages away, is there anything in particular that you hope your music speaks to listeners?
RY: I think that would be an ever evolving thing, I say it a lot because it’s true, that we create out of necessity. I guess maybe it would stress the significance of allowing yourself to just be.
Q: Can you talk about your upcoming touring plans for this spring into summer? Are you looking forward to hitting the road with Never Shout Never?
RY: I’m beyond excited and probably in a state of shock just a bit, I don’t think I can fully fathom that I’m about to be on tour. We’re covering a pretty good variety of the states, and after our tour with NSN we’ve been invited to join up with Craig Owens for a few weeks. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, a lot of stupid petty fights in our little van, some incredible memories, hopefully we’ll walk away with some awesome friendships and of course, I can’t wait to introduce my music to our audience and have a chance to really connect with them!
Q: The film “Renee” based upon your life story is coming out soon. Did you have any hesitations about the film? How active are you with the production?
RY: I was initially just kind of intrigued by this fantastical dream, the idea of sharing my experience with a larger audience was really exciting and at times terrifying. In spite of the attention TWLOHA had received I still kind of maintained a level of anonymity and the idea of a film would potentially annihilate that. I was wary of people forgetting that “based on” means it’s not entirely true, that they weren’t really going to know the real me… being misrepresented or portrayed in a way that didn’t fit was a bit scary… making a shitty movie was a bit scary, haha. I think mostly I just didn’t want people to look at me as an example, just someone sharing their experience. I worked as a story consultant when the script was initially written, but other than that my involvement was very limited.
Q: With the film and TWLOHA, what is like to know that your life has had such an influence on people?
RY: I don’t think I’ll ever really understand the extent that my experience has impacted others, I’m really humbled and so incredibly grateful that it has, but for the most part I’m almost absurdly oblivious, but I think I prefer it that way.
Q: What is the writing process like for you? What types of situations inspire you artistically?
RY: It’s pretty quick, I either feel something and have an idea, or I don’t. I’m kind of like that with everything, I’m well aware that I’m pretty extreme. If something in my life experiences or relationships needs to be let out, and I’m feeling inspired or passionate about something then it just happens.
Q: Do you have a dream artist that you would like to share a stage or collaborate with one day?
RY: I’ve always loved and admired David Bazan and Patrick Watson, I would love very much to share a stage or collaborate with either one of them. There’s probably a bunch of others, but they always pop into my head first. Other than that, I’d love to collaborate with some badass rapper and do something way out of left field.
Q: What are some of your goals for 2012?
RY: Honestly, I just want to immerse myself in my music, to pursue what I love whole heartedly, and continue to learn and grow as a human being.
Q: Being that we are pop culture web site, is there a particular area of pop culture that angers or fascinates you?
RY: It’s hard to say, I’m really oblivious. I think it’s fascinating to observe people in general, to examine the people in the spotlight so to speak, imagine their true lives as regular human beings… it’s fascinating to see the duality in our culture as they appoint individuals as role models or icons or celebrities for whatever reason with this hope they will inspire and be something incredible, and simultaneously sit on the edge of their seats waiting for them to screw up so they can rip them apart for being human. I hate the lies, the judgement and condemnation, the pressure to perform a role, and I love the stubborn resilience of those that fight to live their own path on their own terms and just be honest. I guess I have a lot more to say than I thought, but I think I’ll keep it at that.
Did you like this? Share it: