Meet Yukons: The Atlanta band for Latinx expression

Yukons | Image from Yukons

Yukons is a little engine making a lot of noise. They carry a big sound and a big message representing the Latin American community through their music. Yukons is Latinx Expression, carrying a garage/punk rock sound with Spanish and English lyrics. They put out their EP earlier this year, “South of the Equator,” and have been playing consistent shows in Atlanta. The Signal caught up with singer and guitar player José Izaguirre to get his thoughts on Yukons’s future.

Who is Yukons?

Danielle Dollar on drums
Hannah Lenkey on bass
José Izaguirre on guitar/vocals

What issues or topics (if any) go into your songs?

‘Abajo Cadenas’ is about the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis, the Venezuelan diaspora, and frustration with politics in the left and right.

‘Pa’’ Lante’ is about not allowing oneself to be silenced and speaking up and believing in one’s roots. “Nueva” also has a similar message

I think many of our songs are either about overcoming or about frustrations

How do you all go about balancing school and being in a band?

Danielle is graduating right now. Han and I are still in school. So far it hasn’t been that bad, but we’re planning to tour more in the near future so that’ll be rough to balance.

South of the Equator came out last month. How do you think people have received it? How did you want it to be received?

I feel like I wanted “South of the Equator” to be a message to the people around me to my community, or to Atlanta. I wanted to introduce us as a band in a humble, raw, honest way. I think it’s been received well.

What is the reason for some of the songs being in Spanish?

The songs are in Spanish because I feel a responsibility or a drive to speak up in Spanish. There’s a quote on the inside of our tape that explains it pretty succinctly.

“I live in a country that’s disgraced Latinx people. As a Latinx individual, I feel it is important to create and speak up and share and be loud right now. People give me dirty looks when they hear my Spanish in public now. Nearly half the songs on ‘South of the Equator’ will be in Spanish. That’s what Latinx expression means.”

You guys are a three piece band. Do you prefer it this way or do you think you’ll add more instrumentation in the future?

I’ve considered adding a second guitar or like, Latin percussion. However, Han and Danielle and I have a special chemistry that we’re very happy with, so definitely not anytime soon.

Jose, who has influenced your guitar playing and songwriting?

As far as my guitar playing, I kinda taught myself to play and I’m very untrained when it comes to music theory. Listened to a lot of classic rock when I was younger and when I started coming to local band shows and seeing people do whatever they wanted it kinda made me wanna just play whatever I want and forget about trends or whatever.

As far as songwriting, I’m very influenced by Venezuelan Folk artist Simón Díaz. I grew up listening to him. That’s my musical vena cava. I’m also influenced by Soda Estéreo and Los Enanitos Verdes

Any Atlanta acts you’re excited about right now?

I’m super excited for Solar Flower and Rug but I want more Latinx bands, more Spanish lyrics.

What’s next for Yukons?

We’re already thinking about our next record. We wanna record a larger record and tour more. That’s about it.

Favorite food spot in Atlanta?

My favorite food spot! I feel weird about this but Fellinis on McClendon.

Favorite venue to play?

Guess I would say The Earl. They take care of you there as far as food and drinks and have good sound. I’ve never tried Variety Playhouse though I wonder what that would be like.

Yukons’s next show is: Irrelevant Music Festival 2018: Night 3 on July 20th