Five Alive- Sam Cohen

We thought it would be fun to ask people we admire 5 questions to get a glimpse into what they're currently into.

Today we chatted with Sam Cohen from one of our favorite bands, Yellowbirds.  Before he started playing with his band (drummer Brian Kantor, vocalist/bassist Annie Nero, and multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman), he had a musical project called Apollo Sunshine. Yellowbirds' new album, Vanished Frontier, is laden with "spectral harmonies and backmasked voices, decorative percussion and interwoven textures," plus they have some great videos you can watch below. We can't get enough if it. 

Get a glimpse into Sam's world below. Thanks, Sam!

Sam Cohen of  Yellowbirds , courtesy of Sam himself

Sam Cohen of Yellowbirds, courtesy of Sam himself

What is your favorite art making tool?

I'm a pretty serious dork when it comes to gear, so it's hard to pick just one, but it'd probably have to be Lefler, my classical guitar.  I bought it in a pawn shop in San Francisco about 5 or 6 years ago, and it's been there for about 90% of the songs I've written since.

What music/band/artist are you listening to the most right now?

I've been pretty psyched on the music my friends are making right now.  The other Yellowbirds finished a record recently of songs by Josh and Annie with Brian on drums, and I've been wearing that out (proverbially, it's not physical yet).  I'm working on a record with the band, Mesiko, right now, too, and I can't get enough of them.  Productive time!

Where do you go for peace and quiet? 

I take my dog, Bozo, down to Greenpoint's "Nature Walk", which my wife, Sarah, more aptly dubbed "Rodchenko Park", because you walk through a long narrow path of concrete angles that smack of Russian Constructivism.  Eventually, the nature part is revealed amidst barges of smashed cars and the water treatment plant.  Needless to say, nobody goes there.

Where is your next dream travel destination?

I'd like to travel the entire world, and I'd like it to be because people everywhere want to listen to my friends and I play, and I'd like to also have at least one day off everywhere, and I'd like for Sarah and Bozo to be there too.

Is there a color or palette that you are drawn to? 

I like seeing multiple shades of the same color.  Haven't narrowed it down to one or two.


From the album "Songs From The Vanished Frontier" (2013, Royal Potato Family). Video by Sarah Lynn Graves and Sam Cohen.

From the new album, Yellowbirds 'Songs From The Vanished Frontier', out May 28 on the Royal Potato Family label. Directed and Animated by Sam Cohen with Artwork by Kara Smith 

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