Having a Kid Made Get Along Comfortable Writing Weird Songs
Get Along: Cara and Nicholas Yañez.
When Nicholas and Cara Yañez of the band Get Along were first engaged, they were just becoming serious about playing music together. This potentially explosive combination of love and creativity drew out well-meaning naysayers who dished out unsolicited advice. Mostly: "Get along" — hence the band's name.
They were married when Cara was eighteen. "Everybody and their mother decided it was their place and their job to tell us how to get along in life," she says.
“Right, like, ‘Oh, you guys are gonna work together and be married? Have to get along,” Nicholas adds. “It was like a play on that; it’s kind of satirical.”
“It was satirical, cause we didn’t listen to any of them,” says Cara. “Because, you know, it’s hard to take a drunk divorcée in the bowling alley’s marriage advice very seriously."
Cara was thirteen and Nicholas was seventeen when they met. The band he was in with a mutual friend of Cara's was recording a backing track for her high-school audition demo. "I stole him," Cara says. "And now he's in my band."
Since they married in 2012, the path to Get Along’s success hasn’t always been without detours. They took a break from recording and performing when they had their daughter, Laika, who is now two years old.
“It was kind of hard, after we took about a year off while our daughter was a newborn, to watch the meteoric rise of bands that were at our level and a year later were playing huge shows in Denver and winning competitions and opening for crazy national acts,” Cara says.
“I can’t find one example in the world of wife and husband that are in a band and had a kid before they were successful,” Nicholas says. "It kind of feels like everything’s against you. But at the same time, I don’t want my music career to mirror anyone else’s, so why not be the first example of that?"
Their creative process itself did not slow down through their break from performing. They wrote songs for a soon-to-be-released EP while Cara was pregnant and soon after their daughter's birth.
The couple recorded and released two live videos, for their songs “DNA” and “Karaoke," at the Spot Studios in Lakewood earlier this year.
“I think we’re the only two people who could put up with each other while creating something. You know what I mean? Like a bickering old Jewish couple,” Cara says.
The process of writing songs together can be “kind of hostile,” Nicholas says. “We both have pretty intense creative vision every now and then, and that can really turn into tunnel vision. We like really different things, but we acknowledge that great is great."
Cara finds inspiration in fantasy novels and films. “I watch cartoons, I watch anime. Studio Ghibli — I love all of that. Lord of the Rings, that’s like a crazy passion. Dragons, fairies— that is totally down my alley," she says.
Nicholas is fueled by dramas like Breaking Bad and American Beauty, stories "that could be happening now,” he says.
The disparity in their interests creates a genre mash-up that could be described as electronic post-punk soul. It’s a mix of styles their friends and supporters occasionally find confusing.
Get Along at Syntax Physic Opera
Talking about their video for “DNA," Cara says, “We just felt like it was us in a song. We just loved everything about it, and we thought that everybody was gonna love that song. And when we released it, and you know, you show your family and your friends, and you get some feedback from fans, the general consensus was like, ‘That was weird. I don’t know if I liked that,’ which we’ve always kind of expected."
The two don't assume that everybody will love them. "I would choose people hating our music rather than being indifferent to it, because then at least we drew some strong emotion from them," Cara says.
The best response to "DNA," as she tells it, came from their daughter. While other kids gravitate toward singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "I’m a Little Teapot," Laika loves "DNA," Cara says.
Laika's response reminds Cara, "There’s a demographic of weird people out there for us that will love us and be into us, and they’ll get what we’re trying to say.”
Get Along plays with Lola Rising and Turvy Organ at 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 28, at the Larimer Lounge.
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