Yard Arms on planning shows after lockdown and meeting Slash in a toilet

The Bristolian duo, comprised of Noah Villeneuve and Billy Golding, are doing their utmost to revive the emo scene with heart-on-sleeve emotion and determination during lockdown.

Following the warm reception received for their previous EPs, Bristol’s Yard Arms have returned with their third body of work in two years with their forthcoming release Sanctuary Lines. Described by frontman and lyricist Noah Villeneuve as “an exploration of combating nostalgia in the modern age,” the songs included deal with the prevalent themes of mortality, existentialism and dreading the future.

Lead single These Four Walls was born from a coastal writing sojourn that Villeneuve took in 2019 but has neatly become even more prevalent during the coronavirus lockdown. Reminiscent of early Taking Back Sunday or Death Cab for Cutie, the music lends itself neatly to more 80s pop sensibilities and emo rock instrumentation in equal measure. Below, Noah Villeneuve tells us how it all began…

Yard Arms

What first inspired you to pick up a guitar?

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“Ready? All aboard the cliche train… Wonderwall.”

Tell us about your main guitar and pedal setup…

“I use a Fender American Stratocaster with a maple neck. It’s been with me since day one, we work together harmoniously. It’s an extension of my limbs at this point. It’s safe to say I’m extremely attached to my amplifier too; I use a Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 and it’s such an integral part of my sound I’d be remiss to not choose that.”

Yard Arms

What do you sound like and what guitar players do you wish you could play like?

“Transatlantic, melancholic pop-rock anthems. Somewhere in between Johnny Marr, Mike Kinsella and John Frusciante.”

What’s your most memorable gig and when can we see you play next?

Radiohead headlining Glastonbury in 2017. If all goes to plan, we are hosting a huge EP release show in Bristol at Rough Trade on 3 October, with a tonne of amazing supports – not to miss!”

Yard Arms

When’s your next record out and, in your opinion, what song stands out most?

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“Our third EP, Sanctuary Lines is out everywhere on 26 June. In typical artistic fashion, I think I’m going to have to go for one of our new singles. It’s a toss-up between Mantra or These Four Walls. Both of them I’m extremely pleased with the complete picture, the way that they are coloured production wise and how the lyrics and music complement one another – it’s very representative of what we want Yard Arms to be.”

Yard Arms

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

“Yard Arms 2030 Hologram headline set at Coachella.”

Finally, tell us something interesting about yourself that has nothing to do with guitar…

“I once took a slash next to Slash.”

Yard Arms new EP, Sanctuary Lines, is out on June 26

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