The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

By EW Staff
Updated June 19, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Credit: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Pieter van Hattem/CPI

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs made EW’s It List

Ages (From left) Brian Chase, 25; Karen O, 24; Nick Zinner, 28

Why Them? Two years is a long time to haul around a load of hype as colossal as the one that greeted these New York City art-punks’ five-song EP. The backlash should be in full flower by now — except their debut full-length album, ”Fever to Tell” (released in April), is fantastic: not just ”sleazy, sweaty, and dancey” (as O describes the band’s early stuff) but unexpectedly melancholy and gut-wrenching.

Innocence of Youth ”[Going to school in the Midwest] makes you want to burn down houses and write songs about it,” says O.

Sign of Impending Maturity ”[The album begins as] a really sort of gleeful, self-destructive kind of thing — having a good time and partying,” she says. ”The second part is, like, more about…the morning after. Maybe you feel a little bit lonely, or a little bit empty.”

Then Again… ”We were playing this small venue, and all these middle-aged, overweight guys with baseball caps on backwards were cheering when I was pouring [beer] on my chest. I was like, ‘I don’t know about this. Maybe I can only pull this off in the big cities.”’

Next Touring Europe and writing material. ”If we don’t have a new song every month,” says O, ”it just feels really stagnant.”