Yeti Bones of HO99O9 shares his Jersey roots, hip hop foundation and punk discovery on The Sailor Jerry Podcast
The latest edition of The Sailor Jerry Podcast sees host and The Bronx Matt Caughthran break bread with vocalist, firestarter and one of half of the boundary busting duo HO99O9, Yeti Bones.
Though the came together with the intent of digging into the band's most recent masterpiece, SKIN, the conversation had to trek back to get a better sense of where Yeti's evolution first began. The musician spoke candidly with Caughthran about the climate of Newark in the 90's, referencing the authenticity of the film New Jersey Drive and revisiting harrowing memories like his mother getting caught in the crossfire of a driveby and growing up in the Grand Theft Auto capital of the nation.
Yeti would also delve into his earliest memories of how music impacted his life. Recalling that his father was always about the groups that championed the sound of soul and doo-wop, Bones recalled spending hours on end watching The Box, a 90's network phenomenon that played nothing but music videos and did so without a pre-determined rotation - the programming was determined by viewer request via telephone.
Given the era, Yeti Bones found himself ingesting a steady diet of DMX and Bone Thugs N Harmony (Yeti likens Bone Thugs' debut album to hip hop's version of Slayer), while finding himself intrigued by bands like Korn and System Of A Down - a subliminal effect that would come into play further down Yeti's personal path of discovery. From the beginning however, Yeti Bones remained adamant that artists like Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z and Wu-Tang Clan were among the pillars that began the process for him on a personal level.
Yeti Bones skipped ahead to the tail end of high school, the MySpace era. He explained that he was still in the process of finding his style and finding himself influenced by the changing aesthetic of hip hop embracing the look rock. Combing MySpace and connecting with like-minded people, Yeti Bones gravitated towards a streetwear brand called Alien and found himself going to DIY parties and shows in New York. It was then that things changed.
He recalled checking out Ninjasonik during one of these functions and pinpoints the very moment that things clicked for him artistically. Confided that he had never wanted to perform music and found himself content to be an enthusiastic spectator, Bones shared that when Ninjasonik did a cover of Bad Brains' "Attitude" the floor turned into a tornado - sweeping Yeti Bones off his feet for good.
After doing a deep dive at home following the show, Yeti Bones saw an old video of Bad Brains at CBGB's and everything locked into place. Identifying with the band in a myriad of ways, the discovery lead Yeti Bones down a path that included genre staples like Black Flag, Minor Threat, GBH, Misfits and more. Landing on the opposite end of the stylistic spectrum, Yeti Bones narrowed down his curriculum and continued to become a student of the game.
The comprehensive conversation details the the eventual establishment of HO99O9, the learning curve of writing, recording, and further developing your craft and how the band's incendiary performances stem from hating when hip hop artists just do "live karaoke" when it's time to hit the stage.
Caughthran and Yeti Bones also get real about the dynamic of bringing in Travis Barker to produce the band's most current album and the kind of value HO99O9 puts on the visual aspect of the band - crafting the kind of memorable videos that both dynamic and dangerous in a memorable way.
The guys close out with a look ahead to what looks to be a banner year for the band, armed with their most potent album to date and a supporting spot opening for the almighty Slipknot and crossover legends Cypress Hill on the second leg of the Knotfest Roadshow later this spring.
Stream the complete episode of the Sailor Jerry Podcast with host Matt Caghthran and special guest Yeti Bones of HO99O9 below.
Ho99o9 will kick off their U.S. spring headlining tour with special guest N8NOFACE on April 15 before they join Slipknot and Cypress Hill for the second leg of the Knotfest Roadshow tour.
Get your tickets — HERE.