Yacht Club

Breakout Toronto Bands: Yacht Club

Breakout Toronto Bands features local artists that we think you should give a listen to.

Who are they?

The boring version: frontman Ben Cook (guitarist for Fucked Up and Young Governor), Matt DeLong and Robin Hatch (on keys) put together an '80s-inspired pop band about a year ago in a Toronto apartment. I'll leave it to Cook to elaborate on the more interesting origin story.

"Matt DeLong and I started the band a little over a year ago in my bedroom in Toronto. He had been living in LA for a few years doing his thing out there. I went out there to play some hipster diner on the outskirts of Coachella in Palm Springs with Fucked Up, and I dragged him away from his physically abusive LA girlfriend at the time (she beat him) and promised him he could tan at our hotel the morning after the show. He got in the car and smelled like women's Versace perfume. I immediately hated him for it. I told him if he was to roll with my girlfriend and I in our rental car out to the shitty hipster diner he should clean up his act. He refused. So things in Yacht Club were a little shaky to begin with at first, to say the least.

We had a hard time getting into some party that night because I thought we were on the list (for Fucked Up's own label party) but we weren't. The huge bouncer loved Matt's perfume and let us in strictly because of the "sexy" smell. I began to trust Matt again after that. Things got better in the band...

While tanning the next day, Matt played me some Pebbles LP on his iPod shuffle, and took 30 minutes explaining why it was cool that the musicians were playing an F# over an E and the tension it created. It kind of annoyed me how long it took for him to tell me this stuff, but we were tanning so it was fine. He stayed in the sun for four hours from 8 a.m. until check out. I was concerned about skin cancer, but I didn't say anything to him because he has to live his own goddamn life. We parted ways after that trip promising each other we'd do a pop band soon and keep it true to ourselves.

He thanked me for taking him away from LA for a minute, and said that 'he needed that.' I think he started eating a lot of pineapple after that trip and walking a lot for health. He eventually bailed on LA to come back to Toronto to do the band. I don't think he likes the city very much (sorry, blogTO!). We recruited local genius players: Robin Hatch, Jesse Labovitz and Alex St. Kitts — they are wonderful. And that's where we are at now. Please don't edit this story."

Ok, I won't. And I didn't.

They sound like...

The '80s reincarnated, but good. And damn catchy. More or less like drinking Tropicana orange juice with sun on your face at the beach. In the '80s. Sans pulp. But that was only for the first Nonnavera Mixtape, according to Cook, as they are going to be exploring all "pop music across the board like ['80s English pop band] Prefab Sprout."

Hear them / see them

You can hear them on their Bandcamp page. They'll be opening for Austra at the Danforth Music Hall on March 23. "It's going to be awesome because I live a block away so we can chill in my living room and then show up right before we play," says Cook. They're also currently recording a proper EP right now, expected to be out this summer.

Stay tuned.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Music

You can now book a Toronto musician to come to your door and sing holiday songs

People in Ontario are freaking out over Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes' new song

Post Malone says Drake sucks at beer pong after playing him in Toronto

This is how live music and entertainment venues could safely reopen in Toronto

The Weeknd is going to be playing the Super Bowl halftime show

This is how Sook-Yin Lee became a VJ at MuchMusic and what she's up to now

Drake is recovering from what appears to be a knee injury

The Mod Club becomes latest live music venue in Toronto to permanently shut down