Singer/songwriter and Potrero Hill resident Curt Yagi has been hard at work on a new CD, Close My Eyes. Driven by Yagi’s distinctive vocals and rhythmic guitar playing, the songs on the CD feature an array of amazing Bay Area musicians known as The People Standing Behind Me. Be on the lookout for Yagi and the band as they get ready to promote—and celebrate—this new CD of fun, original music.
GR: Tell me about your new CD.
CY: I’m very excited about this. I think I’ve come a long way since I recorded my first CD in 2007. Back then I was just getting a feel for my voice and musicianship. For the new CD, I incorporated a larger band while maintaining a singer/songwriter sound and feel. I’m very happy with the result, and can’t wait to see the response.
GR: How long did it take to record this CD?
CY: It took about nine months, so I guess you can say it’s my baby. Recording always takes longer than expected, but it’s definitely worth it.
GR: How would you classify your sound?
CY: It’s acoustic rock with a touch of funk. All of my songs start with my acoustic guitar and vocals. I build my arrangements from there.
GR: Where did your song ideas come from for this CD?
CY: You never know when inspiration will strike. There are songs about my girlfriend, songs about living life, and even a song about the environment. I often return to songs about my father, who passed away in 2002.
GR: If you could share the stage with any musician, who would it be?
CY: I’ve always loved the Barenaked Ladies and think it would be a lot of fun to be on stage with them. Some people have said my sound is similar to theirs. Big Head Todd and the Monsters would be a blast as well.
GR: Tell me a little about those people standing behind you.
CY: I was joined by twelve other musicians on the CD and, yes, they are called The People Standing Behind Me. They are amazing musicians who are extremely down to earth and just love to play. With so many people involved, you never know what you’ll get at one of our gigs because we always seem to have a different lineup.
GR: What are your plans for promoting the CD?
CY: I probably won’t be recording another CD any time soon, so I really want to push hard on this one. I’m going to be blasting out to all of the main media channels, such as radio, film, television, print, and blogs. We’ll also be playing a lot of local gigs for sure, and I may even try to tour a bit during the summer to promote the CD.
GR: What’s the story behind the CD’s cover photo?
CY: I can’t say there’s a story behind it other than that I really like the shot. It was taken by photographer Judy Mize. I loved the idea of wandering around Potrero Hill with my guitar and a big SF cityscape in the background. Come to think of it, it’s also a nice play on the band name of Curt Yagi & The People Standing Behind Me. There are definitely a lot of people behind me in that picture and on this CD too.
For more about Curt Yagi: www.curtyagi.com.
This interview was originally printed in the March 2011 edition of The Potrero View.