Formed back in early 2000, YOG is a grind-hardcore combo based in Neuchâtel (Switzerland). Mostly influenced by bands like Sick of it All, Disrupt and Napalm Death in the early days, our sound has now turned into a more deranged mixture, after a brainwash by the DEP, Pig Destroyer, Converge and other extreme combos of the modern hardcore scene.In the very beginning, a guy called Laszlo Kovats started it by proposing to form a band simply to play Napalm Death covers. Emmanuel Devaud would come on bass and Fabien Bedoy on drums (both ex-Malignancy). We then hired Nicolas Krattinger on the second guitar (other ex-Malignancy). The project got not that much success with those musical directions and we quickly turned to own compositions. A singer, Samuel Sandoz, joined the band a few months later and we set up a track list of 8 basic punk-grindcore songs. The kind of vocals was pretty gore like.
To pursue studies abroad, Laszlo left in September 2000 and got replaced by Julien Jaquet. We started playing live sessions here and there in the region and kept on creating new songs. The different feedbacks received from the live sessions were pretty positive, underlining the accuracy of the playing and the energy transmitted by the show. Because of the hiring of a second singer at the end of 2000, we spent a lot of time rearranging vocals and did not exceed the number of 13 songs until the end of 2001. And by that time we lost our rehearsal room and the second singer left. Without a real rehearsal room for 8 months, we did not progress on anything. In August 2002 we got a new one but Fabien left for a 6 month study abroad. The rest of the band kept on maintaining the set using a drum machine.
In March 2003 we launched the whole machine again and concentrated on the recording of a 5 song EP, which happened in July 2003. Due to disagreements amongst the band members, 2003 was not a productive year in terms of new material and only 2 live sessions happened. It ended with the departure of 3 members in December. It was the end of episode 1. Remained Manu on bass and Fabien on drums.
Firmly decided not to give up but to do something out of it, we hired Matthieu Guignard on guitar in February 2004, which injected beautiful new blood into the band. In spite of his more heavy-stoner-rock orientation and background, his ability to adapt and will to commit himself to our music made him the perfect guitarist to play with and the homogeneity of the band improved to a point we had never imagined. There would be no second guitarist, first because the ambiance is at its best this way and also because Fabien, as a guitarist too and main writer of the songs, usually plays the second guitar track when recording. The new singer, Yonni Chapatte, joined in August 2004 and brought that final touch that definitely motivated the whole band to go forward and strictly forward, stop wasting time on politics, principles and talkings like we had been doing way too much before. 2004 was kind of a rebirth for YOG, a lot of work to bring the new musicians up-to-speed. Also, the release of this first EP « FEED THE MASSES » finally happened in November 2004.
Once Yonni felt he was up-to-speed with our music he said : « I want to hear how it sounds now with me ». It was Januaray 2005. He called his friend Zen (the drummer of Yonni’s other band KEHLVIN, who was just beginning to turn into a sound fanatic…) who showed up in our rehearsal room on a Friday night with all the necessary gear and we recorded all our songs in one week-end. It was kind of a rush, and not everything was really well played but it rocked and we liked it. So when we started working on a mix later in spring, we thought it would be nice to pick the old unreleased songs and do something out of it, just for fun. There were 4 of them, we added 2 new songs and it would be our 2nd EP.
We then kept on re-enforcing the machine and finally hit the stage with this new band layout a few times, from May 2005 to January 2006. Most of them were pretty furious gigs, confirming that Yonni is the one we were looking for. We got very encouraging feedbacks. In addition to that, Zen has become YOG’s official live sound man, which is not a detail, because he rocks ! « GRINDCORE DELUXE » was released in February 2006, and got a few good reviews in webzines during 2006.
The 2 new songs on this EP clearly showed that we had been taking new musical directions, leaving the crust-punk colour behind. We kept up this way all along 2006, writing another couple of songs until we had enough to record our first full-length album. We entered the « Studio Mecanique » in la Chaux-de-Fonds in November 2006 for a furious recording session with Julien Fehlmann. We did drums, bass and first guitar at that time. The vocals were recorded by Zen in December. The second guitar was done in February 2007, during the mixing sessions. West West Side Records mastered it in May 2007 and « YEARS OF NOWHERE » got released by swiss independent label GET A LIFE! RECORDS early November 2007. We had more than 30 reviews from various european magazines, all noting us very well and enthusiasthic about our ability to digest our influences, offering a very personal mixture of all the music we feed on. Also they underlined the aggressive and accurate playing and the very high quality of the sound.
We kept playing gigs all around Switzerland in 2007 and then ate a bit of french road in spring 2008 with our local friends of Coït, for the promotion of this new album. YOG has not yet really « toured » but these few french gigs (2 of them were in Paris) gave us the opportunity to re-enforce our live abilities. After another bunch of gigs here and there, Manu announced in September that he was going to leave the band at the end of 2008. This left us enough time to look for a replacement and our choice went to a guy from La Chaux-de-Fonds, Alexandre Oliveira, former bass player of the regretted SONOGRAPH. A great new weapon for YOG, Alex has adapted beautifully to his new style, bringing a lot of accuracy and having us benefit of his own experience in a top quality band like Sonograph.
Meanwhile in 2008, an american label came knock on our door for an american release of our « YEARS OF NOWHERE ». This label is 187 RECORDS, a bunch of crazy motherfuckers promoting crazy bands. Great opportunity for us, our album got released on the US market on January 9th, 2009.
Then, a second full length album entitled HALF THE SKY was recorded in 2010 and released in 2012 on local label DIVISION RECORDS. A guitarist change and a few gigs followed. And in October 2012, YOG fell in a coma and has not yet woken up…