By Andy Downing
RedEye special contributor
June 6, 2013
When Krewella's Yasmine Yousaf was a junior at suburban Glenbrook North High School, she served as the opening act when Patrick Stump performed at an in-school charity gig. Now, years later, the Fall Out Boy frontman (who went to Glenbrook South) is finally set to return the favor, lending his vocals to a track on the electronic trio's still-untitled debut full-length, which is due out in September.
Album details are still being kept tightly under wraps: "I'm probably not supposed to talk about that," said Yousaf of the Stump collaboration, "But, hey, I just did." Regardless, the early fall release should cap a busy summer for the local dance rock crew, which returns to the massive Spring Awakening Music Festival (June 14-16 at Soldier Field), this time on the main stage.
In a recent interview, Yousaf, 21--who makes up one-third of Krewella alongside her sister Jahan, 23, and Kris Trindl, 25--discussed climbing the ranks at Spring Awakening, the band's hard partying ways and why her sister will never win a spelling bee.
Does it feel strange talking about Spring Awakening when it's struggling to hit 50 degrees here in late May?
I know! What is that? I'm hoping the weather is nice by June 16, but who knows with Chicago.
You're playing Soldier Field for, what, the second time?
Yeah. We played a tent at Spring Awakening last year at like 3 p.m., and the thing was overflowing out the sides. I'm getting chills right now thinking about it. I had my whole city, my family, my boyfriend--everyone I wanted--right there. And now we get to play the main stage. It's going to be 10 million times better.
The song "Play Hard" sounds like the soundtrack to a wild night at the bar.
That's awesome. I like that. We really hope people rage and sweat when they listen to us.
Have you had any crazy, "Hangover"-like experiences while out drinking?
Oh, plenty. It's so funny because we don't party as hard anymore. When we were making "Play Hard" it was constant work, work, work. We'd literally be holed up for weeks, so every now and again we would go out and have a wild party night. My best nights have always been in Chicago. We went to a Netsky concert at the Mid, and it's the only time in my entire life I cannot remember how I got in my bed. We were all competing with Kris on whiskey shots, which is a bad idea because no one can drink Kris under the table.
You've mentioned 6/8/10 in other interviews. What's the significance of the date?
That's the day we decided there's no going back. It was a few days after I graduated high school. Jahan dropped out of UIC ... and she was like, "I don't care about anything as much as I care about Krewella." My sister and I had the date tattooed on our necks because we were like, "We can't get real jobs after this. We got tattoos on our necks!"
Is the name Krewella a nod to Cruella de Ville?
[Laughs] That's so funny. When my sister came up with it, that wasn't even on her mind. She told me she was writing lyrics and the word [cruel] came to mind, but my sister--I'm sorry, I love you, Jahan--cannot spell for [bleep]. She's always taking shortcuts. Like, she writes "to" as the number two, and it bothers me so much! So she wrote Krewella out in funky writing and it just stuck.
Did you and Jahan play in bands together growing up?
We had a drum set and an electric guitar in our basement, and we would spend hours writing stupid songs. I still have a book of all the nonsense we wrote when I was eight and she was 10 or 11. It was the beginning of our musical career together.
Did you get stuck wearing her hand-me-downs?
Always. I was the baby in the family. I had two older sisters, so I was the one who never had new clothes.
Is there a particular outfit that really stands out in your mind?
We had these matching pink Barbie jumpers that are just stuck in my memory for some reason. I probably liked it then, but in pictures it's like, "Mom, why would you dress us in these?"
You've released EPs titled "Play Hard" and "Play Harder." Have you considered "Play Hardest" for the title of the full-length?
[Laughs] That's the running joke with us. We have to keep playing on that title like "Die Hard." "Play Hard: With a Vengeance" is going to be our next album. I'm only kidding.
Krewella, Day/time TBD at Spring Awakening Music Festival (June 14-16) at Soldier Field
Yasmine Yousaf personality test
Last album you bought? "Fall Out Boy's 'Save Rock and Roll.' I have every album and I love them to death."
Song you've listened to on repeat recently? "I don't want to repeat myself, but it's definitely a song on the Fall Out Boy album. My current favorite is 'Miss Missing You.'"
Song you never want to hear again? "I hate that question! Don't ask me that! I hate bashing things!"
Best concert you've seen in the last year? "I actually went to see Netsky again, and he plays with a live band now. He's amazing."
New band you don't know personally that deserves to be big? "At South by Southwest I saw this new band called Twenty-One Pilots. There are the [bleep]."
Favorite movie ever? "Probably either the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy or the 'Kill Bill' movies."
Chicago's best music venue? "Hmm. I've never played there, but I've always wanted to play the Aragon. I've seen some of my favorite concerts there."
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC