In 2015, when The Marquee interviewed The Yawper’s Nate Cook around the group’s American Man Bloodshot Records debut release, Cook explained that as soon as things had started to come together professionally for the band, his personal life started “spiraling into insanity and discomfort.”
During the very deep and sincere interview, Cook laid it out flatly and honestly, saying “My propensity as a human being, which I’m pretty sure comes through in my music, is to be pretty self-destructive. So, it’s been a real struggle to try to keep away from the things that are going to wind up destroying my career, until I wind up losing everything. So, I’ve had to sit in the fire and kind of deal with things the best I can, without going totally off the rails with booze and drugs. I think I’ve got a good support system and I’ve got the tools necessary to claw out of the hole, but even when I’m out of the hole, I don’t know. Before my wife left me, I was miserable. Before my friend died, I was miserable. When I was 21, I was miserable. When I was 12, I was miserable. So, I’ve got to figure out what the root of it is and that seems like more of a lifelong process than something I’ll figure out in therapy in the next couple of months.”
Two albums and four years later, it seems like he’s on an upward trajectory, and in typical Cook fashion it’s a very honest, fallible, yet dedicated drive to continue to stay out of the hole from which he has climbed.
On Human Question — the group’s third album for Bloodshot — the lead singer and guitarist writes his way out of trauma, rather than wallowing in it, as was his self-destructive formula in the past.
Written, rehearsed, and recorded over a two-month period with Reliable Recordings’ Alex Hall (Cactus Blossoms, JD McPherson) at Chicago’s renowned Electrical Audio, the record is an immediate contrast to their critically acclaimed and meticulously plotted concept album Boy in a Well ). The band tracked live in one room, feeding off the collective energy and adding few overdubs. With Human Question The Yawpers continue on their transcendental trajectory, but this time they do so, it seems with some hope of survival, rather than careening toward the chaos of destruction.