Rock Duo Herman Dune and Mad Men's John Hamm

Yaya Herman Tells Us About His Yeti Friend

Tuneage // Ashton Spatz // 01/13/12
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By Ashton Spatz

Herman Dune

We recently caught up with the rock and roll duo Herman Dune. Yaya Herman, singer and guitarist, gave us a recap of their history, music, and why there's a blue yeti hanging out with John Hamm from Mad Men in their latest video.

First question... how are you today?
Not too bad, excited to go on tour in the U.S., enjoying the last days of a winter break in our crazy long tour. I just watched Starwars Episode IV again, it feels good...

What was it that inspired you to start making music?
My father is a fantastic singer with a great voice. He's a doctor for a living, but he sings all the time– mainly Elvis, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, so he taught me almost everything I know...

What was it like branching out and starting your own record label, STRANGE MOOSIC? And why the name?
It was difficult for me because I was very far from being your typical entrepreneur, but it is a dream Neman and I have had since the glorious day of home-labels in the '90s, when we worshipped people like Dennis Calacci at Shrimper (California). It was well worth a little paperwork. Strange Moosic, it's basically a way to say it's very personal music that we want to make, music that comes from the artist's point of view... a life's project. A little bit like if music was our calling or something. Just like Lil'Abner when he first hears the Shmoo sing, he can't help going there and says "Ah hears strange moosic."

Your latest video for "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" has a bright blue yeti running around with John Hamm from Mad Men. Seriously, how did that concept ever come about?
I wanted to get my yeti friend (a character I've been drawing for years) in a video for Herman Dune. I came up with this story of a young yeti hitch-hiking and getting picked-up by a human mentor/ father figure. The director Toben Seymour had his magic working again with us and got John Hamm on board...

Since you've toured all over the place, you've no doubt been in some amazing coastal cities. Have you ever tried surfing?
My father (again) taught me how to bodysurf when I was a child, and I still do it every time I get a chance to catch waves. I love it– last time was in Spain and I had a great time in the waves. I don't think I'd be very good on a board though. My friend Kyle Field from Little Wings tried to get me on a longboard but I guess I felt I'd better stick to bodysurfing...

What's next for you?
I'm writing a song based on Hitchcock's plot for The Man Who Knew Too Much at the moment. I use Hitchcock movies a lot– they have catchy titles, great elegant and righteous heroes, beautiful women and a lot of wordplay, exactly what I look for in songs.

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