Adrian Galvin (better known as Yoke Lore) has had quite the musical journey. He was an early member of Walk the Moon but left before they recorded their debut album. He’s also recorded as the solo project Yellerkin. I had the opportunity to chat with him about his solo project, Yoke Lore, his mindfulness practices and yoga, and more.
TYF: You grew up in quite an artistic family – did your parents inspire you to get into the arts?
Yoke Lore: Yes and no. They told us that whatever we did, we had to approach it with a holistic awareness of what we are putting into the world and how we were doing that. They explained to us how the things we said and made created the world around us. You create the world with any and every occupation. We all became artists anyway.
TYF: What made you want to go with the name York Lore? Where does the name stem from?
Yoke Lore: A “Yoke” refers to an oxen yoke. But also, it is a word that can be used to describe how people and things are held together. “Lore” is a set of stories in the verbal tradition. I’m interested in telling stories about how I’m bound to people, places, and experiences, and how those connections define me.
TYF: Your music career has quickly grown with the release of a debut EP, impressive shows, and more. How do you stay humble and grounded despite the quick success?
Yoke Lore: I always want more.
TYF: What has been your fondest memory of this eventful year thus far?
Yoke Lore: Oh man, I have so many. Recording at Spotify Studios in NYC was really great. I sold out my own show in NYC, that was amazing. I filmed some awesome videos which were a total blast to make. I’m a lucky guy. I got lots of fondness for the life I get to live.
TYF: I love the title of your EP – “Absolutes.” What made you choose that title?
Yoke Lore: Absolutes is about balance. I want to focus on the word and it being plural because I think a lot of us think in terms of absolutes. People are just one way. Truth only looks like this or that. Beauty is only an aspect of this one body type, etc. I want to move beyond absolutes. I want to convince people that there might not be such a thing as purity. Most things are a mixture of good and bad. Most things necessitate a bit of a negotiation, and that’s good. It makes us dynamic and real. A life of absolutes is no life at all.
TYF: I read that you used your own artwork for your EP “Far Shore” – what made you want to use your own artwork?
Yoke Lore: I always draw my own artwork. I want all the output to be from one source. If the music, the art, the media, and the words all come from the same brain, I feel things will make more sense.
TYF: Have you considered using any of your artwork for future albums?
Yoke Lore: Of course. I plan on it.
TYF: Nature is a large component of the lyrics to your new song, “Cut and Run” – what is nature supposed to symbolize?
Yoke Lore: Yeah, I’m an outdoor kid. I grew up just being in nature a lot. I grew up going camping. I was a barefoot, kind of dirty little kid running around like Mowgli. I’m still kind of like that. After every tour, I find myself a cabin to go to for a week or so to decompress, write, read, and be alone and quiet. Nature is where I find my roots. It’s revealing in a comforting way. It’s also where I experience my past the most. It offers me the boyish self I was before while reminding me of the man I want to be.
TYF: Walk us through the concept of the music video for “Cut and Run.” What made you want to have some shots be in slow/stop motion while other scenes were fast forward?
Yoke Lore: The video is about playing with the concept of speed and how it affects us. I always want to go fast. I’m fast with everything: love, art, reading, writing. I’m a quick study. But I struggle to play the long game. Speed isn’t sustainable. So I play against my instincts and sit down. I sit still while earth moves around me, but that doesn’t get me anywhere. The song is about how doing things that are bad for us is sometimes good for us. The motion in the video is about how I go through that experience – how I move through the world and figuring out what speed is the most healthy for me at a given moment or for a specific task is a conversation worth having.
TYF: Aside from music, I read that you’re also a yoga teacher, which is so rad! I’m still considered new to yoga and wanted to know if you can recommend any resources or tutorials I should check out?
Yoke Lore: No! Don’t read anything. Just go do it. Then, after doing it for a while, go and find a class on Qi Gong.
TYF: Besides yoga, do you participate in any other mindfulness activities, like meditation?
Yoke Lore: Of course! I have my physical practice, but yes, I have a meditation practice as well. I sometimes participate in sound baths. I’ve done some crazy shit like past life regression therapy, aura photography, and multidimensional existence studies. Get into it.
TYF: Do you have any advice for artists who are transitioning from being in a band to a solo artist?
Yoke Lore: Although I know I said almost the opposite before when talking about creating your own art when creating a business but DON’T TRY TO DO IT ALL YOURSELF. I have an incredible team behind me that deserves just as much credit as I do for taking this project further and further. In order to raise a baby, it takes a village. This is your baby. Create a village.
Check out York Lore and his music here.