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Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an American indie rock band formed in New York City in 2000. The group is composed of vocalist and pianist Karen O, guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. They are complemented in live performances by second guitarist David Pajo, who joined as a touring member in 2009 and replaced Imaad Wasif who had previously held this role. According to an interview that aired during the ABC network's Live from Central Park SummerStage series, the band's name was taken from modern New York City vernacular.
The band has recorded three studio albums; the first, Fever to Tell, was released in 2003. The second, Show Your Bones, was released in 2006 and was named the second best album of the year by NME. Their third studio album, It's Blitz!, was released on 31 March 2009 in the US.
Their style has been described as "an art-rock trio who made an edgy post-punk, dancefloor-friendly racket that mixed up Blondie with Siouxsie and the Banshees."
Alongside performing headlining tours across the world, the band has supported artists such as Björk, The White Stripes, The Strokes, Liars, and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
The band became one of the first western rock acts to play in China when they headlined the Modern Sky Festival in Beijing in 2007.
Karen O and Brian Chase first met as students at Oberlin College in Ohio in the late '90s, where Chase was a jazz student at the conservatory. Karen then transferred to New York University, and while in New York met Zinner in a local bar, where they formed an "instant connection". During this time they also shared a loft in Manhattan with future members of the band Metric. The two formed an acoustic duo called "Unitard", but soon decided to "shake things up a bit" by forming a "trashy, punky, grimy" band modeled after the art student, avant-punk bands Karen O. was exposed to at Oberlin. After the drummer they recruited initially bowed out, Chase joined the line-up.
The band wrote a slew of songs at their first rehearsal and soon wound up supporting The Strokes and The White Stripes, earning a significant buzz for their arty and garage punk scene. In late 2001, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs released their self-titled debut EP, which they recorded with Boss Hog's Jerry Teel, on their own Shifty label. Early the next year the band stepped into the international spotlight, appearing at South by Southwest, touring the U.S. with Girls Against Boys and Europe with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and headlining their own U.K. tour. Wichita Recordings distributed the group's EP in the U.K. and Touch and Go reissued it in the States.
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