Calling YACHT simply a “band” is reductive. In fact, the duo hasn’t put out a new album since 2011’s Shangri-La, but Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans have kept plenty busy, with a series of singles and EPs that have each become audio-visual endeavours unto themselves. There’s 2012’s reworking of Gallic experimental icon Brigitte Fontaine’s “Le Goudron,” and last year’s inspired spying stomper “Party at the NSA,” the proceeds of which went to the digital-rights watchdogs the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And, then there’s the cheekily named “Where Does This Disco?” — the title track from an upcoming EP, and a celebration of that most endangered species of musical formats, the compact disc.
But, along with being musicians, YACHT are explorers, designers, builders, writers, visual artists, activists, and entrepreneurs — as well as avid enthusiasts of their adopted hometown of Los Angeles. So much do they love L.A., in fact, that they’ve got an app, “5 Every Day,” that provides daily off-the-beaten-path tips of things to dig and discover in the City of Angels. And, today they are releasing a line of very cool and very YACHT-like sunglasses created with the Brazilian company Chilli Beans, which the duo was kind enough to model for us in the Refinery29 studios while on a tour stop in New York. I also got some time with Claire and Jona to discuss their multitude of projects, as well as one topic they don’t often address: being a couple.