It's My Life PBS Kids Go!
Meet our fave new band, Y i YELL

By It's My Life on September 13, 2011 2:59 PM | No TrackBacks

Recently we were psyched to discover a new "teen" band that seems, well, a little different from the rest. First, there's the cool name: Y i YELL. Then, there's the two-brothers-and-the-girl-next-door thing. And then of course, and most importantly, you've got a great sound here; addictive pop songs with terrific vocals that feel current but also a little retro, in the coolest of ways.

Y i YELL is made up of 18-year-old Michael Lerios, his 13-year-old brother Demitri, and their 18-year-old friend and neighbor Gaby Symons. Read on!

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IML: Hi guys! So, how and when did each of you start playing music?

Michael: I come from a really musical family. My dad is in the music business. We've been around music all our lives and developed a huge passion for it. I started playing guitar when I was 13.

Gaby: I started singing and doing musical theatre at around age 5. When I got older, I started to take lessons. I remember feeling like it was such an escape for me and I loved it so much.

Demitri: I was 9 when I started playing. My dad just got a drum set and I started playing!

IML: Tell us about how the three of you came together and became a band.

Gaby: Michael and I are the same age. We met when we were 11 years old. I knew he played guitar and he knew I sang. We happen to live next door to each other...yes, I am the girl next door! One day he asked me to come over and play together and there was an instant musical connection, and we started to write songs. It was our afterschool activity for a while, then over the summer I heard Demitri play and I was like, he needs to be in our band! Once Demitri joined us, Y i Yell was really born.

IML: What do your neighbors and friends think about the band?

Demitri: Our neighbors think we're really loud! Seriously though, everyone's really supportive and it's great to have them be part of this whole experience.

Gaby: It's funny, when we first went on Disney XD I asked Demitri if he told his friends, and he was like, "No..." He didn't tell any of his friends! It's something we kept to ourselves so we could really let it grow.

IML: We're excited about your upcoming debut EP. What are the songs on it?

Michael: It'll have "Always the Weekend" and "Tap Your Feet." As far as what the songs are all about, we like to write songs that are based around our name. We also have a single "Y i YELL" and that's the idea for our band. Why do you yell? What makes you yell? Everything's moving so fast these days and it's hard to take a beat and step back and think about the answers to those questions.

Gaby: We want people to look at our name and think, "There must be more to this. That's cool, what is that?" That's our theme. And with every song we draw from that theme with messages our listeners can really relate to.

IML: It is a really great name. It stands out and makes people go "Hmmm, what's that all about?" So, tell us about the process of writing a song.

Demitri: If any of us have a song title or lyrics, we'll show each other and branch off of that. We all like to contribute to writing.

IML: What do you think makes a band work together successfully? How do you solve disagreements?

Michael: We do spend every single day together. But I would actually say I'm usually the mediator between Gaby and Demitri.

Demetri: He's lying...I am!

Michael: Since Demitri and I are brothers, we've been getting along better since he's gotten older. Since we all have such a great passion for music, when we get together to work it really isn't work for us. We just want to see what we can create and what we can do. Every time we go into a practice room or a studio, we push each other to be as good as we can. We all have a great friendship. Sometimes we'll go in to practice and we won't even practice because we'll be talking.

Gaby: We're always laughing. We'll start a song and really be working to get it done, and Demitri will do one thing to mock the lyrics as I'm singing, and I'll crack up! It's really become like the boys are my brothers.

IML: That shows in your videos; it looks like you're havig so much fun. You don't get that from every band, so that's very cool. What else do you think makes you different from other "teen" bands out there?

Michael: I think what makes us different is that we appeal to a broad spectrum. Gabi and I are a little older and Demitri is younger. We have so many different influences. We all bring so much to the table and it creates a certain sound, and it's something people haven't seen yet and we hope they love.

IML: Websites like YouTube are great for helping people discover new music, but it also seems like everyone wants to record a song and become an overnight star like Rebecca Black. Actually, "Always the Weekend" is a great response to that song. What's your take on all that?

Michael: It is very true that nowadays you can buy a laptop and record a record on it, basically. What we do is all out of our house. We write and record and produce our music all in our house.

Gaby: It's cool to be able to create in your space and be able to do so much with the resources around you. There's so much talent out there -- for instance, Greyson Chance is an amazing writer.

IML: What's been your favorite part of this experience so far?

Michael: The coolest thing for me is that this went from Gaby and I getting together and writing because we love music, and turning it into something we do every day now. I never thought it would become something like this.

Gaby: I agree. We're sitting here right now, and we're honored to just be talking to you! We feel really blessed to be doing what we love and have more coming in the future.

Demitri: Spending time with Michael and Gaby, and getting to know them even better. It's great to be even close to what we are.

IML: Good luck with everything...It's been really great chatting with you guys!

Michael, Gaby, and Demitri (in unison, truly!): Thank you!

You can learn more about Y i Yell on their website at In the meantime, check out their totally let's-watch-it-again video for the single "Always The Weekend":

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