One Minute Silence is a British metal band that emerged in the late 1990s, delivering a unique fusion of rap metal, alternative rock, and punk influences. Known for their politically charged lyrics and aggressive sound, One Minute Silence quickly gained recognition as a powerful force within the metal scene. Their music served as a vessel for social commentary, tackling issues such as political corruption, social injustice, and the struggle for individual freedom.
Fronted by the enigmatic vocalist Yap, One Minute Silence captured audiences with his commanding stage presence and thought-provoking lyrics. Yap’s powerful and versatile vocal delivery seamlessly transitioned from aggressive vocal phrasing to melodic singing, adding depth and intensity to the band’s sound.
In an exclusive interview with Vulgar Display of Podcast, Yap discusses not only the band’s history, their musical journey, and the impact of their message-driven music but also his thoughts on the state of the world and philosophy. Yap reflects on the importance of using music as a means of social activism and how One Minute Silence’s message advocates for change through their art.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: I’m joined here by Yap, lead singer of One Minute Silence, and many other various creative endeavors. Yap, thank you for joining us today. I understand you to be a busy man and father so I appreciate your time greatly.
Can you start by telling us some of the latest creative projects that you’ve been working on? I know that you’re heavily in the artistic and philosophy community, can you tell us a little about that element of your creative side?
Yap: Hi Chad – Glad to lend you my mind. Since leaving OMS I have been involved in various projects. I have always kept my hand in music but in the last few years, painting and philosophy have taken up most of my time. I write a whole lot too and I am close to finishing my third book. In regard to art – Picasso is one of my main inspirations. I have had successful exhibitions and there are doors opening now that might be of benefit, shall we say, in regards to where I want to go with it. Yapxart is my Instagram page if anyone cares to have a look.
In regard to philosophy – I have spent countless hours reading the books of giants. The two that inspired me the most are Henry Thoreau and Immanuel Kant. Thoreau is my guiding light in regard, to how I chose to live, whereas Kant has given me a way to look at the mind that is out of this world. I give talks now on the subject of mind/consciousness. I have a YouTube channel that explains some of my own work, and even though it is only small numbers tuning in, I truly believe that will change in time, when folk start to get their heads around what it is I am trying to bring to the table.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: That’s interesting because when I go back and listen to your catalog of music it’s clear that there is a bit of “Civil Disobedience” in the lyrics and message. Was that something that was always intentional or was it something that just happened organically?
Yap: I am happy you made the connection with Thoreau in regard to civil disobedience. I have always been a rebel. I was given the name Yap by my older bro when I was about ten because I wouldn’t shut up about all the wrong in the world. It all comes down to loving humanity. I love human beings/our potential/our spirit and our will, and because I do, it’s only right I feel that I address the wrong that we do in the best way I can.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: Where do you think that rebellious spirit comes from? Or do you think it was just something you acquired over time?
Yap: I just think it is innate to some. We won’t lie down and accept things as they are. I don’t understand how one can be any other way to be honest but folk are. It doesn’t make them less valuable as people. It just feels odd to me.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: You mentioned earlier your love for the human spirit and drawing inspiration from enlightenment and transcendentalism. Given the current state of things globally, do you ever find it difficult to remain optimistic and are there any modern minds that are intriguing to you?
Yap: I stay positive because what is the alternative? I stay positive because we were fish and now we are fish with an alphabet. We are chimps down off the branch and playing Mozart. The steps we have taken to arrive at where we are on this day tell me everything I need to know about overcoming adversity. We are built for it. That said, I am optimistic for the long game but not for the short term. The transition from chimp to man is still in process so we are going to bring the castle in the sand down on our collective head again. All we can do as individuals is push on through the best we can and wait for the storm to settle in a couple of hundred years.
Sorry, – modern minds. Jordan Peterson- for addressing the existential crisis in a meaningful way. (Not that I run with everything he says but he is a good man doing his best given the circumstances of life. I like John Vervaeke too and George Lakoff and Robert Sapolsky.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: With you being in a professional band and touring the world for over ten years, how do you think those experiences and specifically seeing different parts of the world and different cultures helped shape your perspective?
Yap: Travelling the world was an experience no doubt but it is hard to pin down how it shaped me. Obviously, it did in many ways but there are no exacts that capture it whole. I hope that makes sense. I will say that folk are good no matter where one goes in the world. We all love the same things at the end of the day. I feel very blessed to have had the chance to see so much. Truth be known though, one smile from my son blows it all away and I mean that without trying to sound silly. It puts things in perspective. My journey with him is the best journey of all. Folk all over the world dream about having more and yet what they have already is the top of the mountain.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: I think that is an important and beautiful universal message. Are there any places in the world that you didn’t get to visit but wanted to?
Yap: I would love to visit the moon. I would love to see our beautiful world from space. In the real world, I never got to see the Grand Canyon. I would love to visit the pyramids too and sail down the Amazon. At the same time, I have seen enough for one lifetime.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: In regard to your years of touring, are there any certain tours that stick out more than the others? Who were some of your favorite artists to tour with?
Yap: Tattoo the Earth was the most memorable. So many great tours; they all blend into a big memory of colorful times. Slipknot were my personal favorite. We spent a whole lot of time touring with them so there was time to get to know them properly. Clown was the best friend I bonded with on the road.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: That’s great. I attended that tour at the stop in Lawrence, Kansas and it most certainly felt like a traveling musical circus. I’ve heard there is a book out about it as well, that would surely be an interesting read. Listening back to your catalog of albums, it’s interesting to me some of your vocal phrasing and rhythmic aspects of your vocal approach; specifically repeating some of the same lines several times throughout the songs. It made me wonder if that was something you did, maybe even unconsciously, because you felt the message was so important and wanted it to resonate with your listeners?
Yap: Repeating the lyric was all about emphasis but it was also about flow. I like the rhythm it creates when one repeats a line. My style was influenced by growing up in a family of Irish musicians as much as it was by rap/metal. In fact, my Irish influence was brought to my attention while recording our first album in the States. New Jersey. While recording, some of the bands using the same facilities used to pop in to chat with us and quite a few of them talked about my unusual style of rap. They said they could hear the Irish lilt/jig feel in it. It made me reflect on it. Over time it became obvious to me how much of an influence the Irish style had on my input into rap which of course has its roots in African American culture. As much as I gave my heart to everything I sang, my views have changed now with age so there are a number of tracks on our albums I could never sing again. My perspectives are broader now and as much as I meant well in regard to what I was singing, I was also way off the mark too. I won’t go into the detail, but we all grow and change over time and so one word changes too.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: Do you think being labeled as a rap metal band in the nu-metal genre accurately portrayed One Minute Silence? To me when I listen to your vocal approach it seems more like spoken word than “rap” per se. Not that labels matter but you guys seemed to have more in common with bands like Rage Against the Machine and less with bands like Limp Bizkit.
Yap: Labels never truly capture anything whole. We were definitely more rage than Limp. I just thought of our sound as a force of energy behind the words I chose to channel. I am a wordsmith at heart. I have always been on it when it comes to the sounds that can drive words home. I felt and still, feel very privileged to have had such great musicians behind my words.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: You can definitely hear the tightness and the power of the band. One last question Yap, what do you think about the state of popular music today and where do you see it going in the future?
Yap: Popular music is mostly a bag of hot air. Most young people are listening to a circus of mediocrity. Empty sentiment packaged up as new and cool when it is anything but. The cool artists folk buy into are in fact, the clowns at the center of the ball. They sing about the cage they are in. They promote it in their lyrics. They sing about phones and cars and bling and how many millions they have sold. That is the narrative of the circus whether folk are ready to hear it or not. Music like life always finds a way. I am not familiar with anything of, lyrical worth shall we say, coming through right now. I am not saying they aren’t out there but they are not taking the airwaves by storm. That is for certain. We need new energy. Young bands that capture the zeitgeist of our times, with some punk and soul, restored. It will happen eventually. For now, I live in the past with all the great bands that still blow my mind away.
Vulgar Display of Podcast: Well said. Again, I want to thank you, Yap, for taking the time and speaking with me today, and look forward to consuming all of your new creative projects. Thank you
Yap: My pleasure.