You can’t help but be moved by “Armageddon” when you listen to Sons of an Illustrious Father’s Revol. The track, an athemic build-up over six-plus minutes, is an eerily prophetic call to action for the times in which we live. So when you juxtapose the temperament of the track with what YATTA (Yatta Zoker) has created with her remix, you’re met with a poignant counterpart to the original. Her remix is a much needed calm before an inevitable storm, a striking moment of reflection before rolling up one’s sleeves. We spoke with the Brooklyn-based artist about what went into her creation.

YATTA’s remix of “Armageddon” came from listening to the original quite bit, and it later found a space where it served as a reflection on the water protectors of Standing Rock, ND. “I was listening to the original version of the single quite a bit, especially the vocals,” says Zoker, “and I started stripping down the vocals and going from there.”

With the struggle of Standing Rock (and other battles to protect indigenous lands) on her mind, she could see some reflection of current events within the track. “The final product started sounding like water – really like an underwater battle. Resistance to the pipeline is so physical – from what I gather, the days are cold and long, and younger people are talking with their elders, learning about resistance movements of the past.” While seeing these events as physical begins to scratch the surface, YATTA also saw something very spiritual there as well.

She sees, and saw within the movement, strength coming from these events being rooted in history. So she began to see her work on “Armageddon,” an interpretation so reverent and atmospheric that it’s hard to define correctly, as a reflection on the protests that are taking place on the frontline as people fight for their homes.

“The final product started sounding like water – really like an underwater battle."

“Armageddon” is a track that’s empowering and chill-inducing in its original format. So how did YATTA take what is a building march towards an apocalypse and lay it so bare? For starters, she knew the members of the band to varying degrees. “I felt the vocals were the strongest part, and I could feel the essence of the band members within the song. So it was easy to envision them singing it.”

She found Ezra Miller’s cries evocative, and she sees the word ‘Armageddon’ as simply powerful – a phrase too fitting for the current climate in which we live. Looking to create a chorus, she included her own voice on the track. It’s this chorus that becomes the atmosphere for the remix.

As the skeleton formed around this particular version of the track, I was curious about how the track feels inwardly reflective as it handles the ideals of outward engagement. It turns out that this is a natural part of her existence, a key trait in her survival as a person and artist. “I tend to talk to myself before, and check in with myself, before making any judgments – whether it be relationships, personal, or the world around.” She went on to talk about the importance of listening to one’s self.

“There’s so much coming at us, and we could have the ideas that end up freeing people, but if we’re only taking in information, we might be missing what’s going on inside of us. There’s a lot of wisdom within us – we just need to pause to pay attention in order to progress.” YATTA even sees potential in the immediacy of social media, and she thinks 140 characters can actually be helpful if it gives someone time to think. But sometimes it might be best to tweet and read your own timeline instead.

A natural progression in the conversation led to a discussion on punk music (“a place for screaming because you want to, not because you have to – I do it, we all do really, but sometimes you’re just tired and need to soothe yourself”), and then the inevitable question – what do we do now? “Artists should be thinking about this every day.” Personally, YATTA tries to play music with people who inspire her musically, politically, and personally. “I like to play with people who challenge me to live out my ideals, and those who make me feel like there are a myriad of possibilities.”

"...we could have the ideas that end up freeing people, but if we’re only taking in information, we might be missing what’s going on inside of us."

Winding down the talk, she admitted that she actively enjoys and seeks out performing in and engaging with benefits, fundraisers, and shows that are about something. For her, she appreciates the chance to talk with those in the crowd in between songs about what’s going on in hopes that they can live consciously during the moments where they may not be actively thinking about such a thing. And the key takeaway going forward?

In the words of a friend of YATTA’s, “Stay vigilant.”

In addition to the remix of “Armageddon,” you can pick up her latest EP Spirit Said Yes! from her bandcamp - thisisYATTA.bandcamp.com – prepare to be elevated once again. And if you’re in the NYC area, go see Sons of an Illustrious Father with YATTA and Irrevery at C’mon Everybody in Brooklyn on December 22nd. Joey Smith