||- Jason Ader (guitar, lyrics) |
- Sarah Dawn Williams (vocals, lyrics)
- Tracy Miller (bass)
In the Spring of 2011, Jason found himself living in Rapid City again. He did not plan on sticking around for long. But that changed when he met Sarah Dawn Williams at a show that October. The two of them hit it off and Jason was immediately smitten with her. He would learn soon thereafter that she felt the same way about him.
After becoming a couple, Sarah and Jason decided they wanted to start a band. But this was much easier said than done. They spent the next 5 months looking for musicians to play with. It was a fruitless effort. One guitarist after another flaked out on them. Extremely frustrated by this, they came to the conclusion that if they wanted to start a band, they would have to do it on their own. This posed a problem, though, because Sarah only knew how to sing and Jason only knew how to play drums. So Jason bought an acoustic guitar and spent next 6 months teaching himself how to play. After learning a handful of basic chords and picking patterns, he began writing songs. Due to his background as a drummer and limited guitar playing experience, these songs ended up having a very percussive, minimalistic, and droned-out quality to them. When he showed Sarah what he had written so far, she was stoked. So they decided to go with it and turn their limitations into artistic choices. And, besides, Sarah's singing was the main highlight and focus of the band and music anyway. Her voice was the centerpiece.
Yoknapatawpha played 5 shows in Rapid City. They recorded 4 of their songs for a self-released EP that they produced and mixed on a laptop in their bedroom. After hearing the EP, Tracy Miller asked if he could join the band on Bass. Tracy was a welcome addition. His distinct bass-playing style created a whole new layer to the music. He played a couple of shows with the band in the Fall of 2013.
Yoknapatawpha existed from late 2012 to early 2014. The band never officially broke up. But their indefinite hiatus could very well last forever.
The band's name is a William Faulkner reference (one of Jason's favorite writers). Yoknapatawpha is a fictional County where many of his novels and short stories take place. According to Faulkner, Yoknapatawpha is a Chickasaw word, meaning, "Water flows slowly over flat land."