LET IT ROCK!
We met musician/model Aiden Yobear on a Visual Tales menswear shoot a few years back and immediately fell in love with his quirky sense of humor and style. He was a real natural in front of the camera and never held back, giving an array of poses. Aiden is signed with the IMG Agency. He has worked with YSL and other high-end fashion clients, walked runways and been featured in magazine editorials. Aiden has also been a musician from a very young age.
Being fans of Aiden, we just knew we had to do a feature on him in Ponyboy. We took inspiration for our shoot with Aiden from UK Teddy boys, more specifically the short-lived, early 70s Vivienne Westwood/Malcolm McLaren Teddy boy shop in London named, “Let It Rock”. We styled Aiden in an updated Teddy boy/Ponyboy look, and he was a perfect fit for it with his background in music. Photography and styling Alexander Thompson. Men’s grooming Margaret Dwyer. https://www.instagram.com/aidenyobear/?hl=en
“I remember when (the store SEX) was Let It Rock and it used to sell clothes to Teddy boys.”
“Malcolm and Vivienne were really a pair of shysters: they would sell anything to any trend that would grab onto. They also had fifties’ rip-offs like pegged pants and smooth slip-on shoes. It would be the same old cut from the fifties, but their angle would be make the pants pink instead of black or the shoes gold instead of brown or blue.”
“…In those days it was still selling Teddy boy gear. That was the main financial gain – really special Teddy boy outfits, and of course the brothel creepers.”
Johnny (Rotten) Lydon
PONYBOY: Aiden, we know you moved to New York City from California. Tell us where you were born and raised.
AIDEN YOBEAR: I’m from Glendale, California. I lived there for 19 years. I have it tattooed on my chest, actually. It’s the most dangerous city in the US to drive in. It’s pretty quiet.
PONYBOY: What was your upbringing like in California?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I had fun. My dad draws cartoons and my mom is an elementary school drama teacher, so they’re pretty open-minded and encouraged me to express myself. I have three siblings and they play a lot of video games. I used to make videos with my older brother, Kean. I met my best friend Evan in an afterschool “rock band” program in 4th grade and we spent a lot of our time writing together.
PONYBOY: What brought you to New York?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I never had a car, and I knew the city here had really accessible transit. Not having a car in LA is like not having legs in a track meet. Also, a lot of bands I was in back home were falling apart and I just started modeling. I thought it would be fun to get some modeling money to fund some new bands and projects here. Also, I like that they don’t charge sales tax here and you can get pizza for $1.
PONYBOY: How did you get into modeling?
AIDEN YOBEAR: People have been approaching me out of interest since I was twelve, but nothing came of it till 2019 when my friend’s mom cast me in a converse campaign and the same year I was reached out to on Instagram asking if I wanted to sign with Ricky Michiels Management. The next day I cast for YSL’s SS 2020 show and campaign. After the campaign, I signed to IMG.
PONYBOY: You’re with IMG models, which is probably the most elite and prestigious modeling agency in the world. How did you get signed with them?
AIDEN YOBEAR: They were the first and only agency I had met with and they were really nice, so I didn’t see any reason not to sign. I was never super into the fashion world and had never heard of them. It happened pretty fast.
PONYBOY: Do you enjoy being a model?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I do, because I’m pretty good at it and I like being useful. Meeting people on set is great – some of my favorite people in New York I met through it. I get to see what’s happening in the fashion world also, and I like traveling.
PONYBOY: What were some of your favorite modeling assignments?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I liked doing E-COM with SSENSE because it was a month straight and I was in a different country. I felt super boss getting up at 7 AM every day and going to work like someone who has their shit together. But I also kind of lost my mind. I think the hotel was haunted. A show I did for NIHL was fun too, cuz it was scary and creative. I have an awful memory, a lot of it is a blur already. A happy blur, though.
PONYBOY: Who are some of your favorite clothing designers?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I’m a fan of Menyelek Rose. Also, @nonotnothing and @blkvng on Instagram are awesome.
PONYBOY: How did you get into music?
AIDEN YOBEAR: My dad played and collected ukuleles. There were dozens and dozens of them in my house. At one point, me and three siblings all shared one room, and even our closet was stuffed with his uke’s. At some point, he taught me to play one. I was really into punk rock music. My uncle and dad’s friend put me on to some bands when I was really young. By the time I was nine it was my main focus and I started drumming and playing guitar. I was writing music at age twelve and starting bands.
PONYBOY: Tell our readers about being a musician. What instruments do you play?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I was in band and drumline in middle school and by the time I was in 8th grade, I was assistant teaching drumline at a high school across town. Drums are the instrument I’m most fluid in and was my main for a really long time. Lately I’ve been playing piano and guitar a lot because they’re my favorite instruments to write songs on. I also tried a lot of instruments like trumpet and double bass in school. Now I’m mostly using my laptop because I don’t have drums in my apartment.
PONYBOY: What bands/music projects are you involved in?
AIDEN YOBEAR: At the moment most of my music is under ‘Aiden Yobear’. I make collaborative albums with my BFF 1361 Kodak Moment under the project name bearhug33. We also have a new band called Super Confident in the works. My girlfriend, Margaret, and I have an album released under the band name “Bury Your Face in My Neck Nose and All.” A punk band from highschool I was/am in that’s worth mentioning is called Plumber. Our singer was hospitalized after an accident, but we’ll return one day.
PONYBOY: Describe your sound to our readers?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I think my solo music sounds like it feels to stick your hand into a bowl of spaghetti while blindfolded. I want it to be emotional and real, while still having fun and trying to mix genre elements of emo, hardcore electronic, and some kind of psychedelic children’s music.
PONYBOY: Who would you say are music inspirations to you?
AIDEN YOBEAR: A big inspiration for me is They Might Be Giants. Also, I really liked Gorillaz growing up. I try not to get too influenced by other music though. I’ve been considering quitting listening to music while I write my next album because I don’t want to subconsciously mimic my idols.
PONYBOY: What was the best live show you ever saw?
AIDEN YOBEAR: When I was ten I saw My Chemical Romance open up for Blink 182. Those are two of my favorite bands and this was near the peak of their sounds in my opinion so that was pretty unbeatable. Of course, I WAS 10. I saw Vaguess and other bands on mushrooms when I was like fourteen at a music festival and that was incredible. Also, I saw Streetlight Manifesto and They Might Be Giants with my dad. Those were special. And the hundreds of local bands I saw in LA every weekend for four years really shaped me.
PONYBOY: Do you have any upcoming music projects?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I just finished an album called Twin Reapers. I’m super excited to finally get it out. I lost two different versions of the album this year and had to start over. It will probably be out when this interview is. My new band, Super Confident, has a set in the works, but we wanna debut in a live setting which at the moment isn’t possible with Covid19. Depending on how long the pandemic lasts (hah), we might release our album online instead.
PONYBOY: How did you and your girlfriend Mag meet?
AIDEN YOBEAR: We met at my first band’s first show. I was fifteen playing at a skate shop in Pasadena and she was there with her friend. She asked if we wanted to play her 16th birthday party the next weekend and we said, “Fuck, yes”. She had a boyfriend. We were friends and played in a band together for years before we started dating. Our two year anniversary is coming up. She’s the shit.
PONYBOY: You mentioned that you joined Tik Tok somewhat recently and have been enjoying it?
AIDEN YOBEAR: It’s like the wild west there, man. Everyone’s coming down for a little piece of that gold. I’ve been having a lot of fun. It’s helped me to really build some strength in my “comedy writing” muscle. I’m pretty sure I could write for SNL or something now. I just post funny videos on there and it’s been a blast. Made tons of friends and have had a fair amount of success.
PONYBOY: How have you been spending your time in New York since the coronavirus took over our lives?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I spent a lot of time working on this album. Also, I haven’t been modeling much, so I’ve been busting my ass with weird jobs to make rent. I did food delivery a lot but had two bikes stolen, so I started assisting an old blind photographer and he recently ran off with the money he owes me. Honestly, a lot of my time has gone to just trying to hold things together and get to a place where I can be functional. I met two film majors and have been hanging out with them and we’ve been throwing around a lot of movie ideas. I acted in one of their short films that should be out soon. I’m spiritually dead – just distracting myself from the misery with drugs and food and other vices. But at least I’m writing and creating a lot. Oh, also I got two cats. Love them.
PONYBOY: What do you see for yourself in the future?
AIDEN YOBEAR: I’m excited to keep getting better at music and having my stuff reach people that will like it. I wanna make art that changes the world and there’s very little else I care about (namely Mag, my family, cats, and friends). And any fortune that it brings me, I wanna share with all the beautiful people in the world. I see myself doing tours and going hard in my twenties, then hopefully living on a boat or a farm in my thirties.