1. You’re well known for the ‘wall of sound’ effect in your songs. Why did you decide to perform acoustic sets and how does the experience of singing these stripped-down songs differ from creating the intricate
We decided to do a one-off at Joe’s Pub in NYC in September and it sold out and was really well received. I’m really excited to play in a more quiet and intimate settings.
2. Are there certain songs you don’t perform in acoustic and if so, why?
It’s been an interesting process, sometimes the ones we thought were impossible worked really well once we got a little creative. “Red Sea” or anything else with long textural parts didn’t work as well for obvious reasons.
3. The lyrics “there’s bees in the attic/Acidic with panic” in “Familiar Light” are very striking. What’s the story behind that song and the songwriting process? Is there one song that had a very definite story behind it? Which song/story?
That line was something me and Yuki just made up when we were writing the melody, it was weird and and evocative so I just kind of wrote the rest of the lyrics around it.
4. In general, do you come up with lyrics first, or the lyrics grow to fit the melodies and how does that affect the final result?
Usually we come up with a few lines while writing the songs but write the rest later. As we write the lyrics the melodies evolve, it works best when the process i really loose and organic.
5. How do you decide which songs will have lyrics in Japanese and which in English? Is there a certain “type” of song you choose to sing in Japanese?
That’s a question I always feel like I am lying when I answer it with anything more than sometimes it sounds cool when Yuki sings a part in Japanese.
6. What was the principal concept — musical or thematic — that drove/inspired the making of Hush? How did the writing/recording process differ from Citrus, and how would you say that affected the final product?
We wanted to make something really icy and glassy as far as texture goes. Lots of analogue synths and less huge reverb guitars.