Interview with Petal : "Magic Gone" Album Interview

-We heard that the Petal is a rock band with you being the main and the only permanent member. We’d like to know why do you not have any fixed members in your band? Petal has had many interations but it’s always been my project. I love writing music for a full band sound, but primarily it’s just me.-When did you start creating your music? What got you started playing and making music?I grew up around music. My mom was a public school music teacher and our church choir director and my dad was a big music fan. I would sing all the time and pretend to play guitar and piano. I started studying classical piano when I was 5 years old and studied voice as well. I wrote my first song when I was 10 and just always was obsessed with rock music and the history of it in America. I always wanted to know more about the songwriters I loved and got a lot of joy out of singing in choirs and writing music.-In the previous album, “Shame”, we felt you cherish the live music feeling in your music and your MVs. Compared to this, your new album, “Magic Gone” is even more sophisticated than the previous album in the arrangement of songs and production of MVs. Is there anything you are conscious regarding the different parts between the previous album and this album?Thank you! I wanted to make Magic Gone even more authentic to a live recording. We did everything in whole takes in the live room so that we could get the most real and emotional takes possible. I also played all the instruments except the drums which was a unique challenge. I wanted the the lyrics and the performance to be the focus and have the recording be super crisp and honest. I think on the previous album I was afraid to really sing and on Magic Gone I felt more confident.-One of the charms of Petal’s music is simply the beautiful and incredible vocals, which touches our hearts. How did you record this album? Please share with us, your recording experience or experiences in detail. Thank you so much. By recording the vocals in whole takes, we were able to record a truly live performance. It was important to me to let the words and the meaning behind them shape the vocal performance. Some days it was really hard to sing through the songs because it felt so painful. But I didn’t want it to sound easy, I wanted the singing to be representative of my experiences. I’d go in the studio early and warm up and sing through Puberty 2, A Seat At The Table, and After Laughter to get my voice ready to go and get excited about singing. -Your music is deeply fascinating and it pulls us into the world of your music. Your music sticks to our minds once we listen to your music. What do you seek for in sounds and moods when you create your music?I try to be open minded to different sounds and styles. Primarily I focus on melody and words. I like crisp drums and warm vocals. My voice is naturally more treble-y so I have to be mindful of that. Mostly I want to create an album that you can listen to straight through and feel like you’re reading a book or being told a story.-Will Yip produced this album. Why did you decide to work with him? How was it working with him?Will is easily one of the most talented, thoughtful, and dedicated musicians and producers out there. Not only is he a good friend, he is such a strong support system creatively and will push you to try new things. No one mics a room like him. He also has such a wide range of musicianship so his ear is sharp and he can make a song reach its fullest potential no matter the genre. He is the best there is.-The record of “Magic Gone” has a beautiful sentiment, which makes us feel so emotionally moved in our hearts. We felt this album including the title tune, has somewhat of a story. Is there anything you are particular about when creating your record?This record is about mental health, queerness, and love. Side A and Side B both represent different parts of a very difficult period in my life. The first side being more scared and dangerous, and the second side being vulnerable and strong. I want each song to stand on its own while being a cohesive piece as an album. The record is about letting go of the notion of “having it together” and embracing change and fear.-We felt your lyrics include sentiment and sadness, beautifulness, which stirs up our heats. It also has feelings of vividness as if we can really touch it, and at the same time it has fragility as if we are in a dream. How did you write your lyrics? Is there anything you are conscious about when you write your lyrics? I write lyrics very sporadically. They come in flashes and I have to write them down as quickly as possible. I try not to be too judgemental of what I’m writing and let the imagery that is coming to mind grow and flourish. Mostly I try to be specific.-In this record, side A has mainly honest and pureness in your sounds while side B is little more darker and has graceful sounds. There is a contrast. Why did you create compositions like these? What are you particular regarding the order of the songs in this record? Yes we wanted the track listing to be representative of the progression of the experiences. Sonically it represents the stages of grief and acceptance and the wavering mental state I was in before and after seeking treatment and coming out.-What meaning(s) and/or feeling(s) are put into side A title “Tightrope Walker” and side B title “Miracle Clinger” respectively?Side A is about risking your well being to present as someone who is put together. Like a tightrope walker it takes a lot of practice and when executed well, it is truly impressive. You almost forget how dangerous it truly is.Miracle Clinger is about having this almost frustrating amount of optimism despite all of the pain you feel. You can’t help but believe it’s going to be okay even though you’re not sure it will be.-What meaning(s) and/or feeling(s) are put into your album title, “Magic gone”?That letting go can feel debilitating, but it can open up a world of opportunity to grow.-Last year, we heard you toured with Julien Baker, who came to Japan this year. We were moved by her last performance during her visit in Japan. How was it touring with her? Please share with us something you learned from this experience, if any. And also, please share with us your experiences with any other artists who inspired you recently. Julien is truly an incredible person. Shes funny, kind, thoughtful, and so immensely talented. Touring with her is a blast. She inspires me to be braver in my writing and to trust myself when performing. She also inspires me to be a better person and to let my freak flag fly. I also love Kevin Devine, Slingshot Dakota, Tigers Jaw, cave people, Cherry, Manchester Orchestra, and Death Cab For Cutie.-Please tell me artists who have influenced your band in regards to Petal’s musicality and what Petal is as a band. Also, please tell us how they have influenced you in detail.I’m very influenced by Queen, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, Mitski, Death Cab for Cutie, David Bazan, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, and the Talking Heads. All of their music is so riveting and the storytelling in their songs is unparalleled. Also they all have such unique voices and it makes me want to embrace how my voice naturally sounds. -How would you like people to listen to this album?With an open mind and from top to bottom!-We are looking forward to seeing your performance in Japan someday. Please give a message to your fans, here in Japan.I’m so excited to meet all of you and so grateful for all of your support! Thank you for listening and I cannot wait to play for you. <3---------- Answer from Kiley Lotz

Interview with Ratboys 【Japan Tour 2018】

-How did you guys meet? Can you tell us in detail your story behind you forming the band?Dave and I met as university students in the September 2010. We went to a school called the University of Notre Dame, and most of the students there did not have much interest in playing or writing music. Dave and I instantly bonded because we liked a lot of the same bands (St. Vincent, Radiohead, Algernon Cadwallader, The Dodos, & lots more). Dave played in punk bands growing up, and I wrote many songs by myself during high school. We instantly fell into a groove jamming, and we found that combining our different musical experiences/backgrounds led us to have a lot of fun playing together. Eventually we recorded 5 songs together in our dorm rooms, and we put them up for free on Bandcamp in April 2011. Our friends seemed to like the songs, so that summer we started performing at DIY shows as a two-piece. During the rest of our time at university we experimented with adding drums and other elements to our live show. Once Dave graduated in 2015, we went on tour as a 4-piece band all over the USA. That summer we put out our first album AOID on Topshelf Records. We have been touring, writing, and recording music pretty much nonstop ever since. -Please tell us the origin of your band name, Ratboys and your experience or experiences when you decided the name. We initially called the band ‘Ratboy’ because that has been my nickname for years. When I was 14 my friends and I were bored at lunch in high school, so we were giving each other crude nicknames for fun. For reasons unknown to me, I became ‘Ratboy’ that day. Dave liked the name, so we used it for our band. Eventually we changed the name to ‘Ratboys’ because another Ratboy contacted us and (pretty aggressively) requested that we change our name. I don’t remember any specific conversations that Dave and I had about the name – it just felt good from the beginning. -You say your music is “Post-Country”. Please tell us what “Post-Country” is and the charm of it. Post-Country is a term that I came up with in jest to describe our music and other bands who utilize elements of classic country music (narrative storytelling, cowboy chords, slide guitar, etc) in combination with an indie rock aesthetic and diverse poetics. Or really just a band who clearly respects & draws influence from classic Americana, but who also does their own thing. When I first met Dave, I had never heard the term ‘Post-Rock’ before. I found it totally funny and preposterous, and I thought it’d be great to add ‘post-‘ to another genre where that hadn’t been done before. So that’s where the term came from for me, mostly just a way to poke fun at the uselessness of trying to put bands/musicians in a box. I’ve pretty much stopped calling our music ‘post-country’ lately because I don’t want to limit the way that people perceive/enjoy our songs. I still think it's a funny and worthwhile idea though. -What meaning and feeling are put into the title, “GL(aka Good Luck)”? GL (and GN and GM) are little abbreviated phrases that we say to our friends on tour and at home. The song ‘GL’ details my frustration at a friend making mistakes and hurting people as a result. The title is basically me saying goodbye and offering hope that this friend can resolve their issues going forward. It was a feeling of relief and letting go. -We felt this EP remains nostalgic in the same way as the last album “GN”, but we felt this EP is more bright and catchy than the previous album. Is there a difference between the previous album and this EP when recording your music? How did you create and record your songs in this EP? Thank you so much, that’s my favorite kind of music, the kind that feels instantly nostalgic even on the first listen. The biggest – and really the only – difference between recording GN and GL was that we had different friends play the drums (Brendan Smyth played on GL and Danny Lyons played on GN). Otherwise, we recorded all of the songs in the same studio with the same engineer. I think the four songs on the EP just have a different feeling than the songs on the LP. The songs on GL are all about relationships, and they are all more personal than many of our other songs. We originally planned for the song ‘GL’ to be the last song on GN, but we changed our minds at the last minute. It felt a little awkward to end an album with such an angry and angst-ridden song. So when we finished recording GN in January 2017, we realized that we had four songs leftover that we still wanted to record. We went back into the studio in May 2017 to record the EP. ‘You’ve Changed’ and ‘Figure’ were old songs that we had wanted to record for a while, while ‘GL’ and ‘After School’ were songs that we had written during the preperation for GN. Luckily all of them fit together pretty well, and we were able to make an EP that we are really proud of. -In the previous album, “GN”, you sing mainly about Julia’s experiences and daily life, and so on…. We felt that you are focused more on the emotional part of you, including “GL”, which is a song about a heartbreak in a relationship. Is there anything different in your expression between your previous album and this EP? What did you try to convey in your lyrics and your music when you created it? A lot of the songs on GN deal with specific stories and people (my cat Elvis, my sister Molly, Peter the Wild Boy, etc). Only a few of the songs were more impressionistic and less defined by specific memories (Westside, Wandered, and Dangerous Visions to be specific). Three of the four songs on GL fall into this latter category; the lyrics were inspired more by feelings and emotional reactions rather than specific memories or stories. It felt good to write that way, it was something different. I felt like I got to know myself better in the process of making these songs. A lot of our new songs are more introspective, in the style of the songs on GL, and I’m excited to open up a bit more in our songs going forward. It feels very healthy and validating to work out how I’m feeling by writing songs. -It seems that this EP was recorded together along with the previous album. Why did you decide to do it in this way? We recorded the EP 5 months after recording GN. We didn’t put much thought into the timing of that, it just worked out that we had some time to record, and the studio was open. Looking back, it worked out great to have a gap between the sessions. It gave us a lot of time to let the EP songs take shape. -Your music is simply beautiful and smooth; it makes us feel good. Sometimes, it also has impressive arrangements here and there. It’s so attractive. How are these ideas created? Please tell us your favorite arrangements in this EP. Thank you so much, that makes us feel good! We’re really proud of the arrangements on GL. One of my favorites is this guitar riff that Dave plays during the second chorus of ‘You’ve Changed.’ We had Pat Lyons (who played pedal steel on GN and GL) double that part on pedal steel, and it just made me swoon. It’s so dramatic and triumphant, they absolutely hit a home run with that riff. Dave studied architecture at university, and I like to think that this background helps him provide good structure to our songs. He’s really good at picking out elements of songs that work well and having us repeat them or only play them once in a really striking spot. His songwriting instincts are excellent. He knows how to shape songs and build them from the ground up. I’m specifically really proud of the arrangement we ended up with for the song ‘Figure.’ When I first wrote the song, I intended for it to be a slow, mournful acoustic ballad. I showed it to our friend Sean Eldon Qualls, and he recorded a demo version of the song that was super playful and jaunty. He gave ‘Figure’ a new life and totally inspired the way that we recorded it. Brendan Smyth (who played drums on GL) has a deep background in jazz music, and his performance on the song is so special. We are very pleased with how that one turned out. -Certain impact sounding guitar parts leave an impression in the pleasantly glittering guitar sounds. Is there anything you are particular about in your guitar playing sections? Please tell us any guitarist(s) you are inspired by? Both Dave and I like to layer lots of guitar tracks in our recordings. I always lay down an acoustic guitar rhythm track under everything – that is our secret ingredient. Then I do electric guitar rhythm tracks and distortion overdubs. I don’t use a pic, so I’ve always been super inspired by Courtney Barnett. I’m also so impressed by Ellen Kempner (of Palehound) and her guitar playing. She is incredibly deft and blending rhythm and leads in her live performances – I would love to be able to play the way she does. Dave always does TONS of guitar overdubs in the studio. It’s my favorite day of recording because he knocks out so many awesome takes, and then we get to just pick and choose. He is crazy fun to watch. Dave is very inspired by the guitar playing of Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Frank Zappa, and Kurt Cobain. -Julia’s voice is so cute like an angel and is very expressive. It’s so fascinating. What made her start singing? As a vocalist, is there any artist(s) you are inspired by? Thank you, that is so kind. I remember that I enjoyed to sing at a young age. My mom played The Beatles a lot on our car rides to school, and I loved to sing along to ‘Ticket to Ride’ and ‘Eight Days A Week.’ My mom is a wonderful singer, and we would sing songs together all the time. I sang in choirs in high school and university, and I loved singing by myself when I started writing songs. It’s just always been something that I love to do. I am inspired by so many vocalists – off the top of my head, I love Frances Quinlan (of Hop Along), Carly Comando (of Slingshot Dakota), Tegan and Sara, Conor Murphy (of Foxing), John Fogerty, and Grimes. -Regarding your visit to Japan this time and performing, what made you decide to come? What is performing in Japan (and other countries other than yours) to you? We were so lucky to be invited to come to Japan by The Firewood Project. Hajime from TFP brought over some of our friends in the past (football, etc. & You Blew It), and everyone had amazing experiences and stories to tell. We had no hesitation to come to Japan – it has always been a dream of ours. We have never been to Japan (or to Asia) so we are very excited for a new adventure. Performing in other countries is a thrilling experience and a huge honor for us. It is truly unbelievable that, because of the internet and word of mouth, people outside of our home (and across the world!) know and enjoy our songs. That is just amazing. We love to meet people and learn more about different places around the world. Enjoying music together is my favorite way to connect with other people. So we feel so lucky to have the opportunity to do that in a place as beautiful and fascinating as Japan.  -Please tell us the impression of The Firewood Project who will be touring with you. If you listened to other supporting bands’ music, (falls・Lucie, too・Predawn・my young animal・Regal Lily), please tell us your impressions about them. The Firewood project are very deft guitar players. When we first heard their music we were very excited to see them play every night. We love the driving drums and crunchy guitar tones that many of the bands have (especially falls). The sounds remind us of some of our favorite bands in the USA (Snowing, Motion City Soundtrack, Joan of Arc), so it’s so cool and pretty surreal to hear Japanese bands making music that sounds so similar to the music we love, but also so special in its own right. We love the playful vocals in Lucie, too and all of the catchy hooks. Every band that we’ve checked out so far has been hugely impressive, we just can’t wait to share the stage with all of these wonderful groups. -We are interested to know what the music scene is like around your area. How do you feel about the Japanese music scene? What changes would you say would make the Japanese music scene more interesting? The music scene in Chicago is very diverse and open-minded. Most musicians in the city appreciate many different types of music and go to lots of different types of shows. Lots of folks are friends and support each other across multiple of musical endeavors. I honestly don’t know much about the Japanese music scene going into this tour – I’m excited to go into this experience without many preconceived notions about the Japanese music community & its sensibilities. I’m excited to write down as many observations as I can and learn a lot about how bands in Japan operate and write and play together. -What does it mean to you, having people from other parts of world the world listen to your music? Also, what does listening to music from other part of the world mean to you? Having anyone that we’ve never met listen to our music is a huge honor for us. We write songs to share parts of ourselves with anyone who wants to listen, so to have that connection take place across oceans and time zones is a beautiful and mystifying thing. When I listen to music from other parts of the world, I enjoy the feeling that I’m learning more about a person who has experienced life differently than I have. It almost feels like I am traveling far and wide without leaving my room. I always come away with a feeling of respect for these places that I’ve never been. I have felt that way about Japan for a long time, so it will be amazing to actually visit this place that I have come to revere so deeply through listening to music. -How would you like people to listen to this EP? While traveling fast on a train, sitting very still. While doing the dishes or while riding a bike. In the company of trusted friends or totally (and blissfully) alone. -What kind of things are you looking forward to doing during this visit to Japan? Please tell us your vision of your whole performance and what kind of “mood” you’d like it to be in this event? We are looking forward to eating many types of food that we have never tried, and we are excited to take many photographs of Japan’s large cities. We are mostly looking forward to making new friends in Japan. Our shows usually feel very relaxed and intimate – I hope to make people feel comfortable and carefree so that they can either enter into the stories that our songs tell or think of their own memories and let our music tell their stories. We would like for the mood to be fun and lively and full of wonder. -Please give a message to your fans, here in Japan. Thank you so much for listening to our songs! We cannot wait to experience everything in Japan and to share the stage with so many amazing bands. We are counting down the days until we get to go to Japan and have this adventure!--------- Answer from Julia

【The Firewood Project/malegoat/The Lost Boys】 岸野一が海外アーティストを招聘する理由。

質問1. 音楽を始めたきっかけは何ですか?また、バンドを始めて、今に至るまで本格的に音楽を続ける決意ができたタイミングやターニングポイントとなった出来事はありますか? 小学生の時に読んでたBOYという漫画でギターやドラムなどに興味を持ちました。そこからウルフルズやGLAY、スピッツを好きになり、雑に言うとロックミュージックを好きになり、徐々に本格的に楽器を始めたいと思うようになります。通ってた学校は6年生になると鼓笛隊をやるのが決まりで、中太鼓 (タムタム)を担当したのがきっかけでドラムに興味を持ち、二学期になって音楽室に導入されたドラムセットを休み時間や放課後に叩くようになります。その後、音楽発表会でドラムを担当したかったのですが、僕より上手い人がいて何しようかなと思っていたら音楽の先生にベースやってみない?と言われベースを始めます。先生は僕の為にベースを借りてくれました。その先生がいなかったらベースやってないですね。本格的に?バンドを始めたのは高校一年の時です。オリジナル曲を作って活動してました (そのバンドの曲がThe Firewood Projectの『Causes』に入ってる「Reach You」です)。それでそのバンドで知り合った友人と20歳の時にmalegoat を始めます。すぐ解散するかなーと思ってたんですけど、結局14年もやってます笑 音楽を続ける決意はした事がないです。やるのが普通で辞めるという選択肢がないからです。

Interview with Forth Wanderers

Q. How did you guys meet? Can you tell us in detail your story behind you forming the band? We all went to highschool in a town called Montclair (in North New Jersey). The 4 boys had been friends for a while and played music together often, I am 2 years younger and was singing and writing songs on my own. They were in search for a singer/songwriter, and they reached out to me after hearing my solo stuff. Ben had sent me what is now “Sip Neigh”; I wrote the lyrics and sung them and sent him a recording of it. That was the first song we ever wrote and from there we became Forth Wanderers. Q. What meaning and feeling are put into your band name? Please tell us the origin of your band name and your experience or experiences when you decided the name. I honestly don’t think there is much meaning to our band name. We were throwing ideas and words back and forth and looking different things up on google. One of the boys (I can’t remember who right now) found something named Forth Wanderers and thought it was fitting. Q. Your music is simply beautiful and includes impressive sound layers. Your band consists of five members and you have beautifully weaved sounds without relying on the number of members. At the same time, all 5 members produce spreads of sounds. Please let us know your attraction of playing music with your 5 members. Each and every one of us has our own little style. Even though Ben writes the guitar parts, Duke and Noah always add a bit of their own personality into it. Zach-seeing as he studies and loves Jazz- adds a interesting/unique component to our music. Q. What meaning and feeling are put into the album title, “Forth Wanderers”? I think we were just proud and excited to release this album after it for so long, and having it be self titled seemed most appropriate. Q. We felt your sounds in this album includes sentiment and strong-willed feelings, beautiful glitter and hidden passion. Your album is so beautiful and it captures our hearts. Was there anything you were particular about when creating this album? Thank you for those kind words! I didn’t go into this album knowing what I would essentially be writing about. However, I was going through a tough time dealing with different relationships and my sense of self, and I think most people can hear that within the songs. Q. We heard that you and your guitarist, Ben Guterl create music together like exchanging letters. We think one of reasons you create music this way is the distance of where you both live. Why did you continue to create music like this and let us know if there are other reasons for doing this? Also, please tell us your positive aspects and challenging aspects of this music creating process. Yes, this is true. Ben and I, even when we both lived in Montclair wrote songs like this. I think it was initially because we were both too shy to actually get together and bounce ideas off of each other (we didn’t know each other at the time), and writing alone has always been my style. It’s really hard for me to write lyrics and melodies in front of people- partially because I feel i wouldn’t write as genuinely and personally as I might alone. The only significant challenge I can think of is just that we are both so busy because of college and work. Q. We heard this album was recorded in just five days at Cameron Konner’s home studio, who is your producer and a friend of your band. Please share with us, your recording experience or experiences in detail. Yes, Cameron Konner is a super talented audio engineer and one of our greatest friends! We were stoked he was up for recording/mixing us. We only had a certain amount of time in which everyone was home to record- hence why it was done in 5 days. For example, Zach didn’t even know some of the songs yet and winged it on the ride over. My experience recording with Cameron was awesome. He was extremely easy going and fun to work with. Q. It seems that the lyrics are written based on your real experiences. Why do you write in that way? How do you think of the lyrics while listening to the music? Most of my lyrics- if not real experiences, relate to real experiences I have had. I write this way because it comes most naturally to me. I want to be my truest self, and allow people to hear me and hopefully resonate with what i’m saying/trying to convey. When I first hear Ben’s guitar parts, I play it repeatedly and start singing random words, trying to get a vibe of the song and how I am going to express myself. I sing whatever I am feeling, and it usually just comes together in the end. It’s very therapeutic. Q. We heard that the art work and some MVs in this album are created by Ben Guterl. Did he study design ever? Are there any concepts regarding the art work and MVs? From Ben himself: I studied studio art at oberlin. I did a little bit of design but mostly have just practiced from doing posters and t shirts for Forth Wanderers. The past two years I’ve been working on cel animations for different music projects. I used the time in my senior studio course to make 2 short animated loops (Not For Me and Nevermine) and 1 full length animated video (Ages Ago) for the 3 singles we released. Q. We are interested to know what the music scene is like around your area. Also, please let us know if there are any artists you admire in the area? I live in Brooklyn and there’s a great scene here for all types of music. There are some staple indie venues like “Baby’s All Right”, “Market Hotel”, and “Brooklyn Steel” where local bands (As well as non-local bands) play all the time. Q. Please tell us artists who have influenced your band in regards to Forth Wanderers’ musicality and what Forth Wanderers is as a band. Also, please tell us how they have influenced you in detail. I’d say most people compare us to Built to Spill musically more than anyone else, and I can definitely hear that. Individually we all have different tastes in music and different influences. I mostly listen to stuff that is nothing like the music I make, i. e Future, Young Thug, SZA, and english r&b singer/rapper IAMDDB. Q. How would you like people to listen to this album? on a long car ride, or alone at the beach :) Q. Please give a message to your fans, here in Japan. Thank you so much for listening, it means the world to us that people so far away can enjoy and relate to our music! Answer from Ava Trilling【Forth Wanderers】

Interview : Forth Wanderers

Credit: Julia LeibyQ. バンドを結成したいきさつを教えてください。 私達は皆、ニュージャージー北部のモントクレアと呼ばれる街の高校に通っていたの。はじめのうちは、メンバーの男子4人が仲良くなって、よく4人で一緒に演奏してたのよ。私は二つ下の学年で、一人で曲を書いたり歌ったりしてて。彼らは、歌が歌えて曲を書ける人間を探していて、私のソロの作品を聴いて声をかけてきたの。ギターのBenが私のところに“Sip Neigh”の原型を送ってきて、私が歌詞を書いて歌って、それを録音したものを彼に送ったの。それが、私達が書いた最初の曲で、そこからForth Wanderersが始まったのよ。 Q. Forth Wanderersの名前の由来を教えてください。またどうやってバンド名を決めたのでしょうか?正直に言うと、自分達のバンドの名前に大した意味はなくて。私達はアイデアや言葉をどんどん出し合って、色んなものをグーグルで検索したりしてみたの。誰だったか覚えてないんだけど、メンバーの一人がForth Wanderersと名前がついた何かを見つけて、それがすごくピッタリだって思ったのよ。Q. Forth Wanderersの楽曲は、シンプルな美しさと印象的な音の重なり方が魅力だと思います。5人のメンバー構成ですが、数に頼ることない緻密な構成を大事にしたサウンドだと思いました。5人で演奏することによって、サウンドの幅に広がりがでるかと思いますが、5人で演奏することの魅力を教えてください。私達一人ひとりがそれぞれ、自分達のちょっとしたスタイルを持ってるの。ギターパートはBenが書いているけれど、DukeとNoahがいつも彼らの個性を少しずつ足してくれるし、見た感じでは、ZachはJazzが好きで勉強してるみたいだから、面白くてユニークな要素を私達の音楽に与えてくれてると思う。Q. アルバムタイトル “Forth Wanderers” に込められた意味を教えてください。私達は長い時間を経て、このアルバムをリリース出来ることになって、本当にワクワクして誇りに感じていたと思う。だから、このアルバムのタイトルはセルフタイトルであることがふさわしいと思ってる。Q. 繊細さと強い意志と美しいきらめきと、静かな情熱が感じられる、とても美しく胸を打つアルバムだと思いました。音作りで拘った点はありますか?ありがとう! このアルバムに取り掛かったとき、何を書くべきか分からないままスタートしたの。でも、私は色々な人間関係や自分自身に関することでつらい時期を経験していたから、このアルバムを聴く人の多くは、それが曲に表れてるのが分かると思う。 Q. 曲作りはギタリストのBen Guterlと二人で文通をするように作っておられると聞きました。お二人が住んでいる場所が遠いこともあるかと思いますが、なぜそういう形で曲づくりを続けているのでしょうか?また、メリットとデメリットを教えてください。 その通りよ。Benと私はお互いがモントクレアに住んでるときでさえ、こうやって曲を作ってたの。初めからそうだったし。というのも、二人ともすごくシャイだったから、実際に一緒に作業することができなくて。お互いにアイデアを投げ合うことしかできなかったの。当時は、二人ともお互いのことを知らなかったし。それに、ずっと一人で曲を書くのが私のスタイルだったから。私にとって、人前で歌詞を書いたりメロディを作ったりすることはすごく難しいことなの。たぶん、ある部分で一人のときほど純粋に、そして個人的なところで曲を書くことができないと思うから。一つ思いつく難点といえば、お互い大学や仕事で二人ともすごく忙しいことかな。 Q. 今作はあなた方の友人でもあるプロデューサーCameron Konnerのホームスタジオで、5日間でレコーディングされたと聞きました。そのときの経験について詳しく教えてください。Cameron Konnerはすごく才能のあるエンジニアで私達の素晴らしい友達の一人よ。彼が私達のレコーディングとミキシングをやりたいと言ってくれて、とてもワクワクしたわ。彼のホームスタジオで全員揃ってレコ―ディングできる時間は限られてて。だから、5日間でレコーディングをしたの。例えば、Zachはその時まだ知らない曲もあったから、レコーディングのときに前準備なしで演奏することになったりしてたわ。Cameronとのレコーディング体験はすばらしかった。彼とはすごくやりやすくて、一緒に作品を作るのがとても楽しかった。Q. 歌詞を書くときに実体験に基づいて書かれていると聞きました。どうしてそういう形で歌詞を書かれているのでしょうか?また、曲に合わせてどのように歌詞を考えていますか?私の歌詞のほとんどは、実体験ではないにしても、自分が経験したことに関連するものよ。私がこうやって歌詞を書くのは、それがとても自然なことだから。私は自分自身にとても正直でいたいと思うし、できることなら、人が私の曲を聴いて、私が伝えたいと思ってることや言っていることに共感してほしいと思ってる。最初にBenのギターパートを聴いて、繰り返しそのパートを演奏するの。そして色んな言葉を思いつくままに歌っていって、曲の雰囲気や自分が表現したいものを掴んでいく。私は自分が感じたことをとにかく何でも歌っていくんだけど、たいていそれが最後には一つにまとまるの。その過程がすごく癒されるのよ。Q. アートワークやMVはギターのBen が作られていると聞きました。デザインなどをこれまでに学ばれていたのでしょうか?アートワークにはどのようなコンセプトやこだわりがありますか?Ben自身から回答をもらったわ。「僕は、オバーリンでスタジオ・アートを勉強していたんだ。デザインも少しは勉強したんだけど、ほとんどはForth WanderersのポスターやTシャツを作っていく中で練習していったんだ。僕はここ2年間、色々な音楽プロジェクトでセルアニメーションの制作に携わってきた。僕らがリリースした3つのシングル 、“Not For Me”と‟Nevermine”の2つのショートアニメーションのループと、”Ages Ago”のフルレングスのアニメーションのビデオは、スタジオ・アートの上のコースの時間を使って作ったものだよ。」 Q. あなたが住んでいる場所の音楽シーンについて教えてください。私はブルックリンに住んでいて、ここにはあらゆる種類の素晴らしいミュージックシーンがあるわ。Baby’s All Rightや Market Hotel、Brooklyn Steelのようなメインのインディーズのライブハウスがあって、ローカルバンド(もちろんローカルじゃないバンドも)がいつもそこで演奏しているの。 Q. Forth Wanderersの音楽性に影響を与えたアーティストについて教えてください。 音楽面でいうと、ほとんどの人が一番に私達をBuilt to Spillに例えるの。私が聴いてもそう思うわ。皆それぞれに音楽の好みが違うから、違う影響を受けてきたのよ。私はたいてい、自分が作る音楽とは遠い音楽を聴いているわ。例えば、FutureやYoung Thug、SZA、イギリスのR&Bシンガー・ラッパーのIAMDDBとかね。Q. 今作をどんな風に聴いてほしいですか?長いドライブのときか、ビーチで一人っきりで聴いてほしいな。 Q. 日本のリスナーへメッセージをお願いします。この作品を聴いてくれて本当にありがとう!遠く離れた場所にいる人達が私達の音楽を楽しむことができて、共感してもらえることは、私達にとってこの上なく大事なことなの。Answer from Ava Trilling【Forth Wanderers】ニュージャージーの5ピースバンド、Forth Wanderers。2014年のデビュー・アルバム『Tough Love』より約4年振りとなるセカンド・アルバム『Forth Wanderers』をSub Popからリリース。繊細さと強い意志と美しいきらめきと、静かな情熱が感じられる今作は、“セルフアルバムタイトルにふさわしい”作品になっている。音楽に対してまっすぐなAvaの思いに共鳴するように、静かに強く人の心に響く。今年聴いたアルバムの中でも飛びぬけて素晴らしい一枚だ。

Interview with Partner

Q. How did you guys meet? Can you tell us in detail your story behind you forming the duo? We met at our university dining hall. We quickly realized we had many of the same interests and that we both played guitar. We started jamming and played in other bands together for several years. Then the summer of 2014 we moved into a house together and started writing the first partner songs. Q. Please tell us the origin of your group name, Partner and your experience or experiences when you decided the name.We picked the name Partner because we felt it reflected the vibe we were going for with our songs. Its kind of a joking name because lots of people use the term romantically but we are musical partners. Q. Out of all the recently released albums that are out, we were very excited to listen to your new album! Do you create the music together? How did you create and record all the songs?Thank you! . We recorded the album at Candle Recording Studio in Toronto back in 2016. We always start with a concept. When we think of a good idea the hook usually comes to us first then we fill in the verses and decide on the structure, then teach it to the band. It is important to us to always start with a solid foundation and then add the layers.Q. What meaning and feeling are put into the album title, “In Search Of Lost Time”?We named our album after the work of the same name by Marcel Proust. A lot of our songs reflect on the passing of time and feelings of nostalgia so it seemed very fitting. We decided on the name years before we finished the album. Q. Your songs in this album have many impressive guitar solo parts. We’re interested to know why you mainly use the guitar for your solo.Thanks again! We both love the guitar and we are very very indepted to classic rock. It has always seemed natural to us to punctuate songs with a guitar solo. It makes the song exciting and its a way to express beyond words. We dont currently know how to solo on other instruments but maybe some day we will have other types of solos too.Q. Your vocal harmonies are so beautiful and it catches our hearts. Your voices are very similar like twins. We heard you are co-frontman in your group. How do you decide on your parts?Thank you! We do often feel like twins. Usually we either decide based on which lyrics make sense for which personality, or Josee tends to sing the higher parts because she can sing higher. Sometimes we divide the verses and each write and sing our own.Q. With your two voices combined together in your songs, it makes us feel like we’re flying in the air and it feels good. We think your vocal harmonies are very unique and impressive. How do you create your vocal harmonies? Are there any artists who inspire or inspired you?Thanks! We are often compared vocally to the Breeders and Veruca Salt. We are inapired by that 90s style of vocal harmony for sure. We used to listen to a lot of 90s music and it definitely influenced our harmonies.Q.Your singing style changes depending on your songs, and we are surprised by your rich expressions, for example, a song can be soulful, pleasant, emotional and so on…. Did you intentionally change your singing style according to each song? How do you decide your singing style?The singing style comes from the heart! It comes out quite naturally and we just sing the way we feel the song should sound, which depends on the subject matter and the style of the song.Q. This whole album is like listening to a radio. We think it’s so interesting and unique. Did you have any particular concept regarding how you made this album and why you decided to create an album like this?Thank you. When we created the album we knew we wanted it to be fun and joyous and truthful. All the songs came from our hearts and we just wanted to share our truth with the world and have fun doing it. Q. The transition between all your songs is extremely smooth. We enjoyed this album like a whole story. Nowadays, in a world where we are able to download just one song from the entire album, we felt in this case, that your album was meant to be appreciated as one whole work. Were you particular about the order of the song? Did you think of the listener’s perspective while creating this album? Thank you! We were very particular about the order. We knew the songs had to be in a certain order to make sense and tell the story that was meant to be told. We wanted our album to be an entire experience for anyone who wanted to listen to it.Q. Please tell us artists who have influenced your group in regards to Partner’s musicality and what Partner is as a duo. Also, please tell us how they have influenced you in detail.We have been influenced by many many artists. Jimi Hendrix, Blink 182, Ween, Hole, Avril Lavigne, Metallica, Celine Dion, etc etc. Some of those inspired us when we were young, some have an attitude or a sound that we find inspiring, and they all speak their truth which is our favourite thing.Q. How would you like people to listen to this album?We would like them to listen to it however they can. They can buy the vinyl or cd, stream it, or borrow it from a friend. We appreciate every listener!Q. We’re looking forward to your next project! Please let us know if you have something coming up in the near future!Thanks! We are planning on recording an EP sometime soon and we will keep you posted.Q. Please give a message to your fans, here in Japan.Hello fans in Japan! Thank you for listening. Hope we get to come play for you soon!                                                                           [Answer from Partner]

Interview : Partner

Q. Partnerを結成したいきさつを教えてください。私達は大学のカフェテリアで出会ったの。出会ってからすぐに、興味を持ってることにたくさん共通点があるって分かって。二人ともギターを弾いてたし。私達は何年間か一緒に演奏を合わせたり、他のバンドの中でも演奏したりしてきた。それから2014年の夏に、一緒に一つの家に引っ越して、最初のパートナーの歌を書き始めたの。Q. Partnerという名前をつけた理由を教えてください。私達が求めている曲のバイブスをPartnerって言葉が表していて、自分達の歌に合ってると思ったから、その名前を選んだの。たくさんの人がその単語をロマンチックな感じで使うから、冗談みたいなふざけた感じの名前だけどね。まあ、私達は音楽面でのパートナーだけど。Q. 最近聴いた作品の中でも非常にワクワクするサウンドでした。曲作りは二人で話し合いながらすすめておられるのでしょうか?今回、どういう形で行われましたか? ありがとう!このアルバムは、2016年にトロントのCandle Recordingスタジオでレコーディングしたの。私達はいつでもコンセプトを持ってレコーディングを始めるのよ。アイデアを練っていく段階で、まず最初にひっかかりがあって、それから歌詞を書いて、構成をきめて、バンドに伝えるの。いつも土台をしっかり固めてから始めることが重要だと思っていて、そこからどんどん作っていくのよ。Q.『In Search Of Lost Time』に込められた意味を教えてください。Marcel Proustの同名の作品にちなんで名前をつけたのよ。私達の曲の多くは時間の流れやノスタルジックな気分を反映していて、そのタイトルがすごく合ってると思ったの。アルバムを録り終える何年か前にもう名前を決めていたのよ。Q. ギターソロのパートが多い印象を受けました。なぜそういう曲の作り方をしておられるのでしょうか?ありがとう。私達は二人ともギターが大好きで、クラシックロックに夢中だから、ギターソロで曲を強調するのは自然なことなの。ワクワクさせる曲にできるし、言葉では表せない表現ができる。今は他の楽器でのソロのやり方は分からないけど、いつか別の形のソロをするかもしれないけどね。Q. あなたがたのハーモニーはとても美しいです。双子のように声質が似ているように思えました。お二人がバンドのフロントマンの役割を担っていると聞きましたが、どうやってメインパートとバックボーカルとの役割を決めておられますか?ありがとう!私達はよく自分達を双子みたいに思うことがあるわ。たいてい、どっちの歌詞がどっちの個性と合っているかで決めるか、Josée が高いパートを歌う傾向があるかな。彼女は高音を歌えるから。歌詞を分けてそれぞれが書いて、自分の書いた部分を歌うこともあるわ。Q. 二人が歌っているパートは浮遊感があって、とても心地よいです。コーラスの重ね方が独特で、とても印象的だと思いましたが、どのようにコーラスワークを作られていますか?参考にしている曲やアーティストなどはいますか?声に関しては、私達はよくBreeders やVeruca Saltと比べられるの。確かに90年代のボーカルハーモニーのスタイルには影響を受けてるかな。90年代の音楽をたくさん聴いていたし、間違いなく影響されていると思う。Q. ソウルっぽかったり、爽やかだったり、感情的だったり、歌い方に変化があって、表現力の豊かさに驚かされました。曲によって意識的に歌い方を変えておられますか?どんな風に歌い方を決めていますか? 歌い方は感情からくるものよ。割とすごく自然にしてて、その歌が聴こえるべきように感じた方法で歌っているだけ。その曲のテーマとか歌のスタイルに合わせているのよ。Q. 今回のアルバムは全体がラジオを聴いているような作りで、非常に面白くユニークだと思いました。どういうコンセプトで作られたのでしょうか?また、なぜこういう作りにされましたか?アルバムを作るとき、それが楽しくて喜びに溢れてて、嘘のないものであってほしいと思ったの。すべての歌が心からのものだったし、ただ単に私達の真実を世界中に分け合いたいと思って、楽しんでやりたかったの。Q. すべての曲間の流れが非常にスムーズで、途切れることなく次の曲が始まって、アルバム自体が一つの物語のように聞こえました。音楽が1曲単位で売られている現状の中で、アルバム全体を楽しんでほしいと思って作られている印象を受けました。曲順など意識した部分はありますか?また、リスナーの聴き方を意識して作られましたか?曲順には特にこだわったわ。歌は意味をなすためには確かな順序で並べられなくてはいけないと思っていて、語られるべきストーリーがそうすることで語られるの。私達のアルバムを聴きたいと思った誰かにとって、アルバム全体がすべての経験として聴いてもらえるものにしたかったの。Q. Partnerの音楽性に影響を与えたアーティストについて教えてください。たくさんのアーティストに影響を受けてきたわ。Jimi Hendrix、 Blink 182、 Ween、 Hole、 Avril Lavigne、 Metallica、 Celine Dionとかね。私達が若いころに影響を受けたアーティストもいるし、その姿勢やサウンドに影響を受けたアーティストもいる。そのアーティストの全てが真実を歌っていて、その部分が私達がいいと思っているところなの。 Q. 今作をどんな風に聴いてほしいですか?どんな形でもいいから、聴いてほしい。レコードやCDを買ってくれてもいいし。ストリーミングで聴くのもいいし。友達から借りてくれてもいい。聴いてくれるすべての人に感謝するわ!Q. あなたがたの次の活動が楽しみです。今後の計画や次の目標は決まっていますか?EPをもうすぐ出す予定があるのよ。またお知らせするね。Q. 日本のリスナーへメッセージをお願いします。こんにちは日本の皆さん!聴いてくれてありがとう!そのうち日本でプレイできたらなあと願っています!                                                                                 [Answer from Partner]【Partner】

Interview with Fever Blush

Q. How did you guys meet? Can you detail your story behind you forming the band?We initially met because we were all involved in the Nashville DIY scene individually. We all played in different bands and would play shows together at the local spots. We formed Fever Blush knowing we were all like minded in being very song-centered, meaning we had a similar understanding of the importance of the song and value strong songwriting over any other aspect of being in a band. When we first started, we wrote together for like 30 hours over the course of a few days and completed our first few songs. Some of those we don’t play anymore, some of which we revisited and rewrote, some of which remain almost exactly the same as the day we wrote them over two years ago. - ChaseQ. Please tell us the Origin of your band name Fever Blush, and your experience or experiences when you decided the name. We performed under a few different names until we settled on Fever Blush. Lean was the name we had prior, and we had to change it because we found out there was another band using that same name. We knew we had to change our name before we could release the EP “Remember, Forget,” and we decided on Fever Blush pretty quickly. - JennaQ. Your music includes beautiful noise and it’s dreamy at the same time. Do you create all music together? How did you create and record your songs?We’ve written every song together so far. One of us usually comes to band practice with an instrumentation idea like a chord progression or a lead guitar line, and then we work off of that all together at the same time. I usually try to figure out vocal melodies while everyone else is playing. We play around with noise while writing and a lot while we are recording. These songs we recorded in two places. Some of it was done in a studio called 4115, and Chase recorded a lot of it at his house where we wrote the songs originally. - JennaQ. All the songs in this EP are changeable and it shows a lot of expressions. Jenna’s vocals are sweet and subtle which is fascinating, and we think the vocals, the backing vocals, and the music itself are a perfect balance! How do you create your vocals and all your harmonies? Is there anything you are particular about when creating your wonderful harmonies?Jenna and I work really hard on the melodies and lyrics. Usually, it’s us digging deep into her ideas to shape and form them into what best serves the song itself. I love doing harmonies and it’s a pleasure being able to support Jenna vocally. Our voices both compliment the other’s very well, which makes writing much easier in that way. We like the girl/boy dynamic vocally, but we always try to avoid sounding like it’s a duet. That’s a blurry line sometimes, so we spend lots of time on vocals when writing and recording in order to land on the perfect melodies, harmonies, and lyrics. -Chase

Interview : Fever Blush

Q.  バンドを結成したいきさつを教えてください。僕らは最初、それぞれにナッシュビルのDIYシーンで活動していて出会ったんだ。皆違うバンドで活動していて、よく地元の色んな場所で一緒にライブをしてたんだ。僕らは全員が、かなり曲を重視するっていう考え方が同じだって分かってFever Blushを結成したんだ。つまり、バンドとしての他のどの側面よりも、曲を書くことに重点を置いてて、曲の重要性について同じ考えを持っていたってことだよ。僕らはバンドを始めたころ、数日間にわたって約30時間一緒に曲を書いて、最初の数曲完成させたんだ。このうちのいくつかの曲はもう演奏していないものもあるし、考え直して書き換えたものもある。2年ほど前に僕らが書いたあの時とほとんど同じ状態で変わっていない曲もあるよ。– ChaseQ.   Fever Blushの名前の由来を教えてください。またどうやってバンド名を決めたのでしょうか?私達がFever Blushって名前に落ち着くまでは、いくつか違う名前で活動してたの。以前は、Leanって名前で活動していたんだけど、同じ名前を使ってるバンドが他にもいることが分かって、名前を変えなければならなくなったの。私達はEPの『Remember, Forget』を出す前には名前を変えなきゃいけないって分かっていたから、かなり急いでFever Blushって名前をつけたのよ。– JennaQ.   あなた方の音楽はノイジーかつドリーミーで、非常に魅力的なサウンドだと思いました。曲作りはどんな風に取り組まれていますか?今作はどのように作曲、レコーディングされましたか?私達は今のところ、すべての曲を皆で書いているわ。私達の誰か一人が、たいていコード進行やリードギターのラインのようなアイデアを持ってバンドの練習に来るから、そのときのコードやラインから皆で一緒に曲を作り上げていくの。私は大体皆が演奏している間にボーカルのメロディーを考えだすことが多いかな。私達は曲作りの間にノイズで色々遊んでみるのが好きで、レコーディングの最中もたくさん試してみるの。こうやってできた曲を、2つの場所でレコーディングしたのよ。何曲かは4115と呼ばれるスタジオで録音して、その他のほとんどの曲は私達が最初に曲を書いたChaseの家で録音したのよ。– JennaQ. どの曲も変化があって表情が違うのに、Jennaさんの甘く繊細な歌声が非常に魅力的で、ボーカルとバックボーカル、サウンドのバランスが絶妙だと思いました。サウンドとボーカルのハーモニーを作り出すのに、意識しておられることはありますか?Jennaと僕は、メロディーと歌詞を作ることにすごく力を入れてやっているんだ。大体、彼女のアイデアを深く掘り下げていって形にして、その曲に一番合うように作っていくんだ。僕はハモりが好きで、Jennaの声をボーカルで支えられるのが楽しい。僕らの声はお互いをすごく引き立てあうから、そういう面では、曲を書くことは比較的簡単だと思う。僕らは女性と男性の変化のあるボーカルが好きなんだけど、いつもデュエットみたいには聴こえないようにしているんだ。時々、そこが曖昧になっちゃうから、完璧なメロディー、ハーモニー、歌詞にするために、曲作りとレコーディングにはたくさんの時間をかけるようにしているんだよ。– Chase