2013 has seen big things for everyone’s favourite Sydney group – Made In Japan. It has seen them travel to Brighton, play some killer lived show and marked the release of their well-received sophomore album ‘Tame All Those Thoughts’. It also meant that of course we here at Undercover FM were jumping up and down to catch a piece of the action.
Here’s how our interview with Bass Player Andrew Knox went down.
Undercover FM: How did it feel to play the 2013 Great Escape Festival?
Incredible, it came at a time when we were feeling a bit sorry for ourselves for missing out on a couple of great supports so when the invite came out of the blue we jumped at the chance. Playing alongside bands like Beach Fossils and King Krule was something we hadn’t foreseen so we’re we pretty chuffed when we saw the lineup. Luckily we managed to capture a lot of the moments in a little music video that you can find on our facebook page.
Undercover FM: What do you think the trip to Brighton meant for the band?
It made us realise that our future as a band isn’t restricted to Australia, as much as we’d love to be swept up by home crowds it’s been slow progress here and we’ve felt a bit out of sync with what’s happening here musically for a while now. I guess it’s just expanded our horizons a bit, we’re more open to the idea of setting up shop elsewhere. But if that all sounds a bit grandiose it’s meant we’ve got something to look back on when we’re all old and beige.
Undercover FM: What kind of crowd did you expect to see when you got there? What was their reaction to Made In Japan?
We had very modest expectations, we've played interstate shows where you end up knowing most of the audience by name by the end of the night so being on the other side of the globe had us a little worried. But luckily our first show at lunch time on day one of the festival was an almost full room! I think the Great Escape attracts a particularly avid music audience, the kind that spend long nights sidebar surfing on youtube, you could see people singing along to some of our tracks which was a little bit surreal, the internet huh.
Undercover FM: What has been the reaction so far to Tame All Those Thoughts?
We’ve had some really promising reviews so far in places like Indie Shuffle and Tone Deaf, I don’t think it’s quite on Pitchfork’s radar but only time will tell. A few reviewers have really bristled at the fact that it’s been classified as a dream pop record, which has given us a few laughs. We took a bit of a gamble on this one in that we decided to write it for ourselves and I think our fans have responded to that. Just like the first one we recorded all the instrumentals live rather than tracking separately which gives the whole thing more of an organic feel rather than some of the beat-mapped robotic stuff coming out of big studios. The consensus seems to be that it has an authenticity to it and we couldn’t ask for much more than that.
Undercover FM: What do you hope you fans take away from the album?
I hope they find it thought provoking and uplifting, while there’s some somber moods I think there's a lot of euphoria in this one and I hope people are able to get lost in these lush soundscapes, you know that feeling you get when you realise you've been getting a bit carried away with your headphones on in public? I hope they get that.
Undercover FM: Im sure you get asked this all the time - but I'm curious - Where did the name 'Made In Japan' come from?
There’s a lot of speculation about that and there’s actually no consensus either within or outside of the band. Here are a few explanations that are thrown around:
1) Taken from a line in Back to the Future III
Young Doc: No wonder this circuit failed. It says "Made in Japan".
Marty McFly: What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan.
2) (The most probable option) It’s taken from the headstock of Tom/Jono’s guitars, both Japanese Fender Stratocasters with ‘Made in Japan’ inscribed
Undercover FM: What is next for you guys?
Demoing material for the next album, we've got a handful of tracks on the go now and it's looking very promising, something of a tangent but still very Made in Japan. I think we'll be a little more transparent with this one and give our fans more to keep them interested between albums. We'd love to do another overseas tour sometime soon but at this point it's not viable, unless of course Glastonbury were to drop us a line....