Formed in New York City in 2001, the band Asobi Seksu and its core members Yuki Chikudate (vocals, keyboards) and James Hanna (guitar) cut their teeth in the indie shoegaze and dream pop scene as it graduated from a dense, textured guitar-based sound to a more abstract, atmospheric approach.
Fluorescence, the band’s fourth and latest studio album, hits stores today (Feb. 15). I caught up with Chikudate prior to the band’s sold out show at New York’s Mercury Lounge later this week for this exclusive interview.
What kind of goals did you and James have recording Fluorescence?
We knew that we were interested in making an album that better captured what we sound like live. We wanted it to be colorful.
How did you approach the recording compared to your other albums?
The approach was to let go and have fun. I think we felt a lot more relaxed this time—it was summer.
Do you have any other special plans for promoting the album in addition to touring?
Hoping to play some festivals this year—outdoor shows are the best!
I read that you grew up in Southern California and attended a school for children of Japanese expatriates who planned to return home after several years abroad. Was this your first brush with Japanese culture outside the home, and how do you think the experience influenced your view of Japan or the way this aspect of its society operates?
I was born in Japan, so no, it wasn’t my first experience with Japanese culture outside my home. My view of Japan was that all my family was there. Sometimes I wished that it wasn’t so far away. As a kid, the strict disciplinary nature of Japanese school sucked!
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