Interviews

Ferocious Haiku Hands are untamed and killing it

Haiku Hands have dropped their new single  ‘Conclusions’ along with a self-produced music video that will make you want to drive around with the windows down blasting this brand new beat.

Haiku Hands have said: “Conclusions is a driving in the car late at night, volume maxed, head banging, face scrunching kind of track.”

The group really have it all going on at the moment with their Australian Album Tour We Got Vinyl about to kick off next year. The wildly unconventional Haiku Hands (Beatrice Lewis, Claire Nakazawa and Mie Nakazawa) told us about writing this ode to cutting loose and their thoughts on going against the grain.

Photo credit: Cybele Malinowski

HAPPY: Your new single Conclusions is coming out and we also want to chat about your upcoming tour! In relation to your last single, Conclusions has a totally different vibe to start off, it’s almost eery for at least the first minute before a huge drop. You mentioned that you wrote the song as a kind of stream of consciousness, I want to know who’s consciousness was that? Or were all three of you sitting at the phone, freestyling over the beat?

CLAIRE: We were in a studio and just all freestyling over a beat. We were like ‘Can we play with autotune?’ So we just put our mics on autotune and just free-styled and then we came back and were like ‘Oh it sounds kind of like we’re saying this here and it sounds like we’re saying this here’, and then added a few lines. Yeah at the time I was like ‘Oh I don’t really know what this song is about.’ But not, with some space away from it I’m like ‘Oh okay, it’s about this and that.’

I don’t want to be too descriptive cause I like people to have their own feelings.

HAPPY: When you were describing the song, you referred to the dog bark as a guard dog in a car yard. Where did that come from? Was that in the beat already when you got it?

EVERYONE: No!

CLAIRE: You want to tell the story Mie?

MIE: Well the story was we were going to go get coffee or lunch and we were walking past this construction and the construction is right next to the studio and these dogs had been there most of the time, whenever I do go down to Melbourne as we do recording. They’re a bit scary and they were just barking and I was like ‘Quick record it!’. So that’s the end of that story. It was just an impulsive kind of thing to get it and fit it in.

HAPPY: I like it a lot. The impulse fits in well with the nature of all of your music.

MIE: Yeah definitely.

HAPPY: Without wanting to read too far into the lyrics there is a part of the hook that says ‘Everybody has to come to their own conclusion’ and it made me think of the global climate at the moment and people arguing over everything. I loved the point you guys made that it doesn’t matter when you’re in the zone. Would you say that’s something you’ve done over the past couple of years to stay out of everything?

CLAIRE: Politically?

HAPPY: Not just politically, more in terms of your own wellbeing. Is getting in the zone, listening to good tunes and making good tunes a part of looking after yourself?

CLAIRE: Yeah, I imagine we all have really personal responses to that. Well, I guess there’s two things like being in the zone is just such a special place to be that I think everyone can relate to. It becomes like nothing else matters. It’s like a point of connection between humans. It’s like oh you know we may disagree on all of these other things but we know what it feels like to be in the zone and that should be enough for us to connect and agree I guess. Or at least find peace. We wrote this song before the current social climate where everything just became you know, so much where everyone wants everyone [else] to have the same conclusions. I’m glad that in hindsight we are able to contribute this message to this situation because I think it’s a nice reminder for people to be like, ‘guys, everyone has different ideas, everyone has different beliefs, everyone comes to their own conclusions and it doesn’t actually matter to much because we all can still go to a party together and have a great time.’ We all used to connect in person all the time, it’s so different having this distance between us all it’s allowed everyone to become a bit more individualistic and feel disconnected like we have to think the same and be the same instead of, we can be different and we can still dance together at a party and that would be awesome.

HAPPY: I couldn’t agree more. That’s crazy to know you wrote this song before everything, it just shows you it’s such an evergreen message.

CLAIRE: It’s pretty funny we wrote this song before it all happened and the intro is, ‘World chuck a sick’ and ‘World gone mad’ and we were like ‘What the fuck?’ I didn’t think that would happen.

HAPPY: Yeah well we will listen to the next song and see what else you guys are predicting.

EVERYONE: Haha yeah!

HAPPY: Now you guys are often described as chaotic and rebellious and I get that listening to your music, it’s so evocative and punky so I wanted to know for each of you, would you say that’s an indication of your personalities?

MIE: Um, punky and rebellious? Yeah, I think that I am really defiant. I actually saw my mum the other day and she’s really defiant and I was like ‘Oooft, yeah I really got that trait.’ which makes me go in ways, for me I guess punk is like defiance and taking different paths, so I relate to that. I like not going to the mainstream personally, as much as I can. It’s hard not to but I get joy from thinking in different ways and being in different circles and climates and being with lots of people that have different experiences and backgrounds so in a way that’s rebellious compared to mainstream which is easy to just stay within a circle where you’re the same as everybody and you all have the same thinking. Which I 100% probably do, like everyone around me probably has very similar thinking to me and I think it’s so broad but it’s, I know it’s not but it’s still like maybe a bit more off centre.

HAPPY: I think that’s a really poignant response. Do you think you’ve been that way forever? I was thinking about how kids in high school would listen to you guys because I certainly have that angsty part of me still that won’t go away and I love the music because it’s so liberating and it made me wonder if I was listening to that in high school I would want to know what you guys were like in school. Were you rebellious then and always doing your own thing?

BEATRICE: Yep!

CLAIRE: What were you like in high school Bea?

BEATRICE: Ummmm, I was naughty! I went to boarding school, I got expelled from boarding school…

CLAIRE: What for?!

BEATRICE: I had a massive bottle of tequila under my bed from a party on the weekend and the cleaner found it. Yeah, I was naughty.

HAPPY: Can you tell me all about the music video you’re releasing with Conclusions?

CLAIRE: Yeah I was awake till 3.30last night finishing it so I feel crusty as.

MIE: Oh my god *laughs*

CLAIRE: But I’m really stoked with it, I’m really excited for it to come out I feel like it really suits the song. We all shot it in our own cities. We all just hooked up with a videographer friend and a friend to drive our car around. It’s a nighttime clip and I feel like the song as got a good driving energy so it’s a lot. We just had fun making it. It was just going to be a visualiser to start with then we were like ‘Oh no fuck it let’s make it as good as we can’ and it ended up being a full clip so I’m excited for that to come out.

MIE: And Claire edited the whole thing!

CLAIRE: Yeah absolutely DIY clip self-directed and self-edited it so it’s nice to really have our own voice come through in the storytelling in that way.

HAPPY: On the topic of visual media, I love the cover photo with the sweaters over your heads, who’s idea was that?

CLAIRE: Also spontaneous.

MIE: Yeah that was impulsive, we went out with a photographer Liz Ham and we just went out to this spot she had found and I don’t know who first put their jumper over their head but we just did it and took heaps of shots. I went through all the photos and that was the one that jumped out to me straight away. I feel like it really embodied a lot of things like the silliness, the confidence to be silly and proud and visually pleasing and I thought the three body shapes really hold the essence of Haiku Hands. We talk about juxtaposition a lot when we talk about visuals and our music so it’s like having quite beautiful image but also silly and a bit absurd.

HAPPY: Yeah, it feels perfectly symbolic of your music. Lastly, I want to ask about getting back on the road. I know you have heaps of shows and festivals lineup for 2022, do you have a favourite festival that you’re playing at?

CLAIRE: I’m really excited about WOMAD. I snuck in there one year, years ago as a punter and I was like ‘Woah this is awesome.’ It just feels like a really world-class, diverse lineup of different cultures and genres, different age groups from kids to old people to families. I just really like the vibe of WOMAD. And I’m sure there are others that we’re playing at that I’ve never been to before.

HAPPY: You’ll be having a vinyl pressed soon. Do you feel like you’re releasing in the midst of a vinyl renaissance?

CLAIRE: I more wanted to do it as a music lover and consumer, once you have a record, it’s like graduating as an artist or something. For me, it’s more a sentimental thing like ‘Oh we’re on vinyl, we are legitimate.’ It’s like locking it in or something I don’t know, I can’t describe it but even if we were only to get 100 copies pressed, I just want to get our album on vinyl because I’m proud of all the work that we did. It’s nice to have a physical copy of something that sounds really good quality. The sound of the album on the vinyl, I prefer it so much more to how it sounds digitally. It’s just nice to have.

HAPPY: It’s very cool to think of having a Haiku Hands vinyl in your collection, right next to The Beatles and the biggest things.

MIE: Yeah that’s what I thought too, I wonder who we’re gonna be put next to. To be sitting next to The Fugees or something.

CLAIRE: Yeah all the artists we love are all on vinyl so we wanted to be as well.

HAPPY: I hope you guys are super proud of yourself because I love the single, it’s so great.

EVERYONE: Thank you

CLAIRE: We love it!

MIE: I’m keen for when people do remixes of it!

HAPPY: Absolutely, I loved the remix of Eat This Bass.

 

‘Conclusions (feat. Suburban Dark)’ is available on all streaming services now.

Pre-order Haiku Hands vinyl here.

Interviewed by Chloe Maddren.

Photos supplied.