Kikagaku Moyo chat their new album and creating opportunities for underground Asian bands

Floating through the free-flowing psychedelia of Kikagaku Moyo is an experience like no other. The band weave together boundless soundscapes of crunching guitar riffs, dreamy sitar lines, and addictive vocal hooks.

So a few weeks removed from the release of their latest album Masana Temples, we caught up with Go Kurosawa to chat about the new album, keeping things authentic, and breathing life into the Asian underground music scene.

Photo: Jamie Wdziekonski

Even when we make mistakes, we still want to keep our raw energy“: We caught up with Kikagaku Moyo’s Go Kurosawa for a chat.

HAPPY: Hey how are you? What are you all up to at the moment?

GO: I am doing great! I’m sitting in the back of a van and watching Kotsuguy play Megaman on Super Nintendo. We are heading to New Orleans.

HAPPY: It’s been a couple of weeks now since Masana Temples dropped… how are you feeling about the album now that you’ve had a bit of time to sit on it?

GO: Actually we haven’t had time to listen to the record yet, but we are playing songs from the album on the tour. We are excited to see how those songs will be developed during the tour.

HAPPY: I understand you never record a song in more than two takes… could you tell us a bit about your recording process? Why do you choose to do things this way?

GO: We don’t play well when we feel like we can do it many times. Even when we make mistakes, we still want to keep our raw energy. It’s important for us to be honest and who we are in the record and live.

HAPPY: I’m really curious about your band’s jam sessions… could you walk us through what your jam sessions look like?

GO: Usually someone just starts playing and someone else tries to add other elements, and we usually switch the instruments around and play a jam.

HAPPY: You’ve spent a lot of time recording with Yui Kimijima… could you tell us a bit about what it was like to work with him?

GO: Working with Yui is very relaxing. He also does FOH for our European tour too. He used to play in a legendary band called Gaji. I like his approach where he doubts the conventional way of using microphones, and he’s always trying new ways.

HAPPY: You launched your own record label Guruguru Brain… what were you aiming to do when you launched this new label?

GO: It’s not really a new label anymore. We released other artists before we released our material. We were aiming to contribute to the Asian music scene… trying to create more opportunities for Asian bands to tour in Europe and the US. We’re trying to take down this unbalance in the rock scene where there are only English speakers and European bands.

HAPPY: Are there any other Asian underground bands we should be keeping an eye on?

GO: All the artists on Guruguru Brain!

HAPPY: Earlier this year you came to Australia for Gizzfest… can we expect you back in Australia any time soon?

GO: We love touring in Australia, that’s where we first started touring. Please give us an offer and we will be back.

HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!

GO: Thank you for taking the time, and hope to see you soon!

Masana Temples is available now.