By Tiffany Carbon
Before she hits Royale on April 1st and 6th, Japanese Breakfast sits down with WERS to discuss her career and what she's looking forward to most in Boston.
What was your biggest inspiration to pursue music?
I was 15 when I started playing songs. I think one of my biggest inspirations was growing up in the Pacific Northwest and the popularity of anti folk / K records bands of that time. It was an easy access point to make you feel like you could sort of do it too. Lo-fi made you feel like you didn't have to have the greatest voice or recording tech or be the best at guitar to create something compelling.
What did you grow up listening to and does that influence your sound now?
So bands like Mount Eerie, Joanna Newsom, Kimya Dawson above. And then indie rock like Built to Spill, Death Cab, and Elliott Smith. I was inspired by really personal lyrics with really dynamic arrangements.
Tell us your favorite thing, or what you're looking forward to, about playing in Boston.
We love Boston! I'm excited to debut a new song we've been working on that's possibly the saddest song I've ever written. Boston shows are always very fun because of the people.
Are there any other genres of music that you would like to experiment with - possibly on your next album?
I definitely am interested in pushing myself as a producer and incorporating more electronic elements. I'd love to make a happier, more upbeat record.
There's a sense of community between all the women that are dominating the alternative/indie-rock genre, how does that feel?
It feels great. It's an amazing thing to have that support system and I feel really lucky to have made such fiercely talented friends.
I noticed that you don't take yourself too seriously when performing. Was having fun onstage something that you had to learn, or did it just come naturally?
[Laughing] I think it came naturally. It's easy to enjoy yourself when you've got your dream job and people are supporting you.
What song do you enjoy performing the most?
I think it depends on the night. I love playing "The Woman that Loves You" cause I get to sort of move around without a guitar and I like "Diving Woman" because I get to zone out with my guitar more.
How you do think you've grown going from Little Girl Big Spoon to Japanese Breakfast?
Oh god in every way possible. That's 15 years of writing and producing songs and also just developing into a hopefully better person. When I listen back to old recordings I think the biggest growth is just finding my voice. The way I sing now is much stronger and I'm not putting anything on.
You've been in two bands before, so what made you decide it was time to go solo?
It was all circumstantial. I started writing the first songs for Japanese Breakfast when my old band Little Big League sort of didn't need new material and I was feeling inspired and still wanted to be writing songs. That was June. Just kind of an escape from the cycle of having to wait so long for something to come out and just releasing lo-fi songs on Bandcamp immediately. I shifted focus to my solo project because I had to move to Eugene to help take care of my family when my mom was dying. So Little Big League went on hiatus and I just started working on my own songs because I was alone.
Would you ever consider joining another band?
Possibly. I am interested in collaborating with certain people but it'd have to be super special and right.