‘Let’s send a pizza to space, that’s a pretty good idea’: An interview with Anamanaguchi

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I met up with all four member of Ananamaguchi in their tour bus prior to their fantastic set at Southsea Festival in Portsmouth.

Hello Anamanaguchi!

Helloooo! Bonne soire!

You guys have come from Manchester today?

That’s correct. We slept through most of the journey.

I think of Manchester as being miles and miles away, but I guess it’s not so bad compared to America…!

We’re used to some crazy overnight drives through the middle of Texas  – you won’t see a person for hours!

Have you been to Southsea before?

No, we’ve never been to England!

So how was your Manchester show?

Manchester was a lot of fun. We were playing a small festival of people who use mainly old video game hardware and computers to make music. There were a lot of people there who really enjoy that scene and lots of people who have been part of it for years and years. It was a good crowd. Then just a lot of people who just thought we were fun and wanted to see us play!

I think the fun aspect is a big part of your performance, lots of energy!

Yeah we definitely like fun! It’s weird, I’ve been thinking about it more as we’ve been playing a lot of shows – the good time that everyone has when we play shows.  Then I just think about bands like Low, or something like that – why would anyone do that? I love that music so much, but I’d never ever want to make it. When you have a show you kinda have an agenda – if anyone’s having a bad time, I’m not doing my job!

I love your videos; who is it that directs your videos? Do you sit down and have a big meeting?

Yeah, it usually starts with pretty little ideas and then we’ll just spend hours punching them out. In the last one we kinda just were like ‘let’s send a pizza to space, that’s a pretty good idea’. 

It’s cool that you genuinely did that! What about the pizza?

We got it back!

I don’t think I’d eat it after that!

Yeah, space germs. It’s all covered in alien asteroid dust.

So, you’re doing London and Brighton, excited for that?

Yes I’m so excited! We’ve wanted to play London for the past three years, probably longer!

Will you have the chance to explore and see a bit of London?

We were there for two days a couple of days ago. We didn’t meet Ben yet, but we’d love to meet him.We’ll spend some time with Ben.

From what we understand, you can’t really mess with him because he’s really big.

It’s unfortunate it’s just gone cold in the UK after a nice summer.

We had a great summer in New York!

I was actually really surprised, I was packing stuff and this sweater I have on… jumper, jumper that I have on! I was like ‘maybe I won’t bring this’. Glad I did!

You’ll eventually end up in New York at the end of the tour, what’s the home crowd like?

Great! We’re not gonna play a show when we get back for a long time. It’ll be December.

December isn’t too far away!

It feels really far cos of like how much shit we’ve been doing recently. It’ll be our Christmas present to the city.

Pretty much after fall starts it’s all just anticipating Christmas for me. I started writing my letter to Santa… Father Christmas.

You did the soundtrack to the Scott Pilgrim video game, have you got anymore video game soundtracks in the works?

There’s no plans for it, but if the right project came along, we’d be down for it, if it was cool.

What would be your dream piece of merch?

There’s probably an answer that we can give that would be our general favourite thing that no-one else would want to buy. We come up with strange stuff, but we actually end up doing a lot of it. Not all the time.

We’re talking about making wireless lighting stuff, like cubes that people can buy when they come to the show?

You do all the light rigging yourself, you have a lot to do when you get to the venue!

Oh yeah! It’s all in the back – we’ll do a strip down thing tonight, but we flew it in for the first time here. Nothing broke!

You’re not restricted to a label, do you find that gives you more freedom?

Yeah totally. We’re on Alcopop here, but obviously they were chill enough and respectful to not put a restriction on it – if we like it enough, put it out! Can’t ask for more than that. We released Endless Fantasy with them.

They actually asked us to re-record all our lyrics in British accents before sending it out.

Are you serious? Oh, wait, I can’t do sarcasm!

Oh no!

I’m intrigued by the way you produce music – say I decided I want to buy an old bit of video game stuff and make sounds with it, how on earth do I go about that?

We’re the only ones who can do it.

Legally copyrighted. It’s really easy to do, but we’ve got a patent. If you were us, oh my God it would be so easy!

There a tutorials online – Google is the best place.

Thanks to Anamanaguchi, who will next be in the UK in February 2014. Image courtesy of the band.

 

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