My Hawaii played an unforgettable show at the Echo on Tuesday Aug. 27. This conversation happened while hanging out with the band on the patio at the Echo. The following is from a recorded conversation with the band. Due to the overlapping nature of a conversation and avoiding redundancy in print, responses are fittingly designated to the appropriate band member in the conversation.
Interviewer: How do you dig into writing?
Yohei: So far, with all the songs we’ve been playing, and we played tonight, it’s mostly that I wrote them. I kind of made it and recorded myself at the studio, and I asked these guys to play it. They learned it and then they took it this extra step. And then we play it live. Because with all these songs, when I made it, I didn’t intend to play live. So you know it was virtually impossible, but then these guys kind of made it possible so now we play.
Interviewer: Do you plan on doing out of town stuff or is this primarily an in town thing?
Yohei: We’d love to but it’s a six piece and it’s gonna be really difficult to do.
Dan: We want to do it, we’re gonna do it.
The band laughed but there was an underlying sense that the band could speak for what Yohei really wanted. This project was meant to spread the joy of making music together. A redundancy develops often times in bands that keep playing the same tunes over and over. Rehearse songs to death and then play those same tunes live, but with an emotion like that was the best it’s been played before. It seems like that would be against Yohei’s vision for this project. That’s where this impossibility factor comes in that Yohei mentions. However, touring could be in the future of this project but some would suspect that each night would be a completely different show.
Interviewer: What inspires you when you write? (yeah, kind of general, but it’s fun to see what makes artists’ tick)
Yohei: Records, I love listening to records, so yeah, that mostly, I think. What, it’s not funny.
Justin: It’s sad, okay. I’m not gonna joke about it.
Jens: It could be a myriad of different things. Sometimes it’s like a poem or something, and there’s a line in it. Like a really cool line and maybe I could steal it, for lack of a better word, and maybe write a song around it. Or maybe a cool chord progression I fumble upon and I’ll write around that. Also, like a groove.
Grant: I guess I just go with whatever feels good, you know.
Interviewer: Do you find yourselves morning writer’s or night writer’s?
Grant: Definitely night.
Jens: Well, early morning, like three or four in the morning. But sometimes you can’t, sometimes it’s in the middle of the day. And it just hits you.
Dan: I dreamt something that we’re gonna write around, actually. I had a dream and just woke up with something. It happened to me before but it would either be another song or something really shitty. You know, this thing that I played you is the first time that what I dreamed was really good, so I guess my dreams are getting better.
Interviewer: So the keyboards are sitting on a cabinet, is that a Leslie cabinet or what is that?
Jens: It’s not, but we get that a lot.
Yohei: It’s called a harmonium. It’s like a pump organ, but there’s a motor in it. So it pumps itself.
Interviewer: So it sounds like a rotating speaker?
Jens: No, no, no, that Yamaha amp that’s behind us is a rotating speaker. And the Nord that we’re playing the B3 pad is going through that.
Yohei: So basically we’re disguising the lameness.
Interviewer: No, it sounded great.
Jens: Yeah, it sounds good, but the harmonium is basically furniture. It doesn’t need a speaker, it is one, in and of itself. It gets mic’d up.
Interviewer: So you were also both playing the xylophone?
Miles: Well, his instrument is marimbas and mine is the glockenspiel.
Interviewer: A lot of people say that drummers just keep time but you were carrying melody too.
Justin: Well these guys are musicians.
This was a favorite line in the interview so far. This really sums up the status of this group. The idea is simple but this is a band of multi-instrumentalists. There are a few more minutes left of this interview and it will come out in the next few days. Check back very soon.