See Japandroids Tonight, Because The Band Might Break Up Tomorrow: An Interview With Guitarist Brian King

Categories: Interviews

Every interview I read with you guys, you talk about how the band could break up at any second, and you mentioned that possibility so casually just now. Why are you so obsessed with breaking up?

It's just kind of how we operate. We did break up one time and we decided to get back together when Post Nothing hit the Internet and it sort of picked up. We thought, "Let's get together and see if this is going to work. Let's just get together and do a few more shows. Let's do a tour. Let's make another record." We're only doing things one step at a time, that's as far forward as we look. We didn't even plan to make Celebration Rock until we were done touring on Post Nothing. Right now we have another tour scheduled and we have no plans after that. We operate very short term and it helps preserve the energy of the shows.

It helps us not take it for granted. How can I play an awesome show in a city if I know I'm going to be back here ten times in four or five years. I have to know this might be the last time we're playing this city, so we'd better make it fucking awesome. We're not obsessed. I think other people are obsessed, it's just how we are. I think people find success and assume they'll be together forever. We've been together longer than half of our favorite bands were together. We've been a band as long as the Beatles were together. We're not sure that we're going to do another record, we don't have any obligation contractually. We might decide that we made the best record we could potentially make and it's time to do something else.

Right now, does it seem possible to make a better record than Celebration Rock?

I don't know if it's possible. But after we made Post Nothing and it started getting great reviews and people came to our shows, we weren't sure that we could do something that people would like more. We weren't sure we could write a song better than "Young Hearts Spark Fire." We totally realized how there are so many bands who make an incredible first album and that's the one we always listen to but never listen to any of the others. We don't really know what to do to make a better record, so we can only make a record we think is better.

By the time it actually came time to write and record Celebration Rock, we had so many ideas of how to make the record better. I think by the time we've toured and had time to think about it, we got to see what the band does well and what the band doesn't do well. The type of songs on that record are the kind of songs that I think we make when we're at our best. I don't know if we'd do another record like that, Celebration Rock Part Two.

I've seen a lot of pictures of Japandroids live recently. Are youalways jumping?

In all fairness, I do a lot of standing around too, but jumping makes for better photographs. It looks better than when I'm standing there. When I'm at the microphone people stop taking pictures and when I'm done singing people start taking pictures because people want the fucking crazy action shot. If I went to see one of my favorite bands and got a picture of somebody jumping, I'd want to put it on the internet. I do a lot of jumping, I'm not denying it.

Last question: When you played on Fallon with that dude from the Roots -- was he as uncomfortable as he looked?

It was just weird because we've played together for so long and we've never played with anyone else. We don't jam or play with anyone else, and it's been just the two of us for so long that when anyone comes into that mix, it's super weird. We're so used to playing for each other, and then any outsider who jumps in to play with us just looks awkward because we're in our groove and they're just trying to find out their role when they don't really have a role at all. And we don't have to play in time as long as we have to play with each other.

But as soon as you play with someone who's a real musician, who can play in 4/4 time, it's weird. We play in Japandroids time, which is slowing down and speeding up and falling apart and coming back together. Playing with someone who's actually good, it's like, "You're speeding up, you're slowing down, what the fuck are you doing?" We don't notice because we're just used to it.

Location Info


The Firebird

2706 Olive St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

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