Kikagaku Moyo was formed in Tokyo in the Summer of 2012 by Go Kurosawa and Tomo Katsurada. The band released their first S/T record in 2013 on Cosmic Eye Records/Sound Effect Records. Our friend Ryan Muldoon at Revolt of the Apes has compiled a list of 10 questions, answered by drummer GO, for Kikagaku Moyo in anticipation of their APF 2014 performance.
It’s our understanding that the name Kikagaku Moyo translates to â€œgeometric patternsâ€ â€“ what is it about this phrase that led you to select it as the band name? Do you feel a particular personal connection to geometric patterns? Did you ever have, or perhaps continue to have, a personal or spiritual fascination with geometric patterns?
When we first started jamming together, we would play music all night long. While we played for six hours straight in the darkness, I started seeing colors and patterns behind my eyelids. We were between sleep and awake, but would keep playing music. That is where I got the inspiration for the band name.
One of the many things that immediately appeals to us about the music of Kikagaku Moyo is its free-floating nature, unrestrained and never tied down to a specific, definable genre for very long â€“ which one might view as the opposite of something as rigid as a geometric pattern. Is there anything that you might call a theme â€“ or, indeed, a pattern â€“ that runs through your music?
This is because we all listen to different kinds of music and have different musical backgrounds. Also, we didn’t have the intention to start a psych band or a folk band. One of the main themes when we are making music is to be aware of the connection to nature. In the nature, you can find many geometric patterns: in snow flakes, honeycomb, or patterns on leaves.
What musical experiences did you have preceding Kikagaku Moyo that influenced your current sound? Can you think of a single band or album that most encouraged you to try to write or perform your own music? What was it about that music that struck you most directly at that time? How have your thoughts about this music changed over the years?
One of the musical experiences that influenced our music was busking on the street. Unlike performing at a concert, there is no time limit, but we still play in front of an audience. This expands our capability of performing. Also, we are influenced by ritualistic music. In ancient times, the purpose of music was a little different. It would be fantastic if we could be the guides to someone’s trip through a journey of the mind by playing music.
What led you to select the song â€œCan You Imagine Nothing?â€ as the first track of your unbelievably awesome self-titled EP? What can you tell us about the origin of the song? What does the idea of seeing nothing mean to you? And have we properly translated the title â€œZo No Senakaâ€ as â€œBack of an Elephantâ€? Can you shed any light on the spoken word section near the end of this song?
Actually, we made this song in the mountains. We spent a night there and started jamming on a bridge over a river. As we got into the song, the bridge started swinging and we felt we were floating in the air. There was nothing around us. Can you imagine?
In your mind, what is the ideal atmosphere for performing live with Kikagaku Moyo? How much improvisation is the band likely to engage in when playing live? What music have you seen live in the past year or so that continues to stick with you? What would be the ultimate Kikagaku Moyo show for you, real or imagined?
Well, in a live performance, we have never played a song without any improvisation. With improvisation, we can freely explore beyond our consciousness. The ultimate show would be if after we play our show, the audience’s faces melted along with our own.
Can you talk a little bit about your involvement with the Tokyo Psych Fest? What has been most rewarding about this experience for you thus far? What has been most challenging? What bands make up your â€œwish listâ€ or â€œdream teamâ€ that you would love to have at a future Tokyo Psych Fest?
Unlike the States or Europe, there is no scene here. We hope to create a scene, that’s why we do it every month. It has almost been a year since we started. It is rewarding to be able to make a connection with all the bands and people because we started this as soon as we formed the band and didn’t really know other bands. The most challenging is just simply to find a Japanese psych band. Our wish list would be 2-3 great bands from each era. Starting from Les Rallizes DÃ©nudÃ©s, Speed Glue Shinki, White Heaven, High Rise, Boris and Acid Mothers Temple.
What music have you been listening to lately? If push comes to shove, what is your favorite song by The Flower Travelin’ Band of all time, and why?
Recently, I listen to Luis Perez and Daniel Higgs. I like Hiroshima from Flower Travelin’ Band. Joe’s voice is amazing on that track.
How did you first hear about Austin Psych Fest? Are there any bands in particular that you hope to see during your time in Texas? What do you make of the fact that there will be not one, not two, but three Japanese bands (yourselves, Acid Mothers Temple and Mono) performing at Psych Fest this year?
I used to live in the States, and heard about it from a friend. I’m excited to see Steve Gunn, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, Boogarins, and Aqua Nebula Oscillator. AMT and Mono are two of my all time favorite bands, so it is an honor to be able to play at the same festival!
The American mathematician and game designer Martin Gardner â€“ who we think used to play drums for Acid Mothers Temple â€“ said the following:
â€œThere is still a difference between something and nothing, but it is purely geometrical and there is nothing behind the geometry.â€
We believe there’s something, even though there’s nothing
What’s next for Kikagaku Moyo?
Our second record will be released around May from Beyond Beyond is Beyond. Also, we are setting up a West Coast tour alongside APF. That’s exciting!
Catch Kikagaku Moyo at APF 2014 May 2 – 4. Tickets and camping passes are available for purchase HERE.