INTERVIEW 63. masami tsuchiya (wallflower)

There's a group of artists in the roots of indie music, that decided to make music because they wanted to sound like their favorite band.
While some may see their sound as a simple copy or homage, I tend to approach this issue a bit differently.
I'm constantly talking about "universes" here. And the bands that I tend to fall for, usually are successful - at least in my subjective eyes - in creating this "musical zone" that is theirs.
If every person is different and everyone has an unique reality, is not stupid to think that what may sound similar actually holds an aesthetic that came from one mind in a particular environment that has no parallels with anything else. That's where you'll find the value of creation. And this may seem naive but, the simple fact of getting in touch with someone's creation is already a valid and worthwhile experience. Specially if that creation sounds good as hell and is catchy as a bubblegum stuck under your shoes.
This introduction leads us to Wallflower: a 4-piece band from Osaka, Japan creating catchy tunes and following the paths of The Field Mice, Brighter and  - the most direct and obvious comparison - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.
Wallflower's music takes me back to early TPOBPAH music - remember 'Orchard Of My Eye'? - and its naivety.
While the shadow of TPOBPAH is always there, Matsumi, Ryuka, Haruyo and Naohiro own their haven of noise and delicacy with jangly guitars, soft vocals and indie beauty.
Either way, never let comparisons lead you to rushed conclusions. Awesome, catchy music will always be welcomed and praised.

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After the jump, you'll find Masami's interview.

01. How's your day?
Not too bad. But I kept sneezing because of pollen...

02. What is your first musical memory?
My earliest musical memory is "The Ballad of John and Yoko" in my father's car. I don't remember exactly when, but maybe I was 3 or 4 on the way to travel somewhere. My father loved The Beatles and he always sang their songs playing the guitar or the piano. He taught their lyrics to my sister and me as Katakana and then we sang them together.

03. When did you started Wallflower? And why the name?
I started Wallflower on July 2011 with Ryuta. Some time after we started the band, Ryuta lent me the book called “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower” and I got to know the meaning of the word “Wallflower”. It is the name of a flower but at the same it comes from literal translation “Wall-Flower”. It means a person at the party who is standing alone by the wall without speaking to someone because of her shyness. Brighter and The Monochrome Set's song “Wallflower” are my favorites as well.
I had a deep conviction for the image of the word and the meaning of “Wallflower”. That's why I picked this word as the name of the band.

04. If Wallflower were a planet, how would it look like?
It's an interesting question. I think if Wallflower were a planet... maybe it'd be filled with flowers. And there would be many animals, birds and insects. Surrounded by untouched nature beauty and would be always spring or early summer. Only a few people would calmly live there... in different places with some old architecture filled with things they like.
Maybe these images are mainly affected by the secret garden of Shuwa of "Nausikaä of The Valley of The Wind" (comic version) or The world in the dream of “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World”.
I long for such a calm closed place filled with my favorite things with only a few people who like me and whom I like.

05. Where do you record your music? Could you send a photo or describe the place you make your music?
All songs are written and edited in my room. But some ideas appear in my daily life. When I come up with these good ideas outdoors, I hum melodies and record them using my iPhone. When I come back home, I listen these materials and create the rough demo playing the guitar. Then we record the most part of our songs at rental studios in our city because we don’t have our own drum kit or guitar amps. And none of us have any room where we're allowed to make loud noises. We need our own studio. (By the way the photo I attached is my desk.)

06. Talk a bit about your debut EP "Filled with Flowers". It screams references from the C86 era and Sarah Records and steps into the 90s with some echoes of guitar pop. What are your references? What were your ideas while making the EP?
I really love such guitar pop bands! I’m mainly affected by Brighter, Another Sunny Day, Razorcuts, Rocketship, early My Bloody Valentine or Primal Scream, and the pop sides of The Cure.
But while we were making the EP, I didn’t have definitive images because we did it only after a month we started the band. I just tried to combine the elements I like. Bright warm guitar sounds, simple chords and bass lines, tight drum patterns, mix of male and female whisper voices, and quotes from my favorite things.
Consequently I couldn’t trace the images in my head perfectly. Each song got different colors inconsistently. So, to be honest, now I can’t stand to listen the EP. But I don’t hate the EP. Because of it, I could confirm the sounds that I wanted to make.

07. Place and time to listen to Wallflower.
Anywhere or anytime you are alone.

08. What are your plans for 2013? New songs coming up?
Now we are in the process of making our debut album. And also we are planning to release a couple of singles. It will be released soon.
I hope you’ll like it!

09. Name a few songs you've been listening lately.





10. How's the indiepop scene in Osaka? Any bands we should listen to?
Hard to say, but it's boring. Only a few bands are good. Here, an indie pop scene doesn’t exist. But there are some great parties in Osaka. Like OZ, Anorak Days and Honey Bee Party. They’ve held their great parties almost every month in Osaka. So if you come to Osaka, you should research when these parties will be held!

11. Anything else you feel like saying?
Thanks to ask me questions for the interview! I’m so glad to have this great chance. And at the end, I wanna say sorry that my English is so terrible. I couldn’t try to tell any jokes...
Anyway I’ll keep reading your great blog. Thanks Felipe!

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