MONO/The Arches, Glasgow/10.6.11
You’re playing Glasgow on 10 June. Why should people take the time to come and check you out?
We are about to take more time off to finish composing our new album and record it by hopefully next year, so we wanted to take time for a small tour before we got back to Japan. It will take a while before we will play Scotland again.
Does Scotland hold many memories for you?
We played Scotland a few times, and we are friends with The Twilight Sad. The memories we have are memories of sharing great energy with our audiences.
Do you find it harder to connect with an audience because you play instrumental music?
No, we have not found it harder to connect with an audience because of this. Instrumental music leaves a lot of space for audiences to imagine the meanings behind songs. Although everyone’s interpretation of a song will be different, I believe the underlying emotion will be similar. Music translates into raw emotion, with or without words, and it’s this universal human emotion that allows us to connect.
What three bands would you say are your top three musical influences?
Beethoven, Ennio Morricone and Led Zeppelin.
You’re from Japan – has the country made any impact on your music?
I think Japan has affected our songwriting unconsciously. Since it is our heritage and home, I’m sure that elements of the Japanese culture come out in our creative process. But none of us actively follow Japanese pop culture as we are constantly on the road elsewhere. As a result, we’ve developed a stronger response to our music outside of Japan.
Mono’s live shows are described as ‘violently beautiful’. Is it a fair description to make?
I am thankful that people describe it this way. We always prefer performing live to recording because we feel such a gripping interchanging of energies with the crowd. It’s an exhilarating experience to be able to release all of our emotions on stage and connect to people who resonate with our music.
And finally, what is the best compliment someone has ever given your music?
There have been some compliments that still move me today when I think about them. After the release of ‘Hymn’, we received some mail from fans who had tumultuous pasts or a traumatizing memory that they were able to make peace with through our songs. To hear that even one of our songs can empower someone in such a way is the best compliment ever.