When:Aug. 31 at 9 p.m.
It’s been a rapid rise for Superorganism. Since releasing a self-titled debut in March, after the internet-rocking track Something for Your M.I.N.D., the band has been touring almost non-stop.
The press has embraced the group not just for its cuddly psychedelia, but also for its story — eight members, including a fresh-out-of-high-school Japanese-American lead singer, who have come together from points as diverse as New Zealand and South Korea to live and create together in a too-small house in East London.
Harry Young, guitarist/keyboardist, talked to us during a rare breathing spell at home about the upcoming tour, enjoying success and generation gaps:
Q: The tour bringing you to Vancouver is the band’s second North American tour this year. Has the show changed?
A: Yeah, it’s going to be a different show. We’re always making minor tweaks. But this time we’re adding songs to the set. It’s the same kind of concept and core to it. But if you went to any of the shows earlier in the year in Montreal or Toronto you’ll see a different show this time.
Q: There must have been several moments over the last few months where you’ve gone, “Wow. I never expected this to happen.”
A: Oh man I don’t even know where to start. There’s been so many. We recently did a remix of (U.K. hip-hop/electronica group) Gorillaz, and Robert (Strange, the band’s visual artist) worked on doing a video remix for them. That was a crazy moment for us because I grew up listening to Blur and then Gorillaz (both groups feature vocalist Damon Albarn). To have that kind of interaction and endorsement was an honour.
Also, when we’ve played festivals like Fuji Rock and Primavera Sound in Barcelona, it’s been amazing to see that many people who not only like our music but know it. When you’re in the moment you’re in there, and it’s not until after that you look back and go, “Whoa. That was actually kind of mind-blowing.”
Q: Your lead singer Orono Noguchi just turned 18, while the rest of the band members are in their late 20s or 30s. She’s probably more of a child of the internet than you are. Is there a generation gap?
A: I think that it (the internet) has levelled things out. It gives you the power to access culturally just about anything from any era. And so I feel like I’m at the start of the generation that’s pretty much grown up with always having access to that. And she’s at the latest end. Because of that, we weren’t subjected just to whatever was on TV where we grew up, or what was on the radio or what was stocked at the local record stores. A lot of the cultural touch points were kind of the same. There are always differences when you have people of different ages in any group. But in terms of cultural reference points, and what sort of things we’re interested in and are into, it levels out the differences. It homogenizes people in a weird way.
Q: Which band’s career would you most like to emulate?
A: It’s a bit tricky because there are people I admire like Beck and David Bowie and Kanye West. But they came up in such totally different eras. You couldn’t have a career like Bowie’s today. At the same time, there are certain artists whose progression you admire. We’ve become friends with the guys from (Scottish indie-rock band) Franz Ferdinand because we share a label (Domino). Those guys have been touring the world for 15 years, and they still love it. They still get along really well, and they’re upbeat, charming dudes. They don’t seem to have become jaded. That I find very inspiring.
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