Multi-ARIA award winning band Birds Of Tokyo released their fourth studio album in March titled 'March Fires'.
The album became their first to hit the Number 1 position on the Australian Album Charts and also charted at #26 on the RIANZAlbum Chart in New Zealand; becoming the band's first international album chart debut.
We caught up with guitarist Adam Spark and found out what's new with the band.
It's been three years since you released your last album. What have you been up to during that time?
We've been writing a lot, we sort of wrote for about 18 months. We recorded the record for six months at the start of last year and then kind of killed the next six months doing nothing, just waiting for the record to come out (laughs). But we're always writing.
And you've had a bit of a change in the band with a new bassist.
Yeah, Ian (Berney) was added us our new bass player. And Glen (keyboardist Glenn Sarangapany) who has toured with us for quite a while, we made that kind of official as well. When our old bass player left it was a good time to make the transition. We thought "If we're going to do this we should do it all now".
Where did you record March Fires?
Mostly in Los Angeles, in a bunch of different studios there. But some of it was done in Sydney.
And was does the name March Fires mean?
We talked a lot about the concept of when you destroy something, the act of that itself is the creation of something. Like if you have a glass bowl and destroy it, being in pieces is kind of its own new piece... kind of just laying out the junk if that makes sense.
And you wrote some of the album in France?
Yeah. The main two singles off the album 'Lanterns' and 'This fire' sort of had their crowning moments there. It was really cool. It seems like an extravagance to do that, but in all the times we've been doing this we're just very frightened and frugal dudes... we never lash out or do anything crazy. So we just hit a point and thought "You know what, let's just get away for a while and go somewhere fun and completely removed". And it was so worth it.
Which part of France were you in?
We were in the south. We got out of the airport in Nice and couldn't even fit everything in the car. We had guitars hanging out... it was kind of like a classic National Lampoons kind of vibe. We rolled up to the house and were just cracking up laughing, it was really cool.
Would you say this is quite a different album to your previous releases?
Yeah, I think so. Our approach to it, and what we hear in it and what we put into it, was markedly different. It's had some mixed reactions from people who have followed the band for a while... some people really love it, some people really don't. But we feel it's quite different. You find yourself in that situation where you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't, and it's fascinating to watch peoples reactions to it. It sounds cliché but all you can do is make a record that you really like.
And this was your first Number 1 album in Australia?
Yeah, that's cool. Although I would have been happy if it never got to Number 1 because then you feel like you've always got somewhere to go (laughs).
Will you be coming back for some NZ shows in the near future?
We're hoping to get back later this year. If people will have us.
I saw you guys play a few years ago at The Powerstation in Auckland, that was a really good show...
That's a really cool venue actually. And it probably has one of the finest band rooms that I've ever been in. They've got a good thing going on up there (laughs). And it was a cool show. We also played Big Day Out about a year before that, so we'd love to be involved with that again. We had a real cool moment when we did it a couple of years ago, we were playing on a side stage in like the middle of the day and we walked out and there were heaps of people there. It was really good.
Have you guys still got various side projects going on too?
Ian's (frontman Ian Kenny) band Karnivool is still going. I don't know if Adam (drummer Adam Weston) is still continuing with his one... he was talking about trying to find a new drummer. But the other three of us haven't really got anything else going. I think Glenn and I will put in a bit of work in the US... we're always working on stuff, and it would be cool if we could do some film stuff or something, that would be really cool. But a lot of stuff that I write and a couple of the other dudes write generally finds its way into the Birds.
How's the music industry in Australia at the moment?
It's much like anywhere I guess but per capita it's proportionally different I guess... bigger than NZ but smaller than America. We're always talking about the culture of music and what it sort of means to people... and how important it is to their life. There's a lot of competition these days for peoples attention to invest themselves in bands or songs so it has to be something significant or emotionally impactful.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The wait is almost over as Auckland City Limits is set to take place this Saturday (March 3rd) at Western Springs Stadium. Included on the bill are one of France’s most famous four-piece band's Phoenix.
“I find inspiration from people who are trying to do something different. There's a lot of producers trying to copy each other, eg Terror Squad. But it’s really cool to hear guys like SumthinSumthin, completely unchallenged in their own lane.” – Graham Matthews
John Butler Trio announce their return to New Zealand in March to play Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre on Saturday 2 March and an afternoon set outdoors at The Hunting Lodge in Waimauku, Auckland on Sunday 3 March.
British rock royalty Arctic Monkeys have ushered in a spectacular new era with their sixth studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and it has now been announced that the band will return to New Zealand for a mammoth arena show in March 2019.
Californian rock legends Jefferson Starship will join TOTO and Dragon on next year’s ‘A Summer’s Day Live’ series, which will take in some of the most picturesque locations and popular concert venues across New Zealand.
In celebration of the highly anticipated November release of their fourth studio album Delta,English folk conquerors Mumford & Sons today announced details of a massive 60 date world tour which will include a very special one day event in Auckland this Summer –their first New Zealand show since 2015!
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed My Design, On Others Lives in April this year, Estère teams up with the poetically tongued NZ/Rwandan MC Raiza Biza, to take on the myth of an infamous figure in cross-continental African folklore, the Tokoloshe.
If Anika Moa was feeling ready to kick back for the remainder of 2018, then things haven’t really run to plan. In fact it’s about to get a whole lot busier for the multi-talented entertainer with a new album release, tv series and live shows all on the way.
Since achieving international recognition from Rollingstone.com and Billboard.com for hit singles Too Strung Up and Stone Cold, and amassing over 3 million Spotify streams for their releases to date, Alae now unveil All Gived Up.
'Call Me', the latest track by Wellington electro-pop singer and producer Josie Moon made last week's New Music Friday playlists from Spotify Australia/NZ and Japan and influential UK blogger Popjustice.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.
Featuring Brouhaha: choreographer Malia Johnston, composer Eden Mulholland, AV designer Rowan Pierce; In Transit: choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant, composer/AV designer Paddy Free; The Geography of an Archipelago: choreographer Stephen Shropshire, composer Chris O’Connor.
The last hurrah of the Comedy Fest! The Season Finale! The bit at the end where the awards are decided, everybody relaxes and much fun is had. It’s the titled Last Laughs on Sunday 20 May at SkyCity Theatre.
The 13th Annual Doc Edge, International Documentary Film Festival opens today - Wednesday 9th May at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema followed by Auckland’s Q Theatre on Wednesday 23rd May, bringing an influx of prestigious directors and documentary subjects from all over the world.