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Spencer Moya
MEET: Kishi Bashi Author:   ·  September 13th, 2012

And now comes the time where I get to share another artist from our unforgettable weekend at FYF!

I was incredibly excited to interview Kishi Bashi. I mean, how often is it that you get to chat with an artist thats toured with some HUGE musicians (of Montreal and Regina Spektor? Awesome) and has an AMAZING project all of his own? Needless to say, hanging out with Kaoru (who goes by K) Ishibashi of Kishi Bashi was definitely one of the highlights of my FYF weekend.

Dianna Agron's YM&C - MEET: Kishi Bashi

K Ishibashi self-recorded AND self-produced his most recent album. He’s a multi-instrumentalist too. Most people have a hard time picking up just one instrument! And his debut LP, 151a? A masterpiece. It soars in and out and up and down and has you lost through its awesome highs and fun little lows. The album itself is highly narrative and at often times while listening, I feel like I’m wandering around in Wonderland. Don’t we all love a good escape? Listen to our interview below, and watch his INCREDIBLE music video for “I Am The Antichirst To you” (above).


Spencer Moya: I am here with Kishi Bashi! How’s it going?

S: How are you enjoying your time at FYF so far?
KISHI BASHI: It’s been… I don’t know I just kind of started the whole day (with my set). But yeah, I’m glad my set is over (laughs).

S: Give us a glimpse into your life while recording. What was it like recording your newest album (151A)?
KISHI BASHI: I moved out of New York city recently and I moved with my family to Norfolk Virginia (where I grew up). I built my studio in my parent’s attic and I kind of just took all the financial pressures off, pent myself inside, and just kind of pumped out this album. I just need a lot of idle time to create music and I found it. When I moved back I didn’t have too many friends to hang out with so, yeah, it came really quickly.

S: So, how long did it take you to complete the album?
KISHI BASHI: A lot of the songs like Manchester and Bright Whites- Bright Whites I made on a tour bus when I was touring with Of Montreal, Manchester I wrote when I was on the road with Regina Spektor. The rest of the album I created in a month or two.

S: Speaking of some of the artists you’ve toured with, I know you’ve been touring quite extensively with a couple different artists. Have any experience with them influenced your creation process or your music?
KISHI BASHI: Yeah definitely. For a while I was being fiercely independent. Like “I’m just going to do this so by myself, all by myself”. I used to be in a rock band called Jupiter One and I just wanted to do something completely opposite and be in complete control of my music. But, then I started touring with a band called The Bar Brothers…they’re a fantastic band- they have a harp player and they’re kind of afro-beat. They’re really inspiring, creative musicians and they so wanted to play my songs! We’re good friends and when they started playing with me it was really beautiful. They kind of inspired me to be like, “Oh!”. I had forgotten how much I love playing with musicians. So slowly I am trying to integrate (other) musicians into my set. This time around “The Last Byson” (band) were very eager to come open up for me and tour with me so I was like “Why don’t you open up with me and also be in my band for a couple songs.

Dianna Agron's YM&C - MEET: Kishi Bashi

S: That’s awesome! So, speaking of your live performances- What is your favorite song to perform live in front of a crowd?
KISHI BASHI: I like to do Manchester just because I like to feel that it’s a little different than your average indie rock song. I like to see people excited to hear this kind of music. I also like beat boxing. I like a good beat (laughing)! If I can nail a solid beat and I can hear that it’s good, that’s when it’s good to me. If I can see people smiling.

S: Who is your favorite artist across any artistic medium right now?
KISHI BASHI: Wow, not like the classics right?! Like David Bowie?

S: It could be ANYONE. Any medium.
KISHI BASHI: That’s a huge question! You’re putting me on the spot. Let’s talk music…or, can we talk about this movie I saw the other day…Battleship (laughs)?

S: Did you like it?
KISHI BASHI: It was AWESOME. I was hooked in by the preview. I love Starship Troopers…like I just kind of got sucked in by the trailer because it had everything that i wanted. But yes, I can entrust Battleship as movie of this year!

S: Cool, awesome! Thank you so much!

Tour Dates
Sept 13 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
Sept 14 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern
Sept 15 – Pittsburgh, PA – Shadow Lounge
Sept 19 – Easton, PA – Mercantile Distinguished Music Series
Sept 20 – New York, NY – Central Park Summer Stage^
Sept 21 – Baltimore, MD – Maryland Institute College of Art, Cohen Plaza
Sept 22 – Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
Oct 13 – Austin, TX – Zilker PArk
Oct 20 – Carrboro, NC – The ArtsCenter*
Oct 21 – West Long Branch, NJ – Monmouth University Pollak Theatre*
Oct 23 – State College, PA – The State Theatre*
Oct 24 – Columbus, OH – Ohio State University Wexner Center*
Oct 25 – Nelsonville, OH – Stuart’s Opera House*
Oct 26 – Grand Rapids, MI – Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts*
^ w/ Dr. Dog
* w/ Tinariwen



[Photo Credit: Claire Oring]

About The Author

I'm a music enthusiast. I live and play in Los Angeles and work wherever the city takes me, whether its miles east or west of my own little HQ in Franklin Village. I'm work in digital music marketing for some of your favorite musicians by day, and I'm a music supervisor and music editor & curator of this incredible site by night. When I'm not listening, I'm hanging with friends and enjoying all of the good things (food! drinks! art! fun!) this city has to offer. Mostly, though, music consumes my life, and I like it that way. :) spencerrjames.tumblr.com

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