The Japanese experimental noise rock titans OOIOO are as singular a band as their name, which is pronounced as individual letters and not “oe-ee-oo,” might suggest. Led by by multi-instrumentalist Yoshimi P-We, best known as the drummer from the noise rock band Boredoms and the inspiration behind The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, the band brings in myriad wordly styles to create experimental pop goodness. Their latest release, Gamel, incorporates frenetic and off-kilter rhythms with bright gamelan melodies.
We were lucky enough to speak with the band recently about their latest album and upcoming endeavors, which include a show in at the Independent on Sunday. While some of words might have gotten lost in translation, we hope the message they intended is heard.
Translated from Japanese by Shane Liliedahl
The Bay Bridged: You recently released your record Gamel, which features lots of gamelan instrumentation integrated with your experimental style. What inspired you to use the gamelan on this album, and do you have any favorite gamelan musicians? And what is your songwriting process like?
OOIOO: We don’t have gamelan musicians and I wanted to put OOIOO in the music. I don’t have a gamelan idol. Koheysai and Hama both learned gamelan music in Bali. They started the song with guitar and bass and it felt comfortable. Which is why they started to play together, because it felt natural. They think OOIOO feels bright with gamelan.
TBB: On your current United States tour, you’re only playing three cities–Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. How did you decide which cities to play?
OOIOO: Minneapolis and LA invited us to come perform. They chose to book shows in San Francisco.