Empat Lima are one of those extraordinary bands that pull from many inspirations – garage sounds of the ‘60’s Asian/Western explosion, psychedelic Thai, traditional Japanese epics and dreamy Indonesian pop – to create their own sound, exciting, fresh, and with the spirit of post-punk experientialism not only in music but every facet of the group. They’re about to drop their debut LP any day now… I wait with bated breath; it’s one of my most anticipated albums of 2018.
What kind of stuff inspires your music?
ORI: Crushed Almonds.
STEPH: Other music, life events.
SOOJI: I’ve found myself getting inspiration from a lot of Asian supernatural mythology lately, hence why there’s a few songs around this stuff on the new album..
What can you tell me about each band member?
STEPH: Sooji plays bass and her style is impeccable!
SOOJI: Ori makes the kind of lunch you’d want to have at your favourite Italian Nonna’s house. Her favourite food is Biscotti.
ORI: Steph lives in a magical caravan full of worldly things. Her most treasured possession is her long overcoat.
SOOJI: Why is it your most treasured possession?
STEPH: Because it’s the only one I have that’s warm enough. I can wear it as anything, a coat, a dress.
ORI: I think mine would have to be my tracksuit pants. The blue ones with the white stripes. They’re just so comfortable.
SOOJI: I once had an acid trip where I had the realisation that I loved my violin (that I was playing a lot at the time) as if it were a person. It was a revelation at the time, that I could love an object so much. But I’d played this thing for over 15 years and knew it so intimately, and spent so many goddam hours with it….I had developed this deep love and care for it without ever consciously thinking about it. I still have dreams about it getting broken or smashed even though I rarely play it now.
Tell us a bit about the music community where you’re at?
SOOJI: We are totally spoilt in Melbourne with the incredible music and arts community we have here. Every time I go overseas I’m reminded of how much I love Melbourne radio and how saturated with good live music the city is. There are so many pockets within this of different people with their tastes and styles, all united by their true passion for music. It’s kinda like living in a big club of people you can assume you’re going to get along with because you all share this interest. I love this!
What’s one of your favourite things the band has done so far?
SOOJI: A few years ago we organised a tour in Indonesia, playing in 6 different cities. We were lucky enough to have the help of some friends we knew over there to help organise shows, which we also coincided with a bunch of workshops/collaborations with Indonesian female artists from each city we visited. We had such a blast, playing concerts in rice fields and meeting so many great people. We even managed to squeeze in making a film clip to ‘Nightrider’.
Tell us about your most memorable show.
SOOJI: Friends of ours organise a monthly concert in Jakarta at the Jaya pub which is hugely popular. They manage to get some great bands in, including overseas acts. The entry is free, and the place is packed full. Its a kind ranch-style dive bar with these car horns hanging down from the ceiling everywhere so if you’re in the audience and really dig the band you’re hearing you can honk your appreciation. The Jakartan audiences really go wild for live music. We played with the amazing local Jakartan bands ‘White shoes and the couples company’ as well as ‘Stars and Rabbit’. The feeling in the room that night of community and support between everyone there was palpable, even though we were strangers in this huge metropolis. This was one of our best moments ever.
What’s next for Empat Lima?
SOOJI: We just finished recording our new album!! Which we’re super excited about as it’s been around two years in the making. It’s a mega-mix of songs from the past two years. Our interests are within the band have always been diverse and this album really explores a wide scope so it spans from dreamy pop to avant-post punk and some other made up genres.
Create forever, Bx