Tashaki Miyaki is a two-piece band from California that I instantly fell in love with upon first listen. The first track I heard from them was a beautiful cover of the Everly Brothers’ All I Have To Do Is Dream (hear it at the end of this post). Little is known about them, they have no official Facebook, MySpace, Reverbnation etc. accounts, no Wikipedia entry or bio online to be found, no interviews (until now) – simply a Bandcamp page with their wonderful self-titled debut offering. I got in contact with them to find out a little more…
When did you realise that you wanted to be a musician and play music yourself?
Lucy: I always wanted to make music. Music was my first love.
Rocky: Before I can remember. My mom went to a lot of rock shows as a pregnant lady.
What are you aiming form when you perform your work?
Lucy: We are aiming for people to have an experience. To feel moved, or stimulated, to feel something.
Rocky: Yeah, just to feel something. If that happens then I think we’re successful.
So far music press has compared Tashaki Miyaki to Karen Carpenter, John Lennon and Jesus and The Mary Chain, I wanted to ask you, who or what do you find inspiring to your creativity?
Lucy: Wow. That’s a very flattering trio. Musically, I love so many artists, but there are a few that are always in constant rotation. John Lennon, Neil Young, Lou Reed, Kurt Cobain are all big ones for me. I’m actually on a plane right now watching a VH1 thing on Nirvana…Kurt still gives me butterflies. He was my first crush. And Nirvana was such an exciting band. They blew me away. Outside of music I’m inspired by so many things…people, traveling, friends, books, food, movies, science, just living really. I was just in NY and the weather was so perfect, truly gorgeous fall weather….little things like that really get me.
Rocky: The way Walter Payton runs the football.
Please tell me about your songwriting partnership, how did you go about crafting songs for your self-titled EP?
Lucy: For the EP songs, I wrote them on acoustic guitar… I find it to be a great instrument to write on… so I wrote them and would bring the skeletons of songs to Rocky and he would create some amazing guitar part. Usually I have an idea about the rhythm. We generally try to play to the vocal melody, but there were one or two tracks we tried a few different ways before settling on something. We also write together right on the spot, or sometimes Rocky will write a riff and send it to me and I’ll add melody and lyrics… it really just depends on the song.
How do you know when a song you’ve written is complete?
Lucy: You just know. You know when it feels right.
Rocky: I guess when we record it? But maybe not even then.
How did you come to cover the Everly Brothers’ All I Have To Do Is Dream, Buddy Holly’s Heartbeat and Sam Cooke’s Nothing Can Change This Love? I’m detecting a love of music from the ’50s?
Lucy: There is a definite love of music from the 50s but it wasn’t planned that way…we love covers and have been working out some new ones from Bowie to Dylan to Nirvana. We were jamming a Blink 182 song recently with our friends who are in another band and it was really cool. We like all kinds of music. We aren’t really purists or anything.
Rocky: We love all kinds of stuff. I think it was just easier to learn the lyrics to ‘Dream’ as opposed to say, Jay-Z’s 99 Problems.
Your film clip for Somethin’ Is Better Than Nothin’ directed by Juan Iglesias is very ethereal, is there a spiritual element to your creativity for you?
Lucy: Juan is truly amazing. So talented. We gave him the track and came up with the video concept. He was very inspired by Man Ray… and also this film made by a French scientist in the 50s or 60s… I don’t know what it’s called, but the guy had all these aquariums in his home and filmed everything himself. He shot all these sea creatures in black and white and lit it so beautifully, it looks insane. Personally I find creativity itself kind of spiritual and mysterious.
Rocky: We try to surround ourselves with people whose work inspires us and we feel connected to. The director nailed it in this case.
What do you do to nurture your creativity?
Lucy: Try to play every day and seek out new experiences, learn new things.
Rocky: Walk around, look around.
And lastly, what is something that amazes you?
Lucy: Outer space. I love the cosmos. I love science. It’s basically magic explained. And it all amazes me.
Listen to Tashaki Miyaki:
For more Tashaki Miyaki.
Have a rad day!