As artists move on beyond their twenties and get married, start a family, live a life on a little bit of a slower pace, they gain insight that living through your earlier adult years just doesn't allow. With that in mind, Fujiya & Miyagi bring some of their best work yet as they reflect on the past and look towards the future.
They've recently released their second of three EPs and they've dropped insight into their experience. While still young and strong, their forties have brought them another level of complexity that they manage to bring to their style and sound.
We had a chance to chat to the guys about their latest track "Extended Dance Mix," what they are looking forward to, the music industry as we move forward, and so much more.
Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! The press release seemed to indicate that you're pretty bleak about the future and the way humanity is evolving. Do you feel like there's any hope for us at all as a society?
I think other than "Extended Dance Mix," the rest of the recent songs have been pretty positive in their outlook as they were recorded pre-Brexit and pre-Trump. The song is a bit of an anomaly. If you'd have asked me six months ago I'd have been a lot more positive about humanity than I am today.
Music either reflects what's happening in society as was the case with punk or tries to escape reality as was the case with disco.
If we started this record again today it would probably be a lot more sombre. Maybe musically it's good that it's not.
To go along with that, you're brutally honest about your age and getting older. In terms of music, do you feel that things are changing in a way that seems difficult to understand? Are there new artists out today that you think are pushing music in the right direction?
I feel we've got a pretty good grip on what's going on. I know how to google. I can navigate my way around Netflix. I personally feel strong enough in my convictions to still believe in what we do. I think we exist in our own little bubble and I'm happy with that. It doesn't mean we don't listen and absorb other music. I like Abra a lot. One of the worst things musically about being in your forties is that generally, you hear traces of the past in the majority of stuff that's being portrayed as new.
You're veterans in the music world and it seems like a lot of your recent work dives into a look at both the past and the future. Do you feel like you are able to create as freely as you always have been? How do you continue to stay motivated in your art through the trials and tribulations that the music industry can force you through?
At the risk of sounding a bit cheesy it feels musically like a new beginning. Songs come a lot easier to us than they did before. The main obstacle is finding the time to write them. I'd also like to say that early forties isn't particularly old anymore. I'm also accentuating the aging process in Extended Dance Mix for comedic effect, I suppose. It's easy to stay motivated as we probably have an underdogs mentality, but the biggest motivation for me is the fact that I really enjoy making up songs. Everything else is just the bubblewrap around it. Regarding the music industry today, I like the immediacy of how listeners consume music. If you don't embrace the new you'll soon appear obsolete.
You've focused on making a 3 part EP project. Was having a project people have to listen to as a whole, instead of the singles formats that have become more popular, a larger comment on the way music is marketed in this day and age?
We have previously always worked on albums so splitting that process into three is a change for us. Maybe in the future we might concentrate on single tracks. I'm a little conflicted as I love vinyl and still listen to albums in that way, but as mentioned earlier, I have grown to love the immediacy of digital.
Finally, while "Extended Dance Mix" can be bleak, you've also got pockets of optimism. What are the things you guys are looking forward to? What about the future seems uplifting, and what other aspects of your life are more positive?
Extended Dance Mix does have its positive and triumphant sides to it too. It is self-deprecating and does list ailments and supposed failures but at the end of the song we are still standing and the group is still going. That in itself goes against all logic and financial sense. When all three eps are combined and you hear Extended Dance Mix in context it's actually a bit of a relief from the positivity of the rest of the songs. I also don't look at it as bleak, I see it as being honest. I look forward to lots of things like seeing my kids grow up, reading books I haven't yet read, going to places I haven't yet been, re-watching Columbo, eating more crisps, sleeping, the list is endless.