Superorganism are a curious proposition. An eight-person troupe varying in age (singer Orono is still only 17), origin (members hail from New Zealand, Tokyo, America and beyond) and basically everything else, they’re held together by a universal love of all things technicolour and wry.
Whether its in the playful, squelching sounds that make up the likes of breakthrough debut single ’Something For Your M.I.N.D’, or the meme-heavy visuals that pepper their set, the band have a distinctive world that they’re creating piece by piece - each element as important as the next.
We spoke to the band ahead of their set at Eurosonic 2018 to dig into what makes their live show such a uniquely beguiling proposition.
Hello Superorganism! Tell us about how you piece together all the elements of your visuals.
Emily: Robert does all the visual video stuff and then Orono does the illustration and artwork for the singles and bits. It’s the same vibe as the music, people throwing in ideas. Robert’s a genius, what he’s done with all the live show.
Harry: I think it’s a case of because the music’s representative of the personalities in the band, it makes the visuals follow suit.
E: We want lots of different things. We want people to feel extremes – at least, that’s what I want people to feel. There’s a whole load of extreme vibes in the show and we go through them at breakneck speed. It’s like sensory overload, like Adult Swim or something. Like, what the fuck? That’s the vibe. Intense.
H: It’s fun and psychedelic but then we do have a few ballads and moments that are serious. So whilst being within the fun and psychedelic vibe we want moments with a bit more gravity to it. Light and dark, we want to have those contrasts.
What are your reference points for creating this kind of experience?
E: It’s actually quite tricky finding bands that I would describe as colourful and joyous.
H: We’re all fans of The Beatles and that’s always the stem of all of these bands.
E: Devo as well. Watching cartoons, Spongebob Square and South Park and that kind of pop culture mash up. It’s influenced by scrolling the internet, looking at Reddit or Instagram and just bam bam bam – all these things constantly. I guess that’s one of the main influences.
What do you think the band’s different personalities all bring to the table?
Orono: I bring fresh memes to the table, that’s my role in the band.
H: Before I started working with Orono I’d not had Youtube as a system for finding new things. She introduced us to various Youtube channels which for me wasn’t really a thing growing up. Now i’m following a lot more Youtube channels – not even just music, general culture stuff – so it’s exposing me to a lot of stuff that I might not have found if I wasn’t working with her.
E: When we started the band we started a little private Spotify playlist that now has hundreds of tracks on where everyone just puts music on it. What we found was everything that everyone put onto it, everyone could get into. Even just like, I hadn’t listened to a whole bunch of Disney Channel singers and I actually love that stuff – the Miley Cyrus end of super cheese pop which is awesome.
What’s the best thing about being in Superorganism right now?
H: It’s my seven best mates who I wanna hang out with and spend time with, and we’re doing all that AND making cool shit out of it.
E: The coolest thing about Superorganism is we can do the coolest things that we wanna do and people are getting into it. It totally blows my mind.
Superorganism play Eurosonic 2018 in Groningen, January 17th - 21st.