60 Seconds At SXSW: Asobi Seksu

‘I’ll be honest, it’s overload. But it’s cool, we’re part of the problem’

We caught up with Asobi Seksu to ask them our list of ‘very important’ SXSW questions.

Have you guys played SXSW before? How has it changed?
Yuki: This is number four - and album number four. In Japanese, four is a terrible number, it means death!
James: The festival has got way bigger since the first time, that’s for sure.
Yuki: More bands and even more space, they have just sprawled out over Austin.
James: I think it’s gotten better, but I’m older now so I just don’t care about as many bands. I’ll be honest, it’s overload. But it’s cool, we’re part of the problem.

There is always the hope that you’ll wander in to a show and see the band that will change your life
James: That’s true, I always have at least one or two fun nights here.
Yuki: Two years ago we finally saw Daniel Johnston and I hadn’t seen him before, and it was really awesome to see him. It was so emotional to see him come out on stage. So of course you have those moments.

What is your favourite venue here to play?
Yuki: I always like Mohawk.
James: Yeah, playing outside. We aren’t playing there this year, but…
Yuki: I do like Emo’s. It’s a fun place to play. People do complain about their sound system, but I have always had fun there.

Do you prefer playing outside during the day, or at night?
James: Outside during the day.

BBQ or Tex Mex?
James: I don’t eat meat, so I don’t care about BBQ.
Yuki: I do like BBQ, I like the Salt Lick, I think that’s what it’s called, Salt Lick, Salty Lick? We finally went to Torchies yesterday, and that was delicious. The fried avocado tacos, oh man.

Austin’s motto is ‘Keep it Weird’, what’s the weirdest thing to happen to you here?
James: Has anything weird happened here?
Yuki: I don’t know.
James: Well it is like everyone from New York descends on Texas so that’s kinda fucking weird.
Yuki: Yeah, that’s pretty weird. But nothing really weird has happened. Austin’s kinda normal.
James: Maybe we’re weird.
Yuki: Yeah, maybe we are so weird that we don’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

Tell us a bit about your new album.
Yuki: I would say that it is a nice marriage of the guitar-heavy stuff that we have always done, and incorporating some of the synth exploration that we did with ‘Hush’. I think it’s a nice evolution. It made sense for us to resist the heavy guitars and continue on with the synth stuff.

Is it fun to be playing it live?
Yuki: Absolutely. It’s very much a studio album, a very psychedelic album, the kind where you put on headphones and get lost.