Sunday, March 28, 2010
Current band rollcall?
Hazel Brown, Martha Brown and Kishore Ryan.
Otouto has been around since …
First song ever written?
Music making for you began when …
We all started when we were younger, we all went to Steiner schools (Martha and Hazel in Melbourne, Kish in Mullumbimby) so I (Hazel) played violin and guitar, Martha played viola and guitar, Kish played recorder.
Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music?
In a song of ours called Twelve Ten, there is the sound of an amp blowing up on its own. We weren't even in the room but were luckily recording. We ended up keeping it as it was and reckon it sounds pretty nice.
Strangest gig you've ever played?
We played a gig at a university college to these lovely quiet smart kids who were sitting on the ground, I think they were really drunk and eating lolly frogs, also had no idea what we were doing. Martha had to ask one of them for a tampon and then dedicated a song to the girl when we played; we got some strange looks.
Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs? (Or put up other things in the studio for the same effect?)
Nope, we don't but we might start! I had an idea once to draw some patterns and write songs based on the patterns, I drew the patterns but we never ended up using them.
Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
Margarine. It's shit, but not that shit.
Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics?
Maybe old age? One of the few songs of ours that is fictional is about old age, it's called Walkie Talkie.
If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer …
"Go past the pool in the middle of the night and breathe in the swimming smells."
Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song?
"There's hundreds of birds on the roof of the fitness centre, there's one hundred good ways to love" - Nick Huggins.
Do you think the country/city/town you live in affects your music in any way?
I think having lived in the same house for our whole lives (Martha and I), with a very creative mother, has definitely influenced our lyric writing. And being in Melbourne is a huge influence to us all creatively, the culture is so rich and is constantly presenting exciting resources and opportunities, giving rise to exciting artists of all kinds and hosting endless parties, gigs, dance flash mobs and exhibitions to be a part of.
You would love to record with …
Matthew Herbert, Nick Huggins, David Longstreth, Laurie Anderson, Beyonce.
Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with …
Nick Huggins is our favourite person to record with. He has a wonderful way with people and has a gift for guiding ideas. He also has great taste in sweets. The Casiotone For the Painfully Alone/Concern tour we did last year was extremely fun.
Outside of Otouto, you spend your time …
Hazel - works for our record label Two Bright Lakes and Polyester Records, plays in a band with Nick Huggins called The War Diaries of Frank Brown.
Martha - works at a clothing store called Kinki Gerlinki and Loose Joints, a dance night in Melbourne; also writes rounds with Oscar Slorach-Thorne.
Kish - Plays in Kid Sam, Seagull and Where Were You at Lunch, makes great chai.
Next for you is …
We're launching our album in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and saving money to go to America and tour with Casiotone For The Painfully Alone in September. I think we might make a video clip too, with dancing in it.
If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called …
Pip is the name of Otouto's debut album. It's full of zigzagging melodies and eccentric, minimal indie-pop. The vocals of the Brown sisters warm through what's there. Kishore sometimes taps out beats using items found in his kitchen. Read more on the band's MySpace.