Birds of Tokyo fly back to UC
Birds of Tokyo fly back to UC
27 February 2013: “We wanted to forget about everything we’ve done before – continuing to play on our strengths and being mindful of our weaknesses – but tearing it all down in order to bring it all back up again.”
This is how Birds of Tokyo drummer Adam Weston describes the sound of their fourth album March Fires, which the University of Canberra will get to experience on 12 March as part of the band’s national tour.
The fresh sound is clearly working for the Perth group, with their latest single ‘Lanterns’ peaking at number three on the ARIA charts, an achievement Weston said validates the time they spent on the song and the album.
“One of the most important things for us with this album was that the music resonated and connected with people in a different way than before and to a broader audience. We think it’s achieving that and we couldn’t be prouder of it.
“We’ve been so busy stuck in the jam room that we don’t get to hear ‘Lanterns’ on the radio or anything like that, so when someone mentions how it’s doing we’re like ‘wow, okay, cool, this is actually happening,’ which is amazing after the amount of time we put into it. ‘Lanterns’ is just out there doing its thing.”
Birds of Tokyo are bringing their ‘March Fires’ tour to the UC Refectory on 12 March. Photo supplied.
Made up of Weston on drums, Ian Kenny on vocals, Adam Spark on guitar and new members Glenn Sarangapany on keys and Ian Berney on bass, the band started in its earliest form in 2004. They have won numerous awards and received critical acclaim for their previous albums, including 2010’s Birds of Tokyo that won them an ARIA for Best Rock Album and being publicaly voted Most Popular Australian Artist at the 2011 ARIAs.
Weston described the “organic” process behind the new album March Fires as a time where the band rediscovered their sound and what music they wanted to make, including taking a year off to spend some time writing in France and four months recording in LA.
“We don’t feel like we’re an old band even though March Fires is our fourth album. We’re only really starting to find our sound now and be truly happy with it,” Weston explained.
“We’ve been in the fortunate position to get to travel and play to our fans and to be awarded the accolades we’ve received. It just comes naturally as a band that when you finish one record you get a feeling for what you would do differently. Some of these new songs actually came about in their rawest form on our last tour so they go back a couple of years.
“We got to a point 12-18 months ago where we got together to have a dialogue as a band where we asked ourselves why are we doing this, no one is making us do it, so what do we want to do?
”It was a highly beneficial part of the process, creating that dialogue and conversation amongst ourselves.
“There’s always going to be angry moments and a bit of bitching that goes on but that’s all part of being in this band of brothers,” he joked.
Check out 'Lanterns' below:
With themes of fire, marching and unity, Weston got quite philosophical when describing the resulting sound of their latest album.
“We see these songs as larger than life and bigger than us personally as the band. They have a very communal atmosphere, they’re not relationship based, or you and I, but more ‘us’ and coming together as a group.
“They’re not so much about looking down at problems or looking upward politically, but looking to the here and now and to the side.
“It’s really about where you are, what your role is and what your place is and getting it done and pushing ahead.”
Now set to tour with this new music across the country including their show at the University, Birds of Tokyo have graced our stages before at gigs like Stonefest in 2009, but Weston said they’ve never really had the chance to see much of the nation’s capital, with plans to visit the Australian War Memorial if they get a chance.
He said the group are looking forward to playing the new material, along with giving fans a new take on their earlier recordings.
“We’ve been going stir crazy because we haven’t done a proper tour in a while. It’s going to be as fresh for us as it is for the punters, we’re looking forward to playing the new stuff and we’ve also sonically treated a lot of older songs to fit in with the new material, so these shows are really coming together. We never neglect our back catalogue and it really forces us to shake things up and not leave things sitting in their earlier form.
“I’d be lying if I said it was great being on the road all the time, but we love what we do and I think you should stop what you’re doing if you’re just doing it for the hell of it. People can see right through that.”