For Vancouver garage rock duo Japandroids, life recently has been about touring and playing their music to thousands of people all over the world. They used to be two guys with day jobs who only played music for fun and only when they can – but when their debut Post-Nothing came out in 2009, Brian King (Guitars/ Vocals) and David Prowse (Drums/ Vocals) didn’t expect that they would be in it for the long haul.
Japandroids have toured America and Europe extensively for the past four years and and it was their fans, Prowse believes, who saved them from their ‘short ‘split’ after Post-Nothing came out. “We felt a lot of gratitude and a sense of debt to our fans because they were so loyal to come out and see us play as we toured for basically a year and a half straight all over Europe and North and Central America. We were hoping with this new record (Celebration Rock) basically just to keep those fans. We didn’t want to let them down.”
Since the release of their sophomore effort, Celebration Rock in 2012, the duo extended their audience reach and started conquering the shores of Asia. They’ve already paid a couple of visits to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore for this year’s Laneway Festival. This August, the Canadian rockers are expected to play at Good Vibes Festival in Kuala Lumpur.
“We’re starting to become a little bit more familiar with that part of the world,” Prowse shared, noting that it would be the band’s first gig in the country. “It’s definitely a little more exciting when you have no idea what to expect. We don’t really know anything about what the atmosphere is like when we play, in our case when we play an outdoor festival in Malaysia. And we have no idea if anybody knows our band!”
With Celebration Rock gaining recognition from the likes of Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, it would be safe to say that indie rock enthusiasts would stumble upon Japandroids’ music sooner than later. There’s still no news of the band’s follow up to the record, but can fans expect future collaborations with the other bands that Japandroids rubbed shoulders with on their tours?
“As far as working with producers, obviously Steve Albini is someone who’s made a lot of great albums; he records things very thickly and there’s a very direct raw feel. At the other end of the spectrum there’s someone like Nick Launay who worked with Nick Cave and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and obviously added so much to their music. He would be pretty amazing to work with.”
There is a bit of hesitation Prowse expressed when it comes to letting someone in on their creative process. “To some extent, I don’t know if we’d feel comfortable bringing in another musician to what we do as far as songwriting goes. We’re a pretty tight unit. We’ve known each other and played music together for so long.”
The ‘unit’ pertains to him, King and Jesse Gander, the producer who worked with Japandroids on Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock. “I think we’re a bit weird like that because I think a lot of artists would love to expand who they work and collaborate with, but for us, so much of how we do things is about feeling comfortable in the studio and working with who you know and trust already. It’s hard to know whether working with people you idolize will be a good experience or be kind of just like distracting.”
You can catch Japandroids on August 17 at the Good Vibes Festival. Tickets are still on sale.
Interview with Dave Prowse courtesy of Good Vibes Festival.
Post originally published on Music Weekly Asia.