Mono is releasing their new album “Nowhere Now Here” in 25 of January. We had opportunity to talk with Takaakira 'Taka' Goto about changes in the band, creative processes, and future of the band.
“Mono” in Japanese, as far as I know, means “thing”, it’s something added to other words, like “tabemono” (food - ed.). Does this come any close to bands name? If no, how did you come up with this name?
MONO means "one". We chose the name to represent as the one thing that surpasses languages, countries, cultures and races, because we believe there is no such thing as borders with music.
You’ve just recently (August, September - ed.) showed us that you’ve finished studio work for the new album. When we can expect new record to come out? And more importantly - what can we expect the new album?
We recorded our new album once again with Steve Albini. We've been friends with Steve for over 15 years now and we've already worked together on many records so it went extremely smooth. Since this was our first time recording with a new member (drummer), there was this fresh feeling like the band was reborn and we feel that we recorded so strongly like no time before. We feel that we got closer to our ideal expressions musically and in terms of sounds as well.
We plan to release the digital singles in September and October, and then release the new album at the beginning of next year.
Your previous 2-3 albums are generally more “dark” than the rest of your music. Do you intend to follow this path?
Last year, due to various troubles, we spent one of the toughest times as a band ever since our formation. We really ended up in the dark and could not see what was ahead anymore. But we told ourselves the phrase "the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn", and solved one problem at a time with the members. The new album's music portrays these circumstances and feelings.
The only way we can remove our heart's worries and anger, and retrieve our peace is through music.
Your music doesn’t involve vocals, only once we heard Tetsu Fukagawa in “The Hand the Holds the Truth”. Is this one time only thing or do you plan to use vocals in the future?
We've already tried something we've never done before on the new record. Please look forward to it.
[Bassist sung in their first single for the new album - Breathe]
Your songs seem to be very complicated and very well thought. I, and probably many others would like to know how the process of composing, writing those pieces, looks like. From where do you draw inspiration, how this inspiration is then forged into sounds?
Composing is a process of going inside your heart. I go down deep within and start to form my heart into songs by pulling out shining bright soul-like elements from the madness-like darkness. I myself get saved by writing songs. I feel that "it's ok for me to live", "there is a reason for me to keep being who I am" and by expressing these feelings of myself getting saved by my song writings, I feel that I can, in certainty, resonance with all the people in the world.
This might be bit strange question, but I’d like to know what do you think about your music - is it better to experience it live or at home, or both? Question comes from experiencing you live (in Wroclaw, with Alcest and pg.lost, great gig!) and how emotional your performance was. It made me think that experiencing your music live is a whole different thing than from listening it on CD.
We don't think that we have such thing as a border between our albums and live, because we always record our albums live as well. Of course quality matters to us, but we have no interest in creating technical or overly produced albums. We know we don't need such things in the slightest to convey the feelings and thoughts we want to express. But live has visual elements so I think the music ends up feeling even more emotional.
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