When you ask a band, “Why areyou doing this?” everyone usually says the same thing: “We love music!”. However, Otenki has proven that they have been dreaming about this moment of their career for years, and they are looking for more. In a recent interview with guitarist Enoma Asowata we got an inside look at the band and their upcoming work, Kinetic.
What are some hardships that the band has survived through?
There’s some of the obvious things like friends and family questioning our decision to pursue music, the internal question we all have to ask ourselves “What are we doing with our lives?”, risking our personal relationships, having gear stolen, being mugged while we were recording, not knowing where your next meal was coming from while you’re touring all to work towards something that’s bigger than all of us. There’s always going to be challenges and hardships but the important thing is that you don’t give up ever.
What separates you from all the other bands out there right now?
I think what really separates us from our contemporaries is our tenacity.
What is your take on touring?
We love being on the road. There’s definitely nothing quite like it. You really learn what you’re made or driving across the country, meeting all your fans, being with the same people for months at a time. It’s amazing. Wish we could just go on tour forever.
How was it for you guys to record your EP?
Working with James Paul Wisner was a dream come true. He’s been a huge part of records we loved growing up as musicians and to have him agree to produce this record with us was incredible. He is very demanding in the studio and did what he had to do to get the best ideas out of us.
Did you use any tricks on the recording process or try to keep it organic?
The writing process for us is very organic. We’ve always worked best when our lead guitarist comes with an idea of a song and we build upon it. A majority of this upcoming record was done with him working on the song ideas, presenting them to us, then we’d go to demo the ideas out with each member adding their influence to the piece and finally writing lyrics to the melody.
As far as recording, James has a method and a thought process that we feel works best for the songs we had at the time. He would sit us down and we’d play the songs acoustically. He then would help us dissect what we wrote and understand the writing process and why certain songs hit the way they do. Also, we definitely wanted more electronics on this record. Mixing programming with rock music for us has always been something we’ve wanted to do and this time we were afforded the luxury to explore a vast spectrum of sounds to blend together.
How do you want to influence everyone who listens to you?
Here’s the thing music is incredibly subject platform to try an influence anyone. Personally I would love it if something we wrote moved them to pick up an instrument themselves or do something that expresses their lives in some way. Art and expression sometimes is trivialized in our society as being a “hobby” and I want to help create people who feel differently.
What equipment do you most like to use?
Everyone uses different things. I personally love Gibson Les Paul guitars. I use them live, I used them while recording this album (and any future OTENKI albums) and they are just beautiful pieces of art. Fausto loves Fender guitars, he is currently rocking a
Fender Black Top Jaguar, it plays fast which is great for lead players. Josh uses Fender Basses; I believe he has a P-Bass and J-Bass in his arsenal.
The Terror - our drummer loves OCDP drums and our keyboardist uses mostly Roland and M-Audio keyboards and interfaces for his sound.
What are your plans as a band after the release of the EP?
Our plan is to spend the summer on the road playing shows and promoting the new album. Hopefully we’ll be able to fund a music video for “GHOSTS”.
What’s your take on the state of the music scene now and how it has changed on the past few years?
The music scene is interesting because anyone with a laptop and a midi controller can record, mix, master and sell their songs on iTunes in a matter of days. However because the barrier to entry has now lowered as the digital age presses on there’s a leveled but immensely crowded playing field so music can also lose value to listeners. As a musician you really just want people to love and enjoy your art as much as you
do, but the reality is if you want to stay on the road and making records you have to keep making money.
No one has it completely figured out right now. It’s an exciting time we live in for the industry.
Otenki’s ucomping album Kinetic will be released this spring. In
the meantime, check them out on Myspace, Twitter, Facebook and Purevolume.