Otenki’s deluxe re-release of their KINETIC EP, called The War Outside, is out today! We had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the band recently about recording the album, their influences and more. And while you read the interview, you can stream the album in its entirety below.
Substream Magazine: You’ve said that your band name, Otenki, was a result of learning the Japanese language. In one sentence, completely in Japanese, can you describe your music to someone who has never listened before? (An English translation would be much appreciated as well.)
Otenki: Watashitachi no ongaku wa rock, poppu, erekutoronika no kongomonodearu.Watashitachiha issho ni omoshiroi ongaku-teki yoso o kumiawasete iru koto kangaeatai.
Our music is a mixture of Rock, Pop, and Electronica. We like to think we are commingling interesting musical elements together.
SM: We’ve heard that some songs on the album will possibly be in Spanish. If true, will the songs be completely in Spanish or Spanglish?
O: That’s true that there is a Spanish ballad on this album called “La Botella.” The whole song is sung in Spanish and that’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m not sure if the rock songs we write will be in Spanish but I think we might do more ballads like that. After all, it is a romance language!
SM: Aside from the Spanish aspect, should fans except a different sound?
O: For The War Outside it is a deluxe edition of our previous album KINETIC. So people familiar with that record will know a majority of the work. We introduced some really great remixes that I think breathe new life into the songs. We’re excited to get hear what our fans think!
SM: What was your favorite moment in the studio, working on this album?
O: Best moment was walking into the studio of James Paul Wisner and realizing that we were about to work with a producer that made records we loved. It was surreal and every time we head back that excitement comes right back to us and we’re ready to put in some work.
SM: In regards to your musical influences, if you had to pick two bands Otenki would be the “lovechild” of, who would you choose?
O: I think you could easily say we’re the illegitimate lovechild of Anberlin and Jimmy Eat World. Those bands are amazing and were directly responsible for the sound we’re crafting today.
SM: Can you give us an idea of what your Grammy speech might sound like?
O: Thanks to our manager, thanks to our producer, thanks to all our friends, families and our fans. You can’t do something like on your own and we’re living proof that if you put out love and hard work you will get rewarded ten times over. Also, anyone who said we wouldn’t make it. You lose, assholes.
SM: Back when you played the same stage as My Chemical Romance and The Used, your band was fairly new. Did they give you any advice that you still carry around?
O: You know we didn’t really get to talk much to them when we played with them. I do remember meeting Jeph, the bassist again when they were in our hometown on a separate tour. He greeted us and we chatted a bit and he said we were on the right track and to not give up. That really stuck with me. To be recognized like that was really validating.
Interview by Melissa Cyrus