You never really know what to expect from a new Deerhoof album. Seeing as though they’ve been in the business of making music for the past 18 years, that’s quite an accomplishment. This year’s installment, Breakup Song marks the band’s danciest album out of their twelve-record discography.
Geek tracked down Deerhoof vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki over Labor Day weekend for an email interview about Breakup Song, which landed in stores (both physical and digital) yesterday.
Geek: Are you already getting sick of answering questions about the title of the album?
Satomi Matsuzaki: Not yet! “Breakup Song” is about happy breakups. Separating from people whom you spent a lot of time with is hard at first but that’s when you start your new exciting journey. Unexpected both good and bad future awaits you. How cool is that? I moved to Brooklyn this year and I think this place is ultimate breakup city. I have lived and stayed in quite a lot of places all over the globe but NYC is definitely the top breakup city. It’s hard not to notice couples and friends breaking up on the streets or at bars. Most of the time, they yell at each other (which is rare in other cities. why don’t they fight somewhere else like home?). Then, I think they would feel happier later when they realize their relationship wasn’t working and glad to have broken up. I don’t like that kind of confrontational bitter ending personally but those communications between people are very interesting to me. Also, breakups are something everyone can deeply relate to. I would like people to have fun instead of thinking about how much time they wasted for their past love and uncaring friends! It’s a party time. We do parties.
Breakup Song feels more like a party album than a self-pitying breakup album. Was it a conscious decision to make a dance-y record heading in to writing?
Yes. We tried to make danceable album. I like dancing in general. People who saw Deerhoof shows in the past would know that. I used to be a techno kid when I went to high school in UK. Three straight years of weekend techno parties so I know Deerhoof albums in the past are sometimes hard to dance to. In fact, I was impressed when I saw some kids could dance to our music at our shows, especially L.A. kids. Mostly the boys were dancing vertically so this time I gave thoughts to make people dance horizontally with the new album. Repetitive lyrics are also created to make effects of sing along and dance remix feels.
This is your 12th album. I can’t imagine that you thought the band would last that long when it began, so instead I’ll ask: How does it feel when you look back on the past 18 years worth of music?
Deerhoof is my second family. That’s why I haven’t thought about lasting issue with them. It’s quite amazing how amazingly we get along. The Rolling Stones have been together for fifty years. They are way ahead of us!
It’s rare that a band comes out with such an exuberant album this far into their career. What’s keeping you guys young?
Barley tea, Tropicality, Karaokeness, No boss policy, Laughter, something like that.
You’ve worked with John and Greg for such a long time. Can you talk about the chemistry you’ve found together?
Good people musicality connection. We have fun together and we don’t really listen to the same music but we share visions for music architecture. It’s hard to explain but you know everyone has a long-term friend in their lives. We are like that. We will probably attend each other’s funerals in the future.
Stream Breakup Song in it’s entirety here: