5 Minutes with Mono

Japanese instrumental rock band Mono is set to kick up some dirt tomorrow at KLPAC. Celebrating their 10th anniversary and vivacious 5th studio album Hymn To The Immortal Wind, JUICE caught up with the quartet’s guitarist Takaakira Goto. Let’s get Zen.

Why did you take a long break before making your new album?
I needed the time to compose the songs for Hymn to the Immortal Wind. We had been touring non-stop for so long so a long break was needed. During that time we practiced, learned the songs and recorded the album.

How is Hymn to the Immortal Wind different from your previous albums?
Our music is starting to evolve as we allow ourselves to take more risks in our sound. We’ve grown more aware of our strengths and weaknesses as a quartet. This has helped us become more comfortable in creating and performing together. Although I’m still learning, Hymn to the Immortal Wind compiles everything that we’ve wanted to pursue sonically for a while. We’ve always been heavily influenced by classical music and finally I felt confident enough to write a score for a larger orchestra. While this album has similar elements as our older material, I think it just shows more of the musical direction we are reaching towards.

What was the best tour that you guys ever had?

Even though it’s not a tour, our 10th anniversary orchestra shows in NY and Tokyo were both amazing experiences. We were able to look back and remember how many years it took to get to this point.

What’s next for Mono?

We will begin a long tour in Europe and North America from February to summer. We will also release the DVD/CD (Vinyl) of the NY orchestra show in Spring.

How was it like working on Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined with Steve Albini?
We are very lucky to have been working with Steve Albini for 6 years now on our albums. We love recording live studio sessions on 24 ch analog tape. It’s just a great atmosphere with a really kind staff. Steve really understands how important it is to us that our recordings mirror our live sound as much as possible. It’s just a great collaborative effort.

If you composed a symphony, what would you call it and what would it be about?
This is something that I’m still considering. Although the title is still uncertain, I’m looking forward to composing a symphony someday.

If you guys could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
That’s a big question. Probably more peace and healing…and for everyone to understand each other more.

Who’s currently rocking your playlist?
Still listening Beethoven, Ennio Morricone, some random film scores, and Led Zeppelin, nothing new recently.

Mono Hymn To The Immortal Wind Malaysia Tour will be tomorrow at 8pm at KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC). Supporting act includes Deepset. Tickets RM110 at the door.