A conversation with popular indie rock band End of the World
"The moment I lost everything I started music with friends who supported me over the years and I decided to start over again from the end," says End of the World.
Though just recently having come to the United States, the Japanese band End of the World is by no means a new band. The band - a four person group composed of Nakajin, Fukase, Saori, and DJ LOVE are memorable - which comes from years of experience (and serious acclaim) in the Japanese music scene. End of the World has had some pretty serious collaborations - working with artists like Owl City and Nicky Romero.
Recently, End of the World has come over seas - releasing music in English, in America, for the first time. They're first song - "One More Night" - has already received over 200,000 plays (and growing!) on Spotify. The song, a poppy, fun, summer anthem - has recently been remixed by several notable artists, which the band described saying "we are so excited to share a great series of "One More Night" remixes and the first one by Tep No is so refreshing, breezy, and cool - we absolutely love it."
I sat down with End of the World to talk about the band's origins, "One More Night", and what they have in store for us down the road.
INTERVIEW WITH END OF THE WORLD
So first I have to ask about the name - End of the World - how did you go about choosing the band's name?
In the course of my life, I was going through such a hard time that it felt like the world was ending for me. The moment I lost everything I started music with friends who supported me over the years and I decided to start over again from the end.
You guys have long been big in Japan, but recently released your first English single in America, "One More Night" - what made you decide to start releasing music and playing shows overseas?
We are born and raised in Japan but that shouldn't restrict the extent or countries where our music can live, we simply wanted to deliver our music to the world and to do that, switching the language to English was crucial.
How do you think that the Japanese and American music scenes are similar or different?
How people engage with music is very different meaning music plays different roles in different cultures since music is hugely impacted by the culture or the other way around.
In Japan it is a common practice to go to Karaoke with friends and they sing together that is the most common engagement with music in Japan. On the other hand, in western culture people dance to music as part of party / clubbing culture.
The demand for music depends on what people are looking for so naturally music scene differs for each culture but the love for music is definitely what we have in common.
Who are some of the biggest influences to your music?
We find inspiration in so many things and from so many artists it is hard to choose but from our recent interaction – we went into a studio with Clean Bandit and it was a quite memorable and influential session.
Who are some of the biggest influences to your on stage performances?
There is very fine line between being copying someone and being inspired by them. We have become extremely conscious in trying not to copy things, even with how amazing the performances can be. So I, in the good way, avoid watching other artists perform.
I loved the music video for "One More Night"! Can you tell us a little bit about the video, and what you guys were going for with it?
So we wanted to make a music video for this song and so we were looking a director to work with. Then Zac brought in this cool idea of the video and that was the love story of plastic bags. The beautiful thing in life. We thought it was pretty crazy idea at first but it was so loveable we were attached to it. Especially the last bit when they go into the bin-world dancing under the starry skies we thought it was so stylish and romantic. Not to mention DNCE to join us too, we happened to see each other the day before of the shoot and frankly asked if they would be interested and they were down for it. It was so much fun and they are amazing people.
Can we expect more music videos from you down the road?
We definitely want to make more fun videos you can all enjoy, when we have new song.
I also know you guys collaborated with Owl City in 2014 - how was that experience, and how did that all come to be?
OWL CITY was actually the first artist we collaborated with. We were fan of his music long before so we offered for the collaboration and it all just happened so quickly it was like a dream. He joined us on our show back home. Best memory ever!
I also have to ask DJ Love - what influenced your decision to perform in a clown costume?
The mask was originally Fukase's idea and he was meant to wear it but everyone stopped him so it came down to me. Being on the stage is definitely hard but since no one knew what I looked like without the mask, I have quite comfortable private life. It would be harder without the mask after all.
What can we expect from you guys down the road - more music, an album, touring?
In the near future, you can definitely expect more music. We will be releasing fantastic remixes and we would love to have some live performances this year. Really can't wait to announce some more exciting things!