Interview: Lullatone

Shawn James Seymour comes from Louisville, USA, but when he met Yoshimi Tomida (冨田淑美) at a university, he decided to move with her to the Japanese city of Nagoya. They married, and they formed the duo Lullatone.

Since 2003, they’ve released a great number of albums and EPs. Their latest effort is a tetralogy dedicated to four seasons, with “The Sounds of Spring” the most recent (and available on Bandcamp). Toyokazu Mori asked them about it.

In first song, you’ve made birds “a natural alarm clock”. Why did you use these effect? Does the EP explain how you enjoy daily life?

Shawn James Seymour: “When I was little, I remember my mother always saying every morning “Wake up, the birds are singing to you. It is time to get up.” Because of that I’m always happy if I can wake up to the sound of a bird. So, I tried to make a song that feels like the start of a good day.

How old is your boy now? When I listened to this EP, I imagined you looking softly at your kid. In an interview for Cookie Scene about “Songs that Spin in Circles”, in 2009, you said that your songs are for a baby.

Our son is 6 years old now. In the night time in this season we often go to the rice fields to look for frogs and tadpoles. The album you read about in Cookie Scene was one we wrote for him when he was born. I recorded part of it in the hospital!

So that one was really like lullabies for babies. Our other albums are mainly for grownups, but I hear that a lot of kids like them too. Our son really likes dubstep and Skrillex and Major Lazer though!

Lullatone Japan USA

This EP sounds very natural and warm, did you really make this songs on a laptop? What kind of instruments did you use on this EP? 

We did the recording with a computer, but most of the instruments are acoustic. Some of the effects are still electronic but most of the main parts are acoustic. For example, “waking up on a picnic blanket” features: mandolin, guitar, ukulele, shakers, piano, cajon, humming. But then there are some other computer tricks in there too.

Please tell me how you and your kids see this world going? What we should do for our children?

Hmmm… We have 2 kids now, a 6 year old son and 2 year old daughter. I hope that they like to explore and adventure and make stuff. As long as they do that and are nice people I think everything else will be OK.

• Read in Japanese/日本語

Lullatone on Bandcamp, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, www.

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