In Conversation with Superorganism
Superorganism are truly a band of the internet age. Composed of eight friends from across the globe – Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the UK – the group met through online message boards and music platforms. Now seven of the eight members live and work together in London, creating music for the modern listener. Their sound is unique. Superorganism are a band with a firm grip on the present day and on the potential of technology to enhance their music, whilst also incorporating more natural ‘found’ sounds, taking inspiration from the urban environment around them. Their debut, self-titled album was released in March 2018 to great critical acclaim. I spoke with Tucan – the band’s drummer and producer – about the album, their writing process, and what they’ve got coming up for us.
Hi Tucan, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us today.
Hey, no problem at all.
So, tell us a bit about Superorganism…
Superorganism is a band made up of a group of eight friends from all around the world who make kind of weird pop music, and we do it all ourselves.
As you say, you are quite a large band from all over the place – how did that come about? How do you all know each other?
So we pretty much all met via the internet over quite a long period of time – it’s ten or twelve years maybe since some of us met originally on like message boards and stuff, and we’ve just kind of added people to our friendship group over the years. Some of us in that group played in another band and then, about one and a half sort of years ago, we decided to do something new with all our friends. We made a song and put in on the internet, and that was ‘Something for your Mind’.
And how does being such a ‘superorganism’, if you like, affect your writing process?
It’s collaborative but it’s very individual, so we’re all involved but we don’t all sit in a room together, we kind of all work individually and will send files around to each other, and eventually it builds its way into a complete song. Now we live in London but we still work in the same way. We send files to each other rather than all sitting in a room together. It works for us so we do it like that.
Your debut album was released back in March, and I love it!
Thank you man!
What were some of your inspirations for the album?
It’s a combination of the found-sound sort of stuff – you know, you walk down the street in London you’re always hearing noise, whether its cars driving or people yelling at each other on their phones, and you get glimpses of nature in that as well. We like the kind of sonic chaos of living in a big city – like a massive city -which for some of us is quite new. We combined that with the musical side of it – very squelchy kind of synth sounds and that, trying to use the guitar in a different way to how we had in the past just playing distorted chords, instead using it as a kind of percussive mood-shifting device.
What have you been up to since the album was released?
We’ve been touring a lot. When we put the album out we were on tour at the time – I think we were in Sweden when the album actually came out. We’ve pretty much been touring solidly – we did our own tour in the US, UK and Europe at the beginning of the year, we’ve been doing a lot of festivals throughout the summer in Europe. We’ve been to Australia, Japan, several trips to the US. We’ve just come back from a month in the US just doing our own shows on a tour bus and currently I’m at home for two weeks, and then we head out to do the UK and Europe leg of this tour. Then we have quite a bit of time off… Luckily…
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re currently working on our second album. There’s no real deadline to it but we’re pretty far along in the writing. We’re working on production at the moment when we can but it’s very hard to work on the road so now we’re home we’re kind of about to start getting tucked into it for the next two weeks. So yeah, basically just kind of working on the next record.
Any shows coming up?
Yeah we’ve got a full UK tour doing a whole bunch of shows. So you’re in Yorkshire aren’t you? Is that Manchester as your closest? There’s Liverpool around the middle of the month and then we’ve got Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester all kind of late October. We played at Stylus in Leeds before actually, a really cool venue a little bit out of the center of town. So yeah, looking forward to coming up north again – should be fun!
Great! Thank you very much Tucan, all the best.
Really appreciate it, thanks so much.
Superorganism are playing in Liverpool on the 16th of October, in Sheffield on the 21st and Leeds on the 22nd – a must-see for fans of contemporary alternative pop music.