Japandroids on their travels and returning to Aus for their largest Aussie tour yet

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Japandroids on their travels and returning to Aus for their largest Aussie tour yet

After playing over 200 shows in two years, it was fairly understandable when Japandroids announced they where having a break at the end of 2013. Now being back on the scene for over two years and selling out shows worldwide, it seems that the two-piece Canadian punk rock band aren’t planning on slowing down again any time soon. After just returning from playing shows all across Europe, Japandroids are about to make their way to Mongolia for the first time ever to play a festival set.

“No bands that we know have played there, I don’t even know anyone who’s been there. So for us, it’s totally uncharted territory, which is why we are going. Since we first started touring, we have always been really interested in trying to play in as many countries around the world as we can,” guitarist and lead vocalist Brian King says.

“Every once in a while we get these awesome weird invitations to play shows and we have been lucky enough to accept most of them and this is the latest one. We got offered to play so we are going to go and see what happen,” King says. “I’m not sure how the show itself will go, it’s really hard for me to believe there are a tonne of kids in Mongolia who are into the Japandroids, maybe there is, but I’m pretty doubtful. It’s so beyond anywhere we thought we would be; you never expect rock ‘n’ roll to take you to a place like that, so it’s going to be an adventure one way or the other.”

After first gaining widespread popularity in the late 2000s, the emergence of social media sites such as Youtube and Myspace played a large factor in the bands initial exposure, this being something King has always appreciated.

“One thing about being a band in modern times is that the internet has really opened the door to all of these locations around the world that were previously would be unthinkable for a small rock band like us, to actually go there and play shows for people who know our music,” he says. “So in that respect there is a lot of the world that has opened up, it kind of connects all of these countries and all of these bands together, and it’s provided us with some really unique opportunities that we are very fortunate for.”

Japandroids General Press 3- Camilo Christen

With travel being a fundamental aspect of the bands lifestyle, it makes sense that their critically acclaimed third LP, 2016’s ‘Near to the Wild Heart of Life’ focuses heavily on the themes of ‘leaving’.

“I think that one of the themes on the record is not travel per say, but the idea of leaving and moving around and being constantly on the go. I feel like the theme of leaving is so prevalent on the record because that is actually our lives, we are constantly on tour, but even when we aren’t on tour we both live in different cities,” King says, “That for me had a massive impact on the record, because, at the end of the day you write songs about your personal experiences in life, and that just happens to be our personal experience. But the trick is to find a way to write about it that the everyday person can identify with.”

Because of this, King says they always made a conscious effort to structure this albums’ songs as individual narratives. “They are all based on stuff in our lives, but I think over time we are also learning how to incorporate or exaggerate other fictional things. For example, I read a great interview with Tom Waits where he was talking about song writing and he was saying that the key to writing a great song is for it to be 50 per cent reality and 50 per cent fiction. Because no artist is interesting enough for their art to be 100 per cent real, there has to be an element of imagination in it, there has to be an element of exaggeration in it, and that’s what all the great songwriters know, how to put themselves into a song and then add just the right amount of colour to it,” he says.

“That is definitely what we are trying to do, a lot of our experiences don’t make for great rock ‘n’ roll songs. You have to learn how to massage reality and blend it together; it’s honest and about your experience, but it’s still fun to listen to. I feel that’s the magic balance that we certainly haven’t mastered, but we are working towards figuring out.”

In response to sell out sets in both Melbourne and Sydney whilst they were down to play at last years Meredith Music Festival, Japandroids will be returning due to high demand for their largest Australian tour yet and King couldn’t be any more eager.

“I’m very excited. We always have a great time when we are in Australia and I think this trip will be our longest tour we have ever done in Australia, because we tend to play the big five and this time we are getting down to Newcastle and Geelong so I think it will be a really exciting time,” he says. “I’m not sure we have ever been here for winter before either so it might be nice because for the first time the Australian sun won’t be melting away our Canadian bodies!”

When & Where: Corner Hotel, Melbourne – July 11 & The Barwon Club – July 12

Written by Alex Callan