Fujiya & Miyagi: A Word with David Best

This week I caught up with Fujiya & Miyagi synth and vocal master, David Best, to get some words on the band’s upcoming tour for their last album Ventriloquizzing, and hear a bit on their latest single Ecstatic Dancer. He lends listeners some of his personal recs for music masters and some raw verbiage on the UK music scene. The sounds and full write up will be out on Trendland in the next day or so. Stay tuned, and enjoy a little behind the scenes with rockstar David Best.

AG:  You have a rack of albums, a load of wild tunes and the band is everywhere, but who are you,  and what are some commonalities between you all that keep the team pulsing?

DB: We’ve all lived in Brighton for 15 years or so. Myself, Steve and Matt actually grew up pretty near one another but never knew one another. We worked out we must have been at the same my bloody valentine and pavement shows when we were teenagers.  We all grew up in commuter towns above London. Lee grew up near Newcastle.  I met both Steve and Matt playing 5-a-side football.  I was a guitar player who wanted to do more electronic music and Steve wanted more guitars in his electronics. We started around thirteen years ago so we’ve invested a large part of our lives to the group. I think that more than anything is what keeps us going. It would be hard to let it go.

AG:  The music titles, and lyrics can be erie and even daunting while still upbeat and rosy paired with the melodic creativity. So what’s the messaging and or mood, or general tone the band tries to deliver/evoke?

DB: I like it when the music conflicts with the lyrics. Old soul songs did that a lot too. The beat was for the feet and the words were for the head. We haven’t got an agenda in terms of shelling out messages. I don’t think people need bands to tell them what they should believe or like. Our lyrics are just my personal thoughts on how I see what goes on around me.  Musically Ventriloquizzing is denser and fuller than our previous records. Although I am contradicting myself here the music and lyrics complement one another on the record where as on earlier records they rubbed each other up the wrong way to a greater extent.

AG: UK is armored with indie scene music, electro leaders, and fresh DJs – what/who are some of the influences on your band, musically, creatively, socially, globally? And how have you scene music change over the years from your early days in early 2000?

DB: We have become a live group where as we began as more of a computer based endeavour. Apart from briefly with transparent things we have an uncanny knack of doing the complete opposite of whatever is in vogue at that point. We were purely electronic based when guitars were fashionable and now that electronic music is ubiquitous we use live instruments more. it’s just how it is, I suppose.  Can and kraftwerk are obviously a big influence, but parliament and sly and the family stone are too. Aphex twin, Eno, Prince, Terry Riley and Serge Gainsbourg are other influences. I like Nabokov and J G Ballard books and Oskar Kokoshka’s paintings. Right now there are so many great records being made. Emeralds, Julia Holter, Tim Hecker and Leyland Kirby are just some of the things I’ve been listening to recently. Labels like spectrum spools and digitalis are fantastic.

AG: Fujiya & Miyagi has never been quiet (not if they tried) – but the band is making more noise particularly with their upcoming tour and new releases. Can you talk a little bit about the creative process, production work, and goals behind Ventriloquizzes?

DB: We tried to not repeat ourselves. Thom Monahan co-produced it and that’s the first time we’ve worked with someone else in that capacity. It’s less sparse than previous records. In retrospect we might have been too respectful of the songs in how we arranged them. I think our next record will be more electronic and less traditional song structure wise. I am very fond of Ventriloquizzing though, far more so than our other records.

AG: What are you most excited about with this album, and what are your picks for best tracks?

DB: Well we are thinking about the next record now so excitement has turned to reflection. Minestrone and tinsel and glitter are my two favourite tracks at the moment, although I haven’t listened to the record since January . We play tinsel and glitter quite differently live and some nights it really swings like a bastard. Its about how a couple of years ago every pop act was dressed super sparkly and were great successes where as we look like we are supply teachers or work nights in a petrol station. Minestrone is a favourite simply because it is very different than anything we’ve done before. lyrically it is quite linear rather than fragmented and musically it is us trying to sound like Miles Davis circa Jack Johnson.

AG: Would you mind elaborating on Ecstatic Dancer?

DB: Ecstatic dancer is in some ways an extension of ventriloquizzing, and that’s why we released it as a single rather than put it on the next record. It’s pretty glammy and has lots of key changes.  The words are pretty dumb, in the tradition of songs like the twist, peanut duck and the mashed potato. It doesn’t have a message, it’s just a song. It took a long time to arrange and produce, but I think it was worth it and sounds pretty good. In some ways it’s the single Ventriloquizzing needed so more people would of heard it. Hopefully that still might happen.


About Angela Gleason

visual designer | writer | pianist in the basement | painter in the night | fashion critic | lush | Italian savant check me out: www.taxisandwalnuts.com