In November 2016, a Japanese prime math rock quartet Lite returned with their fifth album Cubic (read our review here). Pushing the creative envelope even further, the release proved to be a huge success; it was promoted live in Europe and North America, beside constantly performing in their home country.
The band has a South American tour planned for 2018, and about the album, influences, creating and future, they tell us in the interview below.
Describe the musical vision propelling your recent album Cubic.
When we toured abroad, we noticed that, rather than musical equipment that depends on the sound system of the venues, like synthesizers or sequencers, instruments like drums or guitars that actually resonate from the strings or the amps are more likely to transmit the aggressiveness of LITE’s tracks.
That’s how CUBIC is born, from this will to go back to the origin, to LITE’s aggressiveness.
What made it the right time to pursue that vision?
It’s really a result of the experiences accumulated during our tours overseas.
The foreign audience at our shows abroad reacts with much more spontaneity than the Japanese one. That’s how we understood that the more aggressive our sound is, the stronger its impact is on the audience.
But LITE’s aggressiveness can express itself better when it’s well-defined, precise, and since in the early days of LITE we had this sound both aggressive and precise, that’s when we decided to go back to our original sound.
Tell me about what you’re communicating with the album cover.
Originally, we had that concept of “geometric”, or in other words mathematics. The cube of the artwork has been completed by arranging different perspectives. We wanted its concept to be related to math, but also to show not only one color but a multitude of facets.
What was the creative process for Cubic like?
It was a very challenging process to create this album, as we tried to go back to our roots while not losing track of our current sound, result of 14 years playing together.
Speaking of the album’s creative process, provide some insight into it. How did you document the music while it was being formulated?
Everything was made by composing a key phrase first. A lot of them were piled up in the software LOGIC.
The key phrase would then be fleshed out simply with some drums, before being played as a band. We’d keep what seems to fit perfectly in tune, leave the rest behind and repeat this process few times to put a track together.
Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?
Once a key phrase was done, we would think about the next key phrase that could match it, or in other words “the evolution this key phrase is calling for.”
Making use of a key phrase, or suppressing it, it all depended on the global architecture of the pieces. That’s why we considered indeed very carefully the dynamic of the whole to decide how we were going to make the most of key phrases.
Did the environment in any way influence the vibe the album transcends?
CUBIC was recorded in Japan, but mixed by Keith Souza and mastered by Heba Kadry. The mix was done in Keith’s studio in the States, a result of three days discussing it over and sharing mutually our ideas about the sound. This very good environment has probably influenced the album it gave birth to, CUBIC, in many ways.
How do you usually go about creating a new song?
It happens a lot that a composed phrase turns accidentally into a song when we play it on instruments. Most of the times, it’s arranged using a mac.
Which bands or artists influence your work?
There are a lot of them, like Battles or 54-71. Recently we are also influenced by the local bands we meet during our tours overseas.
Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?
The longer how band can live on and perform, the more we can get involved with a lot of different people and see our opportunities growing.
That’s the reason why our objective is to continue the activities of the band and produce good music to share with everyone.
More than just a musical objective, I guess it’s just as much a life purpose.
What are your future plans?
We are planning to go on a South America tour for the first time in the near future.