Vasudeva has Japan Tour in April and May 2019.
We did a interview by Corey Mastrangelo (Vasudeva). He told us about Vasudeva music style, such as the process of music production, the thought on music.
Interview and Translation by Yoichi (Loqto)
Support by Ben and Yuki (Merry Christmas)
Hey Vasudeva! I was really happy to organize the tour for you! Japanese listeners are definitely looking forward to seeing your performance! First of all, can you share a little bit of information about Vasudeva? It could be about the history of the band formation, members etc.
Corey We are so unbelievably honored to be playing in Japan for the first time. It’s a dream come true. Vasudeva started in 2008 when we were in high school. We all started listening to new music together like Minus the Bear, Tera Melos, Maps & Atlases, bands like this. We wanted to play uplifting music. We then came across bands such as Toe, LITE and other Japanese bands which had an immense influence on us. Since we’ve started we just want to write music that makes us feel good and that other people can feel good listening to. We take influence from all over now, math rock, old pop music, electronic music, anything that is unique and forward thinking.
What is the origin of the band name Vasudeva? How did you come up with the name?
Corey We got the name Vasudeva from a book we were all reading at the time we started the band. In the book “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse, Vasudeva is a character that is essentially guiding the main character to enlightenment. Vasudeva speaks very little in the book but when he does it was always very profound and moving and we thought since we would be a fully instrumental band, this holds some meaning because sometimes being silent and listening is more important and meaningful than speaking loudly. Also Vasudeva is the father of Krishna in Buddhism but that’s something we didn’t realize until a few years after.
Your melodic, technical tapping and guitar tones create an expansive atmosphere making Vasudeva’s sound very original. How and why did you adopt this style?
Corey We’ve never really been sure what we sound like we always just draw influence from what music hits us very hard at that time. We all also are very different from each other and have different ways that we approach our instruments. Again, we really just strive to play music that makes us feel good. It’s been so fun to be in this band because we can write any style of song that we want. When we started we really wanted to play technically challenging parts but as time goes on the easier our songs are becoming the more fun they are for us to play to a certain degree because there is less mental stress and more free flowing playing. Also as time goes on we’re learning more about technology and love being in the studio and using effects and different recording techniques to make our records sound entirely their own.
What is important when expressing Vasudeva’s sound? It seems that you are using many pedals, but what are the basic components of your sound in particular?
Corey Pedals are very important for us to create space and textures and also create certain dynamic within the song. For us that is important but it’s equally as important for us to be happy with a song entirely bare. A song for us normally will always start, or be played, on acoustic guitar or piano so the song has to sound great in that context too in order for us to be happy with it. Effects and recording techniques give us a different side of the idea we’re working on but we enjoy the completely stripped down versions just as much as the extremely layered and textured versions. This is why we experimented with our EP “3 Acoustics” as well. Things like this really interest us. Being able to see our songs in different forms is really fun and breathes new life into old ideas.
How is each member involved in the process of making your songs?
Corey We are all equal parts involved in making each song. A song may start with a riff on guitar, piano, bass, drum idea, or even in the computer on a synth or drum machine. We bring the idea to each other and work on it from the ground up. We never know what the final idea will sound like when we start writing and it’s always fun to see the various stages that it went through. We love collaborating with one another even if sometimes some songs take longer to finish than others.
I think you've done a lot of activities for a long time. Recently you guys were traveling and touring with “Covet” and “Chon” etc. I wonder if you can tell us about the countries you've been playing so far, the impressive things, and episodes etc.
Corey Yes we’ve been very lucky to tour with some incredible bands here in America and abroad. We’ve done about 4 full US tours and have played throughout Canada as well as the UK & Europe. We’re extremely thankful for the opportunities we’ve been given and have met some incredible friends and inspiring musicians throughout our time on the road. We’ve been given chances we’ve only dreamed of since we started this band. We’ve toured with bands who have influenced us from the start. It means a lot to us to continue to do this and grow and meet new people and friends. A few milestones for us are playing Arctangent Festival, touring across Europe, and seeing parts of our country we wouldn’t have a chance to see otherwise. Japan will be our first time playing music in an Asian country and we are so excited. We already hope to do more touring across Asia.
I heard you are friends with Gulfer, Totorro and Valerian Swing who Loqto also know from arranging and supporting on their Japan tours. Have you heard their stories of when they were in Japan?
Corey Yes those are all great friends of ours. We’ve toured with Gulfer and Totorro and have played in Italy with Valerian Swing. It’s so amazing to finally meet all these people after listening and appreciating their music. To become friends with them also means so much to us. We’ve heard only amazing things about Japan and Japanese audiences through our friends who have toured there!
May I ask for your honest opinions about Japan? What are you looking forward to doing or seeing or what places do you want to visit while you are staying in Japan?
Corey We have only heard such amazing things about Japan, we’re so intrigued by the culture there and cannot wait to experience all of this for ourselves with our own eyes. We want to do whatever we can during our down time! We want to play video games, eat great food, learn about the culture, pick up on some of the language, find out about Japan’s history, connect with others. Anything possible during our time there we want to do. We want our legs to be sore from walking so much.
I heard that you have a new album in the works! Do you have a plan about the next album concept and what do you want to do in the future as Vasudeva?
Corey We are working on a new record right now, we’re recording it by ourselves again with the help of Kevin Dye from Gates. We have plenty in mind for the album but that will have to wait. We do know it will be 9-10 songs and we’re extremely proud of all of them. We think this is a step forward for us. We’re wearing new influences on our sleeve.
Finally, could you give us a message to Japanese listeners who are looking forward to your show.
Corey Hello to everyone! We’re very honored to coming there finally after nearly 10 years of being a band. Japan has such an amazing history and the music scene there seems to be unlike any in the world. We’re so thankful that people believe in us enough to bring us there to play music. We don’t take this opportunity lightly and plan to make the best of it. Thank you Loqto and thank you Friend of Mine Records. It’s going to be an experience that we definitely will never forget.