Finally, Hikes release new album "Mahal Kita" in Japan. We interviewed Nathan James Wilkins of Vocal & Guitar to commemorate the first release in Japan
He told us about the production process of the second album “Mahal Kita” that was completed last year after the band overcame difficulties.

Interview and Translation by Takenori Yamamoto

It’s been a long time! We met at BAHAMAS FEST 2016 in Tokyo, in 3 years, do you fine? Thanks for the great night!

Nathan Bahamas fest was an amazing time! Thank you for having us! I’m doing great! Feels nice to have a new album ready and a full band that I love.

Congrats for releasing new album. It new one is next album you released “Lilt” that’s recording in Japan, please let me know about “MAHAL KITA” mean. That like “LOVE YOU”. What is there meaning in behind it?

Nathan Thank you! Mahal Kita is Tagalog (the Filipino language) for I Love You. I named it that because of the lessons I learned from my Filipino mother and through her, the lessons I learned from my brother. She has had a hard life and she has never held grudges, never lost sight of love. Last year was very hard with family issues and changes in the band. Love and Empathy got me through.

I wanna hear you something about new album. So hard things for making, easy things and more. Especially about new member Claire, I think her guitar play is new “Voice” for your band, I feel so cool.

Nathan This album making process was very easy and seamless. I had a bunch of songs I had been saving, and when Claire rejoined it was easy to write them fast. She is a classical guitarist and I learned many of my techniques from her. She is a very hard worker, very determined and brought a new peaceful energy to the band. That helped us focus and work hard. Chris and Colin really “dialed in” a tight rhythm section around the songs without losing any artistic integrity. It’s a new sound with carefully crafted space.

Rejoined? When did you play with her?

Nathan Claire played with us for our album “Friends” in 2012 !

It is the best Hikes just now. But, please let me know your Hikes’ goal or you want to do in the future.

Nathan Thank you! Our goal for the future is write an album every year. We want to tour all of Asia, Europe, and the America’s. I personally want to travel to and connect with the Philippines through music. We also plan to make this a viable job for us, so we can focus on art 100% of the time.

I think that you become so famous band for math rock fans after playing on the ArcTanGent next you came to Japan. Your songs like the nature, I feel like folk music more. So complexity but not bothering.

Nathan Thank you! Both of those tours did a lot for us. I’m so grateful for them. I love nature and I love folk music. I honestly don’t listen to much math rock. I like telling real life stories through my songs. The lyrics are most important to me. If I run out of ideas, I go out to the woods with my notebook and guitar until one comes to me!

Which is the song of latest album influenced from nature?

Nathan All of them are influenced from nature but “Been Thinkin” and “Mauve Rinsed” and “Beauty, Again” the most!!

So we maybe feel the woods from your songs…! :) And, you said you like folk music... do you have any favorite folk music album?

Nathan “Our Endless numbered days” by iron and wine, Tallest man on earths first album, and “virgin forest” Lionel loueke were all very influential to me.

I'm watching extra mile music video! I saw the new genre "Farmer's rock" first

Nathan Farmers rock is mostly a joke! I just had a crazy idea for the video and wrote it all down. ¨̮

I see your post the pictures by you got the car for the tour, etc. :P

Nathan Yes! I got a new car so I could play more music and meet more people. I plan to do a lot of traveling and touring until quit my day job for music.

I'm really glad for releasing new album from Friend of Mine Records in Japan! Many Japanese fans wait you are coming to Japan again.

Nathan Me too! I love Friend of Mine Records and I can’t wait to release it and come back! Can’t wait to see you too! It’s been too long. Hikes will definitely come back.
yoroshiku onegaishimasu!