The eight members of the strange and buzzy indie pop band were never all in the same room until after the album came out. Now they all share a house.
SUPERORGANISM with HELENA DELAND at the Mod Club (722 College), Friday (March 30), doors 7 pm. $16.50. ticketfly.com.
Superorganism wasted no time establishing themselves as one of the most fascinating bands to emerge in 2017.
When the London, England-based octet first dropped their sampledelic debut single, Something For Your M.I.N.D., last summer, rumours began swirling that the members were either part of a cult led by a singer who was not human but a hologram, or a secret side project of Gorillaz, the Avalanches or Tame Impala. None of that was true, yet they’re still unlike any other act around right now.
Born out of the ashes of New Zealand indie pop band the Eversons, Superorganism began as a purely internet-based project. Teenaged lead vocalist Orono Noguchi met the Eversons – Mark Turner, Tim Shann, Blair Everson and Christopher Young – during a trip to her native Japan, where they were performing. When she returned to her home in Maine, she kept in touch with the band over Skype, and in no time began singing for them. Orono officially joined them after graduating high school, followed by new members Ruby and B, also from New Zealand, and eventually Soul, a South Korean living in Sydney. Together, they became Superorganism.
But they remained purely online-based, until Something For Your M.I.N.D. blew up.
“The first time we were all in a room together was in September,” Orono says after a soundcheck in Birmingham, England. “We had never actually all met until we made the record, which we finished in August. When we did meet it wasn’t that exciting, to be honest, because we had kept in touch on the internet for so long.”
The eight members currently share a “tiny terrace house” in London, where they’ve all settled, which operates as an in-house production studio, where they make everything from the music to the artwork to the visuals for their gigs.
“I think it’s quite chill compared to what most people think,” she says. “But it can get hectic because we have two showers, but they don’t work at the same time. It’s fucking stupid. We don’t even have a living room because I took over the living room. Our place is a bit of a shithole but we make it work. If we had money we would move immediately.”
Despite having a home to themselves they haven’t yet changed the way they operate. They still make music by sharing files via “Facebook or whatever,” though now it’s from their bedrooms.
“The only difference moving in together has made is that we’re fleshing out songs a lot faster, because we don’t have to deal with the time differences,” Orono explains, also noting they’ve done some vocal tracking in person. “I imagine [file-sharing] is the way we’ll work eternally. That’s what we know and are comfortable with.”
Their self-titled debut album (released March 2 on Domino) is as weird, whimsical and wonderful as its lead single. Mixing obscure samples, keyboards, guitar riffs, buoyant rhythms and Orono’s loose sing-speak vocals with cheerleading back-up, Superorganism are every bit as charming as their origin story.
A key part of the process, Orono says, is the use of a collective mood board, which they share on Facebook and Whatsapp. Off the top of her head she cites Kanye West, Weezer, Katy Perry and Charli XCX as a few of the faces they’ve traded. Recently, they’ve done covers of both Pavement and Fifth Harmony-member-turned-solo-star Camila Cabello.
“We don’t have any guilty pleasures,” Orono says.
Though the bulk of their story has taken place online, the album will keep them on the road for the foreseeable future. Touring doesn’t seem to faze Orono, though. She says they’ve already begun writing new songs and adjusting to life away from Superorganism HQ. She even fancies it more.
“We just toured Europe with a tour bus, which was really cool because we got our own coffins. Like, it was really dark on the bus,” she says.
“Waking up in a different place every day is very exciting. We prefer the bus to the house because there are two lounges, and we have no lounges but the kitchen in our house. I would love to live on the bus forever.”
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