"MISERY IS A BUTTERFLY” BY BLONDE REDHEAD WAS RELEASED IN 2004: AN EPIC, ENCHANTING ALBUM, WITH A PERFECT MIX OF GAINSBOURG-LIKE SONGWRITING. THIS SUMMER THE ITALO-JAPAN TRIO, BASED IN NEW YORK, PRESENTS FOR THE FIRST TIME THE ALBUM WITH A STRING QUARTET, AN ITALIAN TOUR OF 5 GIGS. WE INTERVIEWED KAZU MAKINO WHILE IN MILAN ABOUT THIS NEW PROJECT. TOGETHER WITH TWIN BROTHERS SIMONE AND AMEDEO PACE THEY ARE RECOGNIZED AS OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL INDIE-ROCK BAND OF THE LAST 20 YEARS
Hello Kazu, thanks for having us today at La Triennale in Milan. Tell us something about tonight, we are really curious about this reinterpretation with a glance to the future.
We are going to play Misery – oh, that’s my dog (looking next door and laughing). Sorry but it’s pretty hard for us to talk about this… Misery has been so hard to write, we did have to walk away before take it over again. The record was so influenced by Serge Gaisbourg, this is a sort of tribute. And in this new version such a luxury to have strings. It’s a sort of opportunity to sneak in new things… you know, everything is life is a full circle and now we can dive in this kind of approach that it’s very edgy i would say. It’s very challenging to play with strings because when Simone, Amedeo or myself do some mistakes on stage we cover each other in a way and make it work but now with this new addition we must pay attention to every single details. Excting by the way!
Moreover we haven’t seen the guy that has helped us writing Misery for a long time and he’s here tonight!
How do you think music has changed since you your early beginnings?
Well, we do what we do and you do not really look around, for sure something has changed but not in our way to do music. For sure I do have a lessened tolerance for certain things, like touring and traveling that now after 20 years is getting sometimes difficult.
Which sort of readings did inspired you in the past and today?
Books? I like to read a lot even if i don’t understand, i skim a lot. I love Vladimir Nabokov. His last book ADA amazes me, it’s about a family and it is so erotic.
And from a visual point of view? Photographic for instance?
I never thought about that actually… but Misery is very much based on surrealism because it’s vulnerable, yet remains emotionally available and is breathtaking; for example Fulvio Ferrari is for me extremely stimulating, we became lately good friends.
Simone and Amedeo are your band partners since the beginning. How’s working with two twins, how do you cope with this?
We must, because we have been out there for quite a long time and it does still work well! If you see us, for instance today, you wouldn’t believe it because we are so different and each of us is a particular character but for example I am quite dysfunctional and they are very practical: I am the exact opposite but we are always on the same page, they are so special. And also I’m not very good at multitasking either, so I want to just focus on music and they let me do it.
Blonde Redhead performed at il Teatro dell’Arte @ La Triennale, Milan on Wednesday 20th July.