Fujiya and Miyagi are an English electronic band that create minimalistic beats under whispered lyrics and calming synthetic melodies. Known for their inspiration and love for “krautrock” in bands such as Kraftwerk and Neu!, F&M formed and joined together in Brighton, UK. Their name was easily pieced together using a character in The Karate Kid movie and the brand of a record player.
Currently signed to Full Time Hobby Records, Fujiya and Miyagi have created three albums and are currently on a US tour in support of their 2008 release, Lightbulbs. Recently F&M’s vocalist and guitarist, David Best kindly contributed to Music Is Art. Please enjoy his answers and personal mix tape below!
L I S T E N
MIA: Musically, how did the band form, what past experiences do you carry with you?
DAVID: Steve and I met playing football, and later we were talking about music and discovered we had quite a few groups that we liked in common like Can, Carl Craig and Talking Heads. Steve was coming from more of a techno background and my background was playing guitar in a more than less electronic group.
MIA: Describe the feeling of living and making music in your city, feel free to share a memory or a certain place that makes you feel like home.
DAVID: The thing about Brighton, UK is that it’s quite laid-back. I don’t think it really effects how we write in as much as if you were writing dub-step in a high rise block of new flats in a big city. My favorite part of Brighton is Preston Park, as its one of the first things to see when we are coming back home.
MIA: Do you enjoy to perform live? How does the band like to get ready and is there a favorite song that you like to play for your audience?
DAVID: I enjoy it once I get there but I don’t really enjoy the traveling that much. I try not to think too much before we go onstage as if I do I forget the words. You sort of go on autopilot. I like playing “Pterodactyls” at the moment, especially the noisy bit at the end.
MIA: What has been the most impacting compliment, or criticism, your band has ever received?
DAVID: I try to ignore any compliments or criticisms we receive as I don’t want it to effect what we do. Sometimes I feel like I could drown in a sea of opinions but these are often from people who have never created anything in their lives. I get upset if people get the wrong end of the stick with my lyrics.
MIA: Within your songwriting, is there some type of element that has brought about a certain mood in yr writing, making you feel more/less different than when you started? How long has the recording process taken to complete your album and to finally believe that it’s ready?
DAVID: I think with this record we wanted to be more positive than negative, even if that was not how we were feeling. There’s a melancholy that sometimes breaks through but I think its overshadowed by the idea that you are striving for life to be better, not embracing the fact that sometimes its not. “Lightbulbs” took about 6 months, a lot of the other songs were written before that time but never recorded. I think at some point you really have to say it’s finished, otherwise we’d be constantly changing things.
MIA: What qualities do you hope listeners may take from listening to your music?
DAVID: I hope people see that although we are obviously fans of certain genres or artists, we are trying to do something that is not swayed by what is currently fashionable or current trends.
MIA: Name some of your favorite albums of 2008.
DAVID: My two favorite records are Beck’s Modern Guilt and Gnarls Barkley’s The Odd Couple, both produced by Dangermouse. I’ve always liked Beck, the combination of his new songs and the production produced show this as his best record since Sea Change. The Gnarls Barkley record seems to me like they exist in their own world, which is something I always admire.
MIA: Name any favorite visual artists, pieces of artwork and how it may inspire you.
DAVID: I like a few artists like Sigmar Polke, Oskar Kokoschka and Jean Dubuffet. I like how Polke combined different unpainted aspects in his work and incorporated it into the pieces. There’s a Kokoschka painting called “Time Gentlemen Please” which has always stayed with me. It’s probably about death but I just like the image of being kicked out of the pub.
MIA: Please share a mixtape with a theme of your choice.
DAVID: The theme is Clowns…