Archive for the 'Interview' Category

Interview: Caroline Lufkin

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

  caroline lufkin interview, where's my love, murmurs, pop, indie, electronic, japanese american

I remember coming home one night from a tough day at work, exhausted, hungry and wet from the rain. Murphy’s law seemed adamant in proving itself to me. “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” the law states. And so when I arrived at my doorstep and reached for my keys, I realized that I had left them at my workplace. Nine times out of ten, this would not be a problem, as someone would always be home to let me in. But of course that was not the case on this particular night.

I had no choice but to sit in the cold and wait for someone to return. As the rain clouds continued to mock me with their spitting, I took out my iPod to sooth my pain with music. That’s when I heard the song “Where’s My Love” for the first time.

Upon hearing the song, I was instantly struck with an euphoric sense of weightlessness. My mood went from seething-and-ready-to-explode to calm as a feather. Just moments earlier, I was cursing the rain. After the song, I couldn’t help but remark how incredibly beautiful the raindrops looked as they splashed down onto the wet pavement ahead of me. I began to think that my luck wasn’t so bad, to have been able to experience this kind of transformation, to see absolute beauty in an otherwise gloomy setting, is something I’ll always be thankful for.

The person who wrote that song is Caroline Lufkin. I should say thanks. Thanks Caroline for taking time out of your busy life to do this interview. And Thanks Caroline for sharing your beautiful music with the rest of the world.

You recently finished the European leg of the Mice Parade tour, how did it go?

Mice Parade tour was punk rock….at least for me…traveling with 9 party animals!! haha. Really now…every show with Mice Parade was so special to me! Goodness, sometimes I’ll get so caught up in watching the rest of the band play that I’ll forget to come in with vocals!

Can you tell us about how you came to be involved with Mice Parade and whether or not we can expect you on some of Adam’s future recordings?

Adam was on a mission to find a new vocalist and a friend introduced my music to him. Next thing you know, I was flying to New York for rehearsal, preparing for tour! I think I’m an official member of Mice Parade! Big smile here! In other words, there’s a good chance I’ll be on the next record!

Many electronic musicians like to incorporate projections and other visuals into their live shows. I saw a Youtube clip where you used a smoke machine once. Do you have any intentions of adding more visual elements to your show?

Oh no! The smoke machine was hilarious! That piece of device was not my choosing! I recall having a hard time breathing on stage…then, laughing at its loud entrance. It sounded like a car engine struggling to get going!

Adding visuals has always been my intention! I’ve been gathering clips for a long time! Finally, I’ve found the perfect software program! And finally, bought a computer that can handle visuals!

In that same performance, you managed to force your live partner JJ to sing along to “Where’s My Love” which was hilarious!

I was sick, -fever and all. And at that point, I thought I was going to completely lose my voice. So I looked around and found my solution – JJ.

The crowd loved it. When can we expect you to take to the stage again? Any mini or not-so-mini tours in the pipeline?

My 3rd tour with Mice Parade in January. Australia! As for solo performances, nothing planned. Hoping to at least set-up some local shows! Hoping to tour with my new songs sooooooon!

Before going to music school, had you any idea of the type of musician that you wanted to be? Did learning about the craft change or alter that course?

Before music college, I decided I wanted to study composition. Perhaps, secretly, I prayed that my voice would miraculously become ok enough to do a little singin =) planned nothing further!

Being exposed to a whole world of music styles, instruments, musicians, electronic toys etc., allowed me to play with this and that. Eventually, I found myself gravitating to certain elements… which is what you hear now.

Do you find it surprising then, that so many reviews, be they positive or negative, see your voice as being a special highlight in your songs? I’ve read references to angels (apparently they sound a lot like you, and you tend to make them weep) an innumerable amount of times while reading about Murmurs. I agree with them wholeheartedly, to think that at one point you thought your voice wasn’t okay enough…

Surprising reviewers tend to focus on vocals. I read reviews for entertainment, for a good laugh. Reviews are hilarious. Music is not for judging…or rating how good or bad, technically. At some point, I realized it’s really just an expression. Recently, I heard the most out-of-tune singer/songwriter! But, she meant every note. I understood it, loved it. …when sometimes prodigies don’t get to me. Of course, I feel happy when someone likes my voice. But I could care less if someone dislikes it. It’s not the point. If you don’t like song, then it wasn’t meant for you. Know what I mean?


It’s been two years since the release of “Where’s My Love” on Temporary Residence, how has the ride been so far? Everything you expected?

Sincerely, this has been more than I expected. How lucky am I to have a nice cozy home with Temporary Residence? I get tons of love from my label and this has led to wonderful times, with wonderful people.

Do you find that you have to be inspired in order to compose music? Do you tend to draw your inspiration from sources outside of music?

Music has always come from the NEED to write… as an outlet. Maybe the answer is yes. All my music comes from outside sources.

You mentioned on your Blog that you’ll be coming out with remixes soon. Are they remixes of your songs by other artists?

Yes! Friends of mine!

(The Murmurs Remix album will be available January 8, 2008 on iTunes.)

Speaking of which, how you liking the Lullatone remix of Bicycle?

Magical- in typical Lullatone-fashion! Shawn (of Lullatone) remixed this on a plane ride from Tokyo to the U.S.!

Did you get to see them while they were on their North American tour? I’m quite convinced that Shawn and Yoshimi are the cutest things to have ever graced this soil. 99% convinced.

I didn’t get to see them! I remember being bummed they weren’t stopping in LA, and being so close (making their first stop SF).

Oh man, are they cute! Me = 150% convinced. Maybe you haven’t seen their cute music videos? =)

(As one wise man once said about Lullatone, “Music so cute it’ll make you puke cotton candy.”)

Since we try to expose our readers here at RedRuin to foreign art, do you have any favorite non-American artists that you could share with us?

Oh yes indeed! Off the top of my head…check these out:

Yoko Furusho
Yoshitomo Nara

This stuff is fantastic. I’m especially liking the digital surrealism from the Oculart page. Any foreign musicians off the top of your head you can introduce us to?

Foreign music? Japanese? My sister is pretty insane! Every now and then, her personality comes through, despite her struggles with major label people. –

Olivia Lufkin
Ryuichi Sakamoto
DJ Krush
World’s end girlfriend

How is the second album coming along? Will you be working with Andreas Bjorck again?

Second album is shaping up! So far, it’s been just me writing and arranging. As for other programmers and producers…I may or may not include them. At this point, I’m keeping all these little ones (songs) under my wings until I feel they need something else.

Lastly, do you have any words for your fans?

Of course. It makes me happy to share my music with you. Thanks for allowing me to do so. Love to all!