Matt chats with Glenn Sarangapany from Birds of Tokyo

Good morning Glenn. How are you?

Good thanks Matt. How are you?

Not too bad, what have you and the band been up to of late?

We have been doing a lot of promo, running around town and answering a lot of questions and playing acoustic shows.
The new album play list has just came out and reads like a who’s who of awards from ARIAS, Triple J’s top 100 and triple platinum singles. With so mean good songs to choose from how where you able to get it down to the 18 tracks?
We kinda just picked the singles we had put out over the years and went back through it and picked the couple that made scene to us just to put them in order so it would give you a bit of an idea of where we came from and show how the band has changed and how much more we are going to keep changing.

Where there any songs that did not make the album that you personally would have liked to see on it?

Nar. Maybe a weekend song but I was pretty happy with the songs that were chosen.

With this new album the band will be touring Australia. I know that the band will be playing at southbound here in Western Australia. Will you be playing more shows in WA any time soon?

I hope so, I mean it will be really good to get back. We are all originally Perth guys so it will be really fun to get back and see a bunch of crew that we haven’t seen in ages. I miss playing in WA, haven’t done it for a little bit.

With the bands roots being form Perth there has always been a lot of support here from this side of the country. Can you feel that extra energy and support on the stage when you play here?

Well you can see your mums in the crowed and there always very supportive, Maybe embarrassing standing at the front of the stage as close as they can. Lol. There was actually this one gig in a pub where one of the mums bought a lawn chair with her and set it up to sit down on, so if it’s that type of support you mean than yeah but its probably why we all moved. Lol.

The Western Australia Music Industry Awards have awarded the band 10 WAMI’s over the last 10 years, First congratulations and secondly how has it been to get that sort of recognition in your home state?

The first thing about the WAMI’s is the awards are cake. So you get to eat a bunch of cake with your mates. The WAMI’s are always wicked fun. It’s basically the best gig of the year whenever we get there as everyone just turns up. The awards were not the most important thing, it was the fact that everyone was there and would eat cake, get blind drunk, but it’s always nice to get acknowledged for what you’re doing but the party was the best thing about it.

Sound like a fun night. Will you and the band be able to make it to this year’s one at all?

I think our drummer Adam is going to give a talk so yah and I’m spewing I’m missing it actually. I was really keen to go but I think we will be doing some more promo for the new single I’d Go With You Anywhere over here.

I have heard that there is another album in the pipe lines after Playlist. How is that coming along and do you have any hints for us what it will be like?

Yeah it’s coming along good. We are dedicating as much time as we can to writing in the studio. It’s very very different again, bigger sounding is probably the best way I can describe it at the moment. Everyone is aiming for that big cinematic world that we are creating. So we are very excited to see that next year.

The band has played in just about every major festival here in Australia, the AFL grand final day and had songs featured in TV and movies. What has been the high light for you?

Well the grand final was wicked but we played a gig with Muse as the support act and when we played Lanterns everyone lit up their phones and did the new modern wave your lighters in the air thing and that was pretty sweet.

Before birds of Tokyo what bands did you play with?

I think between Weston and myself we played in every band in Perth, Lol. No I was actually meet up with the bird guys because I was playing guitar with westie in a band called Sons of Rico and I had my own funk band when I was in high school. I also played with a band called The Dirty Secrets that are now called Panama. Between all of us everyone was doing a bunch of stuff. Maybe the only band we didn’t play in was Karnivool, but Kenny covered that so we are sweet. Lol

That’s it there is still that culture over here, if you go to any big local basted WA festival like SOTA. You will see artist swap form stage to stage, band to band and instrument to instrument.

My mate Luke Dux he was nominated for a WAMI this year Best Guitarist and I saw the list of bands hi is in and it took up like 3 lines. Lol. It’s good to know it is still happing. It’s a great thing about Perth.

Was recording the self-titled album Birds of Tokyo the beginning of you working career with the band?

I was actually a session man with the band for a while, and as I said I was in another band with Adam Weston and he said that the birds were looking for a keyboard player, so I was like sweet I’ll jump on board and whet on a couple of things with them. I actually reordered a bunch of stuff on Universes for them and lived in a house filled with spiders, that was dreadful and then we went to Sweden to record the self-titled album that was the same sort of thing except with less spiders and more snow.

Too cold for spiders.

Yep that was a relief.

What was it like to do your first large tour with the band?

The first tour I went on with the Birds was the Universes tour, I don’t think I will ever physically recover from that. That was messed up because everyone just wanted to do that rock “n” roll thing and where riding ourselves off every night. 30 dates over 34 days I think and yeah that was good fun. Really really good fun, it was with a band called Calling All Cars and we are still really good mates with those guys. Lol

I have heard that that heading over to the USA is what helped inspire the album playlist. How was your time over there?

It was good fun. It was kinda wired as you go over there and realise that a lot of people picked up with the band starting with Plans and then Lanterns and maybe a couple of others, so it’s nice to have this album to tie everything in and show people that have only herd Lanterns that we started off with a song Wayside real early on that we still love, it’s kinda nice to show people that side of things.

Your time over there also birthed the new EP Anchor. When did you know that you had something really special with that release?

We were all really stocked with that. We were living in a house together and just writing and writing think we all were starting to feel that the songs where coming tighter and thought we have got this. Anchor really had that feeling for everyone.

Now that the Birds of Tokyo are back here in Australia are you here to stay or are there more plans base yourself in other country?

We are here to stay for a while. It’s nice to be back in Australia defiantly at the moment but we are still really keen to tour if we can overseas, that’s a lot of fun but everyone seams really comfortable spread out over Australia at the moment.

What is your favourite track on Playlist right now?

I’m going to go with the secret track at the very end of Playlist, it’s called Puzzle. We added one extra song witch was a new one at the very last minute and it’s a bit more of a curve ball than everything else. The very end of Playlist I will call my favourite.

If you had to describe Playlist as food what would it be and why?

It would have to be something that would give you indigestion it’s too varied. It’s like starting with all the stuff you loved as a teenager nothing but candy and ending up with some kind of attempt at gourmet food, it’s just like a mess of it all tighter but nice to see just how people grow from starting out with it you kinda write songs when your 20 years old like a 20 year old and then you write songs later on to show how you have grown.

If the band where to reenact any movie what would it be and why?

Back to the Future just so I can do there Johnny be good scene because that’s the greatest scene in any movie ever. It would be BOT_PlaylistAlbumCoveramazing we could get Kenny to be Gorge McFly and maybe Westie could be Miss McFly and yeah it would be amazing you could play Earth Angel, it would be great.

And who would play Doc?

I am going to have to say Sparky and Bif could be Berney. Lol

Thank you so much for your time today Glenn

No worries and thank you. Cheers.

Photo Credit: Birds of Tokyo

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