Sunday, 17 May 2009

Mi Ami

Mi Ami are Daniel Martin-Mcormick, Jacob Long and Damon Palermo from San Fransico. Something about Black Eyes, something about African Rythmns, they've just finished a tour of the UK and Europe, perhaps you saw them? Interview here

-Mi Ami seem to be like a Jam band, fleshing out ideas in the live environment - is this how you come up with songs or is the process more traditional?

We write the songs through jamming and leave ourselves room to do what we need to live. I read an interview with Slayer, and Dave Lombardo says that he "wings it" every night, which I think is as good a description as any. We have our parts and we have the songs, but we still just go for it as much as possible. It keeps things fresh.

-Your sound seems to be about molding together abrasive noises and danceable rhythms - was this the intention from the start?

No, there was no intention. Well, actually, I have always had this abstract idea that I want the band to sound like a rainforest, which to me means a lot of unique sounds happening at the same time, in parallel and also in harmony, each with its own unique character, and the sound creating a sonic space that you can explore. But I think the rhythmic and harsher aspects have for to do with making music that we literally and figuratively feel. With some exceptions, I don't really feel much from skronky, start-stop rhythms, or from smooth guitar playing.

-Daniel, your vocal style seems to push your vocal cords to extremes - how much of a strain is it on your voice?

Not much. I've had some training and I've been doing this for a while. I wouldn't do something that would hurt every night. It's more about expression.

-You've been touring Europe now for weeks, playing shows every other day it seems, can places and gigs sometimes blur into one? What cities have been memorable?

Well, first of all, we play shows every day, not every other day. But yes, it can be easy to forget where you were a night or two ago. At the same time, each place is unique and special, so being spaced out has more to do with a constant stream of new information coming your way, and dealing with the routine of change that is travel. All the cities are memorable in their ways, but I am especially fond of brutal cities, like New Orleans and Belfast, or very old cities like Rome.

Echononecho The Hideout in Chicago, IL - Video by Ben Chandler

-Live, Daniel, seems to try to kick start the audience - pushing, pulling and running into them to incite some movement - do people usually respond well to this stimulation?

Yeah they usually get excited. Sometimes I'm a little harsher; the other night in Copenhagen, there were about twelve people in the audience and I look out and this one tall guy is standing right in the middle, texting. So I ran out and tried to take his phone, but then he did the idiotic "Yeah Yeah!! I'm rocking out with you!" move and tried to bear-hug me so I grabbed him by the neck and got him off me. At least he wasn't texting anymore. But that's a special occasion. Usually it's more of a loving gesture, to get people out of their own world and into the psychic space of the show.

-You guys Dj quite a lot, don't you? What new tracks are Mi Ami enjoying?

There's this young guy from Detroit named Kyle Hall. I think he's only seventeen or eighteen years old, but he is incredible, especially his (corny and amazingly-named) song 'I Love Dr. Girlfriend.' I also really like this Black Cock edit called 'Give It Up'. Otherwise, just classic junk... In the van on this tour, we played some classic Crazy Horse era Neil Young, Pharoah Sanders 'Blind Deaf and Dumb', Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works 1....

-Apart from Metallica, what other great bands are from San Francisco?

Right now, all the good bands are really small and that's exciting. I think in the next year, you will be hearing from J.A.W.S., Psychic Reality, 0th, Inca Ore (well from Oakland) and a few other newly-formed combos that I don't yet know the names of. People seems psyched on Sic Alps and Thee Oh Sees and stuff like that.

-What do the three of you do when not playing music together?

Work, love, live, learn.

Mi Ami can be found online via their
Myspace and Record Label