TEKE::TEKE – Five Questions With


Montreal’s TEKE::TEKE Share Blazing “Garakuta” + Announce New LP

Montreal-based Japanese psych-rock group TEKE::TEKE have announced their upcoming album Hagata, to be released on June 9 via Kill Rock Stars.

Alongside this news, they have unleashed the album’s blazing lead single, “Garakuta.” With a title that loosely translates to ‘goods of no more use nor value,’ as lead vocalist Maya Kuroki puts it, the track is “a song of rebellion for all that has been thrown out of this world.”

Accompanying the release is an animated video directed by Kuroki and the band’s guitarist Sei Nakauchi Pelletier. Blending heavily stylized cartoon visuals with collage and live-action cameos from band members, the video carries through the song’s righteous and sarcastic humor attacking consumerist pollution.

Speaking on the album,

“Hagata is a very deep word, something present but also something leftover from someone or something no longer there,” Kuroki explains. “It’s like waking up from a dream, or being connected to the other side of something.”

TEKE::TEKE are intimately familiar with that duality of splitting reality between past and present, complex melodies and hushed interludes, intense action, and lingering response. After building their sound on Shirushi through careful assembly of countless splinters of Japanese folk, psychedelia, Brazilian surf rock, and other far-flung touchstones, the seven-piece indulged in and learned from stretching out in free-floating experimentation both on the road and with Hagata’s producer Daniel Schlett (The War On Drugs, DIIV, CHAI, Nick Hakim), recorded in a scenic studio in Mountain Dale, New York.

The band will also support the recently reunited, legendary post-hardcore band, Unwound – Kill Rock Stars alumni, for shows in New York on March 12 at Irving Plaza and March 15 in Philadelphia at Union Transfer.

Watch the video for “Garakuta” below and learn more about TEKE::TEKE via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Sei Nakauchi Pelletier, and I’m the guitarist and founder of the Montreal-based Japanese psych-rock band TEKE::TEKE. I also work as a film and television composer.

Tell us a bit about your most recent release.

TEKE::TEKE’s latest work is the band’s second full-length album. It is entitled ‘Hagata’ (which translates from Japanese to ‘bite marks’) and has a total of ten tracks. One of them, “Garakuta,” was just released recently as a first single.

The album was co-produced, recorded, and mixed by Daniel Schlett (who has done work with Booker T, The War on Drugs, CHIA, Ghostface Killah, and Tamar Aphek to name just a few) at the Outlier Inn (a studio in upstate NY) and at his studio (Strange Weather) in Brooklyn while mastering was done at Sterling Sound in New Jersey.

The official release date of‘ Hagata is June 9th, 2023 via our beloved friends Kill Rock Stars records.

Where do you tend to pull inspiration from when writing?

A lot of the inspiration at the core of T::T when we started back in 2017 came from post-war (or Shôwa-era) Japan. The sort of rebellious scene that sprung out in the late 60’s with music, theatre, films, and art in general, influenced by British and American cultures, mixing it up with elements of traditional Japanese culture gave birth to a lot of amazing works and projects.
I’d say it was just a starting point for us and remains in some way a reference to this day, but the idea was never for the band to revel in nostalgia but rather experiment with more modern influences and sounds. So if I look at it today, being a 7-piece band with different backgrounds, the inspiration can come from anywhere… It can come from our love for Brazilian music, from experimental noise, film soundtracks… We strive on keeping TEKE::TEKE a journey, with no set limits, where all of us can get together, exchange ideas, explore, and create something original and beautiful.

Do you have any upcoming shows you’d like to tell us about?

We’re about to leave for New York and Philadelphia, where we’ve been asked to open for legendary band Unwound, March 12th and 15, formerly on the same label as us, Kill Rock Stars. We’re also playing Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City on April 8th. We will be at the Ottawa Jazz Fest on June 24th, Montreal Jazz Fest on July 7th, the Northern Lights Festival in Sudbury on July 9th, Regina Folk Fest Aug 11-13, Salmon Arm BC’s Roots and blues festival on Aug 19th, then some European dates in early September (End of the road festival and Manchester Psych Fest in the UK).

What’s your goal for 2023?

We’re hoping to tour and share our music with people. We want to do more all-ages shows, have conversations with our audience/fans, with the youth, about anything and everything… about the world, about art, life… We want to stay healthy, be creative, keep exploring and learning, make meaningful art and music, and keep pushing forward a positive message.

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