This is K Ishibashi, aka Kishi Bashi, and my first AMA. I'm a classically trained violinist, who's dabbled in jazz and rock 'n roll, and now I'm a recording artist on my own with my new second album, "lighght". I'm a singer, I produce my own music, and I play a variety of instruments, including violin, keyboards, and guitar. I beatbox and loop my sounds and create orchestral avante garde pop songs.

I got my start playing violin for Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and of Montreal. Now I'm on my own, I tour regularly around the world, and have played in most venues in North America and Europe!

NPR featured me as best new artist of 2012. I'm into experimentation and new sounds, and I mix in some Japanese into there as well. AMA!

You can check out my latest album here:

UPDATE: thanks everybody for all your questions! Unfortunately, I'm almost out of time today, but I would love to get back and answer many of them over the next couple of weeks. Please look down and upvote unanswered questions and I'll start with the most popular. See you guys on the road and on the 'nets! sorry in advance for the shitty grammar!

Comments: 367 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

Jesse_apple30 karma

Hi Kishi! I'm a music major and amateur composer myself, and I just love hearing the gorgeous baroque-esque counterpoint in your music: How do you approach composing and putting together the many violin melodies looped in your songs?

What composers are your biggest influences?

Do you approach writing pop music differently from other artists, being a classical musician/virtuoso as well? For example, do you think about music theory when writing?

I saw you at the TLA in Philly and I'm going out to Jim Thorpe to see you again. That TLA show was easily the best live show I've ever been to! Your full band is fantastic, Tall Tall Trees is the man!

RealKishiBashi30 karma

i studied composition in college (i remember struggling to right a 6 part fugue). many of the skills I learned are there in my looping. I usually just write out the chord progression and then improvise parts on the fly and hope that the voice leading isn't that bad.

I personally love romantic composers like Tchaikowsky, Beethoven, (I'm listening to Grieg right now). I also love French Impressionist composers like Ravel, Debussy, and Chopin (i guess he's in between the eras). Also a big fan of Takemitsu.

I approach ever song differently. I use my gut. If it feels like it needs a chorus, I'll work on it. If it doesn't I'll add different elements. It's a lot of trial and error and second guessing.

SalsaHavaldorf22 karma

Hey Kishi Bashi!

Man, I love your music. It's just so eclectic and upbeat, and the arrangements are so creative. I'm curious as to who your influences are? Also, have you ever met Andrew Bird, fellow indie violin-looping multi-instrumental superstar? What do you think of him?

RealKishiBashi32 karma

I have a tremendous amount of influences, starting with classical music like Tchaikowsky, Shostokovich, Prokofiev, etc. I do love songs by the greats, like Tom Waits, Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, etc. I love rock n roll like anybody else, starting with Led Zepellin, Pink Floyd all the way to Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails. I also used to be metal head, and I consider myself a jazz violinist of sorts too. I'm basically a mess.

I hung out with Andrew Bird the other day in DC. I've always been a huge fan so it was great to see him again and get to chat about nerdy violin stuff

witheringwhite22 karma

Hey Kishi Bashi, I saw you in Chicago at the Metro and it was a life-changing show! I barely knew your music then but after that show I became obsessed with your music.

My question is: what do you prefer people to call you when they meet you? Kishi Bashi (technically inaccurate)? Mr Ishibashi (a bit too formal)? Kaoru (a bit too personal)?

RealKishiBashi30 karma

just call me K. It's what people have called me since I was 13. "Kaoru" with two adjacent vowels were a little to difficult for most 'mericans.

jasnie18 karma

Hello, it's great you are here!

How was working with Regina Spektor like? What's your best memory connected with working/touring with her?

RealKishiBashi33 karma

Regina was a huge inspiration for me. I got to play with her pretty constantly for almost a year and half all over the world. Every night, I would just be floored at how she could totally capture and captivate the audience. She brought level of intimacy between the performer and audience member that I had never witnessed until that time.

The most interesting thing she's said to me (and she's said a lot) is about how to judge someone as a friend that you'd like to be around with. She explained how she's forgiving of somebody who is slightly out of control, has vices, problems, but in general is an interesting and good person. She would chose that friend over somebody who is not interesting because they don't they don't take that passionate leap into the unknown. Maybe that why she never fired me haha she's awesome

SuperAverageGuy13 karma

K, my friends and I live in Athens and we love you and your music. We've seen you several times. I saw that you met Andrew Bird, and I was wondering which one of you would win in a violin duel? By the way I think you're Grade A.

RealKishiBashi24 karma

thanks for your grade! I think i tried to duel him when I was in college when I was a snotty and flashy jazz violin student at Berklee College (for which I apologized to him). He didn't remember at all, so I guess he wins??

mech4bg12 karma

You mentioned in one of your other answers that Jupiter One failed... may we ask what happened or is it personal?

I personally never understood how Jupiter One wasn't huge - every song seemed like it had a perfect pop hook, really great. Was disappointed I never got to see the full band live, but great to see you with Regina Spektor.

Great to see you hitting solo success though! And 151a and Lighght are both amazing.

Oh one more question actually - why did "Evalyn...." not make the final cut for 151a and was just on the EP? One of my favorite songs. :)

RealKishiBashi5 karma

I had the honor of playing, touring, and recording with some very seriously talented and creative musicians with Jupiter One. We toured this country hard like most bands do for several years, very proud of the two albums that we made, but at one point, I realized that our fans were not increasing and that we could never get any traction at all. Creatively, I felt stifled a bit, because I could never real express the more delicate, orchestral (non rock drum rock bass) side of song writing that I was starting to develop with my violin. Financially, I had a family, was in my mid-30's, and was living like a peasant in the NYC area. I put Jupiter One on hold, moved in with my parents in Virginia, made my debut album "151a" in their attic, and it was the best decision I ever made.

I left Evalyn behind on the EP because I wanted the EP to be different, and I had recorded it along long time ago as a potential Jupiter One song.

Chrischievous10 karma

OH NO I've never been this early. What do I do?

Anyway, I saw you live in Durham a few weeks ago and it was one of the best shows I've ever been to. Thanks for that.

My question is, what was the most challenging aspect of developing your career? And maybe also, if you could go back, what would you do differently?

And finally... what hair product do you use?

RealKishiBashi14 karma

I wouldn't do anything differently. I'm glad I failed at my old band Jupiter One, because I wouldn't have been so wise as Kishi Bashi. I'm doing pretty good now because I've been through almost every musical industry situation.

I use this crazy hair wax called Gatsby? from Japan.

JustOneLaoWai9 karma

What role did the Norfolk/Hampton Roads music community help in your development as a musician and an artist?

RealKishiBashi9 karma

I had enormous support from friends, fans, and family there. They helped me start off when I had moved there to start Kishi Bashi. In the year and a half I lived there, I met some interesting people that connect me even more to the community there.

wildgazelle9 karma

Do you prefer having when spoken 151a called "one-five-one a" or "ichi-go ichi-e" for the wordplay? Does it matter?

RealKishiBashi18 karma

I just say "one-five-one a", but when I'm in Japan, they're like "ichi-go ichi-e" this and "ichi-go ichi-e" that :)

coolnat8 karma

How did you enjoy performing at Bunbury Festival last weekend in Cincinnati? You got to perform on the coolest stage (in my opinion), and your VIP set was the coolest thing I saw all weekend!

RealKishiBashi12 karma

oh yeah! Bunbury was a blast. The stage was beautiful, and I got to see a few bands that I've always wanted to see as well like Foxy Shazam and Andrew W.K.

politeanon7 karma

Hey Kishi Bashi! I saw you in Seattle and it was INCREDIBLE. I always tell people about your cover of AC/DC. :)

Who was your favorite artist to tour with? Out of Regina, Sondre Lerche, and of Montreal? Moreover, what do you look for when you find new artists to tour with you?

RealKishiBashi3 karma

Touring with all three were absolutely fun and incredible once ina lifetime experiences. I learned tremendously and was inspired every night by being around them and performing with them, but if you want specific differences, I can say this: Regina's tour was extremely professional and at times luxurious (lots of days off). Sondre was super awesome and humbling of Montreal was fun as shit and probably some of the craziest partying I have been a part of and they are still my best friends (my wife's least favorite tour)

wrkjfrbs6 karma

Hey K, I've seen you play Boston every time you've been around since your show at Great Scott 2 years ago, thanks for the awesome times. I don't know if you remember, but I was the dude grooving out hard to Mr. Steak in the front at your Sinclair show last month.

Three questions:

  1. How come you don't play the Mr. Steak solo live?

  2. What's your general thought process when it comes to compositions on the DL4?

  3. Any new pedals you're into these days?

Thanks for the tunes, new album is great.

RealKishiBashi15 karma

  1. haha because I recorded it at half speed and I don't think i could actually play it. the real other reason is that when I pick up the violin at that point, I see the crowd energy falling (less people dancing), which kills me. I now just dance and lead the crowd till the end of the song and give the banjo a solo.

  2. if there's a chord progression I'm interested in, I'll write it down and improvise a part built up of loops. Then I might double speed it to see if that sounds interesting. it's a lot of trial and error and second guessing

  3. I'm impressed with the TC Electronics Arena pedal reverb. I use the mod setting all over my new album

dlvial6 karma

Wow. It's amazing to have you here on reddit, Mr. K, and thank you for taking the time! I'd just like to say I only recently (~three months ago) got on board your bandwagon but have absolutely loved listening to your entire discography. Absolutely some of the most beautiful composed songs I've ever heard.

I have two questions if you don't mind:

1) When do you plan on returning to Texas for some shows? WE'RE DYING OUT HERE.

2) I noticed in the acknowledgments on Lighght that you spent some time mixing in Oxford. As a native Mississippian, I was wondering what your impressions were of Oxford and the state in general?

RealKishiBashi2 karma

1) hey there! Been to Texas a lot recently, so the only thing I can promise you this year is Utopia Festival in west Texas on September 13th. Pretty cool lineup!

2) I liked Oxford. Cute little town that reminds me of Athens, GA where I live. I channeled a little Faulkner while I was down there. I think the bars closing at 11:30pm or something is ridiculous and unfortunate. I saw lots of kids really working hard to get hammered before midnight :)

jimli7105 karma

hello K, who are some of your favorite artists to listen to right now?

RealKishiBashi18 karma

this is a tough question. I listen to top 40 stuff like Iggy Azalea because my 8 year old daughter is into all the latest, and a lot of classic stuff, like Pink Floyd and Neil Young. I like the new Liars album

That_Guy_JR5 karma

Hey K,

How did you meet Tall Tall Trees? Funny dude.

Also please play First Unitarian in Philly again - the TLA just isn't the same :)


RealKishiBashi3 karma

I like the Unitarian. wish they would bring in stage lights though haha.

Tall Tall Trees is one of my oldest musical friends from NYC. I used to play in his Brazilian fusion band that he had (he was playing upright bass), and we would play strange odd metered jazz tunes alongside wild Hermeto Pascoal compositions. I started Jupiter One, my rock band, and we reconnected years later when I realized that he too was writing songs and singing. Really great person. You should see his solo show if you haven't already :)

SlyScott095 karma

Is Mr. Steak based off of an actual experience you had with a steak?

If so, how can I get access to that dreamy meat?

RealKishiBashi8 karma

just reposting this from an answer above: Originally, I had heard a David Sedaris short story about him complaining about the illogicalness of French (european) gender pronouns. In the story, a simple American sits down and orders "a steak" in english. David Sedaris thinks to himself, "that's Mr. Steak to you"...

in answering your second question, I've come up with a winning slogan for the beef industry: "Meat: It's What Dreams are Made of"

Eversist5 karma

Kishi Bashi! Love you, love your music. Congrats on all of your successes.

I've seen you a few times on stage. What is your favorite song to perform live?

RealKishiBashi15 karma

I love to perform Manchester because I love to see the reaction of people, and it also gives a lot of excitement to know that it means a lot to many people in the room :)

Zouch5 karma

Hey Kishi! I saw you a long while back opening for of Montreal in Boston, and I've been a huge fan ever since.

How much would you say Kevin's creative anarchy in of Montreal has effected your style? Also, what was it like being on tour with him and the rest of the band?

RealKishiBashi9 karma

Kevin is a huge inspiration, not only because he's successful, but because he's constantly re-inventing himself and pushing himself in different musical directions so that he's never quite comfortable and at the edge of creativity. Touring with of Montreal was the most fun I've had ever on tour. A great bunch of people and still some of my best friends

violistinvt5 karma


I love your string quartet arrangements especially the cover of ELO Prologue/Twilight. (Nice viola writing btw....) Two questions, will you do more of them? And will the sheet music arrangements ever be for sale? Thanks, Liz

RealKishiBashi8 karma

hi Liz, Glad you like the arrangements! don't have any plans to put them on sale, but maybe if I have time at some point... I did do a prototype arrangement of Manchester for my New York show a couple of months ago, and that went over well, so I am thinking of a full concert with string quartet.

question for you: so as a viola player would you be interested in that exact arrangement (where the string quartet would still need a singer), or more of an instrumental arrangement where no singer is necessary?

Jeremy_Zim4 karma

Hi K! Thanks for your music. I'm a music photographer, and have had the honor and pleasure of shooting a couple of your shows in the past, and I must say: You're probably my favourite musician to shoot. So much joy that translates so perfectly into the sound and visual asthetic.

Anyways, the question: What was the reasoning behind the re-work on Philosophize? I like both versions very much, but just didn't see the re-work coming.

RealKishiBashi4 karma

After making the original version, I set out to start playing it solo, and I realized that my solo version is very different from the recorded version (no drums obviously). I thought it would be interesting to record a new version of it for the new album. When I reworked it, the energy felt a little flat, so I ended up adding drums so that it became a lot closer to the original in energy. I wanted to include the song in the album because I felt it represented my sound perfectly, but the low fidelity of the original bothered me and I could hear that it wasn't cohesive in sound to the rest of the new material.

Moon-Safari4 karma

Hello Kishi Bashi

Thank you for doing this AMA. I wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your music and looking forward to your gig in Brussels.

My question: What do you enjoy the most? Performing for a big audience or an intimate gig?

What was your most intimate moment on stage?

RealKishiBashi6 karma

I enjoy meeting new people :) i like playing for the rush of the big crowd and also being able to see the reactions of people.

Eversist4 karma

151a is one of my most-played albums. Thanks for the awesome music!

Where did you get the idea to take a photograph of the audience at each show you play? Seems pretty normal, but your one of the few artists that I see do it consistently.


RealKishiBashi9 karma

I love audience interaction while I'm on stage as well as online, and I felt that it would be so much fun to see yourself from the artist's perspective after the show. I remember the guitar player from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had published a whole book of photography where he had done that at every show, and I thought that was cool. It got easy when I realized that our bass player Daniel likes to do it anyways :)

Eversist3 karma

I used one of your pictures as my cover photo for awhile, because I was wearing a shirt that made me stand out from the rest of the crowd (and the lighting was fortuitous). It is a really fun thing that you do! I love seeing them on your Facebook feed from all of your shows.


Edit: Guess who

RealKishiBashi2 karma

the guy in the green suit of course

lmrow4 karma

Hey K, how funny was it when Steve Inskeep and co. tried to connect Q&A to the firefly motif in ninth-century Japanese poetry? They tried so hard!

And a better question: would you ever collaborate with Andrew Bird? That would be the stuff of dreams.

RealKishiBashi6 karma

they did try pretty hard, and I felt bad haha. I almost should have agreed with them to sound more cultural, but alas, I am an honest person.

Maybe? but probably not. Violinist are usually pretty alpha and it's like trying to get two male singers to collaborate. I can't think of any successful instance where that's happened. can you? except in Temple of Dog with Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder, but who knows the backstage drama behind that ordeal...

rhcpZ414 karma

Hey K (taking the response to /u/witheringwhite into account),

Two questions:

1) I had the chance to see you in Chicago this past spring, and it was unbelievable. One thing I remember is when streamers shot out on stage during a song, and all of the streamers got stuck to your instruments, which I thought was hilarious and unplanned. Of course, you guys managed to continue without missing a beat. I imagine that since you base your music off of improvisation and surprise, you've run into a few crazy situations. What is your funniest performance memory? Most nerve-wracking?

2) How do you prefer your steak? Rare, medium rare, well done?

RealKishiBashi3 karma

1) I love being surprised on stage. I think we had a bubble machine, you know the kind you buy at Target (Bubblezilla or something), and we thought, "how cute this would be awesome on stage". Turns out bubble soap and certain stage floors make for a dangerously slippery combination. I think I almost wiped out pretty hard trying to dance one show.

2) I like medium rare, of course

paulisnofun4 karma

How many push ups can you do?

RealKishiBashi16 karma

who put you up to this?? :) not more than 20-25 in a row. I suck basically

blargleblargleblarg3 karma


RealKishiBashi3 karma

love is this year's cash

ThisRiverisWild3 karma

Hey, K!

What made you want to write a song about meat?

RealKishiBashi20 karma

the words just came out. Originally, I had heard a David Sedaris short story about him complaining about the illogicalness of French (european) gender pronouns. In the story, a simple American sits down and orders "a steak" in english. David Sedaris thinks to himself, "that's Mr. Steak to you"...

afergusonart3 karma

Hey K! First off I love the new album, it's incredible. The melodies and the instrumentation are top notch.

My question is this; who did the cover art for Lighght, and what was the inspiration/ideas behind the design? The artwork fits the music perfectly, in my opinion!

Thanks for doing this! The new album is great.

RealKishiBashi8 karma

Susan Pelham is the collage artist who I commissioned for the album cover. She's a local Georgia artist (lives close to Athens), and I discovered her when I was eating Pho and her artwork was on display. They were mostly portraits, and had fantastic color and great composition, and I thought it would be a perfect album cover, so I reached out to her. She doesn't have a website or a cel phone, and I met up with her a week later at the same restaurant. She's a sweet older lady, and she loves magical realism. She loved my music and we shared an appreciation of rennaisance art, and a couple of months later, she arrived with this portrait. Glad you like it! I'm very happy with it :)

deliriousfunkypriest3 karma

I adore your music, you have a very good ear for the subtle nuances of music. I am a songwriter myself; could you please describe or give some of your thoughts on your personal creative process?

RealKishiBashi7 karma

thanks! hmmm. I'll just tell you what works for me... I believe in quantity over quality. I purposely try and get myself bored (no phones, internet, or family), and I come up with musical ideas. Usually singing o beatboxing ideas into a voice recorder. I'll sometimes think of songs that I love and the great feelings it gives me and try and re-create that feeling. I'll put down a lot of ideas and see if they are still interesting to me weeks or months later.

When you come up with the initial idea, you'll never know if it's a great song until you've recorded it and mixed, at which point you may still not know. Therefore, my advice is to write lots of songs and see what rises to the top and never think that "this is going to be the single". hope this helps!

DoSomethinFruity3 karma

Saw you play at Binghamton University last year. Shit myself in awe of the awesomeness. My question is what is your favorite type of cheese?

RealKishiBashi9 karma

I hope you've cleaned yourself up since :)

I like most hard cheeses, but for some reason I'm not a fan of brie. I also like string cheese.

molluskus3 karma

Hi Mr. Ishibashi, big fan. My question is, was your unique style (looping violin along with picking and other techniques) hard to learn/perfect? I'd imagine you didn't have much in the way of inspiration in that regard.

RealKishiBashi10 karma

I'm always trying to improve it. It's a little tricky, but knowing that I'm allowed to mess up because it's live makes it easier for me psychologically. My shows now that involve looping are a result of trial and error (trial and terror) over the past couple of years.

There are tons of people I was checking out that I looked for inspiritation in looping from: Andrew Bird, Owen Pallet, Tuneyards, Reggie Watts. These people were killing it way before I got started :)

reaperw23 karma

Have you ever been in touch with Lindsey Stirling? You two together on a violin duet would be fantastic!

RealKishiBashi3 karma

I met her once backstage at SXSW. She's super nice :)

pitchpatch3 karma

Hi Kishi!

I wanted to let you know that I have been absolutely smitten with your new song "Q&A" - I think it's one of the best love songs I've ever heard. The melody itself is gorgeous, the lyrics are rapture, and then the cello harmony comes in on the hook - my gosh, I get tears in my eyes half the time when I listen to it - I'm never ready for it and it always takes me by surprise. Thank you so much for making it. It means more to me than I can communicate after listening to it so much, especially in this period of my life.

Did you write that for Keiko, or was it a duo kind of thing? I would love to know more about it and the inspiration (or process) behind writing it, if you could. :)

RealKishiBashi11 karma

good question! I actually wrote the chorus as a 30 second Kickstarter prize for a girl (Quinn) who wrote it as a gift for her best friend (Alice). They gave me some personal information, like she's her wing woman and that they call themselves "Q&A". They actually came to the Fillmore in SF and I dedicated this song to them there :)

I only wrote them the chorus, so from that point on, I just opened up my imagination and dreamed up an impossible story of love and friendship. glad you like it!

shiningbeans3 karma

Hey Kishi Bashi, I really enjoy your music, firstly, and thanks for doing the AMA. I was wondering what you consider to be your goal when you're creating new music, especially when its more experimental. Do you look at a piece and think: this is something I have to make, this is something I want to make, this is something people will enjoy, this is revolutionary, or something else entirely?

RealKishiBashi4 karma

there's a whirlwind of emotions when I create songs. "can't wait to play this for (so and so)"..."Is this the single?"... "my wife going to hate this"..."is this too cheesy". I write pop songs first, but I cram as much experimentation and sonic exploration as I can around the skeletons of the song, so that it can be more multi-dimensional for the more "hungry" listener. I'm fully aware of contemporary classical composition, electronic music, and free jazz, but I don't have a very high tolerance for prolonged dissonance. Anyways, I do like to experiment, but I definitely never think I'm making something for the history books.

ambison3 karma

First off, I just want to tell you that 151a is easily in my holy trinity of albums( no order, with Sufjan Steven's "Age of Adz" and Joanna Newsom's "Y's") and that Bright Whites is easily my single favorite song ever. Being a person from a classical music background, I love the incredible artistry you bring to your music, but what love especially is your sense of joy. Everytime I listen to it it feels the first time i'm ever hearing it, and the joy and excitement I feel by hearing it is just so palpable.
It's such a cliche to say this, but the joy that song brings me, during it's few minutes of time, is unmatched by any other song that I'll ever know. Thank you for your music - it's extraordinary.

Sorry for the long ramble, but now is my actual question!: When you set out to write songs, does the joy and happiness that pervades so much of it comes organically, or is it something you intentionally seek for your music? Thanks so much. Can't wait for your Baltimore Show Aug 17.

RealKishiBashi2 karma

I believe it's pretty challenging to create Joy in music (as opposed to creating anger and frustration through noise, guitar riffs, and dissonance). When creating music, I usually just tap into my instincts that tell me what makes me happy about this music. Sometimes it's very organic and instantaneous. Other times, songs have struggled to stay alive.

Crackodile2 karma

Your two albums are such mind blowing productions, how is it different for you recording in the studio vs. your stage performance? In terms of recording, are you self taught? Lastly, please come play in Thailand! \(^∀^)メ(^∀^)ノ

RealKishiBashi4 karma

I've never been to Thailand. Would love to go, of course!

I'm largely self taught, but I took an 6 week online mixing course from a placein the UK called Point Blank Online. It's mainly for EDM producers, but it taught me how to really listen a lot better, make better decisions when recording, and really how to deliver a cleaner mix. I totally use these skills when I'm working with engineers on every step of the process.

SiegmeyerofCatarina2 karma

What is my favorite song, "The Ballad of Mr. Steak" about? Thanks for the music dude, you are grade A

RealKishiBashi2 karma

answer is somewhere above :)

Papasmurf3452 karma

K, this might seem like a random question but who is your favorite Beatle?

RealKishiBashi4 karma

I like Paul's songs the best. John is a genius but from all I can tell his personality is kind of sickish. George is great. Ringo seem like a super cool dude and a fantastic drummer. I always feel bad for Pete Best because he could've almost been a billionaire. does that answer your question?

corruptedapple2 karma

Would you ever consider performing "Just the Tip" again for your audience? My friends and I were in tears when we saw you perform that with oM!

RealKishiBashi8 karma

oh yeah. I consider it all the time, but then the better half of me convinces me not too. I might do it again if I'm wasted enough or if the time is right. We'll see!

vilealgebraist3 karma

Saw you perform this at the NORVA with probably all your family in attendance. That must be nice. BTW your high school debate partner says "Hi K!"

Edit: Actually she wants to know "Whats your stance on pornography?"

RealKishiBashi3 karma

haha PLEASE help me remember who that was????? tell her I love porn. does she work in porn now?

i-hear-banjos2 karma

Hello K,

It seems that you and that bearded banjo god Mike Savino (aka Tall Tall Trees) have become fast friends. How did you guys meet and start collaborating together? Was he involved in the recording process on "lighght", and will you show up on his new album?

RealKishiBashi2 karma

just answered this somewhere above!

aj-ac2 karma

Hi K! I am such a huge fan, and your music brings me so much joy! I've seen you live five times, and you always amaze me.

I wanted to ask: Do you ever play Unicorns Die When You Leave live? I've yet to hear it, and it's one of my favorite songs. (It has always put me in mind of George Harrison's solo work)

also: I noticed on a playlist you made that you included some progressive rock artists, which didn't really surprise me. How much would you say that genre has been an influence in your work?

Thrilled to talk to you! I hope the tour is going well, and I'll definitely be coming out to see you again when you're back in the South!

RealKishiBashi3 karma

Might be doing Unicorns Die When You Leave on our next tour in august! fb message me where you are, and I'll try to do it. It's always been a little difficult because of the cheesy lyrics (I'll never print them) and the instrumentation, but hopefully it'll be fun :)

There was a time in my life when I was dedicated to instrumental music, like fusion, jazz, and prof, and i got way into that kind of stuff.

p00zles2 karma

Remember me? I passed out at your show at the Fire in Philly!

Anyway, I know you did a few shows with Shugo Tokumaru and he's great! What are some other artists you would recommend that aren't as popular in the US?

RealKishiBashi3 karma

wow! i hope you're ok :) I would recommend anybody I take on tour as having my stamp of "check these guys out" approval. Honestly, I don't keep up with who's underrated in this country. There are a lot of fantastic bands. This band I'm taking on the road in august, Bombadil, is fantastic.

Frajer2 karma

Kevin Barnes is very theatrical and flamboyant onstage, what's he like offstage?

RealKishiBashi8 karma

really chilled out. outrageous at times, but mostly mild. likes his Gin and tonics

thomfountain2 karma


I have your 7" set that came in that awesome wooden display, and the killer colored 10".

Do you have a big hand in the design of your records? Or does your label? Do you get any gruff for the upfront cost of some of the more elaborate designs?

RealKishiBashi6 karma

my label Joyful Noise Recordings is really great at creating new ideas for limited edition stuff. I'm pretty picky about the artwork, but as far as ideas, they do a great job at encouraging me to enable it. If you mean do fans complain about the cost of the limited edition? i make sure the albums are affordable, but I feel like "collectors" are rarely fazed by the price. It's also believe that it's a perfect way for modern indie artists to recoup their album costs by offering these kinds of items to people can afford them.

jimli7102 karma

im a huge fan of your music, will listen to your latest album now. does jupiter one have a album in the works? will you ever visit and perform in Columbus, Ohio?

RealKishiBashi6 karma

I'm pretty busy and musically satisfied with Kishi Bashi now, so i don't forsee myself working on any Jupiter One album soon. Zac Colewell and Dave (and the rest of the band) have a very cool project called Fancy Colors.

Also you're in luck Columbus! I'll be there at Skully's on August 29th!

pitchpatch2 karma

What's the most profound or personally important moment you've had playing while a show?

RealKishiBashi3 karma

selling out the Fillmore in San Francisco was a hugely moving experience for me because, two years ago, I was with of Montreal and they were super excited about selling it out. I was opening up (before Deerhoof), and it was a big night back then. I never would have thought that I could bring that kind of crowd for myself. almost cried

oldmanswar1 karma

What is the best tequila you've had?

RealKishiBashi6 karma

Patron was personally very smooth, however, the 1,2,3 (uno, dos ,tres) Anejo was fantastic. I love Mezcal, although I don't know which ones are good (not the bottom ones I guess).

thedannychang1 karma

I've seen you multiple times on tour, and you emit such a great positivity at all times. What things in your life allow you to be so happy and positive all the time?

RealKishiBashi2 karma

I derive great pleasure from knowing that my music and performance bring joy to people. That alone keeps me going and creating. I'm also very lucky to be a positive person in general. I never get road rage from a traffic jam.

ilikecakeandpie1 karma

Where is your favorite place to perform in the USA, and why is it the Bottletree in Birmingham, Alabama?

RealKishiBashi2 karma

haha the Bottletree is a favorite :) Mike and I called it the famous "Airstream Sister Switch"...

dallasdude1 karma

Are you a fan of film scores? What's your favorite? We are enjoying Lighght

RealKishiBashi3 karma

yes! In fact, I have a degree in film scoring from college. I like old orchestral guys like Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Ennio Mariconne, Bernard Hermann, etc. I like what Johnny Greenwood has done recently as well.

diamondx9111 karma

Any plan on coming to CANADA ???? my dream is to listen to manchester live !!!!

RealKishiBashi2 karma

just missed me! we just had some epic shows in Vancouver and Toronto a couple of months ago. Keep in touch through our mailing list :)