Chibi (vocals) of The Birthday Massacre
The darlings of an international community are back with a new album. Initially planned for a release in 2009 already, the next long player of THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE was given a little more time to be worked on and finally yesterday, the new piece titled ‘Pins And Needles’ has been released to the public. We could catch a few minutes of singer Chibi’s time to ask a few questions, concerning the new silver disc.
Reflections of Darkness (RoD): When did you actually start working on a new album?
Chibi: There have been fragments of songs around since the last record. We worked on music here and there since the last release - “Always” is a song that has been around for a long time. But we did the majority of the work over the months we took off the road.
RoD: Is there any concept to the new album that connects each song with the others?
Chibi: I don’t think there’s any sort of “concept” to it, no. I mean, we’re coming from a pretty consistent place when we’re writing it - the place the band was, the place we were as people - but this isn’t a concept album.
RoD: Instead of a website, fans get to see a clock counting down days until the album release. Can you give away any details regarding the design of the website that’s going to appear?
Chibi: Well, I guess the secret is out of the bag now. I can tell you that the person we were working with on doing a new website completely deserted the project, leaving us in a bad spot. Owen, our keyboardist, did the website that is up there now. It was a big project, and we were touring while he did it, so there were a lot of late nights for him. He did a great job considering the time that remained when we were left in the lurch.
RoD: The album’s sound is significantly harder as opposed to ‘Walking With Strangers’. Would you say it was a natural development?
Chibi: Some people say it is harder sounding, some people say it isn’t. All I really know is that when we write new music, of course it is a natural development. I would say that this album is a little harder. One thing we keep in mind when we are writing is what will be fun to play live and the crowd always seems to have a great time with our heavier songs.
RoD: Several times while listening to the album I was like “That really sound like they’re using live drums this time.” So are you using any on the album or are they all purely electronic?
Chibi: As far as I know, they are all electronic.
RoD: A grieving woman with a skull as a face, a church in the background, and down the hill a theme park; how’s that all adding up?
Chibi: The cover is meant to invoke mystery - it`s unclear whether she is moving happily away from a bad experience, or regretfully. The theme park in the background was my idea – there`s a wistfulness to it.
RoD: The cover artwork to me looks like a 3D collage. It’s kind of like you can touch it. How’s it been created?
Chibi: It is a painting. We worked on the concepts with the artist Natalie Shau, and then Vincent Marcone did a painting of them, and incorporated some of his own ideas into it.
RoD: Have you encountered any odds during the production of ‘Pins And Needles’?
Chibi: It was a bit of a stressful time. We had a deadline for the record, and that proved frustrating. Mike and Rainbow left the city for a few months to focus on the musical elements - they ended up being gone longer than they had anticipated. By the time they came back and I joined the process for writing lyrics and vocals, we were getting low on time. I was pretty freaked out at points. But we really pulled it together.
RoD: ‘Always’ references a kind of disappointment for a certain person in someone’s life to me and I loved the melody right from the start. Where did the inspiration for the song, particularly for the lyrics, come from?
Chibi: As we all move through life it’s like we can all relate to the idea of “that one relationship”, you know what I mean. The one that really devastated you. I’m sure we all have something like that, just a really disappointing and heart wrenching experience. With the lyrics for that song - well, I just sort of looked at my experience that was like that.
RoD: “We’ll leave tonight on empty highways / there’s no coming back here” One particular line off ‘Sideways’ which I think sums up the feeling of a definite goodbye well and it reminds of all things gone and never coming back. How did that song come about?
Chibi: For me that song is about the impermanence of things. Moving on, often literally - moving down a highway away from an experience. Leaving fragments of yourself behind. Never being able to revisit a memory, even if you return to the physical place.
RoD: Why did you choose that particular title for the album? Not because it sounds good I suppose.
Chibi: But I do think it sounds good. It’s a pretty catchy title, I think.
RoD: You’re going on a tour of the UK in October. Are there any more dates in the pipeline for the rest of Europe as well?
Chibi: I hope so. Last I heard something was being discussed for January, but I’m really not sure about it.
RoD: Any last words?
Chibi: Just to thank you very much for the interview!