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samantha lim says...


Teenagersintokyo are no strangers to us. From their humble beginnings as a little-known band to the acclaimed success they are today, the Sydney quintet is proving to be an everlasting dark-pop stronghold. Following the celebrated-release of their eponymous EP in 2008, the band continues to steal hearts all across the UK and is now fast-becoming a firm favourite in the indie scene of both sides of the world. And they’ve done pretty well for themselves, with their debut album, Sacrifice (which dropped their single ‘New Day’), landing the number one spot on the Independent Record Store charts. Earlier this month, we hit up front-woman Samantha Lim for the lowdown on what’s been happening in their world.

Covered: Not aiming for hype, open air festival in Basel, Switzerland, eclectic tastes, touring in Australia and a weird tax scheme in London.

You guys have been pretty busy making waves around London and the rest of Europe of late. For the sake of our readers who weren’t privy to the history of the Sydney-gigging band that existed prior to the move overseas, fill us in: what’s the story behind Teenagersintokyo?

Samantha Lim: We're a five piece originally from Sydney, playing together for a number of years now. We released our EP in 2007, toured a bit and then decided to move over to the UK in 2009 after a mini-tour here gave us a taste for broader pastures. So now here we are a year later and we've finished our debut album with David Kosten. It's out in the UK and Europe, so now we're excited to release it back home where it all started.[more]

What keeps the band motivated? Any muses, musical or otherwise?

SL: We're motivated by everything around us in terms of art, music and culture. There is so much consumption of each of these on a daily basis that it's hard to pinpoint it all as I'm sure much of it is very sub-conscious. I'd have to say we're all very motivated by each other as well; you need everyone to be equally dedicated to make it work. So it's good to be in a band with people who are passionate and keep challenging you to work harder.

Your debut album, Sacrifice, has been receiving its fair share of buzz and we believe even BBC1’s Zane Lowe has being shouting your praises of late. What does it feel like, in amongst all the hype?

SL: Hype is such a double-edge sword, as inevitably there comes a time when it falls away. We've never been ones to aim for hype - we've always tried to do things from the ground up in an organic and natural way. It's always the best to hear from or meet fans who first discovered us through demos on MySpace and have been waiting for the album to come out and now that it has they love it.

How has the success been treating you thus far?

SL: We're by no means getting mobbed on the street, but having people buy your record and enjoy it is a great feeling.

But it doesn’t stop there, does it?

SL: Playing shows is the other part that's just incredible. Last week we headlined this open-air festival in Basel, Switzerland. We'd never been before and didn't know what to expect, but we had the most amazing experience playing to thousands of people. Plus the Europeans are the best when it comes to hospitality; they really know how to take care of their guests.

Sacrifice has been described as a highly referential album and you are a band who wears your references proudly on your sleeves. Which bands in particular would you list as influences on this release?

SL: As it's our first album, it's kind of a pastiche of everything all five of us have been influenced by over the course of our lives. We've all got quite eclectic tastes and with this record we threw everything into the pot. I remember David asked us to come up with a list of references for the album and we ended up with about 50 references individually. So between us it was a lot, but some of the key ones would be The Cure, Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads, Human League, Bat For Lashes, Kings of Convenience... It goes on and on.

For those who have not yet had the opportunity to hear it, tell us a little bit about the single, ‘New Day’?

SL: We wrote ‘New Day’ when we were still living in Sydney. I can't remember exactly how it came together, but I'm pretty certain it started with Linda's bassline and then the drums followed suit after. The rest of the parts came together instrumentally and then the basis of the lyrics was written one very early morning when I couldn't get to sleep. I was literally lying in bed as the sun rose, staring out the window at the rooftops of Surry Hills.

You’ve recently embarked on some rather successful tours of Europe, with gigs in Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin and Rome. Any plans to tour the USA or return to your native land, Australia?

SL: America is such a big territory and it's so expensive to tour there that we just don't think it's going to be possible for us yet. We'd love to at some point in the future, but our priority at the moment is coming back to Australia for summer and touring the record then.

And finally, will you leave us with a little-known fact about Teenagersintokyo?

SL: This one isn't about us specifically, but it was something that Sophie told us the other night that we found fascinating. Around London you might see some windows of a building all bricked up. Apparently this is because in the old days they used to charge taxes based on how many windows a house had. So bricking them up was like a little tax loophole.

View original post at Kluster Magazine.

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