Boris are a band that continue to defy expectations with boundless experimentation wrapped in a punk rock attitude. Ahead of their Electric Ballroom show performing their seminal no holds barred riff bible Pink in its entirety – Atsuo, Takeshi and Wata were kind enough to talk to us about their new album, their continued influence and their unhealthy addiction to Pokémon GO.
OneMetal You are currently touring in celebration of the ten year anniversary and re-release of Pink, one of your most successful albums. How has it been revisiting Pink, and how do you view it within your discography?
Boris It’s an album that has a lot of mystery inside it. It was released at around the time when Boris started touring extensively abroad, and a lot of the things that we absorbed whilst abroad were put into Pink. It was very spontaneous, where we made and released it very quickly. This tour is the first time Pink will be played in its entirety – we feel that we are able to find the solutions to the mysteries within the album for the first time. It’s through this that we have been able to perform the tracks afresh. It’s our rock magic.
OneMetal You’ve released ‘Forbidden Songs’ which is more than just a collection of session songs thrown into the mix, and I think actually does have an effect on what Pink is as an entity. You’ve come so far as a band in 10 years, were you surprised revisiting those old unreleased songs?
Boris There was a lot of recording and mixing involved in bringing those songs back. The experience was like fishing. When you are fishing you keep the really good fish, the songs that we could put straight out on ‘Forbidden Songs’, but there is nothing you can do to the fish that are not so great apart from let them go. In the last 10 years the recording technology and software has improved so much that a lot of the things that we couldn’t have done 10 years ago, in terms of editing and mixing, is now possible in compiling these songs.
OneMetal With Pink’s reissue and celebration, are there any other albums that are special to you in your discography that you would like to revisit? Are there more ‘Forbidden Songs’ for other albums waiting to be unearthed?
Boris We changed labels from Southern Lord to Sergeant House, so all of our albums released on our former label have been discontinued. Pink has been the first reissue, and we are planning on releasing the other albums later. We are considering bonus material for the reissues – but our true feeling currently is to focus on creating new music.
OneMetal Speaking of new music you’ve made it public that you’ve begun working on your follow up to Noise. One of the best things about Boris is that no one can ever anticipate what a new album will sound like, can you give us an idea of the direction of your new album?
Boris The next album was completed before the Pink tour. We are still considering the release, but we are hoping for it to be released before the summer of 2017. This new album could be one of our masterpieces, maybe some of our best work, and we feel that we have achieved the Boris heavy sound. As to the kind of music…that’s still a secret.
OneMetal You made a brand new track for Ninja Slayer named ‘Kilmister’. Is this a taste of what’s to come on the new album, or will it in fact be on the new album?
Boris ‘Kilmister’ has already been released on the Ninja Slayer Official Soundtrack and we put it out as a ten inch record. So it’s likely that it won’t be included on the new album.
OneMetal This year you released your newest collaboration with Merzbow – Gensho. You’ve played a few shows in Japan with Merzbow, but it is not often that western audiences get to hear the noise shows. Could those collaborative shows ever come over here?
Boris It would be difficult simply because of scheduling. We often get offers from festivals to play together with Merzbow, but very often our schedules clash. In the case of our one off shows – they would have to be quite high budget so we are not often able to pull them off.
OneMetal You are very famously named after a Melvins song. Have you heard of Looprider from Japan? In the same way that Melvins and Earth influenced you, how does it feel to have that same influence over new bands to the degree that they would name themselves after your songs?
Atsuo Aoki?! Yes we know Looprider! In this age were the internet has become part of our daily lives, it is difficult to tell the context of things – like what has influenced what. For Boris and our music, this context is very important in terms of culture and so on. That we were able to influence the next generation of performers is of course a great thing. Did you see the documentary of The Damned? The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead? It’s great. Buzz Osbourne is talking about The Damned in that movie. We have also been influenced by The Damned. Talking about the Melvins in the Melvins documentary movie makes me so happy. Buzz talking about The Damned, me talking about The Melvins…I am very happy with those connections. We are in a long line of influence.
OneMetal Now for the most important question. Will all future tours coincide with the release of new Pokémon in Pokémon GO?
Boris The next leg of the tour is going to be Australia, we have already done our European leg and caught all the Pokémon! We are looking forward to the ones in Australia. In Russia, playing Pokémon GO is illegal, but we’ve just been playing it anyway!
OneMetal So with the release of the new Pokémon, we should be seeing much more of Boris then?!
Wata I think the chances to see Boris…will increase.
Boris’ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/borisheavyrocks/
OneMetal would like to make special thanks to our interpreter Sean Selby for making this interview possible. He rocks.