By Dani Kowalczyk
A fantastical ride unlike any you’ve ever experienced before, a feeling like you’ve never felt, oh come on ‘Ca Ca Caravan’ and give us more! Creators and artists in their own right, Ankathie Koi and Judith Filimonova are Fijuka. The synth-pop Austrian/German duo power through your ear drums and take names, give no fucks, and make sure those disco pantelones are moving and grooving. From the first kick with the intro track “Dark Day”, it’s hard not to fall prey to Fijuka’s cool new Sophomore album Use My Soap. We got to talking with two of the few masterminds behind the new and improved sound of Fijuka and discussed their latest album Use My Soap, embarrassing moments, and what meal(s) are most important.
Your sound is very theatrical at times, playful and smart, there is definitely an element of the unknown when waiting for the next track to start…was this done on purpose? I mean to say, was it something you set out to create or was it something that came organically?
Ankathie & Judith: Thank you… 🙂 This came organically and was not really intended. We did not have a big master plan for the album, we had just collected the songs over rehearsing an playing live and we wanted to record them just like we performed them live.
Where did Fijuka find inspiration for Use My Soap and how long did it take to make the album (two year gap since your first)?
Ankathie: Our Inspiration is often watching people in their daily routine, catching scraps of a weird conversation. Sometimes it’s just the description or let’s say a musical metaphrase of a dream, a nightmare, a bad wish…
Judith: Most of the songs are about actual things that happened or moods and questions that happened or came up during the last 3 years. We wrote more and more songs, and then came the point when we said, “maybe we should record the songs we play live and make an album!”
What is one of the most important elements of the Use My Soap album?
Judith: Hm…maybe some of the very specific sounds we use on the whole album, like Ankathie’s vintage analogue synth or my distorted vintage Rickenbacker bass.
Ankathie: A really big step for us was that we didn’t record the second album with just the two of us but with two other musicians who play on the album, Ivo Thomann and Patrick Stürböth, gave the album an important note that created a way bigger, “fatter” sound. And we had a really cool, really talented producer, Alex Beitzke [who was] a big, new influence on the album.
Do you see your presence as a band as important as the music produced or are they separate?
Ankathie & Judith: It’s all one, but most of all we enjoy playing live gigs.
Favorite Fijuka performance memory…
Ankathie: That would definitely be Popfest 2015. It was shortly before a violent storm…Let’s just say we had the biggest possible wind machine!!
Judith: We often laugh about the one concert when everything went wrong…the synth broke just before the concert, nobody could hear the other instruments on stage, we played one song in two different keys and then we had to interrupt another song and start again from the beginning. We were so ashamed that we didn’t leave the backstage room for at least two hours after the show. Still, we like the unforeseen contingencies and inflection, so from the next day on it was just a memory for a guaranteed big laugh.
From music projects separately to two albums together, did you two learn anything imperative to being a group rather than on your own?
Ankathie & Judith: It’s nice to multiply the creativity and share the work and the responsibility. On the other side you cannot make any decisions on your own, often you have to compromise.
What is the most important meal of the day?
Ankathie: Breakfast, The Breakfast after Breakfast, Lunch, The Meal between Lunch and Five O’Clock Tea, Five O’Clock Tea, again Tea, Dinner, Snack after Dinner, Midnight Snack….
Judith: Breakfast (according to George Michael Bluth)!