Ahead of their first ever UK headline tour dates in June 2019 North Californian duo OGIKUBO STATION are pleased to announce a brand new EP of songs recorded especially to mark the occasion.
Okinawan Love Songs is released 14th June 2019 on Asian Man Records, and available to preorder here: http://asianmanrecords.limitedrun.com
As a taster of the new material, the band have released a video for lead single ‘Would I Break My Heart Enough For You’, featuring the artwork for the EP—an illustration that band member Maura Weaver drafted of her Okinawan grandmother—being inked by artist Gilbert Armendariz.
Commenting on the track’s serious message, the band say: “This song is about the fears of confronting abuse in any way, shape, and form—how we often see things, but deliberately put blinders on or choose to look the other way.”
The band also have a run of Canadian tour dates coming up in May ahead of an appearance at Montreal punk-extravaganza, Pouzza Fest.
Living in different states 2,231 miles apart makes the song writing process a challenge to say the least, but Asian Man Records founder and band member Mike Park says “we’ve gotten good at bouncing ideas back and forth until we have a good concept of how we want the song to sound.”
For this particular session, his musical partner Maura Weaver (Mixtapes) flew out to San Jose, California and the pair rehearsed with a full band for a few hours, then heading straight into the recording studio the same day for a challenging 11 hour stint. “We laid down scratch tracks for bass and guitar with the goal of just making sure the drums were good, and then Maura laid down her vocals,” says Park of the process.
Park then took over and pieced together the final product, layering keyboards, harmonies, and finishing the mix. In true 21st century fashion, friend of the band Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio) was roped in to lay down the bass lines on the tracks from his home in St Augustine, Florida, adding his undeniable flair to the songs.
The duo couldn’t resist adding a special treat to the EP—a cover of Dr. Worm by They Might Be Giants, as Park explains, “We added the third song as an homage to TMBG and their dial-a-song sessions that ran from 1983 to 2006, where fans could call in and hear a song from their answering machine. I like to think we kept our version true to the analog warmth of an ’80s answering machine.”
For the uninitiated, Ogikubo Station is Maura Weaver of Ohio punks Mixtapes, and Asian Man Records founder Mike Park—simple chords, with simple melodies, with the simple goal of having fun playing music together. The band are named after the train station in Tokyo where Park lived during his time living in Japan.
Formed a few years ago, Park asked Weaver to sing on a song he had written. Nothing fancy, just guitar and voices. As they finished the song, they both thought to themselves “hey, our voices sound really good together”, and Ogikubo Station was born.
The duo recorded their debut 6 song EP in 2017, and their debut full length We Can Pretend Like was released in the US late last year; 11 gorgeous songs that flit between acoustic and full band arrangements—songs that dive into the heart of love, loss, alcoholism, racism, and everyday life. Recorded at District Recordings in San Jose by engineer Ryan Perras (Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio, Hard Girls, Jesse Michaels of Operation Ivy, and more), the album was produced by Mike Park.
Officially founded in 1996, Park’s now legendary Asian Man Records helped launch the careers of Alkaline Trio, Smoking Popes, Cayetana, Joyce Manor, Lawrence Arms & many more, and is still run out of his parents’ garage in Northern California. He has one employee, and his mom still helps out by picking up the mail at the post office. They have no phone line, no fax machine, and just recently purchased a second computer.
“Depending on how you look at life, this is either a good thing or a bad thing,” says Park of the label’s ethos. “For me, it’s the only thing; or in other words: I like being a little label. This is how the label will remain. I do this for the love of music, not for financial gain or status recognition. I try my best to do the right things ethically and to believe in helping others instead of striving for profit over people.”
Weaver’s other band, Mixtapes, have released three albums to date, and have toured with Masked Intruder, Bayside, Real Friends, Forever Came Calling, and Pentimento, appearing at Warped Tour and The Fest in 2014 before going on an extended hiatus.
Ogikubo Station June 2019 UK Tour Dates:
17.06.19 – Portsmouth – Edge of the Wedge
18.06.19 – Exeter – The Cavern
19.06.19 – Southampton – Joiners
20.06.19 – Brighton – Prince Albert
22.06.19 – Cheltenham – Frog and Fiddle
23.06.19 – Swansea – Crowleys Rock Bar
24.06.19 – Bristol – Exchange
25.06.19 – London – New Cross Inn
26.06.19 – Leicester – The Soundhouse
27.06.19 – Stafford – Redrum
28.06.19 – Manchester – The Castle
29.06.19 – Glasgow – The 13th Note
30.06.19 – Edinburgh – The Banshee Labyrinth
Ogikubo Station online:
Ogikubo Station are:
Maura Weaver – Guitar/Vocals
Mike Park – Guitar/Vocals