Behind the scenes with Asobi Seksu

Yuki Chikudate adores her orange tabby, Sammy, and she has nothing against animal lovers who maintain Twitter accounts for their pets.

“But I don’t ever want to be so presumptuous as to say that I know what his life is like,” says the vocalist-keyboardist for 4AD-ish duo Asobi Seksu, who posts cute Sammy photos on the group’s website. “So I don’t want to tweet or blog for him because he might be offended by that, and I really don’t know what it’s like to be a cat.”

With her bandmate, James Hanna, she does know about sculpting otherworldly sonic textures, as on their new album and fifth effort, “Fluorescence.”

Asobi Seksu is moving into film soundtracks. Do you write with visuals in mind? I’m more of an aural person, I think, than a visual person. Although, of course, I’m a visual person, as well, by what I see and the images I come across. But I’m mostly sensitive to sound, and that’s the foundation and starting point for me and my art. So I’m always surprised when an inspiration comes from elsewhere; that’s a really weird moment for me.

Like your new B-side, “Vicious Bears,” perhaps? I know exactly where that came from. Somebody had typed up our lyrics online for a song off our album “Hush,” and they thought that I was singing “tied with vicious bears.” And I was like, “That is incredible that this person heard this because that’s better than what we came up with!” It was such an arresting image, we couldn’t just let it die.

You’re always getting songs placed in great TV series. What’s the latest? It’s gotten to be such a competitive world because that’s becoming a band’s bread and butter. And it’s a bit jarring to say, “OK, I make music and I put it out there in the world, but that’s not how I’ll be compensated anymore.” It’s an awkward transition for a lot of us. And there’s just no guarantee that you’ll get that license or placement because so much of it is like, “Oh yes, you have it,” and then, “Oh, sorry, we decided to scrap that whole project.” Or, “The client doesn’t want to make this commercial anymore.” In the advertising world, nothing is final. So banking on that to sustain your career is just madness. But as long as I can find a way to do my music and enjoy it, that’s really all I want to focus on.

Because Sammy is depending on you for his Meow Mix, right? Well, no. He’s too good for Meow Mix! That’s why I have to work even harder!


Asobi Seksu

Where: Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., San Francisco
When: 2 p.m. Monday
Tickets: $12
Contact: (415) 621-4455,
Note: Also, the band opens for Neon Indian at 9 p.m. Sunday at the New Parish, 579 18th St., Oakland

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