Interview: Caroline Lufkin

Okinawa-born Japanese-American musician. Caroline Lufkin maybe small in stature but she had already wowed critics and listeners with her debut album, Murmurs released by renowned indie label Temporary Residence. Thanks to Soundscape Records, musos here had the good fortune to catch her brand of whimsical dream pop at her sold-out show at KLPac—an extra show was added due to demand. We grabbed Caroline (and her touring partner and supporting musician Jason Greenberg) for some backstage banter.

Text Lim Kok Kean
Image Caroline

How’s the tour so far? Any good tour stories?
Caroline It’s been really good so far, we’ve played 7 shows in the US, opening for Mice Parade and I just met up with Jason yesterday for our shows in Malaysia and Singapore.
Jason The Louisiana experience. (Laughs)
C We almost got into a fight there, some drunks made some rude comments about me and Jay came and really backed me up. It was a bonding moment in the band.

Your first show has already sold out and another show has just been added. Did it surprise you?
C
Yeah, I was afraid that no one’s gonna show up and honestly had no idea that it’ll be sold out, I still don’t believe it. Maybe you guys are playing a cruel joke on me … (laughs.)

You were signed up as a pop singer in Japan before Murmurs. What was that about?
C
Yeah, I wasn’t too happy with the direction that the record company wanted me to go, my songs are pretty mellow but they wanted bouncy pop music. Not to badmouth anyone but I just felt that it’s just a different world from what I wanted to do so I left and got out.

Temporary Residence is currently one of the most credible indie labels out there, how did you get signed by them?
C
After my experience with major labels, I became really really picky and did research on the background of labels; Jeremy (Temporary Residence owner) just seems like a cool guy. And I felt that everything about Temporary Residence’s artists are very honest, from the music to the artwork and very real in the way they presented the music. You can tell that nobody was thinking about how things should sound or look in order to sell more records.

Is it true that Temporary Residence don’t have contracts with their artists?
C
It’s true, I actually asked Jeremy to write up a contract but he replied “We work solely on trust and friendship” and I’m really happy about that and stopped asking.

Describe your perfect day.
C
Waking up, drinking really good music with really good music on, going outdoors for a bit and making music in my room in little vocal booth.

Organised by Soundscape Records with the support of Tiger beer, Caroline performed at IndiCine in KLPac last year alongside Dian Bang and Singapore’s Aspidistrafly. More more on Caroline, go to www.soundscape-records.com/caroline This interview was first published in the January 2008 issue of JUICE.

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