Fans of Cibo Matto know the duo’s name is Italian for “crazy food” and the two Japanese women who comprise the band don't disappoint: They're known for having written odes to cuisine such as birthday cake, beef jerky and artichokes in the mid-'90s. But even now, 10 years later, Yuka Honda, who, along with Miho Hatori, makes up Cibo Matto, still uses food to explain her music.
“The way we make our music is sort of like cooking,” she says. “It’s like you say, ‘let’s make Indian food’ and then you see what’s in Indian food. When we make an album, we play [in a similar way] and that’s what makes it fun.”
If you’re still scratching your head wondering what Indian food has to do with Cibo Matto’s musical process, Honda explains it another way: starting with different ingredients — “groovy beats,” computer-programmed drums and lyrics — and putting them together, all connected to the same theme or concept, which is seen in every song on the album.
Cibo Matto’s music has lots of layers, blending trip hop, electronica and jazz for their own unique sound, and it’s their willingness to experiment in new ways that keeps their music from feeling tired. “When we want to explore something new in music, we do it right away,” Honda says. “Something I think what I would like for us to explore next would be full on dance music. We’ve been making music you can dance to, but it’s not full on dance music.”
Honda and Hatori are still in tour mode for “Hotel Valentine,” which came out February 14, 2014, though Honda says they can currently only tour for about a week at a time since Hatori has a newborn baby.
Despite having performed the same songs for over a year, Honda says their unique meanings haven’t changed for her; the title track’s sentiment of living in a world but not truly being “seen” is still there. What she and Hatori do change during performances is the musical arrangements, transforming some songs into something that sounds vastly different from how it is on the album.
And touring still hasn’t lost its magic. “It’s so exciting to go out and play,” she says, with the anticipation of someone who hasn’t been doing it for over a decade. “We are very excited for this tour.”
If you go:
June 29, 7 p.m.
Brighton Music Hall
158 Brighton Ave., Allston
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