by Adelie Salagnac
On a windy, rainy, gray afternoon, I had the pleasure of talking with Michelle Zauner, who you might know as the front woman of Philadelphia-based band Little Big League. However, Zauner was here to discuss her side project, Japanese Breakfast. A side project that might as well be considered a main one, as the talented singer/songwriter dedicates most of her time to it.
Initiating her Japanese Breakfast project in 2013, with the self-released of a tape in June, the first of a series of two, Zauner says: “About three years ago, Little Big League had just finished their second record, and I still felt like I had so much more to say, but it would have undercut the record label and it would have undercut ourselves and that album if we had continuously put stuff out. I had so much work that I wanted to put out there. I wrote a song every day for a whole month, I wanted everyone to hear what immediately comes out of me.”
What is Japanese Breakfast up to, three years later? Psychopomp, first official full-length release, is about to be dropped, after years of work. Already streaming on Hype Machine, it mixes a wide range of sounds, showcasing Zauner’s talent and various interests and influences.
“A lot of the record is about grief,” confesses Zauner. “I just lost my mom when I started writing this record. That was really challenging and I was having a lot of issues, being someone who’s not religious, figuring out my way of grief and how I could accept it and grow from it and move on.”
Having grown up a lot as a person and an artist, through her various projects and touring, Zauner admits she learned a lot over the past couple of years, trying to be a better version of herself everyday. “I also think it’s important to listen to people and sometimes, if you bring a song to a group, instead of just trying to hammer in what you want, it’s best to really listen to what they have to offer first, and accept that, before trying to change it.”
Japanese Breakfast will throw a release show on April 1st, at Ortlieb’s. Tickets are available on tickeyfly. Please note this is a 21+ event.
A new music video and an upcoming tour are on their way. Keep an eye on Japanese Breakfast’s Facebook page for all the latest info!