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Reading & Leeds

The Japanese House teases her new EP backstage at Reading 2019

Plus lots of dog chat, obvs.
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Published: 8:00 pm, August 26, 2019Words: Abigail Firth. Photos: Jamie MacMillan, Patrick Gunning.
The Japanese House teases her new EP backstage at Reading 2019

After having a bit of a faff actually getting onto the stage yesterday afternoon, we grabbed Amber 'The Japanese House' Bain after her set for a quick chat about it. Then we realised dog content is better than festival content, so we talked about that instead.

Hi Amber! We've just run back from Billie Eilish and are very sweaty, how's life?

Unfortunately, because we had loads of technical issues, we actually directly clashed with her. The biggest Main Stage crowd ever at Reading and we directly clashed with it. To be fair, it's a testament to my loyal fans because there were loads of them still in the tent. It's the smallest crowd we've ever had at Reading but, I think if you take into account that Billie Eilish was on at the same time, we did pretty well I think.

We were just like 'where is she'?

We were just backstage- it's the most stressful thing in the world because I can't control it, I can't go on stage and start patching things in there, I can't do anything, and it makes me really sad, because number one, it's embarrassing, people are gonna think I've not turned up. I don't want people to think I don't care, like I'm behind the stage like 'oh I'm gonna have to do an acoustic set, it's all going wrong'. But actually, it's one of those things where it's so disheartening when that stuff happens, but then you get on stage, and yeah, it was a small crowd, wasn't it?

There were still people shouting 'we love you, Amber'.

Yeah, and there were people singing along. And I mean you could literally hear the cheers for Billie Eilish, and that's kind of an amazing thing. That wouldn't have happened two years ago. So it's kind of a bittersweet thing.

How did it go anyway once it got up and running?

It was good. I couldn't hear anything that I was doing, so I hope it didn't sound bad. Yeah, I was just trying to get my mix on. But we've done that show so many times, but my band couldn't hear anything. It's times like that where I'm like actually we're a tight band if we can play a show not being able to hear ourselves.

You pulled it together; we couldn't tell you couldn't hear yourself.

Oh god, now I just wanna smoke 3000 cigarettes. It's such a weird feeling being at Reading because it was my first festival. It's weird being here because now I'm so much older. I hate the passing of time, and I hate the fact that I'm getting older. I have like a serious complex about ageing and dying. But in a way it's nice to be here playing for the third time, I guess. I don't feel any nerves anymore. Well, I felt nervous today because I think it was more stress than nerves, but I know who I am now, and that's nice. We played the Dance Tent last year, weirdly. I don't remember anything.

Memorable moment then.

I remember the show because it was the last show we did before the album, it was the last show we were gonna do for a long time, and I remember it being quite emotional. It's like a growth every year.

How's the album cycle been going?

To be honest, I don't really know. I don't really engage past the first week or so, I'm not very good at keeping up with the statistics. I'm thinking of the new stuff now. I've got a new EP coming out soon, and a new single. So I'm just focusing on that, and the video for that and the artwork for that, and now I'm focusing on writing another album, so that's inevitably stressful because the second album is difficult to write I guess.

Cracking on straight away then, crikey.

Before the album came out, I'd already started the EP, and the single's coming out soon, and the video. Calvin's in it. He's the star of the show.

He was nearly on your Dork cover, you know.

He's was really pissed off about that guys. I've asked him to do more shoots with you guys, and he said "I don't know. They parred me off, so."

And now he's seen Ariana Grande's dog on the cover of Vogue.

I'm not gonna lie, it's not coming from me, but he is a bit annoyed about the whole thing. I think it can be rectified, but I think you need to talk to him.

Where is he today?

He's at my dad's house. I could've brought him to Reading, easily. He could be here with me now.

We should do more interviews with dogs.

He basically did all of my press. It's great because there are so many portraits of me and Calvin now. He is my best friend in the world. I miss him all the time. The only thing I hate about touring now is that I can't be with him, but I took him on tour around the UK, and it was so fun. Me and him had our own room on the bus, we had a suite. He is the light of my life. Not the fire of my loins. I do call him my boyfriend, though. If I'm ever gonna have a boyfriend again it's gonna be him.

The Japanese House teases her new EP backstage at Reading 2019
The Japanese House teases her new EP backstage at Reading 2019
February 2019
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