Pink Mochi
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Pink Mochi

Band Alternative Rock


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"The Concordian"

September 2006

The members in Los Angeles-based band Pink Mochi promise a surprise new song for Montreal fans as they get ready for their first international tour.

When asked for an exclusive preview of the song they had prepared for their Canadian concerts, Michael, the guitarist and vocalist only revealed "there won't be any singing?" Ai, the vocalist and keyboardist added, "It is just music. It will mostly be guitar and piano." Their laughs assured it would be a show not to be missed. "You will just have to wait and see," all the members said with enthusiasm.

The band's approach to music is highlighted by their ethnic heritage. Ai's Japanese roots and upbringing influenced the band's name and much of the music. Pink Mochi refers to a Japanese dessert, even though Ai also confessed her infatuation with the colour pink. "Well, it's just that I really like the colour," she said.

The band members take pride in their multicultural style. They have written several songs in Japanese. "Because I grew up in a Japanese-American home, sometimes there are words I can say in Japanese that I just can't think of in English and at times English words that I don't know how to say in Japanese," said Ai.

Ai's childhood also affected the ideas the vocalists integrate in their songs. "There is one song that talks about how the world is one man's head and other planets are the heads of other men and women," Ai explained. She said that the idea had come from her childhood visions, some of which still remain vivid memories.

One of the visions she is still infatuated by is cannibalism. "I know you think that is weird?" Ai laughed. She assured it was only a theoretical appeal, helping her to create a rush in their music. "I hope people don't run away," she said with concern.

The band members agreed that their themes make their music distinctive. Ai expressed, "I would have to say that our music is visceral." Michael also explained that their songs do not follow a certain lyrical structure. Verses, bridges, and choruses are not always placed in a certain order, but change rather according to how good the song will sound. "We are very sympathetic to ourselves and of the people who will listen to our songs,"

Michael said. For their new album, that's the kind of songs they want to write; songs both they and their audience can relate to. This will be their first album, and is expected to be released next year.

To play live on stage is always a rush for the band. "I have to have at least two drinks before I go on stage," Lisa, keyboardist and bassist, said. The band always handles different types of equipment and instruments on stage, so nervousness is inevitable. "We have all sorts of devices," Michael stated. "We have our instruments?we have a laptop and once we even used a pink cell phone." Almost always, the band classifies their musical effects through their use of the theremin, played by Ai. This electronic instrument creates sound as the player's hands move around two antennas. It is one of the lead ways of developing the band's distinct sound.

The band's multitude of instruments can however be a burden when it comes to practical arrangements. The shear physical volume prevents them from taking all their devices on tour. The band is saddened by their inability to bring all their equipment to their Montreal performance, but has not lost their enthusiasm, "We have what we need to work with?thank you for having us?I hope people come, we know it will be a great show!"

Pink Mochi plays Les Saintes Oct. 14. Headlining act: Suicide Girls
- Pink Mochi: Pink Dessert, Distinct Delights


"Named after the Japanese dessert this LA combo is sweet and exprerimental pop in a minor key. Recalling bands from the 4AD era and peers like Autolux and Stereolab
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"Sushi & Tofu Magazine"

Pink Mochi Music: A Fun and Tasty Treat 11/2005

Vocalist and keyboardist, Ai, displays t-shirts and copies of the band’s CD. Michael, the lead guitarist and back-up vocalist, does a final sound check. Bass keyboardist Lisa greets some of the band’s regulars while drummer Tim nurses a beer and works the other side of the room. It may be five minutes before show time, but Pink Mochi seems relaxed, rested, and ready.

The laid back feel quickly gives way once the band takes the stage and lights into the playful opening number “Issho ni Tabemasho” (let’s eat together!). The crowd has swelled to maybe 35—not bad for a Wednesday night—and fans edge closer to the stage. Heads begin to bob, toes start to tap, and the bartender kicks it up a notch. After each number the audience shrieks its approval. One tickled Pink Mochi fan bellows deeply: MOW-CHII!

Named after the popular Japanese dessert made from soft rice dough, Pink Mochi has been writing songs and performing in LA clubs for about a year and a half now. All are accomplished musicians: “Each mochi can play at least two instruments,” notes Lisa. And while the members have all experimented with different types of music, the band is rock-based with a pop sensibility; or, as Michael explains, “Hybrid-electronic-indie-pop-with-a-laptop… rock.” Their website (, on the other hand, divvies the band into three categories: Indie, Experimental, and… Other.

What’s “other” about the band is that a Pink Mochi stage has more electronic instruments than a Las Vegas pawnshop. They employ four keyboards, with the bass keyboard replacing the bass guitar, and an Apple laptop --sometimes thought of as the fifth mochi—adding support tracks and an extra layer to the sound. Ai also uses a theremin, an instrument she plays by moving her hands in the electromagnetic fields of the two antennae: One hand toward one antenna controls pitch; the other controls volume.

The theremin adds an extra eerie dimension to the music, but Pink Mochi does not indulge in 20-minute-per-song electronic space travel. Instead the band strives to be pop and interesting rather than just experimental-- able to make things simpler or more complicated. “We like to hit on different cylinders, have different gears and create different moods,” say Michael. Another element adding to the bands unique appeal arises from Ai’s experience growing up Japanese-American. “I sing in both Japanese and English…I’m trying to express my honest experience,” she says.

The Pink Mochi experience is catching on. When made Pink Mochi a featured band, it attracted more fans to their shows. Tapping into the playfulness of the band, younger fans have responded and are showing up in greater numbers. Such fans include Adrian, who posted, “I heart you guys. Your music is awesome.” Someone with the moniker ‘Run like hell’ composed this ode: “Mochi are very delicious candies, as is your music!” And Chris from Tennessee opined: “Pink Mochi is scrumptious! fa sho....”

Meanwhile, Pink Mochi continues to play in L.A. clubs such as The Derby, The Knitting Factory, El Cid, and just for fun, an occasional bowling alley or art gallery. And if before the show you see one of the mochis slapping backs or hawking t-shirts, rest assured that an hour earlier the crew was hard at work plugging in, logging on, and booting up.

Thankfully, the hard work pays off. “Playing clubs in L.A. is hard sometimes, but it’s fun,” says Ai. “I’m always looking forward to playing no matter if it’s 5 people or 100 million—it’s still fun.” - Sushi & Tofu Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Ready for dessert? Pink Mochi is a sweet sticky rice dough often filled with ice cream but traditionally it has a sweet red bean dessert in the middle. This Pink Mochi however is filled with sweet sounds ready to be devoured. Pink Mochi is a musical output and friendship of Ai, Michael, Lisa, & Tim. Heavily influenced by experimental indie rock guitars, Japanese cannibals, and lots of food & drinks. All this and more comes through their hybrid-electronic-indie-pop-laptop-rock sound. Pink Mochi has been playing extensively in the Los Angeles area sharing the same bill with such bands as Devotchka, United States of Electronica, Apostle of Hustle, Rondo Brothers, Boom Bip, Fog, and many more great artists. This fall they will be on a North American tour with the world famous Suicide Girls Burlesque show.

"Named after the Japanese dessert this LA combo is sweet and exprerimental pop in a minor key. Recalling bands from the 4AD era and peers like Autolux and Stereolab

"Pink Mochi does not indulge in 20 minute-per-song electronic space travel. Instead the band strives to be pop and interesting rather than just experimental."
- Louis Kresline (Sushi & Tofu Magazine)