Interview with Lymbyc Systym

Lymbyc Systym’s Michael Bell shares with Wendi Gu his musings on family, music, and the indielicious soundscapes painted by him and his brother.

By Wendi Gu | Jul 28, 2011

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  • Interview with Lymbyc Systym
  • Interview with Lymbyc Systym

What’s it like working with your twin brother?
There is no musician I would rather make music with in the world. We have a very refined system these days for composing, recording and rehearsing, so it's pretty easy to get stuff done. And of course, our taste in music is very similar, so it tends to be pretty easy to write material we both enjoy.

We notice Lymbyc Systym loves experimenting with unique sounds and instruments. Do you think you’ll try Asian instruments while you’re here?
We own a gu-zheng, which is a Chinese harp instrument. We recorded it on our first two albums, but it’s been sitting in the closet for quite some time. I would love to visit a music store with tons of unique Asian musical instruments while here, and go nuts trying every one out.

If you dedicated one of your songs to your mom, which one would you choose and why?
I would dedicate Narita to her. It's a song we named after Tokyo's bigger international airport. Mainly because I think she would have a wonderful time visiting Japan.

Do you guys ever improvise in front of an audience? Or do you find that most of your inspiration comes during the process of song-writing?
When our band began, we used to do quite a bit of improvisation on stage. Song structures would sometimes be open ended and could twist and turn in new directions. That was also when our tight composition skill was less refined, so it worked. But for the past six years or so, we've been all about tightly composed songs, and no open ended sections. These days I would rather perform a song 100 percent perfect than take risks with improvisation. That is of course for this project. It's important to understand that there is always room for subtle evolution in our material, as should be with any musical group. As you perform a piece of music over and over, you can’t help but refine some subtle aspects.

Go check out Lymbyc Systym and Caroline!

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