Interview with Jitensha
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Before we met David was cooking at restaurants in Toronto. I imagined he’d have his own restaurant by now! Rosey has her degree in natural resource conservation. She’d probably be living in the woods stalking salamanders.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Our favourite hobbies together are eating cheap food, biking / surfing skating and going to the movies. I think we especially get inspired walking around a new environment and taking in the sights and sounds. We’re very inspired by landscapes and the people in them.
How long has your band been around?
8 years! 3rd grade already.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Jitensha has mostly been based out of Montréal. It is such a seasonal place - the winter brings out the brooding moody artist, the summer brings out fiery blossoming passion. You can glean magic from every time and use it to help your music feel well rounded - writing one season, recording another for example.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Jitensha is Japanese for bicycle. We were very surprised upon first meeting that we both spoke some Japanese even though neither of us had ever been there. The year we met we’d often go on bike rides together and explore Vancouver. “Jitensha” became our motto for ourselves - probably to help ourselves not give up on our art. Like a bicycle, the energy and patience you put into any pursuit is what helps you go the distance.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Our 2019 album release show at L’escogriffe was such a fun night. We felt so supported and seen! It was nice after years of getting to know people in Montréal that we had finally grown a loving group of friends. We had some amazing nights as well this past summer on our first US tour - especially at Beer Naked in Marlboro VT. We played on a mountain top, for awesome people, stuffed ourselves with free pizza and got to camp under the stars on the property!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We got to play at Theatre Paradox in Verdun this year for the 2022 MTL Uncovered artist showcase. That was probably our most epic stage to date. More than any venue we want to keep exploring different cities around North America and get to know the vibe and the people.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
We want to open for Phoenix or Vampire Weekend, or both! They just did a song together hehe. It could happen.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
It can be hard not to, but there’s no reason to compare yourself or your “success” to anyone else. You are a unique individual and therefore the creativity you gift to the world cannot be defined against anyone else’s.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Perfection doesn’t have to come before fun.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“It Was Nice to Be Loved.” It’s a reminder that I’m not alone - that I’ve made good friends, I have known love and I will again as long as I keep my heart open.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“Sea of Numbers” gets requested the most! Along with “Ravens.” Our favourite songs to play are still unreleased, hehe, so you’ll just have to wait.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
One of us comes up with a ditty or lyrics and we flush it out together. We’re always trying to be as collaborative as possible and like to try and stay open to each other’s ideas.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We tend to always put a positive twist on things - even the more negative topics in our music. I’ve heard from friends / fans that we should write a moody song once and a while but, honestly, it’s hard because we try to live positively. I try to find the silver lining in life so it’s hard not to put that into a song. A lot about life that is beautiful, is also sad because it’s temporary, but that makes it all the more loveable and precious.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
For sure! We’re a married couple too so music and life get all mixed up together. We work hard to stay open to each other's ideas and give each other space to think when one is undecided or we have a difference of opinion.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’ve got more singles recorded so stay tuned for 2023. Two different albums are in the works and we’re not sure which one will see the light first!
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
We’re mostly posting day to day on Insta @jitenshamusic . You can also join our mailing list which is the best way to stay up to date on our latest releases, videos and tours. https://jitenshamusic.com/mailing-list-subscribe