In the Middle with Superorganism
Superorganism are a band that overwhelm your senses and make you question everything you thought you knew to be true. Songwriter and producer, Harry, spoke to In the Middle to let us know what we can expect from their self-titled debut album and beyond.
“We’re kind of like a DIY budget version of The Velvet Underground. A pound shop Andy Warhol,” says Harry, one eighth of pop hive mind, Superorganism. It’s a big statement to make, comparing yourself to one of America’s most iconic bands, but when you’ve turned as many heads as Superorganism have with their kaleidoscopic orb of music, it’s not hard to envision them taking over the world by bringing you upside-down into their surrealism. And they haven’t even released an album yet.
Hailing from all corners of the globe, Superorganism are children of the internet: “some of us found each other through music forums and started chatting after school on MSN, just sharing music and memes which then blossomed into friendships and eventually collaborations”. However, their collective wasn’t complete until a risky tour promoter and YouTube’s algorithm harmoniously aligned to bring them to meet a, now infamous, 17-year-old schoolgirl named Orono: “Some of us were in an old indie-rock band and were playing in Japan because some guy booked us over the internet. We showed up not knowing whether or not it was a real tour or we were being catfished. Coincidentally, Orono was home from school for the summer and had found us through YouTube’s recommendations so she came down to the show, introduced herself and we all hit it off. Fast forward to 2016, we had the idea for Something For Your M.I.N.D. and everything from there just exploded”.
“We want to make this world more immersive, more expansive.”
Now all living together in what can only be imagined as an anarchic hit-making factory (otherwise known as a four-bed flat in East London), it’s good to know that their creative process hasn’t been altered by living on top of each other: “We build our songs and our art by laying bricks on top of the other ones we’ve already laid down. I might start a song idea in my room and send it to someone else who will lay their ideas on top of it and this just goes on until all eight people have got their paws on it, including Robert who comes up with the music videos and visuals which is integral to what we do”.
Living in the same space as they create their world it’s no wonder these self-proclaimed pop culture junkies are poised and ready to release their self-titled debut album next month: “We’re really excited, it’s got all these different genres that we explore, all these different sounds, styles and moods to it”. But according to Harry this will just be the start of a long passage into the realms of the psychedelic beast that is Superorganism, “It’s kind of like a foundation, like when a movie has an opening shot. We’re trying to build a world out of this band that’s both reflective of the world we live in and an escape from it, so this is the first step on the road for that. We want to make this world more immersive, more expansive, we want to cross various mediums and create this weird long-term art piece that becomes bigger and bigger”. It’s clear that this band are always looking ahead to their next plan of attack, but as you peruse the tracklist for their debut it’s impossible to not be a little bit intrigued by one song in particular, ‘The Prawn Song’, which was simply, when asked, described as, “a surreal comment on human society through the eyes of a prawn”.
However, the potentially more radio-friendly offerings from Superorganism are still a force to be reckoned with. Their first single, ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D.’ created worldwide hysteria last year over who the mysterious collective behind it may be, whilst their latest single ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’ has already amassed over two million streams less than a month after being released. But the meaning behind this newest offering isn’t necessarily as facetious as it sounds: “The concept of fame and the desire to be validated and be notorious or well-known for something is so integral to the modern experience, even if that’s within your own friendship group or within your family, everyone wants to be known and admired for something. It doesn’t mean that everybody wants to be full-on Kardashian, it might just be what you want some validation from the people around you”.
Listening to Superorganism, it’s hard to believe that they only played their first live show in September of last year, but don’t let their perceived inexperience fool you into thinking that their worldwide tour is going to be anything less than an incredible ride when it stops in Leeds in March: “It’s an immersive experience, from Robert’s visuals to B, Ruby and Seoul who have created this amazing choreography for the live show. It’s absolutely fucking mental. If you stand in the centre of the crowd, right in the middle of the stage, you’re just going to be overwhelmed with the overall interactive experience of Superorganism and become part of Superorganism”. Ultimately, Superorganism are like if 2007 internet culture met a fresher at Beaverworks, you don’t quite know what’s happening but there’s a lot of hypnotic visuals, loud music and impressive shapes being thrown, resulting in a time you don’t quite remember but definitely don’t regret.
If the internet was a lifeform then Superorganism would be its tangible resemblance, with sprawling limbs from across the globe and unrivalled access to every creative outlet possible. This 8-piece band are creating an immersive world you don’t want to miss out on.