Smitty: How cool is that?
DK: Yeah, so that song “Hidden Times” is all about, she says, all about the things of all our cultures, about all our families, that are either not spoken, not passed along, but it’s there, the vibration is there, the spirits are all there, and it’s all those hidden times, those moments, that really connect us and it’s a beautiful kind of mystery of life kind of thing and, I mean, that song just takes me out.
DK: That’s one of those things where now I wish I had wrote that. (Both laugh.)
Smitty: It’s a great song too. I love it. Track 10.
DK: Oh, “Hiro Chill”?
Smitty: Yeah, man. I love that.
DK: You know, thank you for saying that because chill stations all over the world are adding that right now. We’ve been getting phenomenal feedback. And check this out: there’s a chill station, KSBR, in Orange County and the program director said that “You know, it’s one of the first authentic American chill tunes.”
Smitty: How ‘bout that?
DK: She says 99% of her programming comes out of Europe because there’s no actual American chill music.
DK: And they stream worldwide and she’s bragging on us because we’re an American band, which really—that really makes me happy.
Smitty: (Laughs.) Yeah, that’s one of my favorite tracks. Wow. How ‘bout that?
DK: Oh, thank you. I owe that all to my kid. My daughter, she lives in New York and I went back there to hang and we would hit the clubs and she’d go “You know, you guys gotta get into the chill scene.” She said “It’s not big in America like it is in Europe and all this other stuff,” but she says “It’s just perfect for what Hiroshima does.” It got me studying it and then that’s why I wrote that song.
Smitty: Hey, man, that’s quite an inspiration.
DK: Yeah, yeah, she was trying to hip me to it, which I immediately dug and she said “Look how you can combine all these things.”
DK: “Old school, new school,” she says “It’s all right there” and she said “Dad, that’s the stuff that you always tell me about, that you always have me listening to, all these different things,” and she said “Chill music allows all of that,” so it’s trippy and, of course, I would figure that you would catch onto that but, yeah, it’s trippy that you focused in on that because it’s a little bit of a different thing.
Smitty: Yeah, man. Well, you give her some props.
DK: Yeah, I will. Absolutely.
Smitty: Yeah, she’s an inspiration behind a hit, you know?
DK: Yeah, exactly.
Smitty: That’s very cool. Man, I love the artwork of the liner notes.
DK: Oh, thank you, thank you. That’s very, very kind of you. I worked very closely with our art director. I graduated in painting and drawing from Cal State University Long Beach, so my first love originally was art, so the poor art directors who work with me, you know, I have a different concept every time, I have a pile of sketches and (both laugh) I thought, you know, it’s time to combine some Warhol pop art vibe with what we’re gonna do, and so like if you look at the closeup photographs on the inner sleeve, they’re colored like those Andy Warhol kind of pop art photos.
Smitty: Yeah, that’s what it is. Now I get it.
DK: We went with a whole kind of fun pop art kind of whole thing, and actually the cover where it says Little Tokyo, that’s a street sign right on Third Street as you drive into Downtown L.A. and we just took a photograph of that.
Smitty: Oh, very cool, man. See, original stuff. Yeah, I like that.
DK: Well, man, that’s very cool. And, see, you would notice that. (Laughs.)
Smitty: Oh, yeah, man, I love it all because when I’m listening, I’m reading, I’m checking out everything, I just want the whole experience, and that’s old school when you think about it because back when we had the LPs, people talked about it all the time, because the LP sleeve was an experience in itself.
DK: Oh yeah. Well, thank you. What we want really to do is to create a musical community again that is exciting and dynamic. And I think where it’s gonna be is really with people like you, I think, because I don’t think there’s even gonna be CDs three years from now, really. It’s all gonna be downloads. There’s gonna be the dynamic and visionaries of people who are running sites that expand the mind. Because the e-packages and e-cards that can go out now really could be like albums in a different way, but they can have much more information than you can put on a CD and can be artistic on a lotta different levels, not just sound.
DK: But like you say, the package, the artwork and so forth. We can sorta expand it again.
Smitty: Yeah, then you get into movement with video and all of those kinds of things.
DK: Exactly. In fact, if you’d like, we just finished a video for performing arts.
Smitty: Oh, cool.
DK: And it’s just six-minutes from when we do a performing arts show, but it shows when we use classical Japanese dancers with us dancing to our music, when we have the stunning erhu player. Karen Hwa-Chee Han, who plays the Chinese violin, which is Track 8, I believe, “Quan Yin.” She’s playing on that. But she got to play on Pirates of the Caribbean too, come to think of it. If you want, I can send you that DVD.
Smitty: Oh, man, I would love to check it out. Now, the DVD, is it for sale?
DK: No, no, no, it’s really for promoters. We’re gonna put it on our Web site. It’s for performing arts venues so they can see what we do.
DK: It’s our music, but it also reflects embracing different visuals like classical dance.
Smitty: Oh, very cool. Yeah, please.
DK: And as I say, this great Chinese musician, or Richie [Gajate] Garcia, the percussionist who plays with us who last year was voted the number one percussionist in the world, and it’s just combining all these different flavors in a performing arts setting, which we really love to do.
DK: But if you’d like to just check it out, I’ll send you one.
Smitty: Oh, I’d love to see it.
DK: Oh, fine.