Kimi of Moonpools & Caterpillars
by Su Chon
I interviewed Kimi Ward Encarnacion, female
frontperson. She is one of the nicest people you could
meet, and she's interesting to talk to. Now if you're new
to the RAD scene and haven't heard us talk about MPC, go
back into the archives and READ our reviews and the
interview with the guys! MPC is a fun band - they're
energetic, playful, and groovy. They love their audiences,
and their shows are always fun.
Tell me about your songs because a lot of people hear
your music and they tend to think that it's really
happy, but when you dig into the lyrics, the lyrics
aren't all that happy. Like "Soon..."
Soon actually is about, well, I went through this when
I first got out. Maybe you're thinking about "Heaven."
It's kind of a nice thought for me that there are
people up there I know that are checking up on me every
so often. You know, it just kind of makes you feel
good to think that you go somewhere, that there's
something after all this. And that's all that is, it's
just my interpretation of that. A lot of the letters
that we get, a lot of people that tell me what their
favorite song is, they name that as their favorite. I
was really surprised, but I think that's why because
it's a nice way to think and it's something that people
don't know what to think about it.
You kind of sound like a mix between, what's her name,
Merchant, Natalie Merchant and sometimes you sort of
sound like Liz Fraser...
Yeah, people have told me that, the guys actually, and
every once in awhile, they'll go, "Whoa, Cocteau."
What about "Crazy Old World?" What inspired you to
I don't know. Before we wrote three years ago, I had
just been camping with my family so when I was writing
it, it just made me think of a nature-y feel. I had
gone for a walk one day in the mountains by myself,
which I don't do too much because I don't like being by
myself, but kind of what things I was thinking about.
That's all. Those words just came really easy - a lot
of them do, almost the first time we play them. I'll
sing certain lines and then I build the song around
what came out.
So you work impromptu, you don't sit down and think
Yeah, in fact, we've got some new songs we're working
on that we've been trying to record before we left for
the tour. And I couldn't get words to one because I
kept making more out of it than what it was. Finally I
went back to just the jumbled that I was singing and it
makes sense. It feels better to sing it that way.
You seem to deal with relationships, broken
relationships, a "you've lost your chance".
People think "Soon" is about that. The words "one day
soon it will happen to you..." That song is kind
of...everybody goes through, well at least I did when I
moved away from home and started doing things on my
own, you realize things about yourself. You think, "Oh
shoot, man, I've got to handle that or nobody is going
to like me or I'm not going to be able to accomplish
this or that." And you go through this change where
you, growing up you were just fine, but you realize
that there are things as a person that you have to work
on. That's what it is, but a lot of people think that
it's a sourpuss relationship kind of thing. It's not
it at all.
People just relate it to what they know.
And that's okay. Sometimes I write songs and I don't
know what they're about. People tell me, "I like the
one about the loser guy who doesn't want to live on a
farm anymore." [Note: She's referring to "The Buick.]
Oh, Okay. I like it when they get a whole different
part of this song. That's alright, I don't mind it at
So do you read to get inspiration? What's your main
No, I'm not much of a reader, in fact, I started
reading more while we're touring because we have so
much spare time. That's why I've never read because
I'd rather doing something with my hands or creating
something. So no, I've never really been inspired by
things that I've read. It's more of things that I
notice or things that I see. To me, music isn't my
outlet. I don't see it as that, but secretly I think
it is. Things just kind of pour out, and it's fun. I
like words that are catchy and words that are
lighthearted. I think there's a lot of serious songs
out there that make you feel sad or mad. Maybe someone
wants a different kind of song for a change. Not that
there's anything wrong with that but it just isn't what
comes out of me.
That's what I said in my first concert review of your
band. If you're looking for angst or self-destruction,
you're not going to find it here. It's nice for a
change to hear something upbeat. Although most of the
songs have deeper meaning, you come away feeling more
positive than listening to something that would bring
Yeah, and it's not songs about getting a red piece of
bubblegum from the machine. A couple of critics cut me
up because they don't take time to talk to the band,
they listen to a record maybe once and then they write
what the record's about. There are a couple who said
that the words were really shallow, really light. And
I thought, "Wow, that person must not have read through
it because I don't think they've understood what it's
Sometimes it takes more than one listening to a cd
before you like it or even get an inkling what it's
We have some friends called Edna Swap. They were on
Elektra but they're on a new label with a new record
coming out. That's the same with them, I saw them live
first and I thought, "Wow, that's really cool." Then I
got the record and I listened to a couple of songs and
thought, "Aaah." But then JayJay liked this song and
kept listening to it over and over and now it's one of
my favorite records. So it's so true. It's hard to
find a record that's good on the first listen.
I know that the words [to the songs] seem shallow, but
sometimes the simplest words hide the deepest meaning.
I love that when people tell me that because I never
thought of myself as a poet or this writer that can
come across with all this highly expressive
information. I love it when people tell me that. They
tell me "I love that song" or "It made me cry." A lot
of people have said that and I think, "Wow" because
very seldom do I listen to somebody's music and it
makes me cry. That to me is one of the highest
compliments. It made me feel confident, too, because I
didn't have a sense of being able to write songs. It
just sort of happened.
We heard you were a fashion design major and you
Have you been doing that lately?
I had a line of dresses that I sold to different shops.
I wanted to start a line of some women's snowboard
clothing, but I didn't get around to it. So I think
that might be one of my next projects when we're not on
the road for some time.
Are you the one who's designed all the T-shirts?
I didn't draw those things, the logo for Moonpools and
Caterpillars, that's mine. Our friend, the art
director, he tweaked it around to make it fit. I just
talked to the artist that we chose that this is what I
think would be cool. And this is what he drew. But
I'm the one that always bothers to get the shirts and
everything ready. I always create jobs for myself.
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