Sunny Saturday mornings in the car on the way to the studio with throwback music on the radio: Will Smith’s ‘Men in Black’ followed by some generic rock tune with a strange country twang. Just missing the drawl, I thought to myself. We arrive and set up in our musky den of a studio with the incessant buzzing of the fluorescent lights above as company. Flip the switches, position the mics, tune the guitars, warm up the mics: ready to go. We start with some gypsy-metal song, Aoi’s fingers working like lightning. Done; next: a slow somber dirge. Done in one take. This stuff’s easy. Turned on the gooey love vibes. I show Aoi the current studio version of the song and ask him if he approves of it over our live version. He’s quiet for a moment, considering his strategy, then nods. He re-writes his arrangement on the spot, feeling the moment. I’m watching in quiet wonder as I know this moment well myself but witnessing another do the same is still magic – this is how music is made in a band, this moment here. He finishes his take, I stop the track and say, “That was good,” to which he replies, “Good because I have no idea what I just played.” If you’re reading this, you’ll hear it on the record in the song, “The Silent Thoughts” – it’s got that charming country twang.