If you've ever sent a text to a roommate because it felt more natural than walking to the next room and actually communicating with them in person, you've experienced a glimpse into the creative life of Superorganism.

Finding each other on the internet through music forums and YouTube suggestions, the whole band moved into a London house where they create eccentric collages of indie pop together. Before the move, though, their earliest songs were created over Skype calls, Facebook chats, and email file transfers—an internet-based method that continues even now that they live under the same roof.

"The thing is, we still work online," 18-year-old lead singer Orono Noguchi says. "We've started to try collaborating in the same room, being physically there together. But for the most part, we just work on our own demos in our own rooms, then we send them to each other."

Referring to themselves as a "DIY pop production house," Superorganism's eight members sought each other out from far-reaching places like Japan, South Korea, Australia, England, and New Zealand. "At school, I couldn't really find anyone who was on a similar creative wavelength as I was," Orono explains. But when she finally met people online who shared her same tastes and do-it-yourself spirit, she says, "It seemed natural to join powers and make something awesome."

Our full interview with Orono Noguchi is below, in which she discusses her early years writing fan fiction, the inspiring nature of YouTubers, life on the road with an eight-member band, and more.

I was listening to Ezra Koenig's Beats 1 show last year, and heard him talking about your old fan fiction on air. What inspired your Vampire Weekend fan fiction phase as a 12-year-old?

I was borderline stalking them, I'd say. [Laughs]. I fell in love with their music and their art and I kind of joined an online community of other kids my age that were equally obsessed with them. I don't know, I just felt like I wanted to create something and that creation was writing fan fiction. I combined everything that I was obsessed with at the time into one piece of fan fiction. So that's why Ezra was dating Katy Perry and there were YouTubers thrown into the mix. MGMT was in there as well. [Editor's note: See some of Orono's fan fiction brought to life here].

Was writing always a hobby for you when you were growing up?

I wouldn't call it a hobby but English class was definitely one of my favorite classes. It's always been one of my best subjects since I was a little kid. It felt natural to do that.

I don't really take anything seriously, including myself. Nor do I really want to be taken seriously, either. I'm not trying to make a statement or anything.

The absurdity of those fan fictions carries over to the humor in your lyrics now. Lots of your songs are about how crazy and weird the world is. Why do you like writing like that?

I think it stems from the fact that I don't really take anything seriously, including myself. Nor do I really want to be taken seriously, either. I'm not trying to make a statement or anything. So I guess that's why I jump around from talking about one thing to another. It turns from seeming kind of serious for a second, to jumping back and being wacky and weird. That's just a reflection of not only me, but the whole band's personality.

What kind of things were you into back when you were writing those fan fictions?

I was into YouTube, big time. Katy Perry. There were fandoms that I was in, but I wasn't in one specific fandom. I was just kind of all over the place. I followed random tags on Tumblr and saved every single photo that I found. I was actually obsessed with Grimes at that time as well. Just all sorts of stuff. All internet stuff I'd say.

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Photo by Ingrid Pops

You originally found some of the other Superorganism members through YouTube, right?

Yeah, back in the day that song "Somebody That I Used to Know" was a big hit. Kimbra was a feature on that song so I started listening to a lot of Kimbra's music and she's from New Zealand. I thought she was cool and I think that got the YouTube algorithm into recommending me lots of New Zealand indie stuff. There's a viral video for a song called "The Cigarette Duet" by Princess Chelsea from New Zealand. I thought that was cool, then YouTube started recommending me other New Zealand indie stuff, which included some of the Superorganism members and their band projects.

We're eight different people from different countries and backgrounds. The primary way that we communicate with each other and work is through the internet, so it makes sense to make a collage-like piece of art.

So it sounds like the band had been slowly forming for years, but it finally took shape as Superorganism when you joined?

Yeah, pretty much. We didn't see Superorganism happening. None of us saw it coming. We were just like, "Hey, cool, we're talented fun people, let's get together and make some cool music." That just came about through random chats on Facebook. 

Bands used to form because all the members happened to live in the same town or they were classmates or something. But you guys were able to seek each other out and be more choosy on the internet. What attracted you to each other?

I'd say a good taste in music brought us together. But also the fact that some of us experienced being an outsider and being kind of isolated in a way. I had a weird situation where I was living in a small town in Japan, but I went to a school that was an hour away in an even smaller town. So I didn't really have close friends in my neighborhood. Emily lived in Australia and moved to New Zealand. Harry lived in the UK, then moved to New Zealand. So having that experience as a kid warps your perspective in a way and I think that's what we have in common.

I know you all come from very do-it-yourself backgrounds. Lots of DIY artists end up working in solitude and making music in their bedrooms. What made you guys want to do that in a group setting?

It just made sense, I guess. We kind of do things on the fly. We don't get our own individual egos in the way of the creative process. So when it came to actually making art and trying to make the best kind of art that we can, it seemed natural to join powers and make something awesome.

Before joining Superorganism, did you plan on being a solo artist or did you always want to be in a group?

I was kind of open to anything. But at the time, at school, I couldn't really find anyone who was on a similar creative wavelength as I was. That sounds fuckin' stupid, I'm aware of that. But at the time, I was just working on stuff by myself. 

After you met online, you guys all moved in together in a big house in London. Was it weird going from making songs over email and Skype to living together and doing that in person?

The thing is, we still work online for the most part. Even living together wasn't that weird because we're all pretty chill and none of us are really crazy OCD drama queens or whatever. So that works in our favor. It wasn't that awkward, to be honest.

When you say you're still working online, does that mean you're all in different rooms of the house working on your own pieces, then you send it to each other?

Pretty much. We've started to try collaborating in the same room, being physically there together. But for the most part, we just work on our own demos in our own rooms, then we send them to each other.

How do you guys split up songmaking duties?

It's quite freestyle, I'd say. None of us have dedicated parts or anything, because we're all multi-instrumentalists. We can just do whatever. Also, if you have Logic, you don't really need to play instruments.

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Image via Jordan Hughes

Why do you guys prefer making music at the house instead of a studio?

We're comfortable in that situation. Also, it saves money. We can do it at home. We've always done it at home. So why go to a studio and pay fuckin' thousands of dollars for nothing, pretty much? We have it at home.

Lots of your songs take shape like collages. There are a bunch of weird samples, sound effects, vocals, and instruments. Where does that style come from?

We're eight different people from different countries and backgrounds. The primary way that we communicate with each other and work is through the internet, so it makes sense to make a collage-like piece of art.

Where do you guys find those samples and recordings?

It's a good mix of everything. Sometimes we use field recordings. Sometimes we use royalty free sound effects websites. And sometimes we're looking for specific audio clips, so we look for that on YouTube. It's a little bit of everything.

We have a collaborative Spotify playlist and it has 500 songs or so at this point. It's a mix of everything from Ariana Grande to weird experimental shit.

Your music has all these weird things going on, but it's also really accessible and pop-friendly. What draws you to weird pop music like that?

It comes back to a lot of us having an outsider perspective. But then again, pop culture is so great because no matter how indie or hipster you are, you have a certain connection with pop culture. I think that's the most fascinating and best part about it. Just the word "pop" binds us together, but we're also outsiders. So I guess it makes sense for us to combine the best of both worlds and make that sort of music. 

What do you guys usually end up listening to?

We have a collaborative Spotify playlist and it has 500 songs or so at this point. It's a mix of everything from Ariana Grande to weird experimental shit.

What are your non-musical influences?

I think most of my influences are non-musical. I do have an inspo playlist on Spotify, but lately I've been obsessing over RuPaul. It's the most fascinating thing ever—the world of drag queens. Not to make a pun here, but it's a different world. It's like a different organism of its own. I've never dabbled in it, so it's been very inspiring to me, watching the show. And RuPaul's music is fucking amazing and his podcast is so great. I just have so much respect for that guy. 

Lots of young artists today make an effort to share everything about themselves on social media, but you seem to be more reserved. Why do you think that is?

Social media is weird and it's fucked up. Especially for insecure teenagers, like myself. It definitely provides a good ego boost at times, but other times it's just people shitting on your art for no reason, just because they're also insecure about their lives. Sometimes I think, "Oh, that would be cool to post on the internet." And then I'm like, "Oh wait, there's no point in me doing that."

But then again, there are so many YouTubers and quote "social media influencers" that all these 10-year-olds follow today. They inspire those kids and make them feel less shitty. They give the kids someone to relate to in a really intense way, because they provide so much of what's going on in their lives, so publicly. I think there's a certain beauty to that. I understand them because I've definitely felt that, watching lots of YouTubers' videos about going through really shitty times and depression and all of that.

Hopefully there's a healthy mix. I think it's important to try and utilize social media in the most efficient way possible without hurting anyone's feelings. I know that's really hard but that's why I try and stay away from it. I'm not too active on social media because it makes me feel like shit. But then again, it kind of makes me feel good. It's confusing.

It doesn’t look like it’s turned you into divas or anything, but I’m sure the success has changed some things for you guys. What’s different now as opposed to before you put out “Something For Your M.I.N.D.”?

I think our whole lives have turned upside-down. I think I've become a diva in a way, actually. When we started off touring and doing all these interviews and stuff, I was so conscious of how I was being perceived by other people. I was like, "I'm so lucky to be in this position. I don't want to seem like an ungrateful little bitch." So I was trying too hard to be like, "This is so great and fun." But the reality is, touring is the most stressful thing. It's one of the craziest things that a human being can do, in my opinion. You get up at like three in the morning. Then you do all these interviews. Then you play a show at like midnight. Then you go back and do the same thing over and over again. For a whole summer you do that. Then you go on tour in the States and all these places. It's so intense and hectic.

I feel like it's unrealistic to be like, "I'm fine! We're Superorganism—just a fun, quirky, internet band!" I think that's bullshit. So here I am, being like, I'm stressed out right now! I'm tired. I barely got any sleep, so I'm telling you about it. I think that's definitely changed. I think it's also changed how we make music because we barely spend any time at home anymore. We're on the road constantly. That makes it hard to make music, because we make music at home where we're comfortable. Touring is definitely not that comfortable. So we're trying to figure out a way to make that work. We're not quite there yet, but we're still working on stuff, which is good. It's definitely changed our lives, though, in such a great way that it's hard to explain. It's a lot to handle. 

With all the touring, are you thinking about new music yet? You don’t have to give away too much, but what’s next?

Yeah. All the complaining I did just now started because we have a passion for making art and making music. That still applies, thankfully. We are working on stuff and we have been working on stuff this whole time. When we finished the record last August, we actually ended up with way too many songs. Domino was basically like, "Hey, you guys are a new band. Maybe let's cut it down a bit so it's more palatable for a wider audience." That totally made sense and I think it made for a better record. So that was a good call. But we have a bunch of stuff laying around. Hopefully we can release it as soon as possible. Take a break from touring and work on more stuff. Collaborating with other people, too. That's up in the air.