Monday, October 24, 2005


Growing Up[For example, what is your key childhood music memory? What kind of musical household did you grow up in? What did you listen to as a kid? What about your parents? Were they musicians too? Did you rebel and listen to Sex Pistols just to annoy them? How do you think your childhood affected you as a musician now?]

I liked Cesar Franck, and Gabriel Faure, that formed a core of my nursery rhyme. My parents' principle of art for art's sake had a bad influence on me.

Inspirations[who are your favourite musicians? Why? Do you remember the first time you heard their albums? Do you love the music or their attitude/clothes/lovers too?]

AEC with Brigitte Fontaine's Comme A La Radio forms the core of my lyricism. I heard it when I was in a punk band called "worst noise".

Your Band[So, tell us about your band. Who's in it, when did you meet, what connects you? Any major different musical opinions? How long have you been together? Who's the shy one, the joker, the Casanova etc.]

I could say that I certainly had members before but now I have just a loose network.

The Music You Make[OK, start listing styles, name-check your contemporaries and tell us about your releases. Who did you record with and where?]

I made 50 copies of cdr "unify my heart" last year and it would be my first and last album I made successfully.

Music, Right Here, Right Now[What do you think of the music scene at the moment? What are the obstacles musicians have to overcome? What's the best thing about the local scene? What bands have you seen lately that have impressed you? What do you think the future holds?

I am living in an unseen scene where is always in the doldrums. If 6 people liked you in net, it means you are more famous than the Beatles.

MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ How did you arrive at the name of your band? Do you think it still relates to what you are trying to achieve? Has your understanding of what it means changed over time?

I think modern Assyria still would like to beat modern Samaria. I would not like to belong to neither but want to be a ship that loads the booty of Samaria as a sacrifice of music.

There is a certain amount of mystery associated with Maher Shalal Hash Baz. Is this something that you actively encourage?

Things that have no connection with each other often happen inevitably. But it must not be a mystery for me and I have been trying to swim against such kind of flow of the river.

What interests you in working with untrained musicians, how do you recruit people to play with?

I like recording some music using my score with children living near my house.

When I listen to Blues du jour, it seems quite carefully arranged, there are even elements of Bacharach, whereas in your live performance in aoiheya 2003 I had the sense that anything could happen, the music could go in any direction, it might work or fall apart at a moments notice. Is this something you want to achieve? If so why?

I have no time to arrange.

How would you describe the music you are making?

It is a kind of storming mercy judge with importunities.

Do you compose all of the music yourself or do you play spontaneously with the band to compose? And how much improvisation occurs when you play live?

Free improvisation is always the matter because inspiration is basicaly a personal affair.I had once tried to share our inspiration in the band. Each members' compositions were played while their diary site on the day of a taihoon called maon were shown on the wall through a projector. And I have come to know that any music does not stand on such kind of man-made democracy.

I have read that you previously played in noisy bands like a Suicide. I would think that Maher Shalal Hash Baz is almost the opposite of this music. Do you see any links between the two?

Sometimes I am noisy but sometimes not. It depends on my spirituality.

I understand that at times you have had from 2 or 30 people involved in the band. How many people are coming to Australia and what can we expect?

I have to make some new music after I come to Australia with someone new who I will meet up there.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

- Can you explain your choice of the band name, Maher Shalal Hash Baz? The Jewish encyclopaedia defines it as: (Hebrew) "=the spoil speeds, the preyhastens], in the Bible, name of Isaiah's son, symbolizing hope for Judahduring the Assyrian attack on Damascus and Samaria." (from Isaiah 8:3 - "Iwent to the prophetess, and she conceived, and bore a son. Then said Yahwehto me, "Call his name'Maher Shalal Hash Baz.' ) Does this have anyparticular meaning for you? What are the other associations of the name?

The footnote of Jerusalem bible says it means "quick spoil, speedy booty". I happened to see this longest name and liked its sound.

- Your music seems to have an emphasis on innocence, almost a child-likeapproach - is innocence a quality you value? what is the relationship between music and innocence?

Heterophony, is often considered as an expression on innocence, but it is a technique of ancient music. I dare say that the neat unison of orchestra is childish.

- Please tell me about your creative partnership with your wife, Reiko. Is it good for your marriage to work and create together?

I have been working with her since TENNO/NOISE LP (1981), and she is still a small tenno.

- What are some of your songwriting processes, and have they changed over the years?

Melodies have been written down super-quickly on convenience store's receipt found in my car while waiting at the crossing. I can not always read them again, though.

-You have said that Maher's music is based on punk. Who are your punk inspirations? How does the punk aesthetic apply in your work?

In front of me in my teens it seemed there were two types of music, music for playing and music for listening. It seemed both had never been mixed. It seemed like a spiritual battle around the matter of freewill and compulsion. Being easy yet unique seemed to be a key for playing the music for playing, while transcendency and mysticism could often be seen in playing the music for listening. I do not believe dictates like "our side"or "not our side" in music now, but at that time decadence seen in those life -size rockers seemed to be easy yet unique for me, that was all I knew.

- What reception do you get from American audiences, and how does this compare to Japanese audiences?

There are no city like Olympia or Glasgow in Japan. I have come to know that a band or a label could change the whole image of the town.

- What sort of a music "scene" is there in Japan? do you feel that you belong to a musical community of kindred spirits?

In Japan, a visional critic living around Koenji station is choosing who is real "underground" since 70's.

- Is it possible in Japan to make a living from music and art? what are the challenges facing Japanese artists?

Nobody shan't succeed unless succeeding some succession here dear.

- Could you please tell me a bit about your background? Where did you grow up? What was your family life like - do you come from a musical family?

I grew up in a rural area surrounded by nature. My grandfather was a painter and my father is a potter/designer and my mother is a modern artist. She likes buying instruments but do not play them often.

- Who were your formative musical influences as a young person? What music were you exposed to on the radio, and through other people's record collections?

The Beatles, T-Rex, and so on.

- Please tell me about your involvement with The Anti Japanese Movement and/or Eastern Asia Anti-Japanese Armed Front. What are/were these organisation/s' goals, why did you join and why did you leave? What are your political beliefs now?

Our propaganda was that any Japanese should had ceased to exist as being one of Japanese. One said that the intelligence of North Korea may led the movement at its very beginning. Some activists are now working for homeless people around Shinjuku station. I think it is still a nice idea to stop being one of members of a nation. I hate borderlines and manmade countries.

- I understand you make pottery, what other artistic pursuits are you involved with other than music?


- Where are you living now? (please describe your home & surroundings)

I am living in an open field. I have not got much time for vegetation.

- You have spent a lot of time and recorded in Scotland, do you feel a particular connection with Scottish people and artists?

A root of Japanese music came from Scotland when Japan opened its door to foreign country in 19th century. Celtic influence is still seen in child songs. That is why I like James Kirk because of his simple melody.

- Can you tell us what to expect from your Australian shows? What instruments are you bringing with you? Will your sets be largely improvised?

A kind of Australian pub rock will be played.

- What do you communicate with the audience when you are on stage and what do you get back from the audience?

Once someone contact with me, it means that he/she is invited to become a member of maher,

- Any other comments you would like to add:

..........an u.

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