Zy 47: J

interview - 17.08.2009 10:01

Spirit of adventure

This interview was held on the evening of May 28th, so with the album scheduled to be released on August 5th, the music sent to us was about 80% completed. From that sample we could see quite clearly J's vision. As the keyword "naked" appears in the interview, the sounds we heard are very solid and raw, giving us all goose bumps. In this interview we took the opportunity to ask J directly why he reached this new ground in his music.

When I looked at J's official site before this interview, you wrote: “I’m recording using a totally different process from what I've done up until now.” So I’ll ask you about that first.

J: I really think my former work, RIDE, was the corpus of J sounds. Even listening to it now it sparkles and I can imagine the live concerts so vividly. It’s powerful and positive. I thought I had done it well, but in my head I heard a little voice saying to go to the next place. So I followed that, and just went with the flow.

After completing a work like a corpus, does a musician not have any more struggles?

J: I am really happy that I was able to create that work. However, it’s like climbing mountains. When you get to the top of a mountain, you want to climb another mountain, and I think my feeling is close to that. As I thought about what I had never done up until then, I decided to make my favorite sounds be more "naked and real."

What’s "naked"?

J: First of all, when I make songs, I want to reduce the number of sounds as much as possible. I want to challenge myself to think through the sounds of each instrument, the feel of the beats, the weight, things like that.

If I compare to it climbing mountains, it’s like throwing away modern climbing instruments and going naked, so to speak?

J: My feeling is close to that. For example, the bass I used up until now was very powerful and the output was high.

Was it like carrying a turbo engine?

J: Yes. But I tried using an electric acoustic bass which was lying in my studio for a long time. It was like the one Paul McCartney plays, it sounds like "poko poko" when I play it using my fingers or a pick. Generally speaking, it doesn’t seem to match today's rock, does it? (laugh) I used instruments like that a lot, and experimented using an old vintage amp to see how I could make sounds with it.

It was like an environment from the 60’s when rock was born in this world.

J: Instruments and materials including computers are progressing very rapidly. We can change tunes with one click of a control now. I thought I would quit all of that, and throw away everything. It felt boring somehow, and I thought all that technology wasn't cool anymore. (laugh) So I decided I would go thoroughly wild, and it became the theme of the recording.

Using your analogy once again, I think you could do that because you climbed the mountain RIDE. Otherwise, it may have been too scary. (laugh)

J: I think I can take this gamble because I was able to make GLARING SUN, URGE and RIDE, which I call three serial works.

So the recording was very "naked." Did you have more difficulties than before?

J: I had to play well. I couldn’t cover up any mistakes. (laugh) It took time to make the sounds, and I had to be careful when playing. It wasn't like “Anyone can make heavy sounds if we use this effecter and play!” (laugh) It’s not like that, but more like Mr. Fujita plays guitar so the sounds are heavy! Scott drums so the beats are full of groove and I play bass so the sound is driving……combined we reach that basic point. I think that being able to do that now, in this age, says something! The more I think about it the more I will go on about it! (laugh)

For the rest of the interview, please refer to Zy 47.
© 2009 Zy.connection Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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