Interview with MARUOSA

interview - 17.02.2011 03:55

JaME had the opportunity to sit down with cybergrind artist MARUOSA and ask him about the inspiration behind his music.

MARUOSA is an artist that is known for putting on some of the loudest, most intense live performances possible, but few know exactly what makes him tick. Taking advantage of his presence at the 2009 Japanese Experience festival in France, JaME sat down with him in order to find out.

Hello, could you please introduce yourself for readers who might not know who you are?

MARUOSA: Hi, I’m MARUOSA from Tokyo. Of all the artists here at the festival, I am, without a doubt, the one with the loudest music. By “loudest,” mind you, I don’t mean “scariest.” I simply try to make the most energetic music possible. If you get a chance, come see one of my shows.

We’ll be there! (laughs) Now, how did you discover the cybergrind genre and what made you try your hand at it?

MARUOSA: I stumbled across it by chance, really. I started out by simply combining various types of music that I appreciated and cybergrind was simply the result of my haphazard way of working.

Do you have any particular influences?

MARUOSA: When it comes to music, I’d have to say anything fast and noisy, such as hardcore and grindcore. However, I also can’t deny the influence manga has had on me, especially the older stuff.

What made you create Rendarec, your label? Was it to reunite old friends or did you have an artistic reason? Were you, for example, experiencing problems with other labels?

MARUOSA: My first goal was to get my music out to the world. Since no other label would sign me, I decided to create my own.

The style of your older music seems to differ completely from your newer stuff. What do you feel when you listen to your earlier compositions nowadays?

MARUOSA: I’m ashamed. (laughs)

How do you explain your musical evolution?

MARUOSA: (thinks) A sudden mutation. (laughs)

Why are you ashamed of your older compositions?

MARUOSA : Because it was cutesy pop music, which is the complete opposite of what I do now. (laughs)

Could you detail the creative process behind your recent music? Has it evolved much since the early years?

MARUOSA: It hasn’t really changed. The only difference is that I scream in my songs now.

You collaborated with Bong-Ra on the DEATHSTORM project. How did that come about, seeing as you live in different countries and your styles differ significantly?

MARUOSA: We met when he came to Japan on a tour. We played together many nights and he told me that what I did inspired him quite a lot. We got to talking and discovered that we listen to a lot of the same music. We decided to work together at that point.

During your shows, you record your vocals. Why do you put more emphasis on vocals than instruments?

MARUOSA: I don’t play any instruments; I rely on a computer for all my music. During live shows, computer-dependent musicians usually don’t move and I find that kind of boring, so I decided to perform while screaming on stage.

Your music is quite excessive but, off-stage, you seem to be quite a relaxed person. Do you feel violence is a way to channel energy that can’t otherwise be spent?

MARUOSA: There might be wisdom in what you’re saying, but there is no hate in my music. I simply try and motivate people, encouraging them to keep moving forward in life.

What do you think of Japanese mainstream music? Are you against its principles of pushing itself to the masses?

MARUOSA: It’s hard to say. (laughs) Since I don’t have any ties to it, I’m not sure what to think. People like me or DODDODO, who have a large foreign fanbase, are completely ignored in Japan. In a way, we wouldn’t be against selling a bit more in our native country.

Can you detail what the cybergrind scene is like in Japan?

MARUOSA: Cybergrind is very important internationally, especially in Europe, but there are so few artists involved with it in Japan that I don’t even think you can call it a “scene.”

What Japanese or international bands would you recommend to someone who isn’t familiar with cybergrind?

MARUOSA: (thinks) I can’t think of anyone similar to my style. The best would be to come see one of my shows. (laughs)

You came to France in July, for the Osaka Invasion Tour. Was that your first time in Europe?

MARUOSA: Second, actually.

What did you think of your French shows?

MARUOSA: I went to Paris and Marseilles. I must admit I was quite impressed with the Marseilles crowd; completely crazy and appreciative of my music. (laughs) It was a great experience; I love Marseilles.

Today, you’re part of the Japanese Experience festival. How did that opportunity come about?

MARUOSA: Franck Stofer, artistic director for the festival, lives near me back in Tokyo. We met a year ago and discussed my participation. He thought it would be interesting, so here I am.

Lastly, what would you say to someone who wants to throw himself into the crazy adventure that is experimental music?

MARUOSA: Don’t hesitate to mix genres up in order to use everything you love.

JaME thanks Franck Stofer, director of the Sonore label and artistic director of the Japanese Experience festival, Antoine Chosson, press attaché for the Théâtre de Nîmes, Satoko Fujimoto, our interpreter and, of course, MARUOSA.
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