International Music News: Zoobombs Talks Rolling Stones, Rhythms, "Right Off" and More
Thu, 26 May 2011 17:17:15
Japanese rock n' roll! Hello America, have you been introduced to The Zoobombs? Self-titled psychedelicdonutsrock band Zoobombs consists of Don Matsuo (conductor, guitar, vox), Matta-ra (keys, vox, guitar), Moo stop (bass, vox) and Pitt (drums). They’ve played together for over 17 years with over 13 full-length albums, toured all over the world and are planning to tour the US and Canada again later this year.
If you didn't get a chance to catch them at the SXSW festival earlier this year be sure to catch them on their tour in Japan now or their upcoming US and Canadian tour in September. These guys just won't stop touring! You can hear their newest album La Vie en jupon here!
ARTISTdirect.com had the chance to talk to Zoobombs' Don Matsuo about their newest album, what gear they use and Miles Davis.
What was your best experience on your American tour?
The people, the air and the music. We really loved each of these things. Driving through the country, seeing sky, farm, cars and so on. Everything was different from my country. So huge. And I couldn't stop thinking why Japanese tried to fight the war with such a big country in the past.
How do you create songs? Do you listen to other drummers for new patterns to work with or other guitarists for new rhythms?
My song writing is like waiting or finding from the air. When I write a song, or can I say when I "catch" a song, at first it comes and I have to find that correct rhythm, correct chord progression and correct harmony. The song exists completely in the beginnings. I don't need to listen to the other music, but sometimes it helps me to find correct rhythm and then some.
On La Vie En Jupon, the song Way In/Way Out has a lot of Doors and Rolling Stones influence, with lots of electric keyboard and blues. What’s the story behind the song? What was the influence for that song?
Oh, yes! I have lots of influence from The Rolling Stones, to tell the truth I'm thinking each song of ours are kind of another version of The Stones songs. No one agrees though. I think "Way In/ Way Out" is the song of initiations. A boy (or girl) goes into an entrance, has an experience, experiences a different type of people, steps down deep inside and after he gets out he finds himself a little different.
I've got that rhythm and feeling from Miles Davis' "Right Off." I told the band (who didn't know Miles) just a rhythm and key and we got to playing. This is the first take so everyone didn't know what was going on and that made a story. Interesting.
Why did you choose to let go of the grunge sound in your previous album in favor of alternative blues influences on your new album?
Mmmm, I don't know. I just followed the song where [the band] wanted to go with it. I had no choice anyway.
What are the main themes of your songs on La Vie En Jupon?
I think it's connected to America, in conscious and unconscious. We, Japanese, have very complicated feelings towards America.
What is your take on music as a whole? What is your opinion on music right now?
I'm trying to find that answer. I'm thinking we are still only half way. I believe I'm becoming wise through playing music. I think I'm playing music for some big existence...like God.
What artists shaped you?
The Rolling Stones and Miles Davis.
What is your favorite guitar to use on stage? Do you stick with a particular brand?
To tell the truth, I don't mind any guitar, amp or equipment, but light weight and big sound is better.
What music do you listen to now for inspiration?
I'd rather read books than listen to music for inspiration from classic literature to modern brain theoretics.
What is your response to the earthquake in Tokyo?
Strong emotions. And it's still going on. I'm thinking why it happened in Japan, why this time? I believe there are some meanings. Each Japanese has to think about which direction to take after this. It's something like "Salt Of The Earth".
What’s next for you? Tours? Recording for a new album soon?
Yes, we have finished a new album set to release in September from MB3 label in the US. We'll also do an eight week tour in the US and Canada. It'll be great. We can't wait to be back!!