Interview 2016/02/29 – 日本語はこちらから
March 1st, 2016. A new adventure begins. The three members of MunizO (MNZ) are finally flying to overseas to aim to their “final goal”. These ambitious musicians, Taro (T)、Jiro (J), and Yuta (Y), told us about their feelings the day before the departure.
– Hi guys thank you so much for taking your time for this interview in spite of you guys being very busy with preparing.
(MNZ) No problem.
– So let’s make this interview short and sweet.
First off, where is your destination?
(T) Somewhere on the earth.
(J) Nowhere near my motherland.
(Y) But at least it’s not outside of the earth.
-… I knew it’d be like this. You guys always seem to be joking. I can never get to the point.
Oh well whatever, never mind. I’ll ask it once again later.
So tell me a little bit about MunizO.
What made TarO&JirO want to start a new band?
(T) I’d already had an idea for our new band project before our resignation from the former label last year. I still remember the day I came up with the main riff of the song “023-No one-”.
We were heading to a small local venue in Nagano prefecture, at that time actually I was really exhausted with touring around the Japanese island with our low ceiling car, and I was sitting in the backseat playing the guitar to fill up the time. And I suddenly got the riff which sounded really great and I was like “Wow did you hear that? It sounds badass!” I thought this was something new compared to the other T&J’s songs.” And before arriving at the venue I got most of the song’s flow and structure done. I continued jamming with Jiro in the car. We really liked what the song finally sounded like and knew we’d absolutely need a drummer to make it even better. I started to think about the new band project because of this song. The song has so much energy in it. This is just an aside but I first named the song “Meaningless gigs”. It tells how depressed I was at that time. haha
Anyway since then we’ve made tons of new songs as MunizO and made demos but we’d been still looking for a genius drummer until the last summer.
-I see so how did Taro and Jiro meet Yuta?
(T) Actually our paths have already crossed in 2014. At that time Yuta was in a Japanese rock band “Qryme”. We played at the same venue one night.
Honestly I really liked their music and especially the drummer, who kicked some ass the night. My first impression of him was nothing more than powerful and energetic. His stunning drumming made me so excited so I don’t usually talk to other bands after show but I was inclined to talk to them. I couldn’t imagine one year later we’d be jamming together though.
But I always kept him in mind so as soon as I thought of having a drummer I got to remember him and got in touch with him. When I contacted him he was actually still in L.A being a student of MI (Musicians Institute).
His original plan was to stay there for 1 year but he didn’t fit in at the school and decided to come back to Japan much earlier.
It was a good timing actually, I sent him kind of a love text message saying “I really love your drumming, please join our band!”, just a couple days before his return. He willingly admitted my proposal and we finally jammed in the last summer.
-So how did you feel when Taro and Jiro invited you to join their new band MunizO, Yuta? What was your first impression of them and their music?
(Y) It was just the last day of my LA life, I got a message from Taro&Jiro. They said “We’re looking for a drummer, why don’t you start the new band with us?”
I knew them already and I once saw their show at the same event. It was really insane, so I’d kept these guys in my mind since then.
T&J sent me about five songs before our first jam. I was so excited when I heard those songs at the first time. The songs sounded pretty complicated, but it wasn’t just progressive rock. Those songs had huge power and energy. I could feel something special.
Anyway, I really wanted to start the band!!
– When was MunizO’s first gig and how did it go?
(J) It was the end of last August.
As we just started jamming with Yuta from last July I didn’t think we would be able to play a gig that soon cause most of our songs were quite complex and difficult.
But Yuta fit in with us very quickly so we were like “Hey we can play a gig at any moment!”
So the first gig was like, though we were supposed to perform as TarO&JirO we played a gig as MunizO as a trial.
Somehow I was really nervous and our performance wasn’t perfect but I got the feeling that we’ll surely be huge, that we can achieve what we’ve always wanted.
There were a lot of things we could improve as a band but more importantly I felt strong confidence in our band after the show.
-T&J have kept saying for a long time that they are going abroad again as soon as possible to expand their music activities so when I read their announcements on their own FB accounts (in Japanese) to say that they’ve finally decided to get moving this spring I didn’t actually get surprised at all, I think so did every fan of yours.
But what made me wonder is that Yuta is also going along with Taro and Jiro.
It must’ve been quite hard for Yuta to make such a big decision only a few months after joining MunizO, right?
So Yuta what was your reaction to it?
(Y) I was so surprised to hear that, because I had the same dream. I always thought that I wanted to play music all over the world, not only Japan.
Actually I was looking for musicians who wanted to be active overseas. And finally I found these two awesome guys!
-So now, you have to tell me where the destination is!
Why have you guys been keeping your mouths shut about it? What’s wrong?
(T) I just didn’t feel like telling our fans where we’re going because I thought it wasn’t really necessary. Well I guess it’s time to tell the truth. We’re going to Toronto in Canada.
As you know Jiro and I planned on going back to London at first. There was no doubt about it until recently but because of the visa problems and stuff, we had to change our plan.
We still believe the States is also right place to play rock ‘n’ roll and we got some good friends over there. But this is again because of visa… damn it. We needed to find somewhere else where we can get visa easily and put down roots. And of course where the music is thriving. And I finally found out Toronto is the best place for us after some consideration. Well no way would I ever know if it’s the best place unless I live in there though.
– I didn’t expect you guys to move to Toronto..!
(MNZ) Neither did we!
– So what does your plan look like?
(T) I’ve already sent our demos to several music bars and venues in Toronto to book our show in advance, some of them got back to me though, we’re knocked back by most of them as usual. They asked me “What is your draw?” and I kind of replied “0 as of now” because it’s true. Maybe I’m too honest but I told them we’re very enthusiastic to build our own fan base in there and one kind guy said he’ll try to find some local band who could accept an opening act.
This is the way it is, I know it’s quite tough at first but things will get better and easier later. We’ve been through that kind of situations many times before so we are now much stronger.
So what we’re gonna do first is to focus on getting slots to play at bars or venues, or hopefully at some festivals. We gotta play live in front of people or nothing will happen.
– Is there anything that you’re anxious about?
(T) Forgetting to bring my passport, seriously.
(J) The weather, obviously. It can go down to something like 20 degrees below zero in winter. I can’t even imagine how cold it is. haha
(Y) MY LANGUAGE SKILL! lol But I think everything will work out!
– What is MunizO’s ultimate goal beyond this trip, Jiro?
(J) Our goal’s always been the same, to be a world famous monster rock band.
But to achieve that high goal, we have a lot of steps to take.
Moving to Toronto might sounds ridiculous for some people but it’s important to live in a native English speaking country and I also think it’s easier to be noticed by labels in America and Europe.
– Do you know anything about Canada?
(T) Hockey, though I’ve never watched it yet, poutine, though I’ve never tried it yet, Justin Bieber and Simple Plan, though I’ll never listen to them, No means no, I love this band, the fact that people are nice, though I don’t know if it’s true until I get there, the winter weather is freezing cold, I can never imagine how cold.. I realized I should learn more about Canada… well I will!
(J) Nothing, until we go there and see what it’s really like!
(Y) I’ve heard Toronto is safer than Tokyo.
In Toronto, there is a lot of nature and many wild animals. I hope to see Elk and Grizzly! But I don’t wanna be eaten.
My favorite Japanese Major Leaguer “Munenori Kawasaki” is in Toronto Blue Jays! I really want to go to Rogers Center!
– Well thank you for the interview and good luck guys with your challenge!