1) tori, please describe the idea you had in mind as you started maher shalal hash baz (and how did the group changed from that point on…)?
When Masashi Mitani gave up playing the guitar for him and started playing bass for me, I could start the band for him. Unfortunately, trapped by a phobia, Mitani could not join the recording session of “Return Visit to Rock Mass” for me, and left the group for him. Since then I have been looking for my bassist for me.
2) i’m a big fan of your music, partly because of the imperfections, because of the innocence in sound an meaning, what’s your very own feeling when you listen to a song you just completed?
I have always been playing under a pressure that makes me stop doing music. Fortunately, the pleasure of recording had always exceeded the pressure a little. This time, the pressure and the joy was almost equal. I am far from innocence.
3) in how far is maher shalal hash baz japanese music?
The vocal style called Utai seen in Noh theatre, has been adopted in some songs. I have also liked the vocal style in Amami island near Okinawa. I have also recorded my local trad songs, such as Iyomanzai.
4) why did you leave japan?
Because I became like a vegetable which was cooked too long in Japan.
5) what’s the biggest difference between scotland and japan for you?
The height of the ceilings.
6) do you plan to return to japan one day?
I would like to live in Yaku island near Okinawa.
7) what do you hate in/about pop music?
Too many love songs. It should be 1/66 in number.
8) where/in what kind of situation did you compose “good morning”?
One morning I was thinking vaguely that it was a pity that Robert Wyatt could not sleep at all. I was also thinking about depressed persons’ state of mind, which wishes to die as soon as waking up in the morning. Then some words came up to me, “whenever you lie down, you do not have to be afraid of any dreadful things”(ecc. 3:24,5). Next I thought of that, “going to the house of mourning is better” (pro. 7:2). The phrase “good mourning” changed into “good morning”, and the melody came out. I thought it would be nice if Saya would sing it, and I made it a pop tune.
9) some songs are about religious topics, what’s your attitude towards religion?
I can not be religious but I hope it would be true that I am spiritual because of my being aware of the lack of my spiritual needs which could mean my being aware of my spiritual needs.
10) what Is a “white dream” (what do you dream in colours)?
It is a name of a work by my favorite potter Kazuhiko Miwa, My dream might be monochrome.
11) in how far is this record a blues record?
West outskirts of Tokyo has its own blues tradition since 60’s. Its unique rhythm pattern has been played by musicians around Les Rallizes Denudes. Its timing is sometimes delayed at the second beat, while the third is delayed in black funeral march. One of my long-term theme was to use this blues pattern as a format for doing improvisation with other people.