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What’s the main philosophy in Maher Shalal Hash Baz?


John Cage once stated that music is part of the play, and I agree with it. But when colaborating with playwrights, I feel that I still have to do music. I can not deny my personal musical inspiration sources. However, I believe that the process of transmitting it to participants in the band is also music. Maher stands on the side of music, and do producing a play. The latest album called Garakei was made in this way.


You like to put extra mistakes/changes in the music on purpose by teasing the players, abrupt changes etc. Can you elaborate on this approach?


I do not remember what happened during being absorbed in playing my guitar. Anything could happen in music. I am not free but I let the music be free as it likes. Its huge freedom has been disrupting my daily life, though.


I saw you playing piano at a Reiko Kudo show, which is complex and sophisticated; while playing the guitar in is rather robust. Is it easy to switch/combine these views of playing music.


Any instruments should be played on the history of rock music. Any deviation is possible according to what extent to be trained. When playing the guitar, I am playing the piano in my head. But when playing the piano, I am playing the piano.


At the Ateliers Claus concert, McCloud announced some songs were sometimes based on old pieces (like Rameau etc?), is this something you specially did for this tour or is this an approach used throughout Maher?


Flanders is the birthplace of so-called chamber “music” or of so-called “art” as “le tableau”, in the late Renaissance. At that era, Japanese met western music at the first time. I chose those early music in honor of that history. Furthermore, I thought such selection of score might give the participants good reason to play there. Each music needs a frame like tableau, picture, or a window, and the frame is consisted by language.


What are the main inspirations in your work?


Sorry, I live poetry.


How does the line up evolve? Do you meet regularly to play?


Maher has no members other than me. Players you saw there were who had worked hard for making travel expenses. Usually we are not talking about music but just how we are alienated in our daily labour. I would like to display their portraits working in offices and factories when we meet and play next.

How is collaborating with extern people/bands, such as Arrington De Dionyso and le Ton Mité? How is their input in the music making process?


They can not read scores, but no matter how they play on my song, I do not mind, because they are my close friends.


The Japanese underground known over here is rather the extreme part, while Maher Shalal Hash Baz works more in a naive/twee spectrum. Are there other bands out there in the scene with a similar view?


Maher had had a tree. Its branches were gent In the ’00s. But it seems to become diluted, accompanied by rising of SSW-like things that are deviated from the history of Rock. Rather, I think that Japanoise old school that branched from us in the mid80’s is more similar to maher even now.

On one hand, self-name “underground” who had not grazed or not touched the history of Rock that had been formed by a series of psychedelic vinyls of 60’s, seems to be increasing.


What are the future plans, any new records coming up?


I have come to start making a new album called “JU EST UN AUTRE”. At first when I found this phrase on the wall outside of the Ateliers Claus, I thought this graffiti was scribbled down by a refugee who had been learning new language. I had my picture taken in front of the wall intending to use it for my next album. But later I have come to know that it comes from “Les Illuminations”.