Tsukemen Of Death – an (old) interview with Supersnazz

Folks, with Supersnazz playing our last show on May 20, I dug out this li’l interview we did right after we put out our record “Get Down” in 2008. Enjoy!

At the time of writing, July 16, 2008, Supersnazz is eighteen years old. They’re putting out their seventh album, “Get Down,” on Meerkat Records (Vivid Sound). The album is infused with the energy of its new member, Greg, and its new label and it doesn’t have a second of filler. The day after they finished mixing, I sat down with the band to talk about the album and a whole bunch of other random stuff.

snz1_small

Interview by Haruko Shiozawa

Shiozawa
“Congrats on finishing the record!”

Everybody
“Thanks! Cheers!”

(Glasses of beer, oolong tea and Black Hoppy are raised, cheers’d and glugged)

Tomoko
“Whew… we’re done.”

Spike
“Yeah, we’re finished.”

Shiozawa
“How was the recording? Any special memories?”

Marky
“All I remember is the meals.” (laughs)

Tomoko
“Musun de Rice” (laughs)

(Musun de Rice is the bento shop that provided the victuals during the recording. It is reasonable, tasty and the portion sizes are LARGE. Editor’s note: It was motherfucking delicious!)

Greg
“It was motherfucking delicious!”

Shiozawa
“(laughs) This is your first release for Vivid Sound. Did it feel different somehow this time?”

Tomoko:
“I dunno… The studio is always different, every time. Especially the engineer.”

Spike:
“It had a really relaxing atmosphere. It made the whole process really smooth.”

(Tomoko and Shiozawa fall into a series of puns that are neither funny nor translatable into English)

Marky
“The studio was great.”

(It was recorded at Vivid Sound’s headquarters office studio)

Spike:
“The ceiling was really high.”

Tomoko:
“Yeah, when we first went to look at it, I was like, ‘This is where we’re gonna record??’ I mean, in a good way. It was really cool.”

Marky
“I always wanted to record in a spacious studio like that.”

Greg
“Definitely really easy to record there.”

Tomoko
“Vivid Sound’s studio feels like you’re not in Japan. Like Spike said, the ceiling is really high and it’s got this wide open feeling.”

Marky
“They were also pretty flexible about the time, so that helped us to relax and get into it.”

Tomoko
“Like, if we were really in a pinch, we could fall down on our knees and say, ‘Please give us one more day!'” (laughs)

Shiozawa
“I’m glad nobody had to fall on their knees (laughs). Greg, this was your first time recording in Japan, right? How was that?”

Greg
“Yeah, it was the first time for me. The sound was really good and the recording went so fast. It was good for my Japanese, too. Each day was like an intensive Japanese language course, like ‘Vocabulary for Recording Studios.’ (laughs)”

Shiozawa
“I know you get asked this constantly, but how did you end up joining Supersnazz?”

Greg
“Me and Marky were hanging out a lot, and he just asked me if I’d like to audition.”

Marky
“We were going into the rehearsal studio and fucking around. One day, I suggested, ‘Would you be into playing in Snazz?’ He instantly said: ‘Yes!'”

Tomoko
“It’s a good thing Greg joined. If not, we would’ve missed the chance and he’d be playing in, like, twenty Tokyo bands.”

(Editor comically chokes on coffee… ahem!)

Spike
“Thank you, Greg.” (laughs)

Greg
“Um… Sure?” (laughs)

Tomoko
“We’re so glad that Vivid offered to put out our record. They put out such a wide variety of stuff.”

Marky
“GOOD stuff.”

Shiozawa
“Including Snazz!”

Marky
“It’s nice to have friends who say stuff like that.”

Tomoko
“It’s an honor.”

Shiozawa
“Thank you! Are you feeling good about it? I guess I asked that already…”

(Editor’s note: In a previous interview)

Tomoko
“After I got home last night, it was like finally having a good crap after days of constipation. Like… whew! But not only that, I mean, everybody worked hard and it shows. We have a nice little album now. When you asked that before, I wanted to say something like, yeah, it’s great, the songs are great, blah blah blah, but I felt like maybe it was too soon to say that.”

Shiozawa
“Go ahead, say it!”

Tomoko
“So finally today, I can say that with confidence.”

Marky
“Really? Did it turn out that good?”

Tomoko
“Yeah.”

Marky
“If Tomoko says it’s good, it must be good.”

Tomoko
“Everybody came with their own original songs and ideas, but somehow it all fits together and it has a consistency to it.

Greg
“Yeah, that’s what I was just thinking too.”

Tomoko
“But man, we really threw it together in a hurry… (laughs). Should I be saying this?”

Spike
“Hahaha! Yeah, we really got it all together pretty quickly. Greg had to write all the lyrics except for ‘Baseball Hero’ really fast, like in two weeks or something. He was still scribbling stuff in the studio (laughs).”

Greg
“It was like finishing my homework at the last minute. (sings) ‘Do your homework…'”

Spike
“It was really like that (laughs).”

Marky
“The recording went unexpectedly smoothly, I mean, compared to other records we’ve done.”

Tomoko
“Now that I think about it, the basic tracks were done really quickly.”

Marky
“The songs were good, the recording was good, and then it was just up to the mix. I was so worried about that. Like if we fuck up the mix, it’s all ruined. But it went really well too.”

Shiozawa
“What are your hopes for the record?”

Tomoko
“Hopes?”

Spike
“Are you asking me?” (laughs)

(Tomoko and Spike break off talking about the Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki they ordered)

Marky
“Hopes?… well, if we have any hope for the record, it’s not selling a bunch of copies, but just that lots of people hear it.”

Greg
“Agreed, agreed.”

Shiozawa
“(Nodding) Riiiight.” (to Tomoko and Spike) He just said something really cool and you missed it.”

Spike and Tomoko
“Sorry, sorry… what did he say?”

Marky
“It’s… always like this, pretty much.” (laughs)

Shiozawa
“He said more than selling a lot of copies, he hopes lots of people hear it.”

Spike
“That’s a good thing to say.”

Marky
“Don’t you just want lots of people to hear it? Especially outside of Japan?”

Tomoko
“Yeah, that’s right. And that also helps us sell more copies.”

Shiozawa
“One thing I’ve always noticed about Supersnazz is how you guys each have your own unique character. Like, the girls’ team is yapping on and on about something, and the boys’ team is in the back, all cool, like, yeah, that’s right… it’s like the boys have the girls’ backs.”

Tomoko
“No, no, that’s not the way it is at all. The boys are just as important. Marky’s been in the band for ten years now.”

Greg
“Damn that’s a long time…”

(Editors’ note: Translating this is full of weird little ironies, I hope y’all can appreciate that)

Spike
“The Magnatones were a great band but they didn’t give Marky a chance to really showcase his guitar playing.”

Tomoko
“That’s right! Ah, what do I know about it?” (laughs)

Spike
“I mean, it’s cool to just bash out three-chords and all, but he can do other stuff too.”

Tomoko
“I feel kind of dumb saying this but, I feel like that’s a peculiar thing about Snazz… I’m not sure how to put it…”

Shiozawa
“Like Snazz members are like flowers allowed to bloom?”

Tomoko
“Uh… yeah, I guess, ‘letting a flower bloom.’ Ugh… kind of made me puke in my mouth a little tho-”

Spike
“But yeah, that’s what it is, I think, and it’s just something natural that happens. It’s not something special about us.”

Tomoko
“It is. We’re special.”

Shiozawa
“Please, don’t be overly modest.”

Tomoko
“What I love about Marky is that he can bust out trashy three-chord punk rock and then with just the same sense of ease, tear out a ripping guitar solo or rockabilly. You hardly ever see anybody like that, and I want him to do all of that in Snazz because he can’t do it somewhere else. Like, I write songs based on that, imagining the fun he can have with it. I’m so impressed with how he plays and I got re-impressed with his playing so many times while we were recording.”

Marky
“Thanks for saying that, but it feels kind of weird coming from your bandmates.”

Tomoko
“Don’t worry, if we weren’t just making an album, nobody would’ve said it.”

Shiozawa
“It’s time to wrap up, but is there anything else you’d like to say at the end here?”

Tomoko
“We’re going to sell a bunch of records and use the money to start our own label called Tsukemen Of Death Records (laughs). You don’t have to print that.”

Shiozawa
“I’m printing it.”

Tomoko
“Alright everybody, big smile!”

(Everybody smiles exaggeratedly)

supersnazzbyshimokitazawahills

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s