From left side, Go Yamada, Kie Katagi, Shin Kokawa and Noriyuki Inoue who are jizue members. At Lee`s Palace, Toronto before the live. Photo: Takeshi KatoIn late May, I had a chance to sit down and talk with Japanese band “jizue” while before they performed at the Rivoli and Lee’s palace in Toronto. As part of Next Music from Tokyo this was the band had performed in Canada.
With their combination of playing abilities and skill, the band has taken a new direction taking away their vocals to focus on how their instruments interact with audiences. Please take a read.
Yuhi Kimura: When I say “Canada”, what do you picture in your minds?
Jizue: Huge nature, Niagara Falls and more. So far we haven’t felt like we’re in Canada because we have been staying in china town. It feel a bit more like China, which is pretty cool too. However, visiting Niagara Falls before our live performance was a very nice trip for us and we understood the reason why everybody knows and likes it. Though, we were surprised that it was frozen in last winter when we heard.
YK: So far what do you think are the major difference between Japanese and Canadian audiences?
J: We think Canadian are good at making an exciting mood and they’re a bit louder than Japanese, so it is easy for us to tell whether they’re having a good time or not. And we are happy to see how many Japanese bands have joined the event this year.
YK: Did you know Next Music From Tokyo before? And, how did you feel that you are chosen as one of performers by Steven Tanaka?
J: We knew about it because our close friends who are Chi-na from volume 3 and 5, and Uhnellys from volume 2 had participated in this event and talked with us about it. That’s why we are happy to be here and to perform in foreign place.
YK: What’s your impression of the other bands joining this this event?
J: We saw the other bands yesterday for first time and felt so good and were impressed by them. We thought that Steven has good insight into the Japanese music scene to choose amazing and proper bands for this event.
YK: What are some of your band’s strengths?
J: That we don’t have songs like other bands out there and we specialize in instrumental music. Our songs have vocals, but how to make our songs truly original always comes from the instruments and that’s why we decided to get rid of voice from our songs and try to be popular through instrumental songs.
YK: How did your band find each other?
J: Three men of Jizue and vocal member who left have known each other since we were boys. Noriyuki Inoue, guitarist, and Go Yamada, bass guitarist, went to same college and always wanted to play music. In that time, Shin Kokawa, drummer, who had had his own music band, joined us. After that it took about 1 year until Kie Katagi, our pianist, joined us. This is us.
YK: What’s the next step for your band?
J: We want to perform live abroad again because yesterday’s live in Toronto made us feel so good. We want to go to Asia, Europe, everywhere! This event is such a great opportunity for us.
YK: How different is it playing abroad?
J: We have a different sensations while playing music in Toronto, Canada. In other words, we are trying to represent Japan, so we need to show ourselves off as people who play Japanese music. However, we don’t get nervous easily and we think playing overseas is fun and easygoing, and people seem to be enjoying our music.
YK: Have a final message for your fans?
J: We are doing our best as representatives of Japan, so please cheer for us!