INTERVIURI

Interviu Takaakira “Taka” Goto (MONO)

«Am inceput sa cred ca indiferent cat haos exista in jur, ceva tot timpul atrage ordinea»

(for ENGLISH, scroll down)

MONO si-au surprins anul trecut fanii atat prin faptul ca au lansat doua albume noi, nu unul singur, ci si prin faptul ca soundul penduleaza intre doua extreme, de la melancolic si visator, la acorduri agresive si chiar violente. Ca orice poveste fascinanta, Rays of Darkness si The Last Dawn reprezinta partea luminoasa si cea intunecata a unei minti creative, in spatele acesteia ascunzandu-se un om care s-a luptat cu propriile ganduri si sentimente pentru a compune o muzica prin care sa se elibereze atat pe sine, cat si pe aceia care le asculta albumele.  

Takaakira “Taka” Goto a raspuns invitatiei MUZAHOLIC si ne-a spus povestea acestei duble noi realizari, chiar inaintea inceperii turneului MONO in Japonia.

Salutari, Taka! Multumim pentru timpul acordat intrebarilor noastre. As dori sa incep acest interviu prin a vorbi despre noile albume. Va temeati ca Rays of Darkness si The Last Dawn nu vor fi la inaltimea asteptarilor publicului, influentate si de materialele voastre precedente?

Acum cand stau sa ma gandesc, pana nu demult, cautam ca de fiecare data sa creez un sound cinematic, care sa ma ajute sa-mi depasesc tristetea. Dar de data asta, m-am confruntat cu un blocaj de creativitate. Nu aveam niciun fel de inspiratie sau vreo poveste despre care mi-as fi dorit sa scriu.

Fac asta de mai bine de 10 ani. Compun piese pentru un album, dau niste interviuri si merg in turnee, pentru ca apoi sa o iau de la capat, incercand sa compun noi piese pe parcursul celor doua saptamani cat sunt inapoi in Japonia, sa pun cap la cap un album din toate acele fragmente lasate in urma.

Cred ca m-am fortat mult prea mult de data asta. Si cu cat ma gandesc mai mult, cu atat nu imi vin ideile. De fiecare data cand revin acasa. Desi incerc, in loc sa las in urma idei, tot ce apuc este sa imi fac bagajul si sa pornesc din nou la drum, iar si iar si iar. Cred ca la final ajunsesem la o limita atat din punct de vedere fizic, cat si psihic.

Nu ma intelegeti gresit. De fiecare data cand am cantat live, am avut parte de momente frumoase prin intermediul fanilor nostri, insa in afara concertelor nu pot simti decat un gol absolut. Nu puteam compune piese, nu aveam inspiratie, nimeni nu ma putea ajuta si, in cele din urma, nu eram in stare sa ascult niciun fel de muzica pentru a-mi reimprospata gandurile. Carti, filme, colegi, prieteni, nimic nu ma mai putea face sa ma simt implinit in vreun fel. Stiu ca nu este o poveste frumoasa, insa de fiecare data cand urcam pe scena vomitam si deseori nu puteam dormi noaptea din cauza durerilor.

Infruntand aceasta durere, mi-am dat seama ca e de datoria mea sa preiau aceste sentimente si sa le transform in sunet, adica suferinta, golul, agonia, teama nesfarsita si anxietatea. Nu imi mai pasa de putina speranta pe care o aveam. Ma simteam de parca era singurul lucru pe care l-as mai putea incerca.

Dar in momentul in care incepi sa compui bazandu-te pe astfel de sentimente, viata ta de zi cu zi devine intunecata si deprimanta. De exemplu, chiar si atunci cand am iesit din studio sentimentele mele erau foarte razvratite, ca si cum mi-as fi vandut sufletul iadului.

Vara trecuta, am avut ocazia sa compun muzica pentru cateva seriale si filme de televiziune, asa ca fara sa trebuiasca sa ma gandesc foarte mult si fara vreo legatura cu MONO, am decis sa compun piese complet diferite. Am inceput sa imi schimb si stilul de viata; daca inainte lucram tarziu in noapte, acum incepusem sa compun dimineata devreme sau in orele dupa-amiezii. In cele din urma, aceste piese s-au transformat intr-un fel de medicament pentru minte, care sa ma ajute sa trec prin viata.

La acea vreme nu intentionam sa lansez doua albume, insa odata cu trecerea timpului am inceput sa accept piesele compuse in acea perioada dificila, piese care reprezentau o parte a mea intunecata si de care nu am vrut sa ma apropii o vreme. Apoi m-am gandit sa adun aceste piese intr-un singur album, dar simteam ca ceva nu merge.

The Last Dawn este un opusul lui Rays of Darkness. Este albumul care m-a ajutat sa trec peste intuneric si sa ma indrept catre lumina. Cel putin din punctul meu de vedere. De aceea am hotarat sa lansam ambele albume.

Noile albume nu au acea grandoare orchestrala specifica celor anterioare. Ar parea destul de usor sa te intorci la formula de baza, la set-up-ul de 4 membri, cu toate acestea nu a fost chiar asa. Ai putea sa ne spui cateva cuvinte despre piese in sine?

Initial am vrut sa creez ceva original, simfonic si spiritual, ceva asemanator lui Beethoven, insa cu chitare electrice. Pana acum, am avut parte de nenumarate experiente, mai mult decat orice alta trupa indie si-ar dori, cum sunt concertele cu orchestra de la New York, Londra, din Australia si Tokyo. Dintre aceste experiente, pentru albumul precedent, For My Parents, am incercat ceva mult mai complex, in maniera clasica, insa in acelasi timp au aparut niste semne de intrebare. In timpul turneului american, am simtit ca piesele sunt asemenea unor dinozauri fara coloana vertebrala, comparandu-le cu piese mai vechi. E adevarat, muzica simfonica este impresionanta, epica si visatoare, dar ii lipseste acel ceva comparativ cu muzica Rock, forta si sentimentul acela destructiv.

Initial am inceput ca o trupa de 4 membri si, desi ingrijorarile au aparut mai demult, le-am luat ca pe un risc asumat in incercarea de a ne provoca spre ceva nou. Insa cu cat sustineam mai multe concerte, cu atat ne dadeam seama ca avusesem dreptate.

Intoarcerea la origini a fost ceva firesc, insa nu voiam sa ne repetam. M-am gandit foarte mult la acest aspect. Aveam nevoie de o noua modalitate de a-mi canaliza emotiile si credeam cu tarie ca asta ne va permite sa vedem lumea cu alti ochi.

Ideea acestor parti antagoniste ale MONO a aparut asadar dupa ce piesele au fost incheiate si nu au fost neaparat un suflu creativ?

Mi s-a parut potrivit odata ce piesele au fost terminate. De asemenea, fiecare piesa reprezenta o parte din sufletul meu.

Care ar fi aceste parti sau sentimente, din punct de vedere tematic?

Cele doua albume reprezinta momente de cotitura din viata fiecaruia. Lumina si intuneric, speranta si deznadejde, dragoste si pierdere, emotii care nu pot fi exprimate, o durere pe care nu o poti transmite prin cuvinte, o fericire pe care pur si simplu nu o poti masura. La acea vreme speram si ca aceste piese vor depasi oarecum intunericul.

Principalele sentimente umane se impart intre pozitivitate si negativitate si sa spunem ca se regasesc in fiecare din noi in egala masura. Daca avem cu 1% mai multe emotii pozitive, atunci totul graviteaza catre lumina. Cu alte cuvinte, prin The Last Dawn, intr-o abordare minimalista, am vrut sa exprim aceste lucruri indiferent de starea de spirit a ascultatorului. Daca accepti totul asa cum este si gasesti in orice o farama de pozitivitate, atunci vei gasi forta de a depasi negativitatea.

Pe de alta parte, prin Rays of Darkness, am vrut sa exprim faptul ca daca ai cu 1% mai multe sentimente si emotii negative, haosul te va cuprinde si te va târî spre intuneric fara macar ca tu sa observi. Am inceput sa cred ca indiferent cat haos exista in jur, ceva tot timpul atrage ordinea. Am vrut sa exprim asta pentru lume intr-o forma artistica.

O premiera pentru MONO este piesa „The Hand That Holds the Truth”, unde il aveti ca solist invitat pe Tetsuya Fukagawa de la Envy. Este ceva ce v-ati dorit sa faceti intotdeauna cu MONO sau in spatele acestei alegeri se afla o poveste?

In ceea ce ma priveste, mi-am dorit de foarte mult timp sa colaborez cu Tetsu de la Envy, una dintre trupele pe care le respect. Este un bun prieten al nostru de foarte multa vreme asa ca nu pot decat sa ma bucur ca acest vis a devenit realitate. Chiar si atunci cand compuneam piesa, puteam sa ii aud vocea.

Atunci cand am colaborat propriu-zis, nu i-am oferit nicio indicatie, insa stia deja ce imi doresc sa obtin. Piesa s-a dovedit a fi o compozitie incredibila si suntem cu totii foarte multumiti!

Exista printre piesele de pe Rays of Darkness sau The Last Dawn una care va reprezinta in mod deosebit?

Pentru spectacolele live, cred ca „Recoil, Ignite” rezoneaza cel mai bine cu starea noastra emotionala de acum.

Atunci cand lansati noi albume, cum este cazul Rays of Darkness si The Last Dawn, sperati sa aiba un anume efect asupra ascultatorului?

Cred ca muzica este un dar extrem de special dat noua pentru a spune o poveste sau pentru a exprima ceva ce nu poate fi descris prin cuvinte. Desigur, poate suna ca o aroganta din partea mea ca si compozitor, dar incerc sa compun o muzica menita sa ma salveze in primul rand pe mine, care sa imi permita sa gandesc si sa caut sensurile vietii. Iar prin asta, sper sa pot transmite si celorlalti puterea de a continua si de a trai.

Daca as imprumuta cuvintele lui Beethoven, as spune ca muzica este cea care aprinde focul in sufletul omului si aduce lacrimi in ochii femeilor (desigur, si viceversa). Fiecare individ reflecta asupra propriei vieti prin intermediul muzicii, ca o calatorie spirituala, ca si cum fiecare celula din corpul sau este inconstient electrizata. Dupa ce-ai descoperit filme, carti si lucrari de arta fantastice, simti o putere ce iti permite sa vezi si sa gasesti noi valori in viata ta, pe care nu le-ai observat pana in acel moment. Speram ca putem crea acest tip de experienta pentru ceilalti.

Imi plac foarte mult copertele celor doua albume. Ati avut o intentie anume? La ce anume te gandesti atunci cand le privesti?

Copertele au fost desenate de Pat Perry, cu care am facut cunostinta prin intermediul lui Jeremy de la casa noastra de discuri din New York, Temporary Residence. Pur si simplu i-am trimis lui Pat demo-urile sa deseneze liber ceea ce simte. Este un artist incredibil. A reusit sa ilustreze cele doua lumi asa cum ni le-am imaginat: intunericul si speranta. Copertele au iesit foarte frumos si suntem multumiti de ele din adancul sufletului.

In ceea ce priveste inspiratia, ai anumite obsesii, o filozofie anume?

Inspiratia pentru mine vine din noi valori, din filozofie, ganduri si evolutia mea ca om. Consider ca este important sa avem parte de contradictii, sa ne infruntam constant problemele si sa incercam sa ne imbunatatim viata din toate punctele de vedere.

Te consideri un perfectionist? Care ar fi o realizare a ta ce se apropie de excelenta?

Cred ca artistii nu ar trebui sa fie perfectionisti si nici aroganti. Artistii ar trebui sa inteleaga si sa constientizeze care este scopul artei, sa se teama chiar si pret de o secunda atunci cand se indeparteaza de acel scop. Cu toate acestea, chiar si atunci cand oamenii se bucura si apreciaza, un geniu adevarat va continua sa faca ceea ce face si sa straluceasca asemenea soarelui, de undeva departe, si sa se intristeze ca nu poate atinge perfectiunea.

Muzica MONO a avut dintotdeauna o dimensiunea cinematografica, iar colaborarea ta cu regizorul Mitsuyo Miyazaki este inca o dovada in aceasta directie. Ai compus muzica pentru film si televiziune si in trecut, cum se intampla de obicei acest lucru?

Atunci cand citesc un scenariu care ma face sa simt ceva, aud imediat in minte linii melodice. Este ca si cum piesa isi avea locul acolo dintotdeauna si apare dintr-o data in fata ta. Daca ceva nu rezoneaza in mine, oricat de mult as incerca sa compun, nu o sa iasa niciodata ceva bun.

Privind in urma la momentul cand ai inceput ca muzician si unde ai ajuns astazi, care ar fi cele mai importante lectii pe care le-ai invatat si pe care le-ai putea impartasi cititorilor nostri?

Nu am avut niciodata parte de lectii de muzica sau de o educatie muzicala, asa ca nu as putea sa explic lucrurile foarte bine. Dar daca ai ascultat vreodata o compozitie sau ai vazut o opera de arta care te-a impresionat, cred ca este important sa incerci sa iti imaginezi ce a simtit artistul si ce a incercat sa exprime. Chiar si personalitati precum Beethoven sau Einstein au fost oameni ca noi toti.

Colectionezi muzica altor artisti? Daca da, ce anume preferi - analogul sau digitalul?

Cred ca analogul si vinilul au acel ceva special, ca si cum se integreaza mult mai natural in atmosfera inconjuratoare. Insa cred ca digitalul s-a dezvoltat destul de mult in ultimii ani, iar ca arta sa poata infrunta societatea moderna este un mediu mult mai potrivit. Desi, daca ar fi sa exprimi complexitatea si individualitatea psihicului uman, simplitatea analogului se potriveste mult mai bine. In concluzie, pentru mine sunt dovezi ale dezvoltarii tehnologiei, ale faptului ca acum avem mult mai multe optiuni.

Anul aceste MONO vor cutreiera din nou lumea. Care sunt locurile sau tarile pe care le veti vizita?

Ne dorim doar sa impartasim din muzica noastra in spectacole live cat mai multor oameni cu putinta pe parcursul vietilor noastre scurte. Vrem sa ii ajutam pe oameni prin muzica noastra si sa celebram valorile vietilor noastre ca fiinte umane.

Ce amintiri aveti din Romania? Ati cantat in trei orase pana acum (Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara si Bucuresti).

Nu am crezut niciodata ca voi ajunge sa cant, sa-mi fac noi prieteni si sa impartasesc experiente intr-un loc cum este Romania, asa ca nu pot decat sa ma simt norocos. Intotdeauna ne intoarcem acasa cu amintiri de neuitat. Un lucru pe care imi doresc sa il fac pe viitor este sa vizitez Castelul Bran. Sper ca se va intampla intr-o buna zi.

Este incredibil ca in toti acesti ani ati reusit sa pastrati formula initiala, aceiasi patru membri. Care este secretul? Cum poate o trupa care a cantat nenumarate concerte si a mers in lungi turnee in jurul lumii sa ramana o forta cu aceiasi membri?

Nici nu imi vine sa cred ca au trecut 15 ani. Atunci cand am inceput turneul in State pentru prima data, nici unul dintre noi nu vorbea engleza. Nu aveam lucruri precum GPS si ne ajutam intre noi cu o simpla harta. A fost o adevarata aventura, iar acum cand ma gandesc, o miscare destul de indrazneata. Pur si simplu avem incredere unul in celalalt si ne urmam visurile. Cred ca asemenea decizii ne fac mai puternici ca trupa si ne ajuta sa ne dezvoltam ca oameni.

Lumea pare sa o ia din nou razna oriunde privesti. Ne confruntam oare cu posibilitatea unui nou razboi mondial? De ce atat de multa violenta, furie, ura si stres? Au expirat deja idealurile de pace?

Asa cum au spus si mari oameni din trecut, oamenii sunt niste fiinte ciudate. De aceea, imi imaginez si cred ca arta ne poate ajuta sa recladim lumea.

Pentru a incheia interviul, am sa fac referire la motoul MUZAHOLIC si la ideea de frumos, indiferent ca vorbim de muzica, arta sau viata. Ce inseamna frumosul pentru tine?

Poate ma repet, dar pentru mine cred ca raspunsul consta in propria noastra imaginatie. Pentru a reconstrui trebuie sa iti imaginezi, iar calitatea si puterea de a trai depinde de imaginatia noastra. Pentru mine, acesta este frumosul.

Multumesc foarte mult si sper sa ne revedem cat de curand!

Takaakira “Taka” Goto

 

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Hi Taka, thank you for taking the time to answer our question, just before your Japan tour! Let’s talk about new double LP. Were you afraid of whether or not Rays of Darkness and The Last Dawn can hold up to the expectations your previous releases might have fueled?

Now I think of it, I always tried to create something cinematic that could help and overcome my sadness up until now. But this time, I faced a serious creative block. I didn’t have any inspiration or storyline that I wanted to write about.

I’ve been doing this for over 10 years now. Write an album, do some interviews and then go on a long tour repeatedly, then try to write some songs between those times while I’m back in Japan for like 2 weeks, then again make a record based on those fragments I left behind.

I think I forced myself too much this time. Like more and more I think about it, I can’t get any ideas. Every time I returned home, even though I tried, instead of leaving some song ideas behind, all I could do was pack my suitcase and go back on a tour, again and again and again. I think I basically reached my limit physically and mentally by the end of it.

Don’t get me wrong. Every time we played live, I experienced something wonderful through our fans but in every other place, all I could feel was an absolute void. I can’t write any songs, there is no inspiration, no one can help me, and eventually, I was even unable to listen to any music to refresh my mind. Books, movies, colleagues, friends, there was nothing that could fulfill me in any way. I know this would not a pleasant story to hear but every time before going on the stage, I vomited and often had sleepless nights because of the gastric pain from it.

Through these pain, I came to a realization that my duty now is to make those feelings into sounds, like the suffering, void, agony, endless fear and anxiety. I could no longer care about the thin layer of hope I had. It felt like this was the only thing I had left to try.

But when you actually start writing based on these feelings, your daily life starts to become much darker and depressing. For example, even when I got out of the studio, my feelings were very rebellious, almost as though I had sold my soul to hell.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to write music for some TV series and movies, so without thinking about it and not necessarily for MONO, I decided to write completely different types of songs. I started to change my lifestyle as well, like I almost always wrote songs at late nights, but started writing early in the mornings or in the afternoon instead. Eventually, these new songs started to become like medicine for myself, just to live through everyday life.

At that time, I had no intention of releasing two albums at the same time. But as time went on, I started to be able to accept the songs I wrote when I was in a really bad place, the songs which represented the dark side of me, the songs that I didn’t want to go near at least for a while. I then had thoughts about making all these songs as one album but it just did not feel right.

The Last Dawn is an opposition album to Rays of Darkness. It is essentially an album about escaping from the darkness and seeking the light. At least for me anyway. This is why we decided to release the songs as two albums.

The new albums features no orchestral grandiosity, such as the previous one did. It would seem an easy task to scale back to the foundational, four-piece set up, yet somehow it wasn’t the case. Can you tell us a few words about how these new songs came together?

I originally wanted to create something original, symphonic and spiritual, like Beethoven but with Electric guitars. So far, we managed to experience so many things, more than any indie band can ask for, like playing with full orchestra in New York, London, Australia and Tokyo. From these experiences, we tried something more complex and classical for our previous album For My Parents, but at the same time, we started to raise some concerns. During the album’s American tour, we started to feel as our sounds were like a spineless dinosaur comparing to our old sounds. Sure, symphonic music is loud, epic and dreamy, but there is something lacking compare to Rock music, like the pressure and destruction they can bring.

We originally started off as a 4 piece, and even though our concerns started to rise much earlier, we just took them as a required risk to challenge something new. But as we toured more, we started to know for certain that our feelings were right.

Going back to the original root was an easy thing to do, but also, we all didn’t want to do what we have already done. I really thought about this a lot.  I needed to find a new method that could show my current emotions, and I truly believed that will allow us to see a new world.

Did the idea of these two antagonistic sides of MONO reach the surface after writing the songs or was it rather your creative fuel?

This just seemed right when all the songs were finished. It also felt like each song represented every part of my soul.

What are the overarching feelings and themes running through your new albums?

The two albums ended up representing the counter points in life. Light and darkness, hope and hopelessness, love and loss, the emotions which can’t be expressed, pain which you can’t put into words, happiness which you can’t simply measure. We also at the same time felt and hoped that they could be something to exceed the darkness.

The main human emotions are divided into positivity and negativity, and let's say that they're both 50/50 to begin with. If we have even 1% more positive emotions, everything will start to lead towards the light. To simply put, for The Last Dawn, in a minimalist approach, I wanted to express that regardless of your current situations or emotions, if you accept everything as it is and find more positivity, you will eventually be able to overcome all the negativity.

On the other hand for Rays of Darkness, I wanted to express that if you have even 1% more negative emotions or thoughts, the chaos will eventually spread and drag you down to darkness without you noticing about it. I just started to think that even everything is in disorder; there is something that’s always in order. I really wanted to express that to the world as art.

A first for MONO is the track “The Hand That Holds the Truth” which features a guest vocalist — Tetsuya Fukagawa of Envy. Was this something you’ve been meaning to do with MONO or is there an anecdote related to this particular choice?

Personally for a long time, I always wanted to collaborate with Tetsu from one of the bands I respect called Envy. He’s been a good of friend of ours for so long so I’m really glad it became a reality. Even during the time I was writing the song, I could clearly hear how his vocals would fit in.

When we actually collaborated, I didn’t really give him any instructions but he already knew what I was hoping to achieve. The song turned out to be such an incredible piece and we’re all pleased with it!

Is there a track on Rays of Darkness or The Last Dawn that you feel like it resonates the most?

For live performances, I think “Recoil, Ignite” represents our current emotions the most.

When you put your music into the world, such as the Rays of Darkness and The Last Dawn, what type of affects would you like it to have?

I think music is a very special gift given to us to tell a story or show something that you can’t simply describe with words. Sure, it might sound arrogant but as a composer, I write music that would save me, and also allows me to think and look for the meaning of life. And from that, I also hope to give the strength to continue and live to other people in the world.

If I were to borrow Beethoven’s words, I think music is something that ignites fire in men’s heart and bring tears to women’s eyes. (And of course, vice versa).  Every individual reflects their own life through music like spiritual travels, like every cell in your body getting triggered unconsciously.  After experiencing fantastic movies, books or art, there is a power that allows you to see and feel new values of your life which you didn’t really notice. We really hope we can create the same kind of experience to people.

I really love the covers for the albums, was there a specific intention that you had with them? What do you think of the most when you look at them?

Artworks were drawn by Pat Perry who was introduced by Jeremy from our label in New York, Temporary Residence. We basically gave Pat the demos of the two new records and asked him to freely draw what he felt. He’s truly an amazing artist. He managed to draw up the two worlds we imagined, darkness and hope. Artworks turned out really beautiful and we are really satisfied with them from the bottom of our hearts.

In terms of writing inspiration, what are your obsessions, your philosophy?

Inspirations come from the fear of if I have new values, philosophy, thoughts and growth as a human being. What I think is important is to have contradiction to face your problems constantly and try to improve all your life.

Would you consider yourself a perfectionist? What’s the closest you’ve come to accomplishing excellence thus far?

I think artists are not meant to be perfectionists or arrogant. Artists should understand and grieve what the art is about, fear even a tiny bit how the goal is far away. Yet even if people cheer and compliment, a true genius will continue to do what they do and shine like the sun far away and grieve the fact that you can’t actually get there.

MONO to me has always had a cinematic touch to it, and your collaboration with director Mitsuyo Miyazaki is yet another proof. You’ve also written music for film and TV in the past.

When I read the script and feel something, I hear the melodies in my head straight away. It’s almost like the song was meant to be there all along and appear in front of you all of a sudden. If it’s something you can’t feel, no matter how many times you try to write, nothing good will ever come out.

Looking at where you are right now and where you started off as a musician, what are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned that are worth sharing with our readers?

I’ve never actually had proper music lessons or education so I might not be able to explain things properly but if you ever experience an amazing song or art, I think it’s important to try to imagine what the artist was feeling and trying to express. Even people like Beethoven and Einstein, they were all just human like every single one of us.

Do you collect other people’s music? And if so, do you prefer analogue or digital media?

I think there’s something special with analogue and vinyl music, like they blend in better with air and atmosphere of the environment naturally. But I think the digital media has improved so much over the years and for art to face our modern society, I think it suits better. Although, I feel like if you were to express the complexity and individuality of human psyche, something as simple like analogue would suit better. In conclusion, I take them as an improvement of technology and that we have more options.

This year MONO’s touring around the world. What the new countries or places will be for you?

We just simply want to share our music through live performances to as many people as possible all over the world in our time-limited lives. We want to help people with our music and cheer the values of our lives as fellow human beings.

 

 

What memories do you have from Romania? You’ve played here 3 times so far (Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara and Bucharest).

I never thought I’d ever go to somewhere as far as Romania to play music, make friends and share so I feel very lucky. We always come home with unforgettable memories. One thing I really want to do though, is to visit Bran Castle. I hope that will happen sometime.

It’s incredible how you kept the same formula all these years, the same 4 members. There is a secret? How can a band, who played a lot of gigs and very long tours continue to remain a strong force with the same members?

I can’t believe it’s already been 15 years. When we started to tour in the States for the first time, none of us could speak any English. We didn’t even have things like GPS and we just helped each other with a piece of map. It was a true adventure, and now I think of it, it was a really bold move. We just believed in ourselves and chased our dreams. I think decisions like that made us strong as a band and grow as people.

The mankind is again crazy almost everywhere. We are in the front of a new World War, maybe? Why so much violence, angry, hate and stress? The peaceful ideas are already expired?

Like the great people from the old days used to say, people are silly creatures. That’s why I imagine and believe there is an art that can help rebuild the world.

To end this interview, we here at MUZAHOLIC evolve around the notion of “beauty”, whether it is music or the arts or simply life itself? What does “beauty” mean to you personally?

I feel like I’m repeating myself but I think the answer lies within our imaginations. To rebuild, you need to imagine, and the quality and the power to live lies within that imagination. For me, that’s beauty.

Thank you very much and see you soon!

Takaakira “Taka” Goto

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