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ELECTRIC EEL SHOCK – 150 percent Rock&Fish (can rescue the world)
Electric Eel Shock from Japan give speed: from the beginning of October they appear together with the Norwegian Metal-Rockers “The Cumshots” nearly day by day for six weeks live on stage (check our tourdates section). Furthermore, the release of their new album “Sugoi Indeed” just took place. We met Aki Moromoto (vocal&guitar) and Kazuto Maekawa (bass) to talk about Rock, fishing and Ozzy Osbourne. By the way not for the first time: three years before STALKER met the boys already for a natter in the sauna... here .
Hello, Aki and Kazuto, how are you? Did you just today arrive from Japan? Kazuto: No, we already came three days before and arrived first in Cologne. There we had the first interviews and a MTV show, and after that to Hamburg. Tomorrow we continue to Norway. There will start our tour together with The Cumshots.
On 9th of October your new album “Sugoi Indeed” was released. Are you satisfied with it? Aki: Oh, yes! 100 procent, no, 150 procent! We don’t have to return to the studio, this album represents absolutely our image.
I appreciate the spontaneous atmosphere of this recording, it sounds very fresh. How did you record it? Aki: Yeah, mostly we played all together as a band like in a live show. We wanted to record the basics of the songs together, after that only some additional work, a guitar, a voice on the basic recording. So we mixed the live atmosphere with the studio possibilities, also the analog with digital technology. We wanted to show this close feeling that a whole band is playing.
Do you have a favourite song on your new album? Aki: Oh, yes, it’s “Metal Man”, just the first one! Out of control for me. But we like all songs, of course.
What’s the meaning of the album’s title “Sugoi Indeed”? Kazuto: Ah, sugoi means great, amazing. Sugoi can describe a lot of things, it’s like “super”. We are Japanese, and we like to mix Japanese and English terms and texts.
If you should compare the new album to the former ones, where is the development? What makes it different? Kazuto: The previous albums were more recorded in the way of a studio work. Separated instruments standing alone on single tracks. We worked together with the famous producer Auttie Bauw and discussed with him, how to do the new recording. We got more and more experience how to produce our original sound that it purely sounds like us. We know how we should sound, and Auttie helped us with engineering, because about this we don’t know so much by ourselves. And it was a perfect teamwork and combination.
How do you create your music – is there somebody amongst you, who writes the lyrics or the songs? Or is it a work all do together? Kazuto: Most ideas come from Aki, but we develop them together in a teamwork style. We make all suggestions and like to play jam sessions. Aki writes the lyrics, but he is a part of all. All three together give the one personality of Electric Eel Shock. Aki: Yes, but even if there comes an idea or a single piece from one person, this person is only a part of the whole group. We three are one. And so we do with the money, we share it in absolutely three equal parts (laughing).
Do you have musical idols? Or better: with which band you would really love to go on tour Aki: Yes, we have! Even our sound is not heavy-metal my idol is Black Sabbath, but from the early times with Ozzy.
Hm, Black Sabbath in these early times had a lot of messages, even sometimes spiritual or religious. Do you think nowadays Rock&Roll has still the ability and power to spread out such messages in the Black Sabbath style? If yes, what kind of messages could have Electric Eel Shock? Aki: Weird piece! You know, I don’t sing about politic or religion, even I often think about it. But always I put a deep or double meaning behind my lyrics. Kazuto: But our music is a kind of party rock and we want to show that music is fun. We are always on tour through so many countries, and everywhere we want to spread out the fun. Aki: That is for me the magic of Rock&Roll. We have this song “Rock&Roll can rescue the world” – this is our main messages. It’s an international language of love, because we or you love Rock&Roll and that brings us all together. And people, who look on us and on our life-style know that we truly believe to this. Rock&Roll has a lot of power, and it’s, of course, possible to sing about serious things. Many bands do so, and we like it, but this not our style. We don’t want to force people to a way to think or believe.
Are there different kind of reactions in the way how people from Japan look on EES, how they react in concerts and so on, to those from Europe or the USA? Kazuto: No, the reactions are not so different. Earlier we haven’t played so often in Japan, more in other foreign countries. So, they didn’t know us so well. But we came just from a tour through Japan and it’s much better now and was really great. The reactions of the fans of Heavy Rock or Garage Rock are on the whole world the same.
Before 10 years in 1999 you left Japan and travelled to the USA – what was the reason for this? Kazuto: Well, we didn’t have in this time a good situation in Japan, nevertheless we didn’t plan to leave the country. But we had a friend in New York City, he still is there, and he invited us for a show. So we went there just to reach fun and joy, and we god a really great reaction on that show. Amongst the guests was a guy from Texas, who liked our music very much; and he organized another show for us in Texas. The same happened again and again until we realized: oh, we have a lot of friends over all the States. So, we didn’t left Japan, we just started a tour and journey in this time for enjoyment, and still we are on this tour.
Do you remember some crazy situation, while you have been on this long tour? Aki: Hm… once our drummer got arrested in Hong Kong, because he played naked only with a sock. After this concert a newspaper wrote about it. Everybody knows that our drummer plays naked and laughs about it. But this newspaper asked, why the police allowed it. One day later after this article was published, the police came and arrested our drummer. Kazuto: Now we have a very comfortable tour, but in the beginning of Electric Eel Shock we managed everything by ourselves and there were many crazy situations. Once we played, but then after the gig the guy there said, oh sorry, I don’t have money to pay you. And he wanted to give us drugs instead of money, some cocaine and so. Ah, you know we, we are very sensitive about it as foreigners, and we could not accept this (laughing).
How about your private interests? It’s not a secret that Aki is a fisherman and even writes articles for a Japanese fishing magazine… Aki: Yeah, for the Buzzer! Look, yes, here I have it, and look, here is my page. About fishing and Rock&Roll!
Fishing and Rock&Roll? What brings this together? Aki: Ah, you know, I am a musician and I travel to a lot of countries. And in all those countries I fish, so I got a large variety of the way how to fish. In fact, I never met a fisherman like me with so much fishing experience from everywhere of the world. About this I write. But my fishing style is very aggressive (laughing)!
And how about Kazuto? Do you have a kind of hobby or interests like Aki? Kazuto: Hm, not so much. I like football. Especially I like to play a kind of mini-football like five-on-five. But because we are always touring, there are not so many occasions to play football. In Japan I have a team, in which I play, and it’s so much fun for me! But it’s a team-sport, difficult on tour.
Whom I miss here now is Tomoharu, your drummer – is he also in Hamburg now? Aki: No, he stood in Japan, because his mother is sick now. He has to take care about her.
So he will not be on the starting tour tomorrow? Kazuto: No, we have another drummer from the UK. He is also a nice guy and a great drummer. His name is James Thomas. With him we can nearly make 100 percent Electric Eel Shock. We know him already from the last year.
Tomorrow you will start in Norway, right? Aki: Yes, and then Sweden, UK, Germany.
Do you have a place, where you especially like to play? Aki: Yes, Germany (laughing)! Hamburg (laughing)! Yes, really, very comfortable for us, like a hometown. We have been here many times. When I walk in Hamburg, I don’t need a map anymore. Reeperbahn… I know everything.
Do you have any plans for EES for the future? Kazuto: Future? Well, we want to keep on tour and we want to go to the places, where we haven’t been before like in South-America. We get so much support from all our fans from all over the world, fans from 75 countries. And even, if we haven’t been in any country, many people know us already there. Web magazines and web radios help us so much in this situation. Aki: Well, and we have so many Heavy Rock bands in Japan. We just finished our tour there, and while we have been there, a Japanese Rock band supported us, and I would like to bring this band to Europe to introduce them to the European audience. This band is called The JFK, a really great band in old school style like Thin Lizzy or AC/DC. But before I do it, I should make our success and make more money. I need money to bring them here.
Ok, let’s use this moment for a famous last word… Kazuto: Yeah, buy our CD! Come to our show! Check our website – there are a lot of actual informations! But, please, don’t hack our website, we just had such a thing and it’s a little bit annoying for us (laughing).
Author: Andreas Torneberg, Photos by Andreas Torneberg and Electric Eel Shock Date: 2009-10-11