Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Melt-Banana: Being 'stupid' isn't so bad when it comes to touring | The Japan Times

Melt-Banana: Being 'stupid' isn't so bad when it comes to touring | The Japan Times

This is a fantastic interview with Melt-Banana.  As a veteran of playing shows for no people myself, it's fun to read about their early days with four people up front, or playing mostly for the venue's owner and the other bands on the bill.  They've been hardcore tour monsters for so long, I imagine they have thousands of anecdotes stored up about shows large and small.  With their newest album, "Fetch," now available and another North American tour in the offing, it's time to take another look at one of my favorite bands courtesy Yako, Agata and interviewer Ian Martin.

Their dedication, motivations and laser focus come across quite well in this chat.  The 3/11 earthquake/tsunami rattled them, just as it did everyone, but here they come again.  I'm going to miss Rika bouncing away in front of her amp (this interview is the first I've read that actively engages her absence at any length), but we've all come this far together and there's no point in backing out now, with all this challenging new music on the way.  I'm one of those fans in favor of bands evolving their sound and trying new things, and from what I've heard so far, "Fetch" is something special.

Oh, and their basic niceness.  When you feel like you have to play to those four people because they came out specifically to see you, that's nice.  I've seen this in action firsthand in my few, brief interactions with them at shows, although I'm way too shy to ask for a photo or any of that jazz.  Just seeing Yako talk to a couple of late-arriving fans and put them on the list so they could get into a sold-out show even though the entire thing grew out of a misunderstanding with the door guy remains a highlight and all I did was stand nearby and watch as it happened.  They also take the time to "like" even my lame comments on their Facebook feed. 

They are nice.

Usually I spend October blogging about Japanese monsters and ghosts, but this year October features two holidays.  One is the "Fetch" release date-- my copy should be heading my way as I type-- and the other is our more traditional, end-of-the-month horror fest.  We'll be dealing with "Fetch" as soon as it gets here and then we'll visit some haunted houses or invite ghosts into our apartment for a little talk.

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