Interview with Fumio (Vocals)
By: Alex Steininger
Alex: First off, how would you describe your sound?
Fumio: Well, music with positive vibration!! That what Kemuri sound is. Well, so many people say it is ska/punk and it is true, also! I personaly think we have oriental exotic flavor in it. Don't you?
Alex: What are some of your musical influences?
Fumio: Well, I used to listen a lot of musical sound track when I was very little because my sister loves musicals and she used to play the soundtracks all day long. I still can sing some of the songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, West side story and many more. That is how I started. I listed to a lot of Reggae and Ska. I basically like music with positive vibration.
Alex: What are your band goals for 1998?
Fumio: 1998? Just to stay the what we are now and enjoy whatever we do. We are going to tour the US in the begging of 1998 so hopefully everything is going to be alright in the US. Making more merchandise than Less Than Jake. (Just kidding)
Alex: On the road, what do you do for fun?
Fumio: Well, we enjoy eating, teasing the youngest member, and .... I guess that's it. Pretty boring, isn't it? I just realized that we do not do much when we are on the road. Well, we will figure out something ...
Alex: What is your favorite city to play and why?
Fumio: Uhmmmm, basically we enjoy where ever we go to. We mainly play in the Tokyo area but we always have fun. We had a fuckin' great time in the States. Well, we are so simple. We like everywhere we go and play.
Alex: How would you compare playing America to playing Japan?
Fumio: Well, I only see Japanese, I mean Asians in Japan but I see many different people when we play in America, you know. That is the main difference.
Alex: How is the scene in Japan?
Fumio: Well, ska scene or whole music scene? Ska scene is very strong in Japan. Ska has been very popular in Japan for a long time. Ska/punk is getting really popular in Japan, also. The scene is still underground, but very energetic. I think it is going to be bigger in the future.
Alex: What do you enjoy and hate about the music industry?
Fumio: I try to enjoy whatever I face to, you know. I enjoy meeting new people, working with people, arguing with people, and laughing with people. I try not to hate , I try to love, so...You know, we have only one life so I try to love things.
Alex: If you could change anything in your musical career, what would you change and why?
Fumio: You are a very interesting person, right? Now I know.
Alex: What are the highest and lowest points the band has experienced so far?
Fumio: The highest point is....now and the lowest point is now, also. We have done a lot together but we are going to do more, so...Do you know what I mean? We have so many things to do in the future!!!
Alex: If you could tour with anyone, who would it be and why?
Fumio: I want to tour with Less Than Jake because they rock! They are the first band who offered us doing a split even though we were nothing back then. Isn't it cool? I love the band and I love everyone in the band. Do you like them?
Alex: Yeah, LTJ rocks. Is there any road experience that stands out in your mind?
Fumio: Un...we left the drummer at a resting area. We realized that he was missing ten minutes later. Everyone thought he was sleeping in the very back of the car, but he was in the bathroom.
Alex: What made you want to get into the music business?
Fumio: Well, first of all I love to sing. I just love to sing more than anything so I want to sing all the time. That is why I want to be in a band. I believe same reason as you publish your own zine, you know. Love and respect for music.
Alex: EXACTLY! Music is the world's greatest language! What inspires you guys write your songs? Life?
Fumio: Yes, or maybe human nature...I try to live perfectly which means to live without lying to myself. I want to live positively , also. Can a human live a perfect life? No? Let's see. Smiles inspires me the most.
Alex: How did your deal with Roadrunner Records come about?
Fumio: I brought a demo tape to Roadrunner Japan. They liked it and they wanted to sign us just to listing to the demo. They did not know what the members looked like or anything. I thought that was really cool of them to judge us like that.
Alex: How do you think the record will affect your American Fan base? Do you think it will capture more fans and turn a whole new audience onto your music?
Fumio: Hopefully yes! Let's see.
Alex: Why did you select Mike "Bruce Lee" Park as your producer? Was it out of friendship, his understanding of your music, or an interest to work with a genius of his caliber? Or any other reasons?
Fumio: First of all, he is not a producer, he is a co-producer . It is purely out of the friendship. We love Mike a lot and we wanted to work with him.
Alex: What are your thoughts and reactions to the current attention ska is receiving from the media?
Fumio: Well, what kind of reactions is the music getting over there? Are you talking about No Doubt stuff or Save Feriss stuff? I basically think it is good. I love ska. I want people to know how wonderful ska is and I want to people to enjoy ska. I have been listening to ska for a long time and I will be listening to it rest of my life for sure. So, I will be like the way I am now.
Alex: Is ska receiving as much press in Japan as it is in the states?
Fumio: I am sorry but I do not really know how it is in the states, so...Well, a lot people talk about ska in Japan now. Yes, more than before.
Alex: Where do you think ska will be in a year or so? The next big thing, or back to it's cozy corner of society?
Fumio: Where? I do not know. Ska always stays at the same position in my heart. I really do not know. Wherever it is going to be, ska is so wonderful, so much fun.
Alex: Anything I left out that you would like to cover?
Fumio: Well, I will always enjoy playing, singing, and dancing with ska whatever happens in the future. Ska is wonderful. Keep skankin'!!! Thank you!!
Alex: No, thank you! I wish your band the best of luck.