mothercoat
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mothercoat

深谷市, Saitama, Japan | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | SELF

深谷市, Saitama, Japan | SELF
Established on Jan, 2003
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Depending on your musical frame of reference, the idea of a band all living together in the same house is either a recipe for madcap capers (The Monkees) or total carnage (Led Zeppelin), but in Japan where rents are high, space is limited and studio time expensive it makes sense for the band who play together, to stay together.

Two years ago Mothercoat took over the lease of a house in rural Saitama and, after having to replace their guitarist, they are making communal life work for them and their music. Dubbed “Bonjin House” after their record label, Bonjin Records (bonjin means “ordinary people”) the lack of neighbors within two hundred meters not only means they have space to grow their own fruit, but when it’s time to jam, they can turn it up to eleven.

“We share the residential space and studio space,” says bassist Tokirock, “but we don’t often see each other because our part-time shifts differ. We meet up two days a week for rehearsals. We wake up at the same time, practice, create new stuff. Typically, when someone is recording, the rest are doing administrative things such as handling emails, updating the website and social media.

“Our neighbors let us use their land for free and advise us on planting because they are professional farmers. We’ve planted potatoes, radishes, pumpkins, the famous Fukaya leeks and herbs like basil and dill. This year we planted three times more than last year, so maybe we can start selling our produce at gigs alongside our merch and CDs.”

It all sounds idyllic and hippy, and certainly a far cry from the rock and roll fantasy, though there is a long tradition in rock of recording in houses—Exile on Main Street, Led Zeppelin IV, OK Computer to name but three. The Downward Spiral was famously recorded in the house where Charles Manson’s “family” murdered Sharon Tate. It’s hard to think of Trent Reznor or Keith Richards planting broccoli and harvesting dill.

There has been some drama. Guitarist So refused to join his bandmates in the house. He’d previously lived with another band and they hadn’t survived the experience. Ironically, he then quit Mothercoat. One of the conditions new guitarist Fuku had to agree to when he joined the band was living in Bonjin House.

The freedom Bonjin House gives the band has come at just the right time and may even have contributed to their recent upturn in fortune. In March this year they took part in the South By Southwest festival, headlining the renowned Japan Nite showcase as well as playing a mini-tour of Texas, garnering rave reviews and much deserved international exposure. New track “Trickster” was streamed by The Guardian newspaper in the UK and they made connections in the U.S. that they can build on for a future large-scale tour. “We would like to tour in as many places as possible, particularly outside Japan,” said Tokirock. In preparation for that, they have begun work on a new album.

Does living and working in the same space change the writing and recording process?

“Sharing studio and living space cuts two ways and requires us to draw a line between public and private. As for rehearsing, actually we haven’t had enough time to experiment too much because we’ve been touring. But for recording and mixing, we do experiment and seek a new approach so the sound will evolve in some way. We tend to slack off without the pressure of having to pay per hour for studio time, but we can dig deep when arranging songs without worrying about time. However we sometimes have to interrupt the recording because quite a few cars come and go on the street despite it being a small country road. We have to care more about acoustic isolation for recording.”

If recent EP 5-1+1= is anything to go by, both Bonjin House and Fuku have changed the dynamic within Mothercoat. For a band always searching for a new sound, for a new twist, the freedom of being outside the rigid Japanese music industry and physically separated from many of the obstacles and distractions that often blight other bands is invaluable. Few artists are lucky enough to build a studio of their own, let alone make it partially self-sufficient. Holed up in Bonjin House, Mothercoat are preparing the ground for a new musical onslaught and the future looks bountiful. Put me down for a copy of the new album, a t-shirt and a bag of peppers. - Metropolis


The Tokyo indie quintet is back with a typically odd EP and two slots at SXSW 2014, including headlining the renowned Japan Nite. The album title 5-1+1= refers to guitarist So’s departure and his replacement by Fukunosuke Abe. Leaving out the result of the sum implies they aren’t sure what this new Mothercoat has become. Fittingly, their new tracks are highly experimental and mark a transition for the band. “Trickster” is the most “Coaty,” restless guitar shifts and kaleidoscopic drums. “Nipple Cider” is a hypnotic electronic Catherine wheel in constant danger of spinning out of control. “Misync” features a Kate Bush-esque vocal display from bassist Toki Rock over a haunting minimalist loop. Whatever 5-1+1 turns out to equal, Mothercoat haven’t stopped pushing their music in new directions. - Metropolis


Special To The Japan Times
Mar 11, 2014

Most bands in Japan come to Tokyo to reach for stardom. Indie rock act Mothercoat did the opposite, however, when its members all relocated to Fukaya, Saitama Prefecture, two years ago.

“We don’t really see a point in being based in Tokyo anymore,” says bassist and singer Toki “Tokirock” Imada. “When bands tell us they’re going to Tokyo, we tell them they shouldn’t do it. People come anyway, though, so I guess there’s still some point to it . . . but it’s really not for us anymore.”

Imada and her bandmates — singer and guitarist Hitokazu “Gigadylan” Giga, guitarist Fukunosuke Abe, drummer Jun Irimajiri and sound manipulator Jumpei Sugihara — have their sights set on someplace else: the world. Specifically, the South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival taking place from March 7 to 16 in Austin, Texas. The band will be playing at two official showcases this year, the International Day Stage on the March 12 and the Japan Nite showcase on March 14, as well as several one-off shows. They will share the stage with other Japanese acts such as Jungles from Red Bacteria Vacuum and Happy. This will be the second time Mothercoat has played SXSW; they first played in 2007.

“At first, just being able to play abroad was fun,” says Giga of his band’s early overseas tours. “The first time we went there the reaction was really good and we kind of took that at face value.”

Mothercoat first ventured overseas in 2006, when it played the Fanime anime convention in San Jose. The group has since played in Canada, Britain and South Korea. SXSW will be its first overseas show in two years.

“Our music isn’t the type that would blow up and be popular in just one country,” explains Imada about the band’s efforts in expanding its audience. “We need to find a core audience across the entire world in order to make a living playing music. So if we get opportunities to play in other places, we want to invest in them.”

Giga hopes that the trip to Austin will lead to new connections as well as providing an artistic challenge for the band.

“By connecting through people, we might get to someone important, someone who will be that one piece (of the puzzle),” he says. “Also, by playing shows abroad we’ll come back stronger. We’re not expecting anything to change immediately just by going over there, but you don’t know what’s going to happen until you do it.”

Giga says he’s particularly interested in how the band will be received at Japan Nite, an annual showcase of Japanese indie and punk bands.

“People will see the band as being a ‘Japanese band.’ Like at Japan Nite, some people will be expecting stuff that we’re not,” he says. “When you talk about Japan, people usually think about anime, idols or Vocaloid, or maybe all-girl bands such as Shonen Knife, or visual-kei. So it’ll be interesting to see what sort of reactions we’ll get.”

The shows at SXSW will be the first time the band will introduce new guitarist Abe to audiences abroad. Abe joined the band last November after auditioning as a replacement for previous guitarist So Ninomiya. Giga says he knew Abe was the one without hearing a single note.

“He just had this presence to him when he held a guitar,” he says. “I could watch him just standing.”

Giga says the previous lineup “started thinking about things too much.”

“It (all) became less instinctual,” he says. “The new EP is really raw and lo-fi, but it has momentum.”

The band released a three-song EP, “5 — 1 + 1 =” (“Five Minus One Plus One Equals”), last month. The title refers to Mothercoat’s change in members, which is reflected in the content. The EP contains a song written with Ninomiya, one as a four-piece, and finally one with Abe. The track with Abe, “Trickster,” is a quirky lo-fi number with Giga and Imada’s vocals bouncing off of each other against Abe’s playful guitar. The band has always had a cute side to it, but “Trickster” definitely brings that aspect up to the fore.

The sound of Mothercoat has always been just as hard to pin down as keeping track of their perpetually in-flux membership. Giga says that’s exactly what he wants the audience at SXSW to experience.

“We want to surprise people with our live show. People like to compare things, like when they see a band, the first thing they say is, ‘That sounds like that (other) band.’ I want people to get stumped when they see us.”

In addition to its sets at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, Mothercoat will play Shimokitazawa Three in Tokyo on March 25 (6:30 p.m. start; ¥2,000 in advance; 03-5486-8804); and Growly in Kyoto on March 30 (5:30 p.m. start; ¥1,500 in adv.; 075-366-6369) For more information, visit www.mothercoat.com. - The Japan Times


Located in Austin, Texas, AKA “The Live Music Capital of the World,” the annual South by Southwest festival is as American as apple pie. But thanks to the International Day and Radio Stages, you won’t need a passport to catch some diverse, international acts at this year’s festival. We’ve listed some of our favorite acts (and their showtimes!) to look out for below, along with tour dates in case you won’t be able to attend the festival.
Mothercoat (Japan)

Math-rockers Mothercoat churn out some expertly calculated yet colorfully wonky melodies. They hover in an electronic rock ether between the likes of Stereolab and Deerhoof. We expect nothing less of them than a positively loopy performance.

They will perform at 12pm on Wednesday, March 12 at the International Day Stage in ACC Ballroom G. - MTV IGGY


This past Valentine's day mothercoat released their latest EP "5-1+1=". The title no doubt a reflection of the recent band lineup changes, they selected 3 songs which symbolize each era: with their ex-guitarist 'so', without a guitarist and with their new guitarist 'fuku'.

Track 1: "nipple cider"
Listen here on Bandcamp!

Track one opens with a quick paced, light beat soon accompanied by teasing tones plucked effortlessly with just a hint of bass. The vocals begin to overlay with a simple and airy tone, which works well with gigadylan's unique vocal styling. A touch of harmony from tokirock, and an occasional, patterned infusion of guitar strings round out this track.

Track 2: "misync"
Listen here on Bandcamp!

Track 2 is my favorite of this release. "misync" is clean, simple and rhythmic. Though this represents their time without a guitarist, nothing is missing. The track bounces between a driving pulse and a relaxed, but steady heartbeat. tokirock's vocals add the perfect accompaniment to what could almost be considered a heavy track. This is the kind of music I love driving to.

Track 3: "trickster"
Listen here on Bandcamp!

Track 3 brings our first sampling of what guitarist fuku is bringing to mothercoat. Involved not only in the creation of the music for 'trickster', but also the artwork for the release cover as well as the MV for this track he seems prepared to give it his all. The first 2 tracks varied greatly in their presentation and 'trickster' again offers up a completely different sound. All the members parts are very much involved; overlapping, competing, fading and merging to create a very full sound which one really has to listen to repeatedly to fully catch all the elements and appreciate their nuances. I feel it is safe to say that what fuku is bringing, is a good thing.

'5-1+1=' is an EP, though while only 3 tracks, gives a very complete feeling and leads well into what is sure to be a exciting new stage of growth for mothercoat. The experience and feelings of the members, infused with fresh new ideas will only lead to a enlivened, creative pool. Be sure to pick up this EP showcasing what was, what is, and what is yet to come! - Project: Lixx


Music from around the world

Six must-listen new tracks from around the world

We’ve assembled a crack team of bloggers to let us know about the most exciting things happening in music scenes worldwide. Here are six new tunes from off the beaten track

More from Serenity B
JAPAN: Mothercoat – Trickster

Clear and Refreshing: ”Formed in 2002, Mothercoat have been combining elements of electronica, folk, rock, and hip-hop for more than a decade. The band are known in the Tokyo scene for constantly evolving their sound and also for being a truly DIY entity, producing and distributing their records exclusively by themselves. Trickster is the first song the group have released since welcoming new guitarist, Fukunosuke Abe, into the band. The video the guitarist’s playful energy both visually and musically, adding a layer of whimsical youthfulness, complimenting vocalists Giga Dylan and Tokirock’s quirky call and response singing.” - the guardian


Clocking in at a mere 25 minutes, Mothercoat’s new album disappoints only in its length. Ever on the lookout for new directions, alternative timings and unique soundscapes, the band’s seven new tracks build on the success of last year’s Egobag.

Usually fiercely protective of their sound, for Allergies Mothercoat enlisted the mixing talents of Fernando Lodeiro (Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys) and the mastering skills of Oscar Zambrano. The result is an expansion of their palette.

Sharp high-end riffs float above seemingly endless fuzzed-up bass depth as electronic stings dart about faster than particles in a supercollider. “Happy Turn” sees a welcome return to vocals for bassist Tokirock; “In Bathtub” is as catchy as it is impossible to dance to (go to their gigs and try) and “Beer or Bear” is destined to become a live classic.

Allergies is a welcome addition to an already prodigious catalogue, and perfectly captures the power, energy and inventiveness of Mothercoat, a band at the top of their game and one of the most interesting acts around. - Metropolis



According to mothercoat, the Beatles are "a past story, a past product." Vocalist Giga Hitokazu elaborates his cynical thesis, nonchalantly intoning on "No Beatles" that the esteemed band is "dead" and he can't even remember the members' names—a surprising conclusion for a band rooted in a musical culture that idolizes the Beatles as almost much as America or England. That, however, is just one of many surprises waiting on this EP.

mothercoat is a band that has a knack for musical sleight-of-hand, throwing bizarre curveballs throughout their songs. The opener "Plankton" begins in a faux-new age style complete with cymbal rolls and half-chanted vocals before crescendoing into a sudden drum-and-bass section, finally finishing with balls-out rock. "Pot-au-feu" recalls Acidman's lighter material (especially "Repeat") until male-female vocals chime in, managing to sound subtly off-kilter without killing the song's balance. "Yoake no Maigotachi" moves from foreboding melody to loud, grungy angst and ends with a peaceful harmonica solo over a shoegaze washout.

For more conventionally-inclined ears, mothercoat doesn't disappoint on the back half of Mama Manner. Their anti-tribute "No Beatles" is practically ready for the radio. Ironically, the band can't escape the reach of the British Isles, as the song's hard rock guitars and swirling shoegaze textures make it sound like they're cut straight from Swervedriver's Mezcal Head. "Spuit" and "Anjuu no Chi" aren't quite as catchy, but the sublime moments in both more than compensate.

mothercoat has a somewhat cryptic album on its hands in Mama Manner, and while it may not be a very cohesive recording, the individual parts make for an interesting ride, assuming a slight drubbing of The Fab Four isn't too much to handle. Which it shouldn't be since, as Giga reminds, it's "not [the] seventies any longer/times have changed." So take that, Beatles bassist (what's your name again?)! - keikaku.net



According to mothercoat, the Beatles are "a past story, a past product." Vocalist Giga Hitokazu elaborates his cynical thesis, nonchalantly intoning on "No Beatles" that the esteemed band is "dead" and he can't even remember the members' names—a surprising conclusion for a band rooted in a musical culture that idolizes the Beatles as almost much as America or England. That, however, is just one of many surprises waiting on this EP.

mothercoat is a band that has a knack for musical sleight-of-hand, throwing bizarre curveballs throughout their songs. The opener "Plankton" begins in a faux-new age style complete with cymbal rolls and half-chanted vocals before crescendoing into a sudden drum-and-bass section, finally finishing with balls-out rock. "Pot-au-feu" recalls Acidman's lighter material (especially "Repeat") until male-female vocals chime in, managing to sound subtly off-kilter without killing the song's balance. "Yoake no Maigotachi" moves from foreboding melody to loud, grungy angst and ends with a peaceful harmonica solo over a shoegaze washout.

For more conventionally-inclined ears, mothercoat doesn't disappoint on the back half of Mama Manner. Their anti-tribute "No Beatles" is practically ready for the radio. Ironically, the band can't escape the reach of the British Isles, as the song's hard rock guitars and swirling shoegaze textures make it sound like they're cut straight from Swervedriver's Mezcal Head. "Spuit" and "Anjuu no Chi" aren't quite as catchy, but the sublime moments in both more than compensate.

mothercoat has a somewhat cryptic album on its hands in Mama Manner, and while it may not be a very cohesive recording, the individual parts make for an interesting ride, assuming a slight drubbing of The Fab Four isn't too much to handle. Which it shouldn't be since, as Giga reminds, it's "not [the] seventies any longer/times have changed." So take that, Beatles bassist (what's your name again?)! - keikaku.net


So here we are stood on an an island surrounded by the river Ness just a mile out from the Inverness city centre.
The island has been sculpted into a park, with an amphitheatre in the middle of it. It’s beautiful spot in the early evening haze of the late spring light and a perfect spot for some quiet hanging out…
But there’s some people here with a very different agenda.
I’m at the Go North music conference in Inverness. Having spent the afternoon on a panel about DIY music I’ve been led up the garden path so to speak and joined the merry throng on a magical mystery tour. We have been told to met at 5.30 outside a bar in town and our guide has walked us along the river through a thick woodland, past random joggers and dog walkers to this amphitheatre.
In the the middle of the space are two battered amps and two skinny dudes who are sat by a guitar and a stripped own drum kit and a mic attached to a broken branch of a tree- within seconds of us arriving they explode into noise.
It’s really wonderful.
Bronto Skylift an amazing group.
A duo from Inverness and the Orkney Islands- they make the same kind of self expression, free jazz-skronk- punk as the classic Glasgow/ Edinburgh, late eighties/early nighties death to trad rock noisenik scene of the Dog Face Hermans, Badgewearer, Dawson, Stretchheads. It’s the same kind of filthy, kinetic explosion of energy, the same sort of frantic drumming, the same kind of rat-a-tat frenetic cowbell action, the same sort of imagination and the same sort of wilful thrill of the electric power of the form. The same type of filthy imagination as the sort of bands I was documenting in my recent Death To Trad Rock book
The coolest thing is that they are totally unaware of this tradition of bands. Bronto Skylift have arrived here all by themselves.
That rules.
They got here via their rock routes and you can hear the filth of Black Flag, the explosive energy of hardcore and the detuned heaviness of grunge in their sound as well. It was like they are the only people in the world who understood that Curt Cobain was an experiMENTAL underground musician who was closer to the likes of the Ex than the mainstream.
They are also wilfully non conformist. They are part of an organisation called Detour Scotland who put gigs on in off the wall places.
This gig in the park is no one off event- they have played under the railway bridge in Edinburgh, a one way street in Glasgow and on the England/Scotland border, they have a website full of films of cool and weird underground gigs and they are utterly amazing.
Normally at these kind of conventions one off the wall band is all you’re going to get but at Go North a whole event is stuffed full of great bands.
Wandering back into town I end up in another venue which looks like a neon strip light strip joint- an atmosphere-less space that is swiftly turned into something special by Glasgow based band The Seventeenth Century who are described as folk rock which conjures images that are none too thrilling.
Fortunately the band, who are late teens in age, are coming from somewhere else entirely. They deal in folk melodies with their perfect harmonies and their frontman is steeped in the form with his parents playing him Incredible String Band albums from birth- a pretty col soundtrack to your youth! But they sieve the folk through a tough, dislocated bass and drums power that hints at post rock dislocation whilst their brass and violin also give a nod to the dark, brooding soundscapes of the recently reformed Godspeed You Black Emperor as well as the Dirty Three- whose story telling, violin plucking air of dissolution they also hint at.
They also ooze a cool and passionate intensity as they transport themselves and the audience to somewhere entirely different. Their sound is utterly original and the band is pure genius.
We will be hearing a lot more from them.
Just round the corner there is another fusion of styles going on from Mothercoat who have flown in from Tokyo to play Go North and then the neighbouring Rock Ness festival. The Japanese four piece are, like all the best Japanese bands, twitching with a bordello thrill at the possibilities of pop. Their songs zip from neo hardcore thrashes to intense, psychedelic workouts- one song sees their frontman pitch his voice to an alien high like pinky and perky squeaks that are oddly sad and affecting as the band bounce around him with krautrock rhymes and bubble bath melodies that really trip your head out.
They then lock into a monster grove that is stunningly hypnotic, the frontman twitches, grinning, oozing the charm of someone who is in love with the instinctive,shamanic power of music. They are so damn intense that you are hooked into their amazing, imaginative world. They sound like no other music on the planet and a glimpse Into the future world of a pop culture completely fractured with fragments of genius being bolted together by the children of the next revolution.
Fantasti - John Robb


So here we are stood on an an island surrounded by the river Ness just a mile out from the Inverness city centre.
The island has been sculpted into a park, with an amphitheatre in the middle of it. It’s beautiful spot in the early evening haze of the late spring light and a perfect spot for some quiet hanging out…
But there’s some people here with a very different agenda.
I’m at the Go North music conference in Inverness. Having spent the afternoon on a panel about DIY music I’ve been led up the garden path so to speak and joined the merry throng on a magical mystery tour. We have been told to met at 5.30 outside a bar in town and our guide has walked us along the river through a thick woodland, past random joggers and dog walkers to this amphitheatre.
In the the middle of the space are two battered amps and two skinny dudes who are sat by a guitar and a stripped own drum kit and a mic attached to a broken branch of a tree- within seconds of us arriving they explode into noise.
It’s really wonderful.
Bronto Skylift an amazing group.
A duo from Inverness and the Orkney Islands- they make the same kind of self expression, free jazz-skronk- punk as the classic Glasgow/ Edinburgh, late eighties/early nighties death to trad rock noisenik scene of the Dog Face Hermans, Badgewearer, Dawson, Stretchheads. It’s the same kind of filthy, kinetic explosion of energy, the same sort of frantic drumming, the same kind of rat-a-tat frenetic cowbell action, the same sort of imagination and the same sort of wilful thrill of the electric power of the form. The same type of filthy imagination as the sort of bands I was documenting in my recent Death To Trad Rock book
The coolest thing is that they are totally unaware of this tradition of bands. Bronto Skylift have arrived here all by themselves.
That rules.
They got here via their rock routes and you can hear the filth of Black Flag, the explosive energy of hardcore and the detuned heaviness of grunge in their sound as well. It was like they are the only people in the world who understood that Curt Cobain was an experiMENTAL underground musician who was closer to the likes of the Ex than the mainstream.
They are also wilfully non conformist. They are part of an organisation called Detour Scotland who put gigs on in off the wall places.
This gig in the park is no one off event- they have played under the railway bridge in Edinburgh, a one way street in Glasgow and on the England/Scotland border, they have a website full of films of cool and weird underground gigs and they are utterly amazing.
Normally at these kind of conventions one off the wall band is all you’re going to get but at Go North a whole event is stuffed full of great bands.
Wandering back into town I end up in another venue which looks like a neon strip light strip joint- an atmosphere-less space that is swiftly turned into something special by Glasgow based band The Seventeenth Century who are described as folk rock which conjures images that are none too thrilling.
Fortunately the band, who are late teens in age, are coming from somewhere else entirely. They deal in folk melodies with their perfect harmonies and their frontman is steeped in the form with his parents playing him Incredible String Band albums from birth- a pretty col soundtrack to your youth! But they sieve the folk through a tough, dislocated bass and drums power that hints at post rock dislocation whilst their brass and violin also give a nod to the dark, brooding soundscapes of the recently reformed Godspeed You Black Emperor as well as the Dirty Three- whose story telling, violin plucking air of dissolution they also hint at.
They also ooze a cool and passionate intensity as they transport themselves and the audience to somewhere entirely different. Their sound is utterly original and the band is pure genius.
We will be hearing a lot more from them.
Just round the corner there is another fusion of styles going on from Mothercoat who have flown in from Tokyo to play Go North and then the neighbouring Rock Ness festival. The Japanese four piece are, like all the best Japanese bands, twitching with a bordello thrill at the possibilities of pop. Their songs zip from neo hardcore thrashes to intense, psychedelic workouts- one song sees their frontman pitch his voice to an alien high like pinky and perky squeaks that are oddly sad and affecting as the band bounce around him with krautrock rhymes and bubble bath melodies that really trip your head out.
They then lock into a monster grove that is stunningly hypnotic, the frontman twitches, grinning, oozing the charm of someone who is in love with the instinctive,shamanic power of music. They are so damn intense that you are hooked into their amazing, imaginative world. They sound like no other music on the planet and a glimpse Into the future world of a pop culture completely fractured with fragments of genius being bolted together by the children of the next revolution.
Fantasti - John Robb


AMONG RockNess’s most far travelled visitors are Japanese band Mothercoat, who play the goNorth Stage this evening.
Following the release of their latest album “Patchwork Shiki”, which gained rave reviews in their home town of Tokyo,
and a sell-out tour of Canada, the Japanese band bring their unique brand of lowpop style to the UK with shows in Edinburgh,
Aberdeen and Manchester, as well as RockNess.
But just what is “lowpop”? Even the band seem hazy.

“It is very difficult to describe our sound so we made up our own style and called it ‘lowpop’,” singer Hitokazu Giga explained.
“We think we are unlike any Japanese band and consider our market to be very western.
“In Japan there is lots of variety when it comes to bands and different types of music. The most popular music is mainly bands from Major record company labels which tend to dominate all the other independent or unsigned bands which sometimes struggle to be heard in Japan and overseas.
Well-known western acts and artists are widely known throughout Japan and it can be difficult for an unsigned Japanese band to break into the market.”
Even so, the band have managed to build up a cult following outside Japan. US Olympic snowboarder Shaun White used one of their tracks on his DVD and the band themselves were pleasantly surprised by the reaction on their Canadian tour and hoping for the same in Scotland.
“In Canada we were very surprised at the reaction we received from our listeners,” Giga said.
“The Canadians were really in to us and gave us a very warm welcome. This reaction in Japan is perhaps a little more reserved, but many people have told me Scottish people know how to enjoy themselves! I hope they will enjoy us!”
So what are Mothercoat looking forward to from their first trip to the Highlands?
“Performing for the first time for a Scottish audience and tasting many different types of Scottish whisky,” Giga declared, though like many Japanese tourists before them, it seems some monster spotting is on the cards. - The Inverness Courier


AMONG RockNess’s most far travelled visitors are Japanese band Mothercoat, who play the goNorth Stage this evening.
Following the release of their latest album “Patchwork Shiki”, which gained rave reviews in their home town of Tokyo,
and a sell-out tour of Canada, the Japanese band bring their unique brand of lowpop style to the UK with shows in Edinburgh,
Aberdeen and Manchester, as well as RockNess.
But just what is “lowpop”? Even the band seem hazy.

“It is very difficult to describe our sound so we made up our own style and called it ‘lowpop’,” singer Hitokazu Giga explained.
“We think we are unlike any Japanese band and consider our market to be very western.
“In Japan there is lots of variety when it comes to bands and different types of music. The most popular music is mainly bands from Major record company labels which tend to dominate all the other independent or unsigned bands which sometimes struggle to be heard in Japan and overseas.
Well-known western acts and artists are widely known throughout Japan and it can be difficult for an unsigned Japanese band to break into the market.”
Even so, the band have managed to build up a cult following outside Japan. US Olympic snowboarder Shaun White used one of their tracks on his DVD and the band themselves were pleasantly surprised by the reaction on their Canadian tour and hoping for the same in Scotland.
“In Canada we were very surprised at the reaction we received from our listeners,” Giga said.
“The Canadians were really in to us and gave us a very warm welcome. This reaction in Japan is perhaps a little more reserved, but many people have told me Scottish people know how to enjoy themselves! I hope they will enjoy us!”
So what are Mothercoat looking forward to from their first trip to the Highlands?
“Performing for the first time for a Scottish audience and tasting many different types of Scottish whisky,” Giga declared, though like many Japanese tourists before them, it seems some monster spotting is on the cards. - The Inverness Courier


Innovation is the very soul of art, and music is no exception. In this commodity-driven world it’s easy to forget that music should be both art and entertainment. Not so for Mothercoat, who take creation seriously. Example: after months of signalling the release of their new album Egobag, flyering live houses across the country and releasing promo videos, they delayed the launch because the drum sound wasn’t perfect.

“We weren’t satisfied,” they tell Metropolis. “Recording is kind of a gamble to make the miracle sound so it took more time than we expected.”

Mothercoat have been a much-respected staple of the music scene since the release of their debut album Interphone in 2005, though only singer Giga, bass player Toki and sound engineer Junpei survive from the original line-up. Egobag is technically their fifth album, but is being touted as their first.

Why? “We changed members many times, actually,” says Toki. “We have no albums with the exact same members so all of them are first albums.”

This fluctuation has transformed their sound. “You can tell the change clearly in the drum sound, I think,” says Toki. “On Patchwork Shiki, our last album, the guitar was only Giga, but on this album we had another guitar so the arrangement is more interesting.”

What influences do you share? As the band formulate a response, guitarist So leans forward and whispers “Michael Jackson.”
Michael Jackson?

Everyone laughs. “One of the songs, ‘Fake a Fake,’ is influenced by Michael Jackson,” he explains. It’s the song that opens the album: with its groovy riff and synth stings, it immediately brings to mind Michael Jackson at his best—though it’s still clearly Mothercoat material.

They describe their style as “low pop.” From lo-fi indie beginnings, the sound has developed, incorporating an array of influences. “The mix and mastering we took from Radiohead because we love the atmosphere of their sound,” says Toki. “We don’t mean to mimic but we can refer to them.”

Their sensibility is what was once called “indie” before that word was rebranded, but putting a Mothercoat CD on could just as easily take you into a world of electronica, beats and jazz motifs as one of guitars, drums and feedback. Their ethos is very punk: DIY, a full aesthetic program of music, visuals and slogans. This is a band with ideas to communicate and the talent to get them across.

Innovation extends to the marketing process. Last album Patchwork Shiki went on sale before the band had even entered the studio. An advance order allowed fans to hear early demos, make comments, suggest changes and even pick the name. “A piece of work should be art even in the process of production.” When the album was released it came with a second disc. “The concept of two CDs is that everyone copies music and gives it to friends,” says Toki. “By giving two CDs they can give our music to their friends with good sound quality. It’s kind of cynical. We like humor and cynical things.”

So what do you think of file-sharing?

“We have to change,” says Toki. “We know that everyone gives music to their friends. It’s natural. We’ve given up.”

And change they have. Egobag is being sold via the unique “Swing Ego Price” system. “Things like petrol and vegetables change their price. It’s not natural for a CD to be a stable price, so we wanted to do the same thing. So, every Sunday we announce the price. We factor in the sales of the previous week. Then we all have our own ego price which changes depending on our mood. Then we total the price, which will range from ¥600 to ¥3,000.”

What motivates the band to keep reinventing music? “Humor,” answers Giga unexpectedly. “We want to have humor in everything and we are questioning everything around us.” This is most evident on stage. Their Cheshire-cat grins throughout this particular set show they love what they do. The intricate, explosive music is produced in a whirl of energy.

Live, the focal point is singer Giga, who twists around his microphone like a Japanese Iggy Pop. Toki and So bounce around striking rock poses. Jun drums so fast that his glasses fly off, and the set ends with all four playing the same drum kit.

They recently toured Scotland and Canada. Is playing to those audiences different from playing in Japan?

“Yeah,” says Giga. “Much drunker.” They all laugh. “They drink a lot and for a very long time. Even the sound engineers were drinking. It was cool. We loved it.” How about the festivals? “Very different,” says Toki. “They’re not so crowded so it’s more relaxing. And they had a Ferris wheel and a bungee swing. That was cool.”

“Dirty,” says So.

“Yeah”, agrees Toki. “They throw the garbage on the ground which was so sad. Fuji Rock is very famous for being clean, they let the people know how to separate the garbage, but there was nothing like that there.”
The interview ends and Mothercoat prepare for tonight’s gig. Their new album may in fact deserve the label “first album”: - Metropolis


Innovation is the very soul of art, and music is no exception. In this commodity-driven world it’s easy to forget that music should be both art and entertainment. Not so for Mothercoat, who take creation seriously. Example: after months of signalling the release of their new album Egobag, flyering live houses across the country and releasing promo videos, they delayed the launch because the drum sound wasn’t perfect.

“We weren’t satisfied,” they tell Metropolis. “Recording is kind of a gamble to make the miracle sound so it took more time than we expected.”

Mothercoat have been a much-respected staple of the music scene since the release of their debut album Interphone in 2005, though only singer Giga, bass player Toki and sound engineer Junpei survive from the original line-up. Egobag is technically their fifth album, but is being touted as their first.

Why? “We changed members many times, actually,” says Toki. “We have no albums with the exact same members so all of them are first albums.”

This fluctuation has transformed their sound. “You can tell the change clearly in the drum sound, I think,” says Toki. “On Patchwork Shiki, our last album, the guitar was only Giga, but on this album we had another guitar so the arrangement is more interesting.”

What influences do you share? As the band formulate a response, guitarist So leans forward and whispers “Michael Jackson.”
Michael Jackson?

Everyone laughs. “One of the songs, ‘Fake a Fake,’ is influenced by Michael Jackson,” he explains. It’s the song that opens the album: with its groovy riff and synth stings, it immediately brings to mind Michael Jackson at his best—though it’s still clearly Mothercoat material.

They describe their style as “low pop.” From lo-fi indie beginnings, the sound has developed, incorporating an array of influences. “The mix and mastering we took from Radiohead because we love the atmosphere of their sound,” says Toki. “We don’t mean to mimic but we can refer to them.”

Their sensibility is what was once called “indie” before that word was rebranded, but putting a Mothercoat CD on could just as easily take you into a world of electronica, beats and jazz motifs as one of guitars, drums and feedback. Their ethos is very punk: DIY, a full aesthetic program of music, visuals and slogans. This is a band with ideas to communicate and the talent to get them across.

Innovation extends to the marketing process. Last album Patchwork Shiki went on sale before the band had even entered the studio. An advance order allowed fans to hear early demos, make comments, suggest changes and even pick the name. “A piece of work should be art even in the process of production.” When the album was released it came with a second disc. “The concept of two CDs is that everyone copies music and gives it to friends,” says Toki. “By giving two CDs they can give our music to their friends with good sound quality. It’s kind of cynical. We like humor and cynical things.”

So what do you think of file-sharing?

“We have to change,” says Toki. “We know that everyone gives music to their friends. It’s natural. We’ve given up.”

And change they have. Egobag is being sold via the unique “Swing Ego Price” system. “Things like petrol and vegetables change their price. It’s not natural for a CD to be a stable price, so we wanted to do the same thing. So, every Sunday we announce the price. We factor in the sales of the previous week. Then we all have our own ego price which changes depending on our mood. Then we total the price, which will range from ¥600 to ¥3,000.”

What motivates the band to keep reinventing music? “Humor,” answers Giga unexpectedly. “We want to have humor in everything and we are questioning everything around us.” This is most evident on stage. Their Cheshire-cat grins throughout this particular set show they love what they do. The intricate, explosive music is produced in a whirl of energy.

Live, the focal point is singer Giga, who twists around his microphone like a Japanese Iggy Pop. Toki and So bounce around striking rock poses. Jun drums so fast that his glasses fly off, and the set ends with all four playing the same drum kit.

They recently toured Scotland and Canada. Is playing to those audiences different from playing in Japan?

“Yeah,” says Giga. “Much drunker.” They all laugh. “They drink a lot and for a very long time. Even the sound engineers were drinking. It was cool. We loved it.” How about the festivals? “Very different,” says Toki. “They’re not so crowded so it’s more relaxing. And they had a Ferris wheel and a bungee swing. That was cool.”

“Dirty,” says So.

“Yeah”, agrees Toki. “They throw the garbage on the ground which was so sad. Fuji Rock is very famous for being clean, they let the people know how to separate the garbage, but there was nothing like that there.”
The interview ends and Mothercoat prepare for tonight’s gig. Their new album may in fact deserve the label “first album”: - Metropolis


http://www.lostonthebside.com/BSide/mothercoat.html

Lost on the B Side
© 2006 Lost on the B Side, LLC. All Rights Reserved

IN JAPAN THE NAME
“mothercoat” refers to the protection of the fetus in the womb—the mother. The band mothercoat assumes that same role in the Tokyo music world. The group’s focus is on the development of its powerful lyrics and themes that will eventually mature into the group’s next successful performance. Imple-menting newly complex styles and technical variations in its music has been recognized as an important quality in the distinctive songs composed by mothercoat. Even with the density of competition sur-rounding them, this group of four does not disappoint. It is profess-ionally crafted to nurture its way through the hypnotic vocals and explosive guitar radicals that have become only one version of this band’s impeccable musicianship. - LOST ON THE B SIDE


http://www.lostonthebside.com/BSide/mothercoat.html

Lost on the B Side
© 2006 Lost on the B Side, LLC. All Rights Reserved

IN JAPAN THE NAME
“mothercoat” refers to the protection of the fetus in the womb—the mother. The band mothercoat assumes that same role in the Tokyo music world. The group’s focus is on the development of its powerful lyrics and themes that will eventually mature into the group’s next successful performance. Imple-menting newly complex styles and technical variations in its music has been recognized as an important quality in the distinctive songs composed by mothercoat. Even with the density of competition sur-rounding them, this group of four does not disappoint. It is profess-ionally crafted to nurture its way through the hypnotic vocals and explosive guitar radicals that have become only one version of this band’s impeccable musicianship. - LOST ON THE B SIDE


http://www.jmusicamerica.com/us/article.php?id=1371

(review for a compilation album
so mothercoat parts extracted below)

---------

Thankfully, after those unsteady tracks, the listener finds a real gem- Mothercoat's Galileo. An experimental sounding tune that manages to not distance the listener despite that, this song is rock with just a pinch of disco and dance and framed by surreal-sounding vocals. Punctuated by slower moments and occasional chaos, such as an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar battling it out for your attention, the song often tricks one into thinking it's coming to an end before surprising you with even more rock 'n roll and some absolutely amazing bass work. The track is long but it seems to go past in a blur and leaves you feeling slightly disheveled, like you just came off of a crazed dance floor or rollercoaster. - jmusicamerica.com


http://www.jmusicamerica.com/us/article.php?id=1371

(review for a compilation album
so mothercoat parts extracted below)

---------

Thankfully, after those unsteady tracks, the listener finds a real gem- Mothercoat's Galileo. An experimental sounding tune that manages to not distance the listener despite that, this song is rock with just a pinch of disco and dance and framed by surreal-sounding vocals. Punctuated by slower moments and occasional chaos, such as an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar battling it out for your attention, the song often tricks one into thinking it's coming to an end before surprising you with even more rock 'n roll and some absolutely amazing bass work. The track is long but it seems to go past in a blur and leaves you feeling slightly disheveled, like you just came off of a crazed dance floor or rollercoaster. - jmusicamerica.com


Discography

All tracks can be listened at
http://www.mothercoat.com/ja/work/music

- Released 1st maxi single "Haine no niwa" Feb 28th, 2004
- Participated in statusy compilation album organized by TOWERRECORDS "Shinjuku Meeting 04" Sep 2nd, 2004
- Released 2nd maxi single "out coat" 3rd maxi single "in coat" at the same time Oct 31th, 2004
- Participated in compilation album organized by U4 label "FIRST" Feb 9th, 2004
- Released 4th maxi single "yohaku" Apr 28th, 2005
- Participated in a compilation album "wild gun crazy vol.1" Oct 9th, 2005
- Released 1st album "interphone" Nov 11th, 2005
- Participated in compilation album organized by JapanFiles.com "Fresh Cuts vol.1" July, 2006
- Released 2nd album "mama manner" July 7th, 2006
- Released 3rd album "+birdless" August 8th, 2007
- Released 1st full album "patchwork_shiki" June 24th, 2009
- Released 1st international single "memo" June 25th, 2010
- Released 1st DVD "toaru_fukei" August 25th, 2010
- Released 1st full album "egobag" in April 11th, 2011
- Released new 1st album "Allergies" in August 1st, 2012

- Released new 1st album "OQUZ" in July 15th, 2015

Photos

Bio

Mothercoat's new 1st album, OQUZ produced and mixed by mothercoat & mastered by Masayo Takise @ m's disk mastering came out on July 15th, 2015.


Mothercoat have developed a cult following across the UK, America and Canada where they have toured extensively and played serveral showcase gigs at the SXSW, Rockness and V-ROX festival.

In regular demand at big venues across Japan, they are quirky, innovative and exhilarating. If you haven't already seen them, you undoubtedly should. 

Their music have been found worldwide for kick-ass commercial use such as a program of CNN International "Tejection horoscope ",  in a film "LOST ON THE B SIDE"(US), in the World No.1 snowboarder's DVD "Ultimate Ride: Shaun White", appeared in TVCM of Spanish broadband communication and entertainment company "ONO" and being a character of iPhone App Game "Band Boss" as a representative of Japanese bands.

From 2012 mothercoat sets its basis on Fukaya-City in Japan with a private studio and a vegetable field to devote itself into music even more.

They're looking forward to getting to meet partners to release/promote/booking them internationally.

Band Members