Gig Seeker Pro


San Diego, California, United States

San Diego, California, United States
Duo Rock Alternative




"SOUNDDRUG - NO PARTS (04/05/2013)"

When I first saw the SOUNDDRUG submission Joel forwarded to me I instantly was able to detect a pungent Japanese influence (all capitals, off-kilter naming, strangely nonsensical title) right off the bat. I am an expert with these things because I used to watch Dragonball Z when I was 13 and once beat MAX 300 on Dance Dance Revolution. Troof. Anyway, I figured I was going to be dealing with some silly, androgynous J-pop group because Joelski likes to Fuck with me like dat. But no, it was far more awesome. And ridiculous. But, really, the ridiculousness complemented the awesome, avante-garde sound the music oozed with.

Weeaboos, rest assured, this indeed sounds pretty Japanese. Legitimate music listeners who don't spend $60 on importing video game soundtracks that entirely compose of 1998-era dance music, also rest assured that this record is pretty interesting and musically solid. For me, it is hard to draw direct correlations to any other bands and, frankly, such a predicament excites me greatly. This is absolutely a problem you want to have. I could certainly make some recommendations for existing fans of bands like Kiss Kiss or Mr. Bungle, but SOUNDDRUG is still in a spectrum of their own. They also have an affinity for panda masks. See how this keeps getting better and better?

Really, the entirety of NOPARTS1 is tough for me to summarize. At times it will sound distantly familiar to other things you've heard. You can start with saying "oh yeah, there are bits of jazz and J-pop and alternative" but doing so really doesn't paint the entire picture. Just when you feel like you're about to put your finger on what could be considered a summary for SOUNDDRUG's sound they just pull some really weird shit out of nowhere. It is almost like they're doing so just to reinforce the fact that THEYS IS IN CONTROL and are likely scheming to gingerly place firecrackers in your b-hole whilst you take your post-Qdoba nap next Friday.

Is the NO PARTS EP my recommendation of the decade? Right now, no. But that isn't saying you shouldn't make a concerted effort to inject SOUNDDRUG into your listening repertoire. I don't know, it might expand your horizons or put new perspective into what you consume audibly. Whether you like it or not, you're certain to be simultaneously entertained and weirded the Fuck out.

1Literally right before I submitted this review I caught on to the fact that NOPARTS is Joel's favorite Bar Mitzvah present spelled backwards. Hell yeah.
- Syffal

"Morning music videos: Sounddrug “Noparts” (NSFW)"

If you need something to wake you the fuck up, try this trippy single from San Diego band Sounddrug.
You can stream the entire EP here on Bandcamp and check the band out on Facebook

Read more at - I Heart Chaos

"New Music:SOUNDDRUG (2012/01/12)"

San Diego’s Sounddrug perform jazz-laced rock music that swings as far as it sears. At its the core, the group consists of two “Japanese music maniacs,” guitarist Ryota Machida and drummer Aki Takamoto. The duo is often joined by bassist Chase Lansdale and guitarist Henry Vasquez. Their complex interlocking rhythms and intricate melodies swerve wildly, yielding only to hook and swing.

Check out “Monster” below. If you like what you hear, head over to their official website and download their EP “Music From Apartment” for free.

"The Great Demo Review (03/06/2013)"


From the moment Sounddrug's Noparts started playing, I felt as if I had become the dude in the old Maxell ads, my hair, sunglasses and lamp being blown into oblivion by the insane sounds coming out of my headphones. There's a massive array of influences going into the dizzying stylistic melange the group cooks up, from punk-rock to Nigerian highlife, Afro-Cuban jazz, spazzcore, pop and prog-rock. Noparts is a lot of things—a little confusing, for one. But most of all, it's super-fun.

—Jeff Terich - San Diego CityBeat

"SOUNDDRUG - NOPARTS (03/07/2013)"

Now, every so often at The Math Rock Blog whilst spinning in my office chair in circles to ‘Kelly’ by Tera Melos, I occasionally listen to other bands and have no idea what to think of them. This was one of those bands.

Listening to SOUNDDRUG’s new EP, is a bit like what I’d imagine eating a Krispe Kreme doughnut whilst on LSD is like. It’s chaotic as fuck you probably weren’t expecting what you just saw, but I’m sure you’ll all love it.

(does that seem like I’m advocating drugs? because I’m not. Just listen to the damn EP why don’t ya?)

The EP is FREE and you can find it here:
Just as a note, for anyone about to click that above video be warned it is VERY NSFW. Lots of intense BDSM imagery going on, so that’s just a heads up. - The Math Rock Blog

"Interview: SOUNDDRUG (December 12, 2012)"

So for those who doesn’t know you yet, who’s Sounddrug?

-We are an musical duo from San Diego California consists of two Japanese weirdos: Ryota Machida and Aki Takamoto.

If you love to hate and sick of your local music scene trying to breed the next Radiohead/Phoenix/Strokes or Black Keys, we are here for you.

How did you guys came all together and created this band?

-Back in high school days, we both happened to be a loner, played instruments, and hated all the bands around us. This one day I went to Aki’s house, asked him to join my band and someday become a “ROCKSTAR” together. He said “No, I wanna be a journalist, but I could do it for fun” (obviously he never became a journalist).

So since that day we secretly kept writing music, jamming in Aki’s living room for 7 years without playing any shows, because not only that we hated every single music we made, but we simply didn’t have anyone to play in front of.

It took us extremely long to find the musical style we have today . We experimented around with various kind of genres, released a demo every time we tried out a new style, kept doing that over and over for years.

I guess it was somewhere around 2006 or 2007, we saw bunch of kids around us were playing those “Screamo” music and they always had cute chicks around them. So we decided to make those kind of music too, hoping to get laid, and yes, we completely hated every fucking second of those music we made.

Well, even though we never got laid, killed several million brain cells from screaming and head banging in the garage, I’m very glad that we went through that phase because that made us say “Fuck this, if we are not gonna get laid anyways mind us well we should just make shit we like” (and the scene died out anyways).

From there, we moved to college to study music, slowly started to figure out what we really want to do and compiled those years of musical experimentation to our 1st EP “Music from Apartment”(2010).

When it got to the point we finally decided to start playing shows, we realized that it’s difficult to recreate the recordings just by two of us, so we asked our best friends Chase and Henry to join the family. And here we are, still being all anti-social, hating the bands around us and haven’t found anything better to do than to make music.

What’s the story behind the band’s name?

-This one night in 2004, Aki and I was at a tapioca place (Duh, we’re asian) trying to come up with one of those “We’re trying too hard” kind of band name. We were writing down a list of words that sounds hardcore, in a bad way, and combining them together. After coming up with bunch of horrible band names, (“Bleeding Agony” , “Eating Fetus” or whatever), I don’t know why but we started laughing so hard when we came across to SOUND and DRUG. It just felt so wrong so we decided to keep it, after deleting the space between the words to give it a serious look like Radiohead. Oh yeah, and after about 5 years we found out that there is a famous band called Soundgarden.

What are your music influences?

-Pretty much anything that comes in to my ears but to name few genres:

Afro-Cuban Jazz/Bossa Nova/Samba/Electronica/Avant Garde/Metal/Ambient/and the good old Japanese pop music.

Some of my favorite composers are Antonio Carlos Jobim, Miles Davis, Mathew Herbert, Debussy/ and Steve Reich. I also have to admit, just like every other musicians, I love The Beatles/Talking Heads/Queen/Radiohead/Bjork/NIN/Slayer/Aphex Twin/Prefuse73 and more modern bands such as Broken Social Scene/Battles/Grizzly Bear etc.

So how you guys came out with this idea for the panda hat?

-First of all, I always had a strong affection towards pandas ever since I was little. I don’t know why, but they just make me feel very happy inside. I purchased the panda hat while I was visiting Japan, at this random hat store I stopped by in Osaka. I never thought about wearing the hat for the performance but the night before our first show, I found him in my closet, and it felt like he was staring at me saying “Bro, if you take me with you, you’ll blow up fucking huge”.

Noparts. How was the recording and writing process? How you guys came out with the title?

-Since we have some serious trust issues (in other words, we enjoy being DIY), the whole EP was entirely recorded/mixed/mastered in my living room by Aki and I, just like all of our past releases were done.

In the title track “NOPARTS”, I am singing about my sexual fetishism.

Hint: Read NOPARTS backwards

Speaking of which, can you talk to us more about the music video for the single “Noparts”?

-Since the song was about getting your ass poked by a NOPARTS (again, read it backwards), there was no way we could have an ordinary music video for it.

So I came up with this idea to make my girl friend dress up as a Japanese school girl, make her wear a Tengu (Japanese spiritual creature with long nose) mask u - VENTS Magazine


How many influences do you think you can successfully mix together and still create something unique and interesting?
Three, maybe four?
Eventually if you put too many things in the pot, the flavor gets lost and it just comes out mottled and bland.
That is, most of the time things will come out mottled and bland.
Every once in a while you’ll find some immensely created individual who finds a way to make all those ingredients work together, and what comes out in the end is really special.
So what happens when four of those individuals get together and decide to play instruments?
Well you get one of the most intriguing avant-garde groups on the scene today: SOUNDDRUG.
I can hear very clearly at least five different sounds coming through when I listen to SOUNDDRUG. I hear the melodic diversity of The Rapture, the eerie ambiance of Tomahawk, the instrumentation of Racer X, the composition of Coheed & Cambria, and the expansive, adventurous attitude of The Liquid Tension Experiment.
And before anyone can say otherwise, yes you can hear an attitude; if you don’t think so listen to Slipknot and Coldplay back to back and tell me you can’t.
What is even more compelling, however, is that even though all these influences are so very clear, at least to me, SOUNDDRUG incorporates them into a sound that is nothing like any one of their parts.
SOUNDDRUG is the glorious Frankenstein that emerged out of the progressive, avant-garde primordial stew; perfect for anyone who appreciates musicality, or just likes to get weird.
SOUNDDRUG just released their first EP, “NOPARTS”, last month; along with their debut music video for the title track “NOPARTS”. It’s high time you got your prog on, so why not try on some SOUNDDRUG and get eccentric at the same time.
Here is their music video for “NOPARTS” for you to check out, but be warned, this video is so wonderfully strange that you might not want to watch it at work. - SEEDS THE HYPERTREE BLOG

"sounddrug #FollowFriday #FF"

Happy Friday everyone! Before you get ready to jump into the shower and freshen up for your night on the town, I want to follow up on the #MusicMonday artist “sounddrug.” I was able to sit down and have an interview with the band’s drummer Aki Takamoto and ask him about the band, their successes and even some words of wisdom. So wait are you waiting for? Let’s go! Who is “sounddrug?”

Aki Takamoto: “sounddrug,” consists of two Japanese maniacs: Ryota Machida and myself [Aki Takamoto]. Our live performance members are our best friends Chase Lansdale and Henry Vasquez. Ryota, Chase, and I are currently pursuing music degrees at San Diego State University in Electro-Acoustic Composition. This focuses on techniques from music theory to audio recording and engineering. We love making music, playing music and chugging sake.

R: What is a “sounddrug?”

AT: “sounddrug” is technically (we really don’t like categorizing our music) an alternative rock duo based in San Diego which formed in early 2003 when Ryota and I decided to become super-rockstars and perform in front of millions of fans. Before we released our first demo, Music From Apartment in 2010, we had been trying to consolidate our music style through playing various genres of music including Afro Cuban, Jazz Big Band, Bossa Nova, Samba, and Electronica. Our music entirely comes from dedication to “sound unique-ness,” and aesthetic choices through terabytes of musical experience.

R: What was the inspiration for “sounddrug?”

AT: The biggest inspiration for sounddrug does not come from other artists or composers but the drive to become worldwide-recognized musicians. This drive makes us feel creative, and allows us to produce something worth sharing with others.

R: Of all the shows that you have performed, where would you say was your favorite location?

AT: My favorite location is definitely the show at Anime Expo 2011; and I think the other members feel the same. The night before the event, we drove up to Los Angeles with all of our gear and spent a night in a hotel near the venue. The next morning we woke our asses up to get a huge building that said CLUB NOKIA. As we walked through the hallway to the backstage, we saw that the walls were filled with countless autographs and posters of popular musicians who have played at the venue before. And then, we saw a 59,000 square foot stage in front of us. That was when I thought, “there is some serious stuff going on here.” Aside from the fact that the whole venue had a major blackout during the soundcheck (which gave us literally only 10 seconds to prepare for the show), our performance went really well and we heard the biggest cheer ever. The best part of the day was definitely when a bunch of people came up to us after the show and asked us for autographs. I remember our reaction was, “What!? Seriously?!” The whole experience at Anime Expo proved that we’ve got something valuable to the world.

R: Why do you think sounddrug has gotten as far as it has in the past couple of years?

AT: Aside from gaining popularity, it is definitely our music that took us where we are now. A random band could have over 10,000 “Likes” on a Facebook page, but it is ultimate the creativity that gets people engaged to your music. We live in the age of Twitter and Youtube, but I believe people’s values haven’t changed so much and great music will always stay.

R: Do you have any words of wisdom to aspiring musicians or artists or anything that you would like to promote and say to our readers? Or Both?

AT: Hmm, I would like to say say we really enjoy going to shoes by The Elephant Project. The singer, Darrel Wood, is our good friend and the band definitely puts one of the best shows in San Diego. You can listen to there music here. I also want to encourage readers to go to local shows in general, because there are many great bands everywhere . You don’t always have to wait for Lady Gaga to come to your city when you can easily find talented musicians in your area.

Once again my fine readers, “sounddrug.” A local band in San Diego that is doing amazing things. If you would like to find “sounddrug,” contact them, or even download their first EP, you can find them at the website, on Facebook , Myspace, Twitter, Soundcloud, Last.FM, and on YouTube (WHEW that was a lot!). Leave your comments / questions below and if you would like to be featured e-mail us from our Contact Page!

"Sounddrug Music Monday"

As a musician myself, I have been exposed to several different types of music. Not to mention that I have had the opportunity to play in numerous orchestras as well as in a rock band. Nothing make me more happy than seeing friends be apart of something musical and share their talents with other friends if not the world. Today’s #MusicMonday post is about my friend Aki Takamoto and his group known as Sounddrug.Sounddrug is a local band in San Diego consisting of two major musicians; Aki Takamoto (drums / vocals) and Ryota Machida (guitar / vocals/ everything else). Formed in 2003, the band has fine-tuned their sound through numerous amounts of music experimentation and style development.

Both being college students at San Diego State University and in the music program, Machida takes his influences from the different types of music groups that he has performed in; Afro Cuban, jazz big band, Bossa Nova, and samba to name a few. Takamoto has taken his music influences to be part of the electronica and music engineering program to help the band further it’s success by recording and mastering any tracks.

Without going into too much detail, Sounddrug has been in several large shows and venues very recently. From performing in Los Angeles for Anime Expo’s “Battle of the Bands,” Club Nokia, and even the semi-finals of the RAW Artists awards! Now, I’m not going to steal the spotlight but I am going to share an interview with the band (from the RAW awards) and even a place to hear their music.
To hear Sounddrug’s latest single and even download their EP for FREE go here. You can also find the band on Twitter here
Enjoy the band and leave your comments below!

"Myspace band of the week"

sounddrug is an alternative rock duo made up of Japanese music maniacs Ryota Machida and Aki Takamoto. They formed in 2003 and are based in San Diego. Both members have performed in jazz ensembles and decided to earn their college degrees in music before they hit the road. Their first EP Music From Apartment was released in 2010 and is available for free download on their website. Their new single is also up for download. A second EP will be released in March/April.

They will be performing at their second anime convention this weekend and will be opening for Japan Nite March 20 in San Francisco.
- J-Rock Explosion

"Sounddrug storms the scene like a large musical Godzilla"

By: Anna Ven Sobreviñas, Assistant Arts Editor
Published: Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Ryota Machida had a monster idea for a song. J Henry liked it. It is good to have a three-time Grammy nominee in your corner.
Henry invited Machida and his musical partner Aki Takamoto into the Southwestern College studio to record. Now the 24 year olds are hoping for a monster hit.
Machida played his song “MONSTER” to classmate Jesus Aaron Rodriquez, 23, a recording arts major in an SWC music business class. Rodriguez said it was the best rock song he had heard that year and had Professor of Commercial Music Henry listen to it.
“J. Henry was just blown away with it,” said Rodriguez. “He wanted them right away.”
Henry has worked with major recording labels for more than 35 years and is notoriously hard to impress. He said Sounddrug has a unique approach to music.
“They are an original band,” said Henry. “That’s all that’s necessary.”
“MONSTER” starts with the beat of the drums and a ringing strum of an electric guitar. Machida sings “I’m running I’m running, running from the Monster/ Reflection of her eyes/ I thought I was more than who I am, but nevermind.”
It tells of running from a Godzilla-like creature, a bit of analogy for the Japanese-American. His monster may be a woman, or the narrator, whose own symbolic hideousness he sees through the reflection of her eyes.
Takamoto said he has been to other recording studios but nothing like the $6 million SWC facility.
“The studio in SWC is incomparable in terms of what they can do with sounds,” said Takamoto. “The SWC studio definitely has top-class equipment and engineers for making great productions.”
Machida agreed.
“They are very supportive and will treat you like a rock star,” he said. “It was really relaxing working with them since I’ve taken music classes with most of them.”
For their first recording at the SWC studio and live performances, Machida and Takamoto enlisted the help of friends Henry Vasquez, 23, to play rhythm guitar and Chase Lansdale, 24, as the bassist. Sounddrug has recorded three songs so far and Rodriguez said the band will be back for more.
In the meantime, Sounddrug has played at Club Nokia in Los Angeles and San Diego’s 4th & B. Machida and Takamoto were named 2011 Musicians of the Year by the indie arts organization RAW. “Music from Apartment,” the band’s first EP, is eponymous. After enduring complaints by neighbors and a visit from the police, Sounddrug decided to start recording in the studio.
Singer/guitarist Machida is influenced by Afro-Cuban, jazz and bossa nova music while Takamoto lists Eurobeat and techno as his inspirations.
Machida said music composition classes give them an edge.
“We actually study music so we know how to write music,” he said. “We actually know how music works.”
- The South Western College Sun


Still working on that hot first release.



SOUNDDRUG is an alternative rock duo from San Diego California.
The group consists of two Japanese musicians Ryota Machida (Guitar/Vocals) and Aki Takamoto (Drums).

They are known for their extremely unique sound that are influenced by various genres of music such as Afro-Cuban/Jazz/Metal/Samba
and Japanese Pop, to name a few.

Also the group are frequently reffered to as the "panda band" for the panda hat Machida wears and for the frequent appearances of
pandas in their music video/art work.

SOUNDDRUG has been actively performing live since the summer of 2011.
They have appeared in notable events such as SXSW Japan Nite and ANIME EXPO.
Also SOUNDDRUG were selected as "Musician of the year 2011 (San Diego)" and nominated as "Musician of the year (National)" by RAW:Naturalborn Artists.

Almost 2 years after the release of their 1st EP,
sounddrug have released their 2nd EP "NOPARTS" digitally in November 2012, and on CD format February 2013.

*SOUNDDRUG are strictly DIY with their recordings and artworks.
All of the released materials are produced in Machida's living room by the duo.
All the artwork/music videos are produced by Ryota Machida.

-Musical Mathematics:"Head=Exploded"

-Seeds The Hypertree Blog: "Glorious Frankenstein that emerged out of the progressive, avant-garde primordial stew"

-San Diego CityBeat:
"From the moment Sounddrug's Noparts started playing, I felt as if I had become the dude in the old Maxell ads, my hair, sunglasses and lamp being blown into oblivion by the insane sounds coming out of my headphones. There's a massive array of influences going into the dizzying stylistic melange the group cooks up, from punk-rock to Nigerian highlife, Afro-Cuban jazz, spazzcore, pop and prog-rock. Noparts is a lot of thingsa little confusing, for one. But most of all, it's super-fun (Jeff Terich)"

"It is hard to draw direct correlations to any other bands and, frankly, such a predicament excites me greatly. This is absolutely a problem you want to have. Just when you feel like you're about to put your finger on what could be considered a summary for SOUNDDRUG's sound they just pull some really weird shit out of nowhere. It is almost like they're doing so just to reinforce the fact that THEYS IS IN CONTROL and are likely scheming to gingerly place firecrackers in your b-hole whilst you take your post-Qdoba nap next Friday (Dick Richardson)"

-The Math Rock Blog:
"Listening to SOUNDDRUGs new EP, is a bit like what Id imagine eating a Krispe Kreme doughnut whilst on LSD is like. Its chaotic as fuck you probably werent expecting what you just saw, but Im sure youll all love it".
( "Off-beat mathy jazz epicness to sink your ear teeth into"

Band Members