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Tokyo, Tōkyō, Japan | INDIE

Tokyo, Tōkyō, Japan | INDIE
Band Rock Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Susquatch Interview"

Please introduce yourself?
Hello. My name is Kenta. I'm a guitarist, singer and composer of Susquatch. I live in Tokyo.

Who are the members of Susquatch and What instruments and brands of instruments do they play?
There's one other official member -- Her name is Maki and is the drummer. When we play a show, we include two support members (guitarist and bassist) -- They are my old friends.

Who or what, inspired you to pick up your first instrument? How old were you?
It's maybe "BUCK-TICK." They are a Japanese visual rock band. They have had a long career and released many cool CDs. When I was in high school student, I was crazy about them. I bought a cheep guitar, and started practicing. That was when I was 16 years old.

Could you tell me a little history of how Susquatch was formed?
When I was 18 years old, I had moved to Tokyo alone. Because I wanted to form my original band, and create my original CD. I longed for the artist life. I went to music school for 2 years and I just happened to get to know Maki there.

But the first time, we didn't like each other. We had an unpleasant impression of each other. (laughs). Because when she was 18 years old, her hair style was close clipped. I couldn't understand that. That didn't suit her. I thought "Maybe she is kinky." Two years later, I had a show -- playing my original songs.

My friend booked my first show to his event without any warning. At that time, there was an official guitarist and bassist but we didn't have a drummer. I didn't know any other drum player. I had to let her join our band with some reluctance, but now of course we are very good friends to each other. So, it's a good memory. Don't worry. (laughs)

Where did the name "Susquatch" come from?
The origin of the band name stems from my childhood friend who grew up in Saskatchewan, as well as a penchant for the Darkstalkers video game character. The misspelling is intended to intrigue with it's peculiarity.

Remembering back to your first time in front of a live audience, what comes to mind?
My heart went pit-a-pat with excitement. I can't remember it well -- But my younger brother was in the front row of the floor, and was too noisy. He shouted very loudly. So, I was ashamed -- I so wanted to hit him.

In October 2010, Susquatch toured Canada on the Next Music from TOKYO tour 2. Was this your first overseas tour?
Yes, It was our first and an amazing overseas tour.

What was the greatest surprise and unexpected part of the tour?
Above all, the warm welcome of the kind Canadian audience was a surprise and made me happy. We didn't imagine such a warm welcome. We were very glad.

What is your most treasured memory of that trip?
My treasured memory is that I could make many Canadian friends. I can't speak English. But, I wanted to communicate to the Canadian people. I studied English for months alone. And Everybody tried to understand my poor English. So, I could communicate with them a little bit in English. Everybody's so kind.

Let's hear a little about your tastes not related to music. Could you name some of your favorite books or movies?
My favorite movies; A River Runs Through It (Brad Pitt), The Shawshank Redemption, The Way Home (Korean movie, Yu Seung-ho), When the Last Sword Is Drawn (Japanese title: Mibu Gishi Den. It's story of two Shinsengumi Samurai.) They are touching movies for me.

Tell me a little bit about the songwriting process. Who is the songwriter and what inspires you to write music?
Okay. In Susquatch, the songwriter is just me. When I write a song, first I make a chord progression. But, I don't want to use common and cheerless chord progressions. So I take my time -- making wonderful chord progressions.

What inspires? Nothing special. I always search for mysterious chord and chord progressions. So, maybe every time -- I am inspired by music.

Out of all the songs you've written, are there melodies or lyrics of which you are particularly proud?
Yeah, it's every melody. I never compromise in making melodies. But, I don't have lyrics. I only sing in phonemes. So I try English and Japanese lyrics for the new work. In our album booklet there's a translation, but it's in Japanese. Our songs don't have lyrics, but they include meanings, each of them.

As it pertains to Susquatch the band, how would you define the word "success?"
It's too difficult a question. There are various aspects of the word "success." Examples: More recognition. More fans and listeners in Japan. The spread of activity in foreign countries. But above all: simply, our success is to make money playing our music. For my future, to create more cool music, and for my family.

What should fans be looking forward to from Susquatch in 2011?
We want to work on our new album. There are lyrics, I have trying many modulating keys and Maki is trying out a new drum style. We are looking forward to it!

Is there anything you'd like to say to Susquatch fans all over the world?
We want to have more shows in foreign countries and more communication with people all of the world!!

Please support us!!!

I would like to close by saying that we appreciate the kindness of Canadian audiences.
Thank you very much! You know, we should meet again!!!

Keikaku would like to thank Susquatch, and Kenta Oshikiri for his participation in this interview. (interview 2010.12.01)

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- Denise - Keikaku


In This World - 2009
Water Plant - 2007

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Susquatch formed in 2002 when frontman Kenta Oshikiri and drummer Maki Nakano met while attending University in Tokyo. Since then, a guitarist and bassplayer have come and gone. Their sound is an indie-rock with delicious flavours of jazz chords throughout. Kenta's lyrics are sung in Japanese, English and a language he created himself which mimics English slightly. He writes songs this way because he enjoys the sound of vocals in English but isn't fluent yet in the language to comfortably write English lyrics. When he sings these particular lyrics, neither Japanese nor English people can understand what he's singing - However, the amount of passion he has shines through in his performance, making any lyrics (whether coherent or not) obselete. Drummer Maki Nakano can easily be named one of the greatest drummers in Japan, and possibly one of the best female drummers in the world. Her agility and speed are unmatched, along with her precision with articulations while maintaining her incredible ability to keep tempo. Listening to her on the albums is a pleasure but seeing her play live is truly awe inspiring. Guitarist Hirotsugu Fujiwara and Tusuke Bava joined the band as live support musicians but will likely remain with the band thanks to the success they have acquired in Japan, and the growing success in Canada and the United States. During their first Canadian tour (Oct/2010), newfound fans have called Susquatch one of the tightest and most energetic live bands they have ever seen. Their jazz-rock base along with a phenomenal rhythm section makes Susquatch stand out among most modern bands, and fans can't help but dance, groove and rock out to the music.