Interview with MELT-BANANA on the Asian Invasion

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Japanese punk/noise-rock/experimental band Melt Banana are currently on their 2011 Lost & Found: NekoNeko Tour in the US and Canada, they’ll be stopping right here in Lansing at Mac’s Bar on E. Michigan Avenue this Thursday, October 20.  The show is 18+ and Fisherking and the Plurals will be opening.

If you missed the interview with Yasuko Onuki aka Yako of Melt Banana on last night’s Asian Invasion, you can hear the whole thing here!


Elise Yoon:  WDBM East Lansing: You’re listening to the Asian Invasion, Elise here with Danny, and we’re talking with Yako, founding member of Melt Banana from Tokyo and they’re currently on the Lost and Found: NekoNeko Tour here in the US.   So, how’s the tour been going so far?

Yako Onuki:  Very well, so far we are doing very well

EY:  Yeah, is the energy on this tour, is it high energy just like all your other tours?  Is it slightly different because of the different direction you’re going in with the music?

YO:  Hmmm, I guess so, maybe higher.

Danny Bensalem:  Oh wow!  That’s good news, that’s great!

EY:  So, how have the fans been reacting to the new material?

YO:  On this tour we play different songs from the new album, the upcoming album, well it seems like they are really enjoying it, I hope!

DB:  I heard that you have bigger tours overseas, like in the UK and the US and Canada compared to Japan, is that true, and if yes, why is that?

YO:  Well actually, it’s true… I think, well but, maybe it’s because we have better artist distribution, but actually we play shows in Japan almost every month, so compared with playing once in a year here (in the US), the number of people who show up at the show is fewer.

DB:  Okay, so from what you’re saying I get that in Japan you have much more tours, but generally overseas they’re bigger, but they’re less.

YO:  Uh, yeah!

DB:  Okay

EY:  So what have been some of your favorite dates so far on the Lost and Found Tour?

YO:  Last night we played in Minneapolis, and it was a really good show

EY:  In the past, you’ve toured with many different artists, different genres of artists, and there’s fans of your music ranging from the Breeders to Lou Reed, you know, what is it like to have such a wide range of musician friends and fans?

YO:  Maybe because our music is hard to categorize, maybe many kinds of people can enjoy our music.  Also we sound like many kinds of music, so that’s why, I think.

DB:  What is the music making process like for you?

YO:  Oh, it depends on the song, so it’s hard to tell, but sometimes the song starts from the sample we want to use, or just from the guitarist or drum part or something like that.

DB:  Okay

EY:  And what are you listening to right now?  You and the other members of the band while you’re on tour?

YO:  We often listen to the CDs that we got on the road.

DB:  What was it like to be a Japanese band signed to an American label, before you created your own label?

YO:  It was well, it was a very good thing because we can get the chance to tour in the United States so we can get good distribution for the band.

EY:  Okay, and what made you decide to start your own label, and where did the name A-Zap come from?

YO:  We just saw the opportunity to create our own label after we left our former label, and we were interested in doing our own label so it was the chance for us.  And about the name, it means as zap as possible

DB:  Oh, as fast as possible?


DB:  As zap as possible?

YO:  Yeah, so A-Z-A-P

DB:  Oh, okay, as zap as possible, okay, so A-Z-A-P?

YO:  I’m not sure if it is correct English or not, but the name came from that

DB:  All right, I think that’s pretty cool, I never thought of it that way, but now I know!

YO:  Hehe, thank you.

EY:  And is there anything you want the people of Lansing to know about Melt Banana?

YO:  Umm, this time we have many new songs to play at the show, and I am definitely… people can enjoy our show so we hope many people show up at the show and listen to our music!

DB:  All right, I think they most definitely will!

EY:  Okay, thank you so much!

YO:  Okay, then maybe see you… in Lansing?

DB:  All right, hope to see you soon!

YO:  Okay, byebye!

DB:  Thank you!  Bye!

EY:  Bye!

2 Responses to Interview with MELT-BANANA on the Asian Invasion
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