I saw Mono play a couple of years ago, and when I was given the task of writing about 3 bands playing at this year's Formoz Festival in Taipei, I naturally chose them. I gotta tell you I was skeptical because post-rock bands aren't the most articulate, and sometimes there is a language barrier involved.
To my surprise, the band was totally on the ball, and a little upset by one totally stupid question I asked. Oops!
Q) You have been called the first "post rock" band. Is this true? Who influenced you? Maybe you can talk about another Japanese band, Envy?
A) Who called us the first post rock band? It must be a bad joke! Slint, GYBE, Mogwai, Low etc., there had been many great bands before us. The music critics called them so when these bands were playing their music which people thought it was impossible to put them in certain existing genre. We are one of the bands who was influenced by the hardcore, independent music scene of those era. Musically we are more inspired by the classical music, soundtracks of the films especially by Beethoven, Ennio Morricone. envy's US labels is our US label, and we often share the bill in Japan. They are nice people and their live show is strong. We love them.
Q) I saw your last show in Taipei at Formoz many years ago. It rocked! Do you have any memory of Taiwan?
A) Wow, It's unbelievable that you were there. Actually we had a hard time at the show because the guitar amps we requested had not been delivered. We had to use a keyboard amp instead. We had never experienced such a trouble before. It's been a while since then,,,, so we are very excited to return to Taiwan.
Q) What's it like touring all the time? Are you living the modern, nomad existence?
A) Long tour is very hard for any band. To be honest, I don't think we can keep doing this if we don't have any support of the fans. The fans who's been waiting for us give us positive energy. No matter how exhausted I am, I can keep going once you see their faces when I go upon the stage.
Q) Is it cool to learn that kids all over the world like this music?
A) 100% yes. We feel we are very fortunate and we are proud of our fans.
Q) Japan is more famous for ska and punk, is there a growing interest in post-rock?
A)The situation seems to be getting better over this couple of years.
Q) For indie artists like yourself, the internet has made promotion much easier... do you still remember days of fanzines and local gigs?
A) The buzz over the internet must be a big element for promotion for anything. We are basically a live band. We think the most important thing for us is to communicate directly with the audience at live shows, which is a real thing.
Thank you. Taka/MONO