Dennis A. Amith interviews THE MAD CAPSULE MARKETS (2001)

Photos supplied by Palm | Photo Credit: Mr. Kenji Okamoto

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     They have gained a fan following all over the globe with a style of music that combines an aggressive hybrid of punk, metal and electronic music.

     Their music has put them in the forefront of the Japanese music scene and on September 18th, the masses in the United States will be able to check out the music of The Mad Capsule Markets through the Palm recording label with their U.S. debut album "OSC-DIS" (their ninth album overall).

     The trio consisting of Kyono (Vocals), Takeshi Ueda (Bass) and Motokatsu Miyagami (Drums), began their career over a decade ago. Their first album, "Humanity" was from their own Insect Noise label and they were signed by JVC/Victor Entertainment in 1991.  

     They have since gone on to record and release seven other albums which include "P.O.P" (1991), "SPEAK!!!" (1992), "Mix-Ism" (1994), "Park" (1994) and the top ten Oricon chart topping albums: "4 Plugs" (1996), "the best of The Mad Capsule Markets" (1996) and "Digidogheadlock" (1997).

       The Mad Capsule Markets has played Japan extensively over the years and toured with prominent artists including Rage Against The Machine, Helmet, Pitchshifter and Fear Factory to name a few. They continue to tour Japan relentlessly, hitting just about everywhere, through February 2002.

       The group has topped the charts in Japan with their latest album "010" and as evidence of their popularity is the release of The Mad Capsule Market merchandise and toys (featuring "Black Cyborn" and "White Crusher", the characters from their "[PULSE]" music video) which accompany the CD singles "Chaos Step" and "Gaga Life" both of which were released in Japan.

      It is understandable why the group has gained a following with their debut album "OSC-DIS" which features awesome tracks such as "[PULSE]".  This is an insane song featuring punk and rap and sports a "Star Wars" like promotional video. "All the Time in Sunny Beach" showcases another musical perspective from the vocals of beach aficionado, Kyono. "Island" which is a slow song (compared to the other tracks) until it reaches the chorus and the guys start jamming aggressively. The album also features the song "Good Girl - Dedicated to bride 20 years after" which was used in a commercial that introduced many Japanese to their style of music, and many other songs that you can kick back, mosh or bob your head to.

     You can view the "[PULSE]" promotional video and listen to these tracks on their Website by clicking here.

       I recently had an opportunity to interview the Kyono, the lead vocalist of the Mad Capsule Markets.

DENNIS: Let's start with a few easy questions. How did you guys come up with the name "The Mad Capsule Markets"?

KYONO: We wanted it to represent our sound and simply we thought a long name would stand out. We all brainstormed with a bunch of words and combined them and created THE MAD CAPSULE MARKETS. This combination sounded best and had a good flow. When we went to London for a recording session a while back, Brian Ferry was in the studio and asked us what the band's name meant because he was curious about it. From this inquiry, we became aware that our name was unique. Also we want people to think, "What does this name mean? What is it??" 

DENNIS: How did the three of you form this group?

KYONO: When we were high school students, Takeshi and I went to different schools and were in different bands. One day we bumped into each other at a club and hit it off. We then formed a predecessor of TMCM. As we performed around at clubs, a drummer dropped out of the band and a friend of ours introduced Motokatsu to us and he joined our band. At the same time, we started calling ourselves THE MAD CAPSULE MARKETS.

DENNIS: In one Japanese publication printed in English, they described your music as "industrial thrash"? Do you agree with that description for your music?

KYONO: We have an originality that doesn't fit into just that category. Anyone can categorize our music anyway he/she wants, however, I've never heard of our music called a such term.

DENNIS: Was there any particular music group that  influenced your musical style?

KYONO: When I was in 6th to 9th grade, I was influenced by 80's sound. There were good bands that I don't even remember the names now as I was watching MTV. Such as the New wave scene after Punk. When I was in high school, I started listening to Japanese punk music such as GAUZE, Aburadako, Starlin, INU and others. After that, punk bands from other countries such as CRASS, POP GROUP, etc. influenced me.

DENNIS: What kind of music are you guys listening to right now?

KYONO: Since it's summer now, I listen to reggae mostly, but basically I listen to anything. I like to listen to Mighty Crown (from Yokohama, Japan) and Bob Marley, off course and "Dub Combo" of Israel Vibration.

DENNIS: Let's talk about your first US debut album, "OSC-DIS" (Oscillator in Distortion) which will be released by Palm in September. Will you be promoting the album by performing at many venues throughout the United States?

KYONO: Solid dates have not come up yet, but we hope we will play in the States soon.

DENNIS: I've listened to your earlier music and when I listened to "OSC-DIS", I was blown away with the use of digital music and heavy rock. Your track "Good Girl" was released in Japan and was used for a CM (commercial). Do you think this song is what introduced your music to many conservative Japanese music listeners?

KYONO: I think "Good Girl" sounds very catchy, so anyone can listen to it easily. It would be great if that catches on and people start listening to our music. However, our music has wider range, so I would like people to listen to our albums. Japanese fans are not necessarily conservative, I think. Nowadays, we get a lot of information from outside of Japan very quickly and Japan and the States have no big differences in terms of amount of information. If I compare Japanese fans to American ones, I think American fans react more straightforward to music, so I am looking forward to seeing the reaction of the fans when we have shows in the States in the near future.

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