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Sixty seconds with Eiji

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Indy: What's up with the Kabuki masks in your video and promo pics? Have you taken to wearing them onstage?

E: We wanted to do something different with a strong impact ... We don't wear them during the performance, but sometimes we have our roadie put it on and dance with us.

Indy: The synth lines and melodic hooks on "A Fact of Life" are a departure from the more guttural grindcore stuff you've done. How important is it that your sound continues to evolve?

E: We are always looking for ways to evolve. We don't want to be stuck in one genre and would like to continue to search for something new and different.

Indy: After 10 years together, you've just played South by Southwest and are finally releasing an album in the States next month. How tough is it for an Asian band to break through in the West?

E: I think it is extremely difficult. First of all there's the language barrier, so it's hard to say what we want to say. We can't come to tour often, so it's hard to connect to the audience. But right now we are so thankful that we are touring and playing our music in front of the American audience.

Indy: Obviously, you're not playing shakuhachis onstage, but do you feel like there are any Japanese elements that may find their way into your music?

E: On the track "Rise," we are using a Japanese drum called taiko. We are also using some guitar sounds with Japanese influences but it's not as prominent. In overall melody you can hear some of that, but we aren't making a conscious effort to include Japanese elements in our music. It probably comes naturally since we are Japanese.

Bill Forman

At the Black Sheep, April 1.

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