Hayashi - Vocals/Guitar
Kayo - Vocals/Synth
Fumi - Vocals/Bass
Yano - Drums
Young OH! OH!
We ate the machine (4-23-2008)
Now is the time! (10-19-2005)
POLYSICS OR DIE!!!! (5-19-2004)
National P (10-29-2003)
FOR YOUNG ELECTRIC POP (7-24-2002)
LIVE IN JAPAN / 6-D (2-25-2000)
1st P (2-25-1999)
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"When we were discussing with the members, we realized that there aren't any white albums for POLYSICS. So, we came up with this jacket design. For just one look, it looks simple, but actually its complicated -- this describes much of the POLYSICS music itself." - Hayashi
As Hayashi explains, the enigmatic album cover for "Absolute POLYSICS" was designed for "our 13th anniversary, with new passions." And true to his word, this new work by Japan's version of Devo is powered by the wonderfully frantic emotions of its members. The songs feature that great trademark of POLYSICS music: its just about impossible to stay still while listening.
So come take a listen to Hayashi, Kayo, Fumi and Yano as they talk about their latest music, American concert plans and how the band first got started.On October 27, 2009 the members of POLYSICS were kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of POLYSICS.
Congrats on the release of your new album, "Absolute POLYSICS." How would say its music compares to your previous works?
Hayashi: Until the last album, we have been concentrating on how we could create new music that no one has ever made before. That feeling hasn't changed at all, and we were able to make this album in a very smooth way. It was because of a session with Devo and re-mastering our Indies albums. We had dislike in our previous music, however, as we heard them again we realized that we have been doing something interesting from the beginning, and POLYSICS ourselves was the NEW WAVE. So we came up with the conclusion that, without forcing ourselves, we now know that we could make never-before heard interesting songs naturally by ourselves. This album is filled with new wave punk with the POLYSICS itself.
One song that really jumps out is Young OH! OH! Can you tell us the story behind writing and recording this track?
Hayashi: This song is exactly POLYSICS with all the fun stuff. We wanted to do something different. Producer Hajime Okano has come up with the very hard core arranging drum performance which came to Yano's over capacity. (Yano sometimes froze like a computer.)
The band's performance in the video is just awesome. Who came up with all the visual elements we see?
Hayashi: We discussed with the A&R and the director, had a meeting with the members, and made up the ideas and the images.
The song Cleaning has a fun, more standard rock sound to it, with some great guitar work. What is the song about, and how was it created?
Hayashi: We wanted a song that could describe Fumi's popish medium tempo sound. The theme was "a song that fits for dusk."
Fumi: I imagined the night fall atmosphere when I made this song. I wanted to make a song that could describe melancholy.
Fire Bison is a classic example of a POLYSICS song that's almost impossible to listen to without bobbing your head or tapping your foot to the beat. Can you tell us more about this song?
Hayashi: This song was greatly influenced by our "Electronic body and Industrial music" from two years ago. We wanted to make a song that could shake one's head without a guitar sound. We tried for several times, and finally have made it.
What was it like creating the music for "Absolute POLYSICS"?
Hayashi: This time we had a clear vision for this album, so we made the songs in a relaxed mood and were able to concentrate on recording.
Who all worked on the album besides the band?
Hayashi: We asked Aida Shigekazu for Shout Aloud! and Hajime Okano for Young OH! OH! as a producer. For Fire Bison, we asked Yuji Katsui to play the electric violin.
Tell us about the touring you are doing to support the album.
Hayashi: We are playing all the album songs and the set list is also filled with our standard songs. Audiences all seem to be excited and we feel happy seeing that as well. We feel that we are able to have the POLYSICS lives, and are having happy fun tours.
Any chance of another North American tour anytime soon?
Hayashi: We are going to have an American tour early next year. We really want to let our overseas fans hear our new music.
Btw, who came up with the album cover and what exactly does it represent?
Hayashi: When we were discussing with the members, we realized that there aren't any white albums for POLYSICS. So, we came up with this jacket design. For just one look, it looks simple, but actually its complicated -- this describes much of the POLYSICS music itself.
Let's take a trip into the past and get to know more about everyone. Can you describe your hometown and what it was like growing up there?
Hayashi: I was born in a serene residential area of Shinjuku Kamiochiai. As the image of Shinjuku, it's usually a busy downtown area; however where I was born was a very quiet place and I feel very comfortable when I go home. Since both of my parents were out working, my sister tended to look after me. During my childhood I rather preferred staying inside than going outside. I drew pictures of monsters, and made plastic models. Later on, hearing my sister listening to Rock, I got interested in music.
Kayo: I was born in the residential area of Shinjuku. When I was small I went outside actively, however since junior high school I turned into an indoor person.
Fumi: I was born in a residential area of Setagaya in Tokyo. Though it was near the center, it was very cozy with many parks and lots of plants. When I was small, I was an energetic girl running around outside. During high school I started going to live houses, and watched lives every week.
Yano: I was born in Imabari in Aichi. Until high-school I wanted to become a cook.
How did you first get into music?
Hayashi: One day, my father picked up a classic guitar that was thrown on the street for me. There were only three pegs, and the action was one cm high. Although it was a terribly old classic guitar, I was very happy having a present from my father who wasn't always at home. This made me want to practice the guitar more, and led me to buy an electric guitar. Because of this old classic guitar, it was easy for me bending and to hold the codes. From that moment my dream became "To be a musician."
Kayo: I started playing the piano when I was four. After I graduated high school, Hayashi, who was my ex-classmate, invited me to be a member of POLYSICS.
Fumi: When I saw the live of my favorite band, I wished to be able to play the instruments like them! So, I formed a band with my friends.
Yano: When I was in elementary school, my aunt told me to become a trumpeter like Toshinori Kondo since I was living in his hometown.
How did you pick the instrument you play?
Hayashi: Because I wanted to become a guitar hero. The guitar I am playing now is a "Jazzmaster." The sound is solid, and when I play the riff and the codes it's very comfortable. This guitar really suits me.
Kayo: Because I was playing the piano when I was small, since it uses keyboard, I was asked by Hayashi to play the synthesizer.
Fumi: It's all because Hayashi asked me. Before, I was a guitarist for a different band. Now I feel that it was the right instrument for me.
Yano: My intuitions have told me to play the drums.
Hayashi, can you tell us the story of forming the band?
Hayashi: I was shocked by the music video of Devo's Satisfaction. I declared myself that "I want to form a techno and punk band like them!" and formed POLYSICS.
Kayo, how did you first meet Hayashi and what did you think of his musical style?
Kayo: I met Hayashi at high school. I didn't know Japanese music nor the past "new wave band" of foreign countries which Hayashi liked. However, I felt that his music was new and fresh.
How big of a moment was it to release your first albums "1st P" and "A.D.S.R.M!" back in 1999?
Hayashi: At 1st album, it was our dream so we were just happy to have our album released. At 2nd album, we had irritation for the gap between the people just paying attention to our performances and not understanding our music.
Fumi can you tell us the story of how you started playing bass for the band?
Fumi: I started playing bass since Hayashi asked me to. At that time there weren't any bassist in POLYSICS, so he wanted to change the band by having a bass guitar. I thought I was there for a short term trial, but then I realized 10 years had past.
Yano can you tell us how you were asked to join the band and what groups you had played in before?
Yano: I joined POLYSICS after an audition. Before that, I was doing support for several bands and idols.
What did all of your family and friends think of your decision to make music your life's work?
Hayashi: My parents were strongly opposed. Well, my genre of music was very difficult to understand (laugh). I was told to go into my family business. However after running away from my house for three years, seeing a lot of audiences having fun in my lives at Shibuya, my parents have said to me "You don't have to worry about the family business, do your best!"
Kayo: My family and my friends have cheered me on.
Fumi: I had many friends playing music around me, so I was thinking that it was a natural thing to have music as my life work. My family loved music so they understand me. They give me encouragements.
Yano: They said it would be fine if I could have a life in music.
How did the group get hooked up with Ki/oon Records?
Hayashi: The member of Guitar Wolf, Seiji came to POLYSICS's live and brought the A&R (the president of Ki/oon Records Inc. now) with him. Fortunately they had favor in us and got to have a hook up.
What are some of your lasting memories of your first US and European tours?
Hayashi: My first live was in Los Angeles. It was just disastrous. I was told from the PA engineer "Lower the guitar amplifier, it's too loud," so I lowered the volume, then he said "It's still loud, lower even more." Finally I ended up playing in a very small sound (the volume size I practice in my house with). I asked "It seems like a very small volume, is this okay?", but the PA kept on saying "From the PA booth we will have a bigger sound coming out from the speaker, there's no problem."
When the live started, I couldn't hear the sound of my guitar; I was playing without knowing what I was playing. When I had my first MC, all the sudden I was told from the PA engineer "Finish in one more song." Although, I only played for 15 minutes... I did not understand anything, and it was very tiresome. After asking the other staff, I found out that my guitar did not have any sound coming out at all!
How did you end up getting signed with MySpace Records?
Hayashi: The president of MySpace Records happen to be come to a POLYSICS live, and after the show, Tom came to the backstage with excitement. Right after that, we had the conversation on signing.
What do you think about the importance of digital releases now compared to the older days of records and CD sales?
Hayashi: It's good that you are able to listen to many fabulous artists more conveniently. Meeting new music is a very nice thing. If I have a chance to meet good artists I would buy CDs, however I recently wonder what other people would do.
Tell us about your remix of Puffy's Teen Titans Theme.
Hayashi: We picked up the tempo, and made it like a "PLASTICS meets The B-52's" taste of mixture. I really like what we have done. It's a remix but we asked Fumi to play the bass guitar, and Hayashi played the synthesizer.
How do you feel about being referred to as the Japanese equivalent of Devo?
Hayashi: We are making the music under the mind of Devo. We do what no one has ever done, so it is honorable to be called as Devo.
How do you think your music has changed or evolved from when you first started out as a band?
Hayashi: We have had more than 100 lives. Our performances have evolved a lot. Mentally, we don't worry about things as much as before.
What has been the most rewarding thing about being a member of POLYSICS?
Hayashi: I am very happy that we could have sessions, recordings, and interviews with Devo and the artists who we respect and have influences from.
Kayo: I can go to foreign countries and meet many people and learn different cultures.
Fumi: I have so many. It's that we could have lives all over the world. I feel fulfilled even more and more everyday!
Yano: I was able meet Alan, who used to be the drummer of Devo.
Outside of music, what do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
Hayashi: Drink beer in the morning; watch Devo and Ultraman's DVDs.
Kayo: I watch movies and do some sewing.
Fumi: I take good sleep, read books, play with my cat, and sometimes go out to eat something good with my friend.
Yano: Have coffee in the morning, do Yoga, read books, and take a walk.
Do you have anything else you want to bring up or comment on?
Hayashi: This album "Absolute POLYSICS" was made in our 13th anniversary, with new passions. I hope all the music lovers listen to this CD. If you listen to this album, it will cheer you up!!
Fumi: Please listen to our confidently well done "Absolutely POLYSICS"! I believe this album gets more into the personality of the members. The usual POLYSICS, and the different angle of POLYSICS, you will enjoy them!
Do you have a final message to all your fans?
Hayashi: Please support us!! Let's meet at our lives!!
Kayo: You must watch our show! See you there!
Fumi: If you want to know more of POLYSICS, please come to our lives! We will be having an American tour, so see you soon! Let's meet there and have fun together!
Yano: I hope to see everyone at our live shows!
For more info checkout POLYSICS's official site and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments