Tsuyoshi Suzuki Interview
"It was absolutely shocking when I heard DJ KUDO for the first time in my life. I thought DJing was just playing another artists song and that's it. But it was nothing like that!" - Tsuyoshi Suzuki
For Tsuyoshi Suzuki, aka DJ Numanoid, spinning songs at a live gig will always be in his blood. Owner of the label "Madskippers" and master of many projects and personas, Tsuyoshi has dedicated himself to keeping alive Tokyo's underground scene. "Save the Underground" is their motto, and we hope Tsuyoshi will keep at it for a very long time to come.
On December 1, 2010, Tsuyoshi Suzuki was kind enough to give an interview to Andrew
from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of Tsuyoshi Suzuki.
Let's start with the upcoming debut album of Madskippers, "Galaxy 7". First, can you tell us what Madskippers is all about?
Madskippers is my electro/house/rock label from Tokyo and is organizing the event also.
How did you hook up with Daisuke Tsutsui?
The organizer of Madskippers event , Matsubara kun, introduced him to me three years ago. He said that he was at our event many times.
What made you want to work with him?
Well, when I heard his demo, I thought his style was totally individual. It has got some heavy electro rock taste in it but also J-Pop chords sync in-between. I really liked it!
How would you describe the musical style of Madskippers compared to your other projects?
Madskippers is more between rock music and club music like my band JOUJOUKA and my DJ name as Numanoid. DJ Tsuyoshi is more trance style.
The opening track Blackmetal really impressed us. What was it like working with Daisuke Tsutsui?
He is really great to work with. He is very professional music composer.
Would you say there is a single theme for Madskippers music, or is it really as varied as it seems?
Madskippers theme is "Save the Underground". In Tokyo we used to have a more fresh and edgy club scene before… but now around 4 or 5 years ago, there isn't much going on there... Mr.Ishihara, the Governor of Tokyo, did many underground club crushing things! It's really horrible things! So now we are all trying to make the things happen again in theTokyo underground scene and we are!
Let's get to know you a little better. Can you tell us about your hometown and what it was like growing up there?
My hometown is Ome-shi, which is a suburb of Tokyo. I played baseball and was in music bands when I was a junior high school student.
How did you first get involved with music?
When I was in junior high school, I got so much into YMO stuff , and I started to play drums and started to play in a band with my friend!
Who were some of the artists who inspired you the most?
All the '80s new wave stuff, like Japan, YMO , Brian Eno, David Bowie, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Ultra Vox, etc...
Can you tell us the story of seeing DJ KUDO in action for the first time, and what affect it had on you?
It was absolutely shocking when I heard DJ KUDO for the first time in my life. I thought DJing was just playing another artists song and that's it. But it was nothing like that! He gave me the great impression of what a real DJ is.
How did you first get involved with Djing yourself?
So after being shocked with DJ KUDO, I thought that I wanted to do it! I went to his regular event in Shibuya Cave and was watching DJ KUDO's playing every weekend. We ended up becoming good friends with each other and he got me into playing there for the first time! I was quite lucky.
What did your family and friends think of your choice of a career?
My parents didn't like it at all of course! But they understand my position now.
In 1993 you moved to London. What prompted the move?
Well, UK music is my most influenced music in my life so I wanted to go there to try the ability of my music sense.
What were your biggest challenges in living there?
My music ability.
Can you tell us about Return to the Source?
The movement was happening there! It was like a second summer of love thing! Amazing!
How did you first get involved with trance music and can you describe what the music is all about?
It was no name on it... in early 90s... trance music is just an uplifting music style which makes you really higher!
How did you get involved with the label Matsuri Productions?
I started with my business partner John Pelroff in '94 in London. I met him at underground party in London around that time and we got together!
You've been a DJ at major festivals all over the world. What are some of the shows that stand out the most in your mind?
Fuji Rock festival at white stage (JOUJOUKA live set), Love Parade, Burning Man, Rainbow festival at Mt.Fuji, Boom festival, Glastonberry etc...
How has your view of the world changed after traveling to so many places?
For example, eastern Europe is becoming center of the party scene, like Russia, also India as well! Party scene is becoming bigger and bigger!
What is Tokiodrome?
Tokiodrome is my regular event since '00 to '04. It was a mixture between trance and others like techno, hip hop and so on...
One of your ongoing projects is the group JOUJOUKA. Can you tell us how you first met Minoru Tsunoda (aka Funky Gong) and what it has been like working with him all these years?
JOUJOUKA was myself and Takeshi Isogai. And he brought Minoru Tsunoda as our guitarist in the beginning. Now JOUJOUKA is myself and Minoru Tsunoda. He's just a great artists to work with!
How did you first meet up with Lyoki Napator?
I met him at the club in Tokyo.
How would you describe the type of music the group plays? What is the band's musical philosophy?
To play as the band is more team work and more fun to work with, compared to playing as DJ by myself really.
What was recording the album "Never Look Back" like?
It was really fun to make the album ! One of my favorite session work!
Do you have a comment about the reports that the group won an award for the "Best Dance Act" in the "AVIMA AWARDS 2009"?
It was really pleasure to get this award!
Do you have any new projects in the works with JOUJOUKA?
I have the projects as... JOUJOUKA (electro rock) and Numanoid vs Mazda (electro house).
What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?
I'm planning some projects under the name of Madskippers Inc. And please have a look on madskippers.com. You can see all my activities from there. Madskippers is my own company and Madskippers is planning to do as follows:1. Releasing tracks every month.
2. Organizing events once every two month.
3. Trying to release new JOUJOUKA album next year (hopefully before summer time).
4. Madskippers TV is getting more viewers!
5. Setting DJ & Productions school next year in spring time.
Do you have a final message to all your fans?Hope to come to USA next year!
For more info checkout Tsuyoshi Suzuki's madskippers.com and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments