breakcore/cybergrind - Tokyo, Japan

Hello, could you please introduce yourself for readers who might not know who you are?
MARUOSA: Hi, I'm Maruosa from Tokyo. I play loud music. By "loud", mind you, I don't mean "scary". I simply try to make the most energetic music possible. If you get a chance, come see one of my shows.

We'll be there! (laughs) Now, how did you discover the cybergrind genre and what made you try your hand at it?
MARUOSA: I stumbled across it by chance, really. I started out by simply combining various types of music that I appreciated and cybergrind was simply the result of my haphazard way of working.

Do you have any particular influences?
MARUOSA: When it comes to music, I'd have to say anything fast and noisy, such as hardcore and grindcore. However, I also can't deny the influence manga has had on me, especially the older stuff.

What made you create Rendarec, your label? Was it to reunite old friends or did you have an artistic reason? Were you, for example, experiencing problems with other labels?
MARUOSA: My first goal was to get my music out to the world. Since no other label would sign me, I decided to create my own.

The style of your older music seems to differ completely from your newer stuff. What do you feel when you listen to your earlier compositions nowadays?
MARUOSA: I'm ashamed. (laughs)

Why are you ashamed of your older compositions?
MARUOSA: Because it was cutesy pop music, which is the complete opposite of what I do now. (laughs)

How do you explain your musical evolution?
MARUOSA: A sudden mutation. (laughs)

Could you detail the creative process behind your recent music? Has it evolved much since the early years?
MARUOSA: It hasn't really changed. The only difference is that I scream in my songs now.

You collaborated with Bong-Ra on the DEATHSTORM project. How did that come about, seeing as you live in different countries and your styles differ significantly?
MARUOSA: We met when he came to Japan on a tour. We played together many nights and he told me that what I did inspired him quite a lot. We got to talking and discovered that we listen to a lot of the same music. We decided to work together at that point.

During your shows, you "only" jump around screaming like hell. Why do you put more emphasis on vocals than instruments?
MARUOSA: I don't play any instruments; I rely on a computer for all my music. During live shows, computer-dependent musicians usually don't move and I find that kind of boring, so I decided to perform while screaming on stage.

Your music is quite excessive but, off-stage, you seem to be quite a relaxed person. Do you feel violence is a way to channel energy that can't otherwise be spent?
MARUOSA: There might be wisdom in what you're saying, but there is no hate in my music. I simply try and motivate people, encouraging them to keep moving forward in life.

What do you think of Japanese mainstream music? Are you against its principles of pushing itself to the masses?
MARUOSA: It's hard to say. (laughs) Since I don't have any ties to it, I'm not sure what to think. People like me or DODDODO, who have a large foreign fanbase, are completely ignored in Japan. In a way, we wouldn't be against selling a bit more in our native country.

Can you detail what the cybergrind scene is like in Japan?
MARUOSA: Cybergrind is very important internationally, especially in Europe, but there are so few artists involved with it in Japan that I don't even think you can call it a "scene".

What Japanese or international bands would you recommend to someone who isn't familiar with cybergrind?
MARUOSA: I can't think of anyone similar to my style. The best would be to come see one of my shows. (laughs)

A last word for the readers?
MARUOSA: Don't hesitate to mix genres up in order to use everything you love.

Interview given for JaME in March 2009. We thank JaME for its use.

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