SUZUKI JUNZO, underground japanese guitarist and vocalist born in TOKYO in 1973.
Junzo's name might ring some bells via various collaborative projects with Hiroshi Hasegawa of CCCC as part of Astro and Astral Travelling Unit, Mitsuru Tabata of Zeni Geva as part of 20 Guilders and Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mothers Temple as well as his membership of key psych units Overhang Party and Miminokoto.
With ASTRO. Photo Miriam Katzeff
The Japanese guitarist cut his teeth playing in comparatively traditional psych-rock bands like Overhang Party, Astral Travelling Unit and Miminokoto, but his solo work shoots to the far outer reaches of the cosmos. Songs drift from bizarre, ambient blues tracks (“Ode to a Blue Ghost,” a swirling, 20-minute dirge) to droning soundscapes constructed of buzzing guitars as noisy and relentless as a highway construction site. Occasionally tunes will meander with no real destination in sight, but when Junzo locks in the material can leave one hell of a mark.
With the well-known Tokyo troublemaker/scenester Tabata Mitsuru has gotten together and created a dream-psych-folk duo called, for some reason, 20 Guilders. Based on simple guitar and folk, the songs are most often on the calm side, though with the occasional burst of fuzz breaking through.
Junzo adept guitar work and emotional vocals fit right into this format. Tabata, perhaps best-known for his roles in Zeni Geva and Acid Mothers Temple, may surprise listeners with his heartfelt singing and gentle playing here. His “Enban” is a simple strum with background lead guitar and soulful singing.
His other band, Miminokoto owns totally classic flavour and they have the feel of an earlier generation of PSF artists, with doomy death-decadent ballads soaked in reverb while single chords hang in the air and Junzo's vocals waft around them like smoke. The lead guitar work is totally thrilling and the rhythm section of bassist Takuya Nishimura and drummer Koji Shimura have that classic minimal/explosive style down to a teardrop. A classic PSF side, an amazing reinvention, this is the sound of the psychedelic Japanese underground.
Which was the first musical sound do you remember?
In my childhood's TV commercial Songs and some SF TV dorama's song/sound... and my house is very near the railroad, so I hear the train sounds.
What do you dream, musically speaking, about?
I'd like to touch/seize the invisible circle of music rise deep down in our soul or in this planet.
Why did you decide to pick up the guitar?
At first i was only Vocalist, but when i go deep into blues music, I'd like to sing with playing guitar. so I pick up the guitar.
Which work of your own are you most surprised by, and why?
My recent recordings from Utech records an nod and smile records. I play with Ikuro Takahashi (Drummer of Kousokuya/LSD March etc. wx. Fushitsusha). His drumming is surprised me everytime. He has his own sound like a great drummer.
Where are your roots? What are your influences?
Blues Music. Especially Pre-War Blues/Hillbilly, John Lee Hooker, Some Blind guys, and all the classic/psych rock and movies, books and my life.
How many guitars do you have? Select only one and tell me why.
10 guitars... and My favorite guitar is a Gibson ES 335... but recently I haven't play this so often on my gig...
Define the sound you're still looking for, or the sound you'd like to hear.
When I find the great music for me, they have always something lies behind them. I was just looking for/want to listen/feel some atomosphere or shadows lies/hidden behind/beyond the music.
What would you ask to another guitarist?
What's the importance of technique in music, in your opinion?
What is some valuable advice that someone has given to you in the past?
...play hard, listen hard, watch hard, read hard, then leave it all to luck...
What gear do you use?
Bigg Muff, Reverb, Echo, Delay, and some looper and Fender Vibroloux Reverb
Do you prefer play alone or in a group? What is the difference for you?
I prefer both... and I totally enjoy both... but when I play alone, it's more personal and deeper into my cosmos.
What are you currently working on?
I'm working on my new solo LP called '7' from Nod And Smile Records (US), coming in November 2014. and in a new MIMINOKOTO's album
Suzuki Junzo / 7
Nod & Smile (US)-plunk's plan(JP)
5th Solo Album
(Nod & Smile Records/US/CD-LP/2013)
"Awake In The Wuthering Heights "
4th Solo Album
"Eight-Sided Infinity "2012
2nd Solo Album
ode to a blue ghost Re-ISSUED
3rd Solo Album
Buried Sky, Spider Torn to Pieces
2nd Solo Album
ode to a blue ghost
1st Solo Album
Pieces For Hidden Circles
Eight-Sided Infinity [plunk's plan/JPN/CD/2012]
Sings [plunk's plan/JPN/CDR/2011]
Burried Sky, Spider torn to pieces [plunk's plan/JPN/CD/2010]
Ode To A Blue Ghost [plunk's plan/JPN/CDR/2009:::Re-Issue from Utech/US/CD/2012]]
Pieces For Hidden Circles [Utech/US/CD/2007]
November 10 2001 [plunk's plan/JPN/CDR/2002]
Jesus Is A Dying Bed Maker [plunk's plan/CDR/JPN/2010]
Guitar Hero Japan [WFMU/US/CDR/2008]
Four Dimentions Twist 2 [Lowman/CD/JPN/2007]
Four Dimentions Twist [Lowman/CD/JPN/2005]
Night Gallery 3 [Alchemy/JPN/CD/2005]
Chofu Ekoda Koenji [plunk's plan/JPN/CD/2010]
All About MIMI [PSF/JPN/CD/2009]
New & Wrong Songs For Patricia [Gulden Muziek/JPN/CD/2011]
20 GUILDERS [GYUUNE CASSETTE/JPN/CD/2010]
Wrong Songs For Patricia [Sloow Tapes/Bel/Cassette/2009]
Patricia [Self Released/JPN/CDR/2008]
20 GUILDERS [Self Released/JPN/2006]
POURING HIGH WATER/Bing Me The head Of Pegg Legged Antonio [plunk's plan/JPN/CDR/2010]
ASTRO & SUZUKI JUNZO/Cosmic Blues Experience [plunk's plan/CD/JPN/2006]
ASTRAL TRAVELLING UNITY/STUDIO & LIVE [aRCHIVE/CD/US/2006]
OVERHANG PARTY/Live Before and After [There/Musik Atlach/2CD/JPN/2006]
Oct 18 sat MIMINOKOTO @ BAR ISSHEE, Sendagi/TOKYO
Ocr 26 wed DJ @ PENGUIN HOUSE, Koenji/TOKYO
Nov 02-28 SUZUKI JUNZO '7' US TOUR 2014
Nov 03 mon: @ Silent Barn, Brooklyn/NY
Nov 05 wed: @ Rattail Records. Kutztown/PA
Nov 06 thu: @ Marvelous, Philadelphia/PA
Nov 07 fri: @ Club K, baltimore/MD
Nov 08 sat: @ Union Arts, Washington D.C.
Nov 09 sun: @ TBD, Pittsburgh/OH
Nov 10 mon: @ Now That's Class, Cleveland/OH
Nov 12 wed: @ The Summit, Columbus/OH
Nov 13 thu: @ Dreamland, louisville/KY
Nov 14 fri: @ The Artifex Guild, Bloomington/IN
Nov 15 sat: @ Sugar Maple, Milwaukee/WI
Nov 16 sun: @ Mickey's Tavern, Madison/WI
Nov 17 mon: @ Cafe Mustache, Chicago/IL
Nov 18 tue: @ Madame Of The Arts, Minneapolis/MN
Nov 19 wed: @ Teatro de la Psychomachia, Seattle/WA
Nov 20 thu: @ Vagrant Projection Museum, Portland/OR
Nov 21 fri: @ Fortress Callosum, Sanfransisco/CA
Nov 22 sat: @ Life Changing Ministry, Oakland/CA
Nov 23 sun: @ The Morgue, Davis/CA
Nov 24 mon: @ Luna's Cafe, Sacramento/CA
Nov 26 wed: @ Hyperion Tavern, Los Angeles/CA
Nov 28 fri: @ Photo Bang Bang, Las Vegas/NV
Detail is here