15 Questions is back, and this time around we’ve got the might of Electric Eel Shock under our radar! Sitting down to answer our ‘15 Questions’ is Aki, the erm rod wielding fisherman, turned guitarist of the band. This should make for one interesting interview!
1 – What’s the story behind your band / artist name, and why you chose it?
I was a professional fisherman & fought every day with eels. Sometimes I got electric shocks from the fish. The static electricity in my body from the fish helps to give me a great guitar sound!
2 – What stage are you at in your career at the moment?
We have been around the world many times – over 30 countries – revisiting most of them many times over the last 7 years, but still we have the same feeling like when we first played in Electric Eel Shock, we are still just as excited every night as when we were newcomers. This is because we are always refreshing the songs & show.
3 – What is your music background? (Who are you and your band members? Tell us your story!)
Our musical background is old school rock, particularly Black Sabbath. We are not Buddhist we are Ozzyist. Me and Kazuto (Bass) were in a hair metal covers band in the mid eighties. Gian was into disco music at that time & playing in a jazz funk band. Kazuto helped out with that band for a couple of gigs. When Aki saw Gian play he thought that although he was a jazz drummer, he had a really rock n roll style, and so he asked him to form EES. He plays with 4 drum sticks, which is a Jazz style used to play different percussion at once, but Gian now uses it for maximum rock & Roll sound, he is a very unique drummer.
4 – How do you describe your music to people?
Old School Heavy Metal meets Garage. We have much respect for old school classic rock n roll, but we feel that many new bands that play ‘classic rock’ are too much like the originals. We try to put something new into it, so we have both the history, and the future of rock n roll in our music.
5 – What do you think about people downloading music online?
I am a little bit worried about it. Of course there are good sides to it. It’s great that I can carry my collection on the road with me, but I think it is so easy to get songs now, that the emotional value of each song has fallen. When I was in High School it was a big event when a new record came out, and you would go to your friend’s house and listen to it.
Nowadays everyone just downloads, and it’s something new every day. I worry that some songs just get lost.
On the other hand it’s what is happening, and so to deny it or to fight it is silly – you cannot tell people how they should behave – i.e. only buy a CD or album – that is the most un-rock and roll behaviour. Sometimes the music industry is very un-rock and roll! I’m happy that we have fans all over the world, because they can access our music. The songs that people download the most for free are also the same songs that are bought most. I think we need to be clever with how we use new technology, and give people what they want. Live music has become much more important and Electric Eel Shock are a great live band, so this is great for us.
6 – What dream tour would you love to be on, with any past or present bands?
The original line up of Black Sabbath of course
7 – What have been the biggest obstacles for you, to get your music heard?
It’s quite a while since we have played in the UK, and things change very quickly there so it’s easy to get forgotten. We are on a major label in Japan now so we have been concentrating a bit more on playing there, but now we have a new CD ‘Sugoi Indeed’ out and are doing a big tour of Europe!
8 – What is the best freebie you have ever been given?
A T-Shirt from Municipal Waste. I was a big fan, & we got to do a few shows with them in Holland. They wanted to swap T shirts, and I was very proud to do so. I always wear that shirt on stage now, but unfortunately their autographs have faded.
9 – Everyone has a song that annoyingly sticks in their head, what is yours at the moment?
I never have that problem. I am a lucky guy, I don’t have that problem. Rubbish music goes in one ear & out the other. Good music is not stuck – it lives in there for a reason, because it’s at home!
10 – Who are you tipping for the top, music wise?
The JFK from Japan are a really good classic rock band. Many Japanese bands care too much about technique, but JFK are based more on emotion and feeling.You can make rock with technique but you make rock and roll with technique and feeling.
11 – What do you do with your free time?
Of course music takes up so much of my life but when I am not playing then I am Fishing. Fishing for ever, Rock & Roll whenever!
12 – Have you discovered any interesting music related sites online?
Our record was released through Sellaband, which is a really exciting development in financing music. Public Enemy & 24/7 Spyz are also using Sellaband now. The web link is www.sellaband.com. The whole method of fan funding, is about going direct to our fan and getting them involved with the whole process. It has helped us tour all over the world, even though we only had small record deals , and also led to the great deal we have with Universal in Japan.
I get links form friends & from other bands that I like. There is just too much information out there now, so I use friends & musicians as a filter to find good music.
13 – Which comes first, the music or the lyrics?
63.5% music first. 20.8% lyrics first. 30.7% they come together. (editor: Interesting maths, but you get the idea!)
14 – Tell us about your next gigs and why we should be there!
Come to every EES gig – it does not matter where or when – it will be the best experience of your life, and you will become wiser and more attractive to the opposite sex, and the same sex all at the same time – check our website for dates: www.electriceelshock.com
15 – Interview questions can be quite dull, so what do you really want to be to talking about now?
I’m answering these questions sat on the side of a canal – I have my rod in the water and I have to go now to land a large pike – next time I will see you let’s talk about the most important thing in the entire world – Fishing (Go watch our YouTube videos – how 2 fish rock & roll style!) See you on the road!
Coming Soon: Interviews with newcomer Matt Herbert, and Jazz Supremo Jamie Cullum!