Maximum the Hormone’s Maximum the Ryo-kun: The Maximum MetalSucks Interview
Regular MetalSucks readers should already be aware of our love for Japan’s Maximum the Hormone, the most awesomely weird and weirdly awesome metal band ever. So, needless to say, we were beyond excited when the band announced that they’d be making two very special, very rare United States appearances this month: first, at this coming weekend’s Knotfest in San Bernadino, CA, where they’ll share Stage 002 with such metal luminaries as Testament and Carcass, and then, on Monday, October 27, at the Best Buy Theater right here in Manhattan (buy tickets here). This is one THE shows we’re most excited about at MetalSucks right now — if the band is as, um, singular in concert as they are on record and in their music videos, well, this gig oughta be one for the ages.
MetalSucks recently had the honor of being invited to e-mail some questions to Maximum the Hormone’s guitarist and vocalist, Maximum the Ryo-kun. Due to a language barrier, we had to keep things on the relatively brief side, but we suspect you’ll find this little chat highly entertaining. Read the exchange below. And New York MtH fans: see ya Monday night!!!
Although this will be many Americans’ first time seeing you live, this is not the first time you’ve played the U.S. What was your experience like the last time you performed here?
Maximum the Ryo-kun: Let’s break it down —
Because it was my first U.S. tour, I was too frantic, and so I lost my bag that had my passport, wallet, and credit cards.
Because it was my first U.S. tour, I was too hyped-up, and so I put my water bottle in my bag without screwing the cap on right, and my PSP got soaked. Now it’s gone, of course.
Because it was my first U.S. tour, I was too manic, and so I left my iPod in the hotel room and never found it again.
And because I learned all these lessons, I swore that I would never visit U.S. again. And that’s why I haven’t been to the U.S. for six years. So I’m going to behave like an ascetic monk next time I visit!
One word Americans often use to describe Maximum the Hormone is “bizarre.” Do Japanese audiences have a similar reaction, or is the alleged weirdness of your band really just a cultural misunderstanding? Do you aim to be “strange”? If yes, then what is the reasoning behind this aim?
No, our weirdness is not really related to Japanese culture. Japanese audiences say the same thing to us. Really. People here say I look “bizarre,” too.
Your music videos are incredibly unique and memorable, which is especially impressive when you consider the poor state of music videos these days. How are involved are you in the creation of these videos? Do the concepts come from you, the director, or some combination thereof?
I came up with all the concepts and basic ideas for all the videos. But no one pays me for that! I’m really depressed about it.
Was it the band’s idea to make the presale password for tickets to the NYC show “omeko” (which is a Japanese slang term for vagina)? How much did you enjoy picturing hundreds of unsuspecting Americans typing that word on the ticketing website?
Our management asked me to make the password for the tickets. I didn’t want to spend too much time on it, so I said the first thing that came to mind.
What are you future plans with regards to touring, new music, etc?
I’m not telling!