INTERVIEW AN INTERVIEW FROM FRENCH MAGAZINE " D-SIDE " (December 2000)



D-SIDE How did you happen to be signed on Prikosnovenie? Were you contacted by them?

chako Prikosnoveine asked us to join their omnibus project.
After we joined the omnibus, we thought that it was a good label.

D-SIDE Your albums and your tackled themes generally assume a certain spirituality. Do you agree?
What is the general theme of "Kismet"? What is the origin of this beautiful word? 

chako Yes, the theme of our album is spirituality. The main theme of KISMET is about the memories of
various people we met while performing music, and a mysterious coincidence which lead us to
meet with them. Produced between the 20 and 21st century, this album is an integration of these
mysterious and wonderful feelings. The Japanese title of this album was decided as "EN".
In old Japanese tradition, there was a custom to treat "EN"(relation with other people, a mysterious
fatality which bring people together) as a very important power.
I feel that in everything I meet every moment, there is a meaning behind them.
I feel a misterious EN with the French people who will hear JACK OR JIVE's music.
So, I talked over with my friend and had him translate this word into the English word which
had closest meaning.


D-SIDE "Mujiyo" was about Europe, wasn't it? What does fascinate you about our continent?
Have you ever played in Europe? 

chako Yes, the first song in Mujyo is about Europe. Mujyo means 'everything is not the same'.
When we made the album, Europe was undergoing a great change,
such as collapse of socialism in Rumania and fall of Berlin wall.
We picked up the change in Europe as a symbol of Mujyo and put "a march for new European"
in the very first of the album. The wonderful part of Europe is that Every country has their own culture
and takes care of it. So we like Europe. We performed in Germany in 1992,1994,1998 and 1999,
four times. We are planning to perform with VJ group(Optical Sisters) in Frankfurt and Nurnberg
in beginning of February.


D-SIDE "The Earth" may have been your only peaceful & serene work ever. However "Kismet"
may come back to more introspecting and melancholy. Do you agree? How would you explain that? 

chako "THE EARTH" is an integration of our work until now. It has a violent aspect along with the peaceful aspect,
so it might not be calm. As you mentioned, "KISMET" is the first work of our new orientation.
The album has a quiet aspect, but for me, it has a feeling like sharpening the spirit of one who listens to.



D-SIDE Your CD cover artworks follow the same evanescent pattern, a kind of logic unites them.
Could you tell us who and how do you work on it? What do you think of 4AD and Vaughan Oliver?
Are they an influence? 

chako We ask Inoue Seizo, a traditional kimono artist, to hear our music, and he makes the artworks for the album.
He understands our music and ourselves very well, so we rely on him.
I (chako) do the layouts. By using the same pattern, I thought it will be more impressive.
I really don't know much about 4AD nor Vaughan Oliver, so I won't comment about them.



D-SIDE Who from any artistical form do you consider as an inspiration or aninfluence?

chako I was influence by the punk movement. I had sympathy not to their style, but to their thoughts ,
throwing doubts to the public. There is no particular artist which I was influenced from.


D-SIDE Chako said once that your way of singing was self-learnt. Would you say that your voice is the reflection
of your inner self and that it evolves with and within you? You seem to explore it deeper and deeper.

chako That's exactly right. I'm happy to hear that from you. I self learnt not only the way of singing,
but to perform instruments too. The techniques of singing and and playing the instrument is not really essential.
I'm interested in expressing the persuade of spiritual matter, by sound. I know that if I improve the techniques,
I can express more, but I don't think that I can enhance my inner self by 100% by doing so. So,
I look for something to be concerned of in daily life and turn them into sounds.


D-SIDE As Chako's voice quite prevails in your work, does it come first in the composition of the songs or does
it come after the music? 

chako The back line of vocal is made first, and then we go to the song. In some cases, song is made early,
and in other case they are made last. It depends on my feelings.


D-SIDE Your music is highly optical. Would you do a score for a movie if you were asked to?
What do you think of David Lynch?
Your music sometimes evoke "Twin Peaks" atmosphere and even its soundtrack. 

chako All the time, I'm thinking of creating a music for a movie. I think that my music matches with optical images,
because when I compose, various landscape and people appears in my mind. It is strange to see someone
I never met in state of mind like that. We collaborated in live performance with VJ group (Optical Sisters)
because we are interested in images. It was an epochal attempt for us.
I cried wen I saw David Lynch's "Elephant Man". I was overwhelmed by his sense to handle those delicate
matter in a monochrome screen.
We met with Peter Greenaway once and talked about music and movies.
From then, I had a confident feeling that I want to make a music for a movie.
Could you tell us a bit about Jack Or Jive on stage? How much are you? Instruments used?


D-SIDE Could you tell us a bit about Jack Or Jive on stage? How much are you? Instruments used?

chako We receive what projector give us, but we never required or specified the amount of money.
What we want is a small gratitude.
We only use sub instruments such as cymbal or banboo flute in the live. Generally, we use DAT to play
the base part of the sound.


D-SIDE Could you say a few words about your solo projects? What difference do you make between these?
What do they allow you to do that can't be done under Jack Or Jive?

chako Basically, JACK OR JIVE is performed by two of us. I sing and play the instruments and MAKOTO
does the mixing and support of sound making. We seek together, choosing and editing the song.
Solo work is much more personal. I emphasized the feminal aspect which I don't express so much in
JACK OR JIVE. There is only one album, and I named it "ebb & flow" with a feminal image.
I did all of the solo recording by my own feeling.


D-SIDE It seems that many french bands are quite famous in Japan. What is your favourite french artist? 

chako I don't hear ROCK and POP music so many. So I don't know well about French bands.
But I like to hear the IRIS series of Prikosnovenie which they sent to me.


D-SIDE How do you explain that, conversely, Japanese bands are not so famous in here?
Apart from Ryuichi Sakamoto and some very underground and exprimental artists like Merzbow or K.K. Null,
you're certainly the most famous one in France and maybe elsewhere.

chako In Japan, independent music scene is the most exclusive. In 80's, influenced by foreign music scene,
many kinds of music were played in Japan. But after that, the whole music scene seems to be overwhelmed
by excessive commercialism and I feel that musician's hope is exploited by commercialism. It is getting harder
and harder in this country for a musician who is truly unique and has a unshakable will, to live as a musician.
I think that the number of musicians who don't like the commercialism will gradually grow.



D-SIDE What is the outcome of Jack Or Jive today after 10 years of existence?

chako We met many people during this 10 years. Through those people we met, our mind deepened and
learned many from them. Along with that, I'm confident that our music have deepened too.


Special thanx translate by Yakamoto