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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My father and brother were guitar players, and I think that's where it all started. There was always music playing in the house. If I hadn't started playing music, I think I would have become a business owner. I actually run a café, which I really enjoy. I love to make things and make people happy!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I lik to drink coffee and look at plants when I’m not playing music. I also like to read into the state of the economy.
How did growing up in Kyoto influence the kind of music you make?
Growing up in Kyoto was quite important in my artistic formation. The unique culture and sights and smells all inspire me continually. I often write songs in the nearby mountains and rivers. These places are truly treasure troves of inspiration.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I think it's something like the Japanese word “jyocho,” meaning: memory, me, living, law, and the universe. The band name "JYOCHO" comes from the Japanese word for emotion, which I think is an atmospheric and emotional word. Still the Japanese word “jyocho” has other meanings as well. As a Japanese person, I wanted to convey the poetic quality and dynamic sound of emotion to people in Japan and around the world.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Our first live shows were actually in Canada, and the people were amazing! Truly an unforgettable experience.
Also, at our first live show in Japan, everyone welcomed us so warmly, and I'm ashamed to say it, but it made me cry, lol!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I want to play at FUJI ROCK!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Porter Robinson had invited us to play at his “Second Sky” festival in California. Unfortunately, it was canceled due to the current COVID-19 situation, but we would love to invite him to play with us! Also, the band loves Bon Iver and would love to play with him someday!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Figure out what you like and what you're good at, and have fun!
Out of all your JYOCHO songs, which one means the most to you and why?
“A Perfect Triangle, Rising Sun Human” means the most to me, but to be honest, it's so difficult that I don't want to play it live.
Which songs are your favorite to play, and which get requested the most?
My favorite song to play is "Family." It's so much fun! I think “Pure Circle” and “A Life with the Sun” are especially popular.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I create all the sections by typing them in. Then I send the data to the members and ask them to arrange the music while communicating with each other. During the recording process, we have a lot of discussions, and I think we have been able to create wonderful works by communicating with each other so that each of us can demonstrate our strengths. I usually have a philosophy or a theme in mind that I am thinking about, and I often write songs based on it.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I have come to believe that it is beautiful to face oneself, look deeper into oneself, and live your life with your own axis. I think it is important to compare yourself with others, but I want you to start with yourself and take care of yourself. I want people to meditate on themselves. I hope that our music will be an opportunity for people to face themselves.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Disagreements don't happen very often. The members are very good at communicating. Whenever an idea or opinion comes up, we talk about its pros and cons, as well as our own thoughts. If we conclude that we don't agree with each other, we will discuss it, but I don't think we have ever come to a conclusion that we couldn't agree on.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I want to travel around the world more and more with the members, and I want to let as many people as possible know about JYOCHO and share our thoughts and sounds with them. When things settle down, we'd like to meet everyone around the world, so please look forward to that!