Today it is my pleasure to interview Sister Paul. A punk-rock Japanese band composed by Sister Paul Susumu and Sister Paul Maki. We are really curious about your band. Tell us about the beginning of Sister Paul?
The band was formed by me at Tokyo in 1992. We were in a 5-piece band at first and then became a trio- in 1994. After the repeat of that several members had retired and joined, drummer MACKii arrived to the band in 1996.
The band had been a trio-band for many years, but unfortunately the guitarist quitting the band in 2005, we were bared to the duo- at last. We continue up to today.
Can you tell us something about the name and the mission of this project?
Sister Paul comprises a male bassist singing in soprano and a female drummer in alto. We sing all songs together with playing the each instrument.
We have been singing with only 2voice chorus since we were in a 5-piece band, and I have been singing high part. I wanted to sing elegantly in a high-pitched voice like a woman all the time.
I always have tried to write lyrics having a queer and unstable feeling. And I have tried to make sound having decadence, violence and insanity. In our show, some audiences laugh, others shed tears, and surrounding all happy atmospheres in the end.
This question is for Susumu. Even though there are clear references to the history of music, we can also say that your sound is really new and fresh. How do you balance this kind of experiment with the other aspects of your work, like song writing and creating videos?
In the case of us, we make songs to play at the show. In a sense our CD is a catalogue to let people come to our show. And I make videos likewise to let people listen to our music. And it shows an effect when sight and performance or music and picture married. Contrarily, only seeing the picture, only listening to the music, only seeing performance is unsatisfactory. Therefore it is necessary to think out to cope with each.
This is for Maki. Which musicians/drummers inspire you?
There is not the particular person in drummers, but I have listened to Ramones and The Damned because I like 8 beats
What do you think about electronic music?
I think that the trendy music has much electronic music now. As for it, that is too much quantity of sound, so I do not listen to it willingly. I like the old and cheap electronic music. I think that is cute.
...is it understood as drum machine?
So, I don’t dislike the mechanical rhythm, I understand it. But I do not like the overdoing.
Could the synth be added to an acoustic performance?
I think that is usable, if we use it by the role such as sound effects. The width of possibility may spread if I do not depend on it excessively.
Ok. What do you think about the contemporary music scene?
Frankly saying, I don't know well about the contemporary music scene… So I talk about my preference. There was a question about electronic music for MACkii, too. Because I like more the music which both fuse and reacted each other than only electromusic or only acoustic music, I create the studio works in that way. And at the show, we always play the music by the minimum of only two people, in drums and the bass guitar, except that we sometimes add a doll man named Okazaemon. By this, the ability of two people is displayed to the maximum. Moreover, recently I play the theremin with my body. I think it has gotten closer to the act of street performers. A-haha. MACKii may blow the fire next…
It is said that they are four feelings of Joy, Anger, Grief, Pleasure when classifying the human feelings roughly. I love the movie, the drama, and the comic book that four all feelings are interwoven. It is also about the music. I try to incorporate all four feelings in our music.
Are you hopeful for the future or do you feel a sort of nostalgia for the old days?
We have continued playing the music with being supported by a few but enthusiastic fans in Japan until now. And we had publicized almost none of our creations by ourselves so far. This is because I had been thinking all the time that I must spend time and money to spend on an advertisement to the next creation. Therefore our music hasn't spread very much so far. But I had thought that it was a fate.
Another reason why I had publicized almost none of our creations by us so far is because I had been feeling difficulty with the coexistence of the attitude as the person to advertise and the attitude as the artist of rock music. However, I do not mind the attitude as a rocker very much now. Now I think it's all right what I am. I am me.
I became 50 years old last year, and I changed some ways of thinking. It occurred to me that I stopped creation for a while to advertise our works.
The only advertising of our works has been to play our songs by ourselves at the shows. What we have done so far was to find the people who could share feelings through the shows and our CDs. We will do the same from now on. We won't stop playing the music at the shows.
It is a sense of unity, isn't it? A sense of unity that applause wells up from a passenger when an airplane landed safely after coming through a storm. We can feel it through the shows. But we cannot feel it by the half-finished effort. We must continue making intense efforts from now on.
Your band has a very international approach (dual language videos, performances on the stage, sound in general...) Do you feel that this kind of music is well received in your country?
Oh, yes. It is my advertising method that I add English subtitles to our videos. I think that what's called advertising is to make an effort to let someone know good points of one's work.
In our country the music that we make isn't in the domestic chart, and we aren't in TV show. However, I think that is reasonably liked. Particularly, I feel that it is loved very much by a few enthusiastic people. In that respect, it is very happy.
Thank you I feel honored to have made this interesting interview and I hope that will be useful in spreading your Sister Paul project. At the end of this article I would like to publish your contacts and the links of your social profiles, for anyone who wants to follow you. Thanks a lot for your time.
This is Facebook page address of the band.
This is of me and MACKii.
And this is home page address of the band.
Thank you very much, too.
We hope that it will be the best for you.
Sister Paul Susumu & Sister Paul MACKii