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Tsuyoshi Kawakami

Musician — Tokyo

Name
Tsuyoshi Kawakami/Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.

What do you do?
Bassist

Where are you from?
Tokyo

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
It’s difficult to answer. We’ve recently played gigs with The Specials in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka on tour. Terry Hall was impressive and powerful on the stage and Lynval Golding’s guitar playing was really cool. The gig in the STUDIO COAST in Shinkiba was the best one in my mind.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
New Wave after Punk, which is connected to Mod. I was inspired by New Wave because it had its various roots in music and those elements were then digested and played in a modern way. And then I knew Ska and Reggae. The Sex Pistols inspired me mentally a lot, and I learned many things on the music side from The Clash and The Jam.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Sala Apolo in Barcelona. I’ve probably played there six times and the atmosphere is awesome. The audience participates aggressively and sings loud in deep voice - it is amazing. My other choice is Melkweg in Amsterdam. I like its port-town atmosphere with a full crowd.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
I’d like to play with The Police during their debut era. They were really punk. I saw Sting at a music event in Jakarta and the following day I saw him having a breakfast in the hotel and I got excited.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Paul Weller. I’d like to have a drink with him down the pub.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Pigbag - they aren’t really big in Japan but now half of our tunes are instrumental pieces. They influenced us as their instrumental tunes are cool and danceable, no need for lyrics.

How did you select the tracks for this playlist?
I selected songs I was influenced by in my youth and also ones from the UK. It is listed in roughly chronological order and has a number which originated in the UK. When we played in Glastonbury Festival, we played a song called  ‘Down Beat Stomp’ which the UK music press sai was "a tribute to The Specials".

The first track you played on repeat?
I listen to musicians the same age as me. Other than that, The Beatles. I listened 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' a lot and also 'Led Zeppelin IV'.

A song that defines the teenage you?
Considering the age I am, The Specials. If I can choose only one song, it’d be ‘Little Bitch’, this songs bass line was the first I copied.

One record you would keep forever?
It’s a difficult question to answer, but “Café Bleu” by The Style Council, which includes ‘My Ever Changing Moods’.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
The Sex Pistols lyrics. I got a big shock from the irony and satire in their songs, 'Pretty Vacant' for example. When I see ‘Vacant’ displayed in an aircraft toilet, it automatically starts playing in my head.

Best song to turn up loud?
‘Anarchy In The UK’ by Sex Pistols. When I was in high school, I was a vocalist in a Sex Pistols cover band.

An artist people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Recently, Amy Winehouse.

Any new bands you are listening to now?
A four-piece band called The Skints. Female vocals, a taste of Ska, Reggae and a little Mod. They are a really British band to me, with an element of punk in rap.

Name
Tsuyoshi Kawakami/Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.

What do you do?
Bassist

Where are you from?
Tokyo

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
It’s difficult to answer. We’ve recently played gigs with The Specials in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka on tour. Terry Hall was impressive and powerful on the stage and Lynval Golding’s guitar playing was really cool. The gig in the STUDIO COAST in Shinkiba was the best one in my mind.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
New Wave after Punk, which is connected to Mod. I was inspired by New Wave because it had its various roots in music and those elements were then digested and played in a modern way. And then I knew Ska and Reggae. The Sex Pistols inspired me mentally a lot, and I learned many things on the music side from The Clash and The Jam.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Sala Apolo in Barcelona. I’ve probably played there six times and the atmosphere is awesome. The audience participates aggressively and sings loud in deep voice - it is amazing. My other choice is Melkweg in Amsterdam. I like its port-town atmosphere with a full crowd.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
I’d like to play with The Police during their debut era. They were really punk. I saw Sting at a music event in Jakarta and the following day I saw him having a breakfast in the hotel and I got excited.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Paul Weller. I’d like to have a drink with him down the pub.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Pigbag - they aren’t really big in Japan but now half of our tunes are instrumental pieces. They influenced us as their instrumental tunes are cool and danceable, no need for lyrics.

How did you select the tracks for this playlist?
I selected songs I was influenced by in my youth and also ones from the UK. It is listed in roughly chronological order and has a number which originated in the UK. When we played in Glastonbury Festival, we played a song called  ‘Down Beat Stomp’ which the UK music press sai was "a tribute to The Specials".

The first track you played on repeat?
I listen to musicians the same age as me. Other than that, The Beatles. I listened 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' a lot and also 'Led Zeppelin IV'.

A song that defines the teenage you?
Considering the age I am, The Specials. If I can choose only one song, it’d be ‘Little Bitch’, this songs bass line was the first I copied.

One record you would keep forever?
It’s a difficult question to answer, but “Café Bleu” by The Style Council, which includes ‘My Ever Changing Moods’.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
The Sex Pistols lyrics. I got a big shock from the irony and satire in their songs, 'Pretty Vacant' for example. When I see ‘Vacant’ displayed in an aircraft toilet, it automatically starts playing in my head.

Best song to turn up loud?
‘Anarchy In The UK’ by Sex Pistols. When I was in high school, I was a vocalist in a Sex Pistols cover band.

An artist people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Recently, Amy Winehouse.

Any new bands you are listening to now?
A four-piece band called The Skints. Female vocals, a taste of Ska, Reggae and a little Mod. They are a really British band to me, with an element of punk in rap.

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra | Glorious (2018)