Tsuyoshi Kawakami


Friday 22nd June 2018

Tsuyoshi Kawakami/Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.

What do you do?

Where are you from?

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.

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