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Made in Japan

Written by Thomas Mitchell on March 4, 2009

Made in Japan is a statement appropriate to so many of us. It’s plastered on our electronics, it’s the way my grandmother describes my father’s girlfriend and finally, it’s the name of a Sydney band.

I meet Jono and James in a George St arcade, neither get up from their Street Fighter machines, and as the Capcom symbols flash around me, I think how appropriate the meeting place is.

Made in Japan have recently wrapped up their debut EP and the recording process was quite painless, Jono tells me.

“Yeah the recording process was fairly quick. We knew the songs quite well before we went in. However, it was the mixing and pressing that took a long time.”

Now the EP is finished, the pseudo Japanese rockers can focus on their rollicking live shows. The band is known for their synthetic cyborg style, kind of like Blade Runner: The Musical.

“Definitely, none of us drink because instead of kidneys we have battery packs. We have to plug in to recharge after each show, but to make sure you get an awesome performance we always bring plenty of battery acid to drink prior to and during the show.”

James says this without laughing and I look at his face for any sign of sarcasm; to no avail.

I know the band has been involved with hip hop heavies Spit Syndicate, and the pairing seems about as logical as Ryu and Ken fighting on the same side.

James defends the relationship with Spit Syndicate and Horrorshow, saying the band didn’t want to be pigeonholed. Plus the exposure to a wider audience is as good as a six hit combo.

“I hope that it’s at least opened some ears to the great variety and quality of the Sydney music scene and what it has to offer.”

Jono agrees, telling me, “We get random hip hop acts adding us all the time on our Myspace, through people like Horrorshow. But more importantly, I hope when we do those gigs that we open the eyes of some people who only see black and white in the music they listen to.”

Despite their infectious songs and a strong following in Sydney’s inner west, Made in Japan were unable to secure a distribution deal for their EP, so like a divorcee with a vibrator, they did it themselves.

“We made the record last August and September so we didn’t want to hang around waiting to be picked up by a label when we had all the devices to release it ourselves waiting on our doorstep. We don’t necessarily intend to remain independent, it just seemed to make sense for this EP” says James, as he defeats Jono in a PERFECT round. Simply magic!

The boys get up to leave, satisfied with how they spent their Tuesday afternoon. I ask Jono what the future holds for Japan, and he tells me that the current economic climate means even strong Asian nations are at risk of falling into recession, despite the strength of the Yen.

James looks at Jono with disgust, then tells me about their EP Launch on February 20th at the Annandale and their set with Spit Syndicate at Good Vibes. Both are a must for Music Feeders! Boo ya.

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