Appearing twice at SXSW, the latest in 2010 – Japanese rockers Geeks were born from a street fight and the love of heavy metal music. Not limited to heavy metal; Geeks are pop, hard, loud, and utterly catchy with music from the heart. Geeks are Endo (Guitar, Vocal), Mitsu (Bass, Vocal), Kaoru (Keyboard, Vocal) and Mash (Drums, Vocal).
The band released their newest EP Panic on 2010.08.29, and their debut album Magical Vox Paanoia on 2009.10.28, is available from amazon. I talked to Geeks’ keyboardist Kaoru Sakuma, about the band’s name and SXSW.
Please introduce yourself. What instruments do you play?
Kaoru Sakuma – keyboards.
Who or what inspired you to pick up your first instrument? How old were you?
Kaoru: Chopin. I heard I was 3 years old, but I don’t remember it.
Could you tell me a little history of how GEEKS were formed?
Kaoru: We knew each other. So we decided to make a No 1 Japanese rock band!
Why did you name the band “GEEKS?”
Kaoru: When Endo (guitar) went to the US. Americans always said “cool.” So, he asked them “What is an antonym of cool?” They said, “GEEK.”
Let’s hear a little about your tastes not related to music — Could you name some of your favorite books or movies?
Kaoru: Back to the future and Dragon Ball.
Who would be your dream band to perform with, either active, or not?
Kaoru: I wanna perform with GREEN DAY.
Tell me a little bit about the songwriting process — Who is the songwriter and what inspires you to write music?
Kaoru: Endo is the songwriter. We all like The Beatles, Metallica, GREEN DAY, and many other bands. We are inspired by them.
Out of all the songs you’ve written, are there melodies or lyrics of which you are particularly proud?
Kaoru: It’s all of our music.
Remembering back to your first time in front of a live audience, what comes to mind?
Kaoru: There were so many in the audience. It was a great night!
What has been your biggest triumph as GEEKS? GEEKS’ greatest challenge?
Kaoru: Biggest triumph — We played SXSW 2009 and SXSW 2010. Playing in America was the greatest challenge.
What is your favorite GEEKS’ song to perform live? Why?
Kaoru: We don’t have our favorite song. All our songs are our favorite.
What thoughts do you have on overseas fans and overseas tours?
Kaoru: Even if we can’t understand each others words, we can share the pleasure of music. We want to do overseas tours more.
I would like to thank Geeks and especially Kaoru Sakuma for his participation in this interview.
~Denise Smith (interview 2010.11.15)