Under the influence in the 60's free jazz, Kiyasu Orchestra was formed in 2004 by frontman Ryosuke Kiyasu. He is also the found member of noise/grind band Sete Star Sept, play snare drum solo set, and play drums for Keiji Haino's legend group Fushitsusha.
Cosmo(2016) is Kiyasu Orchestra's debut album, after formed in 12 years. Cosmo was recorded in two days session, May 24 (The Beginning, Murder in the Dance) and June 9 (other songs), at Koenji Studio DOM.
The band released the CD version by themselves, and Zoomin' Night released the cassette version.
1 How did you start this free jazz project? It started from 2004, same time with your grindcore project and your snare drum solo, right?
I was staying in Canada 2003-2004 to start power violence band called "The Endless Blockade" and released couple of records and played someshows. After i was back to japan in 2004 and then start grind/noise project call "Sete Star Sept" and free jazz project "Kiyasu Orchestra" in same time.
I was very interested in a fast, intense, free jazz band with a strong improvisational element and started collecting members soon, and saw four people, saxophone, piano, bass and drum, and started activities.
My snare drum solo started when i was staying in New York City In the summer of 2003.first snare drum show is an open mic show in a New York bar somewhere.
2 What did you do in these 12 years? It is very hard to thought that, you guys just finished only one albums in 12 years, but your grindcore band have more than 100 releases!
I spent a lot of time "Sete Star Sept" tour and recording for 12 years. So I think it was possible to create more than 100 works.
Kiyasu Orchestra was active mainly in live performances in Tokyo, but at that time members could not adjust the time to create an album well. Since it settled into the lineup now about 6 years ago, I started to practice regularly for making a song.
Recently the sound as a band has been established, so I think that it became interesting to make an album.
3 Would you like to talk about Asian Flashback? There is one track in this compilation, and I have to say it dose not sound like Cosmo.
Exactly. I think that the tracks in the Asian flashback and the tracks in the album "Cosmo" are completely different.
Members at the time of Asian flashback and members who made "Cosmo" are all different.
So it was natural that the sound was different, I think that it was more psychedelic feeling at that time.
But the songs that is in the album "Cosmo" was the pure band sound of Kiyasu Orchestra that I had imagined at the time of formation in 2004.
4 How did you find the other members? For the line up, is Kiyasu Orchestra a formed quartet, or always have changing members or guest members?
Members of Asian flashback were found from friends around me. After the Asian flashback, I changed all members except me. I felt Kiyasu Orchestra 's sound was going in a different direction, so I switched everyone to reset it once.
After that, ANIKI Tomonori of the trumpet, who was a friend of the Koenji DOM studio who was a friend from a long time ago, began searching for members of the new Kiyasu Orchestra. Members are basically fixed members.
5 Maybe you could introduce other 3 musicians in Cosmo? Are they rock musicians or jazz musicians? Are they P.S.F. fans or hardcore punk kids? I know your background is extreme metal, noise, heavy psychedelic, free improvisation, before full-time musician you were a computer engineer and wrote a program book.
Trumpet player "Aniki Tomonori" was the manager of the Koenji DOM studio in the practice studio and was the owner of the live bar Koenji Ten (now Asagaya Ten). Now he quit those jobs. Basically he is a jazz musician and he also plays trumpets in rock bands.
"tsubatics" is a bassist, and others are playing in progressive rock bands and improvising bands.
"Kouichi Kidoura" is a guitar player, he plays guitar even in strong rock bands with improvising elements, and also performs live at guitar solo.
6 Maybe you could also introduce about Asagaya TEN? Seems you always play there, 2-3 times a month.
Asagaya Ten is a relatively new bar launched by trumpet player Aniki Tmonori and current owner Ueda. Basically it is a jazz bar, so I have decided on the standard jazz live day and the date of a jazz session, but I often support booking for bands / artists and noise artists with strong improvising elements such as free jazz.
Recently, I think that bands with a lot of experiences and improvising elements are going to be live in Asagaya TEN.
7 How did you "compose" these works? I don't think they are pure improve works, right?
Basically each song has one or two phrases that you decide, otherwise it is improvised performance that some rules decided. The sound of the whole band is the most important. So, it is important to improvise the song many times with the same members.
8 How long time do you play normally in a gig? I saw some videos, and seems Inner Circles is your most often standard.
It's about 40 minutes, playing 4-5 songs.yeah, "Inner Circle", "The Beginning" and "Murder in the Dance" are always played in our show.
9 You said this orchestra got the influences from 60s free jazz, what kind of? Coltrane or Colman? Dolphy or Ayler? AACM or Cecil Taylor? ESP or FMP? New Direction or Mototeru Takagi? .... or maybe you think they are a same thing?
At first,I covered some songs by John Coltrane and Miles Davis and heard a lot. I think that the sound of the Kiyasu Orchestra is greatly influenced by Yosuke Yamashita trio, FMP related musicians.
10 How about Tokyo free jazz scene now? Cause I checked Tokyo Gig Guide website, for tag "free jazz", I saw 10 performance but 7 is Kiyasu Orchestra or your solo set.
I do not care much about Tokyo's free Jazz scene. I think there is almost no scene.
Because everyone is doing independent activities, so it will not be grown a big scene.
Little by little, I feel that people who are interested in free jazz are increasing in Tokyo.
11 And I saw your many street performance videos this year, yourself, you with lots of US musicians, and these months I saw Kiyasu Orchestra play on street, too. How about the feeling of play in public space?
I feel like I want to play even more. By playing in a public place, you can listen to those who do not know my music. There are a lot of people disliking our music, and maybe there are people who like it. Just I would like more people to be interested in our music. I get caught by the police about 10 minutes after I start playing every time.
12 Do you collect records(LP CD or tape)? How often do you go to record shop in Tokyo? What kind of things will you buy? Could you recommend some shops for Chinese fans?
I have not collected records, and have not gotten to a record shop recently. Now I am only interested in making my own new songs and albums. But from the late teens to the early twenties I bought a lot of records. i recommend Record store "diskunion". There are many branches, and they sell maniac things specialized in genres at low prices.
13 Could you tell us about some your future plans? I mean, Kiyasu Orchestra, Fushitsusha, Sete Star Sept, your solo set, release or tour or ant other interesting things, anything will be fine.
Kiyasu Orchestra will release a new album next year. I am currently practicing new songs in the studio. I would like to do more live mainly in Japan.
Fushitsusha has plans for U.S. tour next year. if we have opportunity, would like to tour in China as well.
Sete Star Sept will make new album and plan to release a lot of records/tapes next year.
Planning to tour in India (and maybe Western Europe/Russia as well) and to play many more shows in japan for next year.
My solo set will do more shows in outside of japan and release new album. I will plan to tour in Europe.