Though our tastes refine through the years, I’ve often wondered, especially after having just finished Mick’s book. Do you ever, either for nostalgic purposes or not, still desire to throw on a New York Dolls or Alice Cooper record and listen to it? Clearly this isn’t the most mature question compared to those on here, I was just curious. And if you choose not to answer, I understand. My question is more based on how much an artist still reflects and waxes nostalgia upon the music that influenced them in their formative years.

There are rare occasions when I will listen to music that I grew up with, perhaps it’ll be on a playlist in the car or something like that. One doesn’t have to physically dig out records anymore so sometimes the thought of listening to a random album track you haven’t heard for decades does happen. And occasionally you hear things that you know directly influenced you in some way but had completely forgotten about.

Hi Steve, loved the interview in rolling stone japan magazine,even with a dodgy google translate ! Good live pics of Exit North too. My question is why as a long term Tama endorser and being in their backyard so to speak you ended up playing a Yamaha kit ? Thanks Ross (Drum nerd)

The quick answer is that Billboard have a huge store of instruments at their live venues and it was a simple case of using what they had as opposed to going through the process of organising a separate process with TAMA. I don’t officially endorse TAMA but they are my drums of choice. Billboard had Yamaha only.


hi steve ! in the exit north promotional images, in the one where youre sitting down, propped on your knee is a block of… something. mind if I ask what this “something” is? (sorry for the stupid question buts its been bugging me for a while now) w/ love, bug :o]

Hi Bug
It is this
The photographer Thron Ullberg, renowned for his portraiture work, wanted to incorporate it into the shot. I think it breaks up the image and provides a good focal point and additional texture and perhaps makes people wonder why. Portrait photographers often incorporate props for these reasons.

Dear Steve, My name is Hans and am 54 years old and a fan of your music since the 1st Japan single. I had only once the opportunity to see you and David live in Amsterdam in 2007. It was a Great show then. Ever since then David did not Tour anymore. Can you explain why? And is there a chance you and David will ever perform live in the future? Thanks in advance for your answer. Kind Regards and Take care Hans

Thanks for your continued support over many years, Hans. Regarding your second question the answer is no, you can rest assured you witnessed the very last tour of that kind. Regarding your first question, it’s not a question for me.

Hello, I’m an 18 year old student from Sweden and i’ve been listening to JAPAN and various projects by all the members of JAPAN since february this year, like Dolphin Brothers and so forth. I have been incredibly inspired especially by JAPAN. Gentlemen and Tin Drum are two incredible albums i have to say. What was it like in the studio when you were recording the albums? How was the mood and such?

That’s a bigger question than you can imagine. I think the best thing I can do is point you in the direction of a recent book by Anthony Reynolds titled: Japan – A Foreign Place

The intent of the book was to shed some light on the workings of the band, in particular how the music was made. As that hadn’t been tackled before it was the reason I agreed to contribute. I think it provides the sort of insights you’re looking for.

Hi Steve! A question for you, Sir: Japan worked with Giorgio Moroder at a vital point of the band’s career (ie, around the time the band changed styles in both image and sonic presentation/arrangement). What short-term or long-term effect did Japan experience from working with Moroder? Thanks kindly!

Not much, I would say. We were quite strong about what we wanted to do musically. Working with Moroder was a whole lot of compromise. I believe the idea to collaborate originated with the German label we were with at the time. That project, as well as ‘I Second The Emotion’, were business decisions and were musically much more conventional than we would normally want to be, purely for the purposes of appealing to a wider audience.

Was spitting the rice at Takahashi rehearsed in the Stay Close mv? Or was that off the cuff? You look like you’re about to burst out laughing afterwards. It’s hilarious.

Haha. Yes it was indeed rehearsed (every scene was) and as with filming generally each person’s ‘take’ in the making of a face-to-face conversation is filmed separately so Takahashi wasn’t sitting opposite me when the filming was done, as was also the case with his filmed part. Someone had the job of throwing the rice in his face. I think there was only one camera used in the making of the film so we would perform the same sections for altered camera angles. This is common practice though.

Some Polaroids taken on the day