Dear Steve, for 32 years now your creations have inspired & helped me along life’s interesting path. It seems something rather magical happened when ‘Japan’ crystallised. Around the time of ‘Gentlemen Take Polaroids’ I started to hear magic between you & Mick. For health reasons (I’m a haemophiliac & being a percussionist/drummer didn’t suit remedies available then), I found the Bass to be ‘mine’. I can always tell it is you on anyone’s track. Who/what influenced you; your sound is so unique?

There wasn’t one definitive player that influenced me, I took on board various influences during my informative years. Listening to music wasn’t just about the song, you listened to each player’s style and performance and soaked it up. One of the most innovative and quirky players that I enjoyed was Television’s Billy Ficca. Albums on repeated listen that inevitably influenced me were Electric Warrior, Berlin, For Your Pleasure, Horses, Low, Unorthodox Behaviour, Schooldays, Exodus, Heroes, to name but a few (I’ve probably neglected some important ones). But I wouldn’t say that as a result I sound like any of the players on these albums, but perhaps you can hear references. The point is that I, (along with Mick), wanted to find a voice, so we worked hard at refining a rhythm section that didn’t always function in the standard way. I’d say we were somewhat driven to be noticed as players and had the perfect platform on which to experiment since that was the mindset of all the members. Almost all of Japan’s material was arranged in rehearsals and evolved through the performances. If Japan had simply been a singer/songwriter type of band I don’t think we’d have gotten the same recognition. It was truly a group effort.

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