On the Rain Tree Crow record Mick’s bass playing was quite different from the Japan records. Were you all on board with the new sound? I know it was still fretless bass, but it was quite restrained and less “expressive”. Was there any pressure on him to tone it down or was it entirely his choice? Thanks.

The rhythm section was generally understated. I’m not sure if it’s easy to appreciate but we worked hard to simplify every aspect of how the bass and drums interacted, avoiding superfluous content but still attempting to form less conventional structures, it was challenging. Perhaps ‘Pocket Full Of Change’ was the best example of it. The musical direction we were heading in wouldn’t have suited anyone’s style from previous albums and to be honest that was the last thing we would have wanted to bring to that project. The whole point was to not sound like a Japan album. If I remember correctly it was a five album deal, and the intention was to develop a new direction together under a new name. Whether or not we could have achieved that is another question but that was the motivation behind reforming.

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