The group comprises Tommi Tokyo (vocal/synthesizer/beat) and Sayaka Botanic (violin/keyboard). Since the group played their first gig at an art gallery opening party in Tokyo, they have been playing gigs non-stop. Their shows consist of avant-garde blow out noise, electronic beats and performance art, such as live painting that is notoriously half-naked.
You are both designers. How did you come together and decide to form a band?
T: I had been in other bands before so it was natural for me to start a new band. We started it as a laugh, just to escape from the boring life in Tokyo, and we decided to continue for the love.
S: I've never be in a band and never thought I could be in a band since groupA were formed, but we both fanatically loved music so it was quite natural to starting a band with Tommi.
Your first show was at an art gallery opening. What was the exhibition? What was the connection between your performance and the exhibition theme?
S: It was a group exhibition by among artists at the tiny gallery in Tokyo called Commune. Apart from us there were two musicians played, one made noise with blowing phosphorescence slimes in a bin and one did a pure white noise for 20 mins. There was a theme for an exhibition, though we were more connected under the word 'chaos' in a commune.
At some of your performances, you are almost naked, though your body is painted white. Then you paint on each other during the performance. What are you trying to express?
T: If we were ever trying to express anything, then I think it would be our anger and aversion for people with no imagination or individuality. I get sick everyday to see people who try to do the same things as everybody else does. They have nothing to say to anything, no reaction. Typical.
How do people react to the performance? What is the weirdest thing anyone has said or done after seeing your show?
T: Japanese people are polite you know. They don't throw bottles or shout something negative. But the funniest comment I got was when we played the cover of "We Are Ninja" by Frank Chickens, someone came up to me and asked if we were the Frank Chickens. God, how old did we look on stage? They must be in their 50s now.
Tommi is also a DJ in Tokyo. What kind of music do you play? What are some of your favorite tracks at the moment?
T: I mainly play either minimal synth, dark wave, cold wave, NDW, synth punk sort of stuff or post punk and no wave mixed with reggae and ska. I listen to many different types of music but most of the stuff I have got in my record shelf are from late 70s to early 80s. My favourite tune at the moment is "Paura" by MUSUMECI, the cult italian synth punk. I'm also in love with "Lux" by Schaltkreis Wassermann. I'm DJing tonight and can not wait to see people going crazy on these records!
Lately you have been working with VJ eetee. How do the projected visuals work with your show?
S: To visualising our music. In a rehearsal studio, we share the image of the song then let VJ eetee improvise a song with her visual sources while we play. so literally rebuild and expand the world of group A not only for your ears but also eyes.
Group A Band Info
Urban Nomad Opening Party
Time: 5/10 (Sat) 8pm - late
Place: Feng Huang Night Club, 5F #159 Xining S Rd, Taipei
Event info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1441197486119920/
Online Ticket Sales: http://www.indievox.com/urbannomadfilmfest/event-post/14650