MINORU TSUNODA, since the 1980s has been working as a vocalist and guitarist in alternative rock bands. In 1998, as a guitarist he joined the unit of DJ TSUYOSHI, “JOUJOUKA” where he still operates as a computer manipulator. He started his DJ career at the same time appearing at many Japanese events and festivals such as FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL. He actively performs overseas especially in Asian countries. He’s not held back by genre, mixing trance, techno, house and rock. Funky Gong aims to create a new type of Funk/Psychedelic Dance Music. He also has a very unique performance with his avant-garde style of playing the guitar while DJing.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where in Japan were you born and where in Tokyo do you live now? I was born in Kumamoto in Kyushu. Now I live in Kamiitabashi of Tokyo. What clubs in Tokyo can people see you DJ? Ageha and Unit.
How did you meet DJ Tsuyoshi, we would love to hear your story: I was doing an alternative rock band similar to Jimi Hendrix and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the 1990s. At one of the live shows in Tokyo, Ubar-Tmar the Kumamoto-born Psychedelic Techno Producer was there in the crowd. One day, I received a call from Ubar-Tmar: “Please join our group and play guitar, we formed a Psychedelic Techno Band”. The name of the band was “JOUJOUKA” and the leader of JOUJOUKA was the global Psychedelic Trance DJ “TSUYOSHI”.
What are some of the influences you used to make your new album?
It’s influenced with various sounds from Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Stones, NIN, Front Line Assembly, The Chemical Brothers to Psychedelic Trance. Describe the Trance scene in Tokyo, how it has changed since the year 2000? The explosive popularity temporarily went away but people right now are on the dance floor! The Tokyo scene is becoming established as a special psychedelic holy place in Asia. ageHa What do you love about Dance Music (EDM)? It’s great to connect with people around the world through my music.
Who are your top 3 favorite guitarists? Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Your track ‘Stranger In Paradise (Slight Return)’ goes into an ambient direction with hypnotic backwards guitar. Do you enjoy creating a relaxing atmosphere with your music? I made this track on a very hot day last summer. I would love to create more tracks in this relaxed atmosphere direction, I think now I’m going to write more!
Who are some of your favorite DJs in America and what cities would you like to play? Skrillex, DJ Shadow, Steve Aoki, Adam Freeland, Diplo, Erick Morillo and BassNectar. San Francisco, LA, Seattle and NYC to name a few.
What places in Japan would you suggest for tourists to visit? Kumamoto (Mt Aso Volcano) and Kyoto!!!
What are your future plans for 2016? Getting back in the studio to create more new songs as FUNKY GONG and with JOUJOUKA. This coming summer we’re scheduled to tour Europe. Also I want to meet everyone in the United States!
What does Dark Beauty mean to you? Karma of the soul… Karma of the subconscious…