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Friday, Aug. 6, 2010

Masudore to take postrock melodies to Rock In Japan

Special to The Japan Times

Formed in Kobe in 2002, Mass Of The Fermenting Dregs are a postrock band with a difference: melody. Oh sure, the trio's brutal live shows leave packed audiences around Japan with jaws agape — but they're also one of those precious few hard-edged live acts that also sound great on CD, charting highly as a result.

News photo
Dregging up tunes: Mass of Fermenting Dregs frolic in a field with each other.

The first of their two mini-albums was produced by Flaming Lips cohort Dave Fridmann and released in 2008, earning them a legion of fans inside Japan and out. (They'll make their overseas live debut later this month with a show in Taiwan, with a Canada tour to follow in October.) Their first full-length, "Zerokonma, Irotoridori no Sekai," was released this week; the band, whose tongue-twisting name is usually shortened to "Masudore," will play at the Rock In Japan festival on Aug. 8 and at Rising Sun Rock Festival on Aug. 13. The Japan Times chatted with cofounder and guitarist/backing vocalist Chiemi Ishimoto to get the skinny.

Masudore's live show is extremely intense. Where do you find the energy to play like that?

For me, it's the smiles on the audience's faces. That motivates me to enjoy every show. I want to be able to say afterwards, "That was fun!"

Do you have any preshow rituals?

Nothing out of the ordinary. We keep quiet to conserve our energy and we do stretches. But just before going on stage, the three of us get into a circle and scream.

What's on the agenda for Rock In Japan?

I want us to put on the best possible show, and then congratulate ourselves afterwards with good sake! Our first show at Rock In Japan was in 2008; I had a great time and really felt a connection with the audience. But I drank a bit too much afterwards.

You'll also play at Rising Sun.

Yes. We were invited to play last year, and we felt really lucky that they gave us the sunrise slot. It was amazing to play surrounded by nature and to feel the sun coming up during our set.

How is "Zerokonma, Irotoridori no Sekai" different from Masudore's previous albums?

I don't know how it sounds to other people, so it's hard to say exactly how it's different, but I think the contrast between our pop side and our aggressive side has become stronger. That contrast almost makes the music avant-garde."

Did you have any new influences this time?

I guess there were two new influences: First, we had longer to make the album; and second, we went on a trip together — just the three band members surrounded by the wildest nature. We talked about music and became more intimate with each other.

Which are your favorite songs on the album?

My favorite song is "Zureru," because the lyrics are very personal. Also, the album's title track was the result of an experiment: We wanted to try to make something that would be catchy and easy to dance to. All three members ended up putting so much effort into that song . . . We really believe that it could have been made by no one on Earth but the three of us.

"Zerokonma, Irotoridori no Sekai" is out now. Mass Of The Fermenting Dregs play the Wing Tent at Rock In Japan in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Aug. 8; and the Earth Tent at Rising Sun Rock Festival in Otaru, Hokkaido, on Aug. 13. For more information, visit www.motfd.com, rijfes.jp or rsr.wess.co.jp/1

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