Japanese club music master MYSS has a big month coming up. On May 19 their first album MYSS TAKE will drop on ROC TRAX. But before that, MYSS has the honour of being the first headliner at our Short Pants Party on May 7!
We caught up with Masayasu to talk new album, Short Pants Party and more.
First up, some background information on MYSS. Originally formed as a duo, 24 year-olds Masayasu and Tsubame have been making music together since meeting in Art School. Since then, they’’ve been busy making tracks and DJing around Japan, becoming part of the ROX TRAX crew and gaining themselves a hefty fanbase along the way.
ModernFuss: First an easy question – what was the first club music CD or vinyl you bought?
MYSS: ‘Frequency’ by Altern-8.
MF: When did you first start making tracks and DJing?
MYSS: It was in University, so about five years ago, with Tsubame. We’’ve always made music together since then.
MF: How was your style back then?
MYSS: Like Justice and Daft Punk. We were influenced by French electro music.
MF: Has your style changed much since then?
MYSS: It’s complicated. Since five years ago, I’’ve gone to a lot of clubs and a lot of different parties. I went out and felt vibes in each party, and got inspiration from there. I heard a lot of popular club tracks and kind of digested them, and hopefully came out with my own original style. So the base was French electro and I built my style up from there by going to clubs and listening to lots of different tracks and DJs.
MF: And has your production style changed a lot since you started?
MYSS: For track-making, I started off using software. But recently I’’ve been using hard synthesizers. Mostly I use MicroKorg.
MF: How long have you been working on the tracks on MYSS TAKE?
MYSS: The oldest songs, ‘Ace’ and ‘2nd Pixie’, were started about two years ago. The other tracks were made more recently.
MF: Why have you and Tsubame stopped working together? Did you have a fight?
MYSS: No, no! Tsubame hasn’t quit MYSS! He’s a graphic designer, and after graduating University he has decided to concentrate on a career in design. MYSS’ style is still the same. On our album MYSS TAKE I produced most of the tracks by myself, but Tsubame designed the CD jacket, all of the artwork.
MF: Is it difficult to DJ without him?
MYSS: It’s basically the same, but anyway he will continue to DJ or play live as MYSS at some events.
MF: About your album –- it’s a mix of many genres. How would you describe the sound?
MYSS: I tried to make an album that would work in two ways -– as club music but also for house listening. But mainly it’s club music!
MF: Which track would be the most popular in clubs?
MYSS: ‘O.P.P.’ and maybe ‘Boomer’. And for home listening, ‘2nd Pixie’ and ‘Keep A Secret’.
MF: Which song are you most proud of?
MYSS: ‘Ace’, because I made this track a long time ago. I always worked on this track, changing and repairing it. Finally it’s perfect now, so I’m really proud.
MF: Nice. Are there any guests on the album?
MYSS: Yes. I produced ‘Donuts’ with Taar, and ‘Spumoni’ with Bazz – both ROC TRAX artists! ‘Mistek’ and ‘Ace’ have guest vocalists. ‘Ace’ features JSD from The SAMOS, a great Japanese electro band. ‘Mistek’ features Ryan, the vocalist of Gimme Um. They’’re a rock band based in Tokyo, but the members are from around the world. They’’re so nice.
MF: How would you describe the Tokyo electronic music scene to an outsider?
MYSS: Many DJs have originality here, and the parties are always so much fun… but it’s hard to explain our scene!
MF: What are your favourite clubs in Tokyo?
MYSS: I like Womb and Ageha. They’re good for DJing and partying! I used to like Wedge in Shimokitazawa, but now it’’s closed.
MF: But the same space has reopened -– it’s called Three now.
MYSS: Really? I didn’t know that. I wanna go!
MF: And could you recommend some Japanese DJs or artists for our readers?
MYSS: Of course all ROC TRAX DJs! Also DJ Kyoko, Lowbrows… There are so many. But the best are ROC TRAX members!
MF: So, how about our party? What do you honestly think of the name, Short Pants Party?
MYSS: I don’’t completely understand it! Is it a dress code?
MF: It’s kind of a dress code, yeah.
MYSS: Oh! OK! Anyway, I think that name is so pretty, cute. And it has impact. And the flyer design is cute.
MF: Do you know any of the other DJs at Short Pants Party?
MYSS: I know a few of them. I’’m looking forward to playing with DA MONDE and smoooch! back to back. It’’s been a long time!
MF: Great. Recently it was announced that MYSS will play at Fuji Rock Festival! We are really looking forward to seeing you there.
MYSS: Thanks. I like festivals too.
MF: Have you been there before?
MYSS: Yes, maybe twice. I played DJ last year, and before we played on the Day Dreaming stage with ROC TRAX crew. The Dragondola stage.
MF: I was there! But it was so rainy. So, why do you like Fuji Rock?
MYSS: So many people go there, and everybody is free! Everybody feels so relieved –- no stress. It’s great!
MF: Will you stay at Fuji Rock for all three days?
MYSS: Yes, I think so. I want to see RivaStarr, Rusko, Mylo and of course DEXPISTOLS.
MF: Will you do anything different with your set at Fuji Rock?
MYSS: Well, it’s going to be MYSS live. Tsubame will be there too, and we will probably play the full MYSS TAKE album together. Maybe we’’ll change the arrangement a little to make it better for dancing!
MF: We’’ll be dancing at the front! Thanks for the interview, Masayasu!
MYSS: Thank you.
Check out MYSS at our Short Pants Party in Shibuya Seco Bar on Friday May 7th.
For more information check MYSS MySpace
MYSS’ debut album MYSS TAKE drops on May 19th on ROC TRAX. RCTX-0003 / 2500yen(tax-in)