YOHEI(dr)talks about his experience at music school and the successful story of JABBERLOOP on the Japanese magazine “msg (music school 2013)”.
Very interesting story for all JABBERLOOP fans and great advice for people studying music!
You can read online version in Japanese here.
Have a clear goal and do your best!
– How did you start playing drums?
When I was in junior high school, somebody rented a drum for the school festival. It was crystal drum like YOSHIKI’s (X JAPAN) and looked really cool. At that moment, I felt like “This is it! I wanna play drums!” Then I got lucky that I found a person who gave me a drum set. I thought this was the destiny.. When I first started, I was playing Visual-Kei music. After entering high school, I did some sessions with my friends and became having interests in many different genres. So I took drum lessons. Eventually I started thinking of becoming a professional musician and I thought I could be if I go to the music school. So I went to Kouyou Music School in Shiga which has a partnership with Berkeley Music School. But I was not a good student.. I didn’t know how I should have spent at school. School taught me the basics and I improved my skill, but I should have tried to learn more willingly. I couldn’t realize it and I felt discouraged.
– What made you change after that?
My classmates were getting better and better. I was wondering why, then one of teachers told me that they knew what they wanted to do, or how they wanted to play, so the teacher gave them specific advice to improve their skills. Classmates are like rivals. We encourage each other. Spending two years at school with them was a really important time for me. I think I started to think myself as a musician at that time. If anybody wants to go to music school, definitely they should try their best no matter what. Teachers are very passionate teaching us, so you should take its advantage. It is also important that you make clear what you want to do. If not, you may end up wasting your time at school like me.
– You thought you could be a professional musician as soon as you graduate school. But what was the reality?
There were some people who became pros right after they graduated. But for me, I had been playing sessions with local musicians for about two years. Then we finally formed JABBERLOOP. One day, MAKOTO (TP) suddenly declared “I will move to Tokyo. But I don’t want to go by myself. Why don’t we go together as a band?”. lol We decided to move to Tokyo together and made a demo CD with three songs. Before we finally moved, we went to Tokyo just to check how it would like and we did a street live performance in Shibuya. Despite our expectations, there were so many people stopped by and saw our performance. CDs were sold well. Then we thought we could do it in Tokyo.
– You got great responses in Tokyo
Yes. So we rented a house in Tokyo and lived together there. We didn’t want to be busy just to make living, so we prohibited ourselves from having any jobs, and we just kept playing on streets.
– How did you make living?
Somehow we managed. We had sold CDs on streets. We had performed two to three times everyday other than rainy days. Sometimes we sold 100 CDs a day. We didn’t use a studio for practice. We practiced parks or streets. We had kept doing that for about two years, then we started receiving offers for club events. And we made our debut from Major label finally.
– What do you think how things you learned at music school are affecting to your musical career now?
At school, I learned not only the technical skills, but “musicianship” on the stage. That is really helpful for me. I think learning basics is very important. You can make your originality when you know the basics. Learning basics at school is definitely a great help.