Thanks for coming My pleasure In this cold I’m a fan of the show. I was wondering when you’d call me I’m honored to be here I’m Sho from Alternative Medicine Kichijoji-based, been playing since sixteen I can’t get too specific or my age will get revealed Not that I’m hiding it ……15? 16 years? Scary. You’ve been playing for a while Yeah. It’s a wonder I’m still playing Anyway, please check us out on Youtube if you’re interested You know how people collect things as hobbies? Figurines, “rare” things… I don’t get it at all People who get it, get it, but people who don’t get it just think it’s weird I can’t remember how I got into collecting, but it started with cards We’re like 10 years apart so you probably won’t get it but But you could get a card for 20 yen And every 400 yen a shiny card comes out I found out about that a trick a while after After I figured that out– The younger kids from school would line up behind me, right? I’d let them all go before me until they spent 380 yen then I’d put in the final 20 yen and be like “Oh, what? I got the shiny card!” For me it was Yugioh cards We would look for scratches on the back of the package to try and search for rare cards I’ve heard of that If you do that in convenience stores, they kick you out There were “NO CARD SEARCH” signs It was as weird as blowing into your SNES cartridge How do you know about that trick? I always wonder why people knew about that trick There was no Internet but everyone knew about it Were you even born when the SNES was out? Yeah I was, I would play my brothers all the time Also after you blow, you have to turn on the system with just the right strength You grew up overseas, right? From 8 to 9 I was in Los Angeles; 9 to 12 I was in Chicago because of my parent’s jobs Now I sing in English and teach English so I have to thank my parents That was when I discovered Nirvana and Pearl Jam One day in 6th grade I went to school and everyone was wearing Pearl Jam shirts Every single person. I was like, what’s happening? When I asked “What’s Pearl Jam?” they said,”Someone like you wouldn’t get it” I was like “R-right, sorry” So I asked my closest friend, and he was like “They’re a band from Seattle. They’re coming to Chicago today, everyone’s going to the show” So I was like “I wanna go too!” and he said “The tickets are sold out man” The first song he made me listen to was “Go,” from the album “Vs.” The whole song I was like, “This is good? This is what everyone is so excited about?” I didn’t get it at all About a year later Kurt Cobain died I went to school and this time everyone was wearing Nirvana shirts looking like they were at a funeral My first period English class got canceled Everyone pulled out a guitar, lined up and started singing All Apologies I was the only one like, what? My homeroom teacher was crying What an awesome school At that time, I wasnt “into” it but it was more discovering a new sub culture The artists I liked then were Yumin, Wands and Nakayama Miho what a musical culture shock It was what my mom used to play in the car so it’s what I grew up on I had a guitar teacher for a little while that was where I discovered blues I showed my teacher the songs I wanted to play, Van Halen and stuff and he was like, “Then just play it.”
–that’s insane And he started busting out a crazy solo I was like “but… I can’t do that” and he replied, “you shouldn’t do things you can’t do” so he said “Let’s just jam” Everything I learned from this teacher is everything I know about guitar And the one thing he taught me was how to jam He’d say “If you play here and here and here, you’re good” From there we jammed for an hour and a half After that he said, “okay, now that’s what you call a solo” “Sho, that’s YOUR guitar solo” One day he said, “There’s nothing left for me to teach you” “I can’t accept any more money from you” “so please don’t come” But I looked forward to going to my teacher’s house every month so he said “Then just come hang out. I don’t need your money” But I felt like I would be wasting his time. I felt guilty not paying him so I said “Sorry, I can’t do that” It got awkward? My teacher didn’t want money so he didn’t call me up either A few years later he became Alternative Medicine’s bassist What a great conclusion You were a cover band at first? / Yup We would be all over the place We did the Princess Mononoke theme song, Also some music that my guitar teacher was doing Who sang the Titanic song? Celine Dion? Celine Dion…. and then GLAY D: Finally a band and Foo Fighters cause I wanted to sing that was the kind of band we were The guitar I was using back then was X Japan’s Hide’s Signature model You didn’t want people to fuck with you Green transparent body. I was so damn heavy If you have anything XJAPAN related, you’re automatically cool I was like, “Hey bitch, my guitar isn’t made out of wood” Have you seen the movie Donnie Brasco? Johnny Depp is in it It’s a story about the mafia and cops In that movie the phrase “Forget about it” means so many things In that context it means “awesome” that one is the normal “forget about it” I was really taken by how versatile the phrase “forget about it” was within the mafia So I based that song around that phrase The other day I saw you ranting on Twitter When Tyler The Creator came. You were bitching about the price Let me tell you I’m subscribed to golf media so I know the prices of these things There was a pop up shop so obviously I went The tees were about $80 I can tell the body is ALSTYLE or GILDAN If you play in a band you would know I was like, 8000 yen?! but I couldn’t just take a pic with Tyler without buying anything and I wanted to support him. So I gave in and bought it The next day I went to his show, and it was 4000 yen The same thing! I was like, you’re fucking kidding me I get that it’s a pop-up shop, but still! There was a design I liked from Mortar Records, so I asked the guy about the designer, and it was Verdy All of his designs were really cute A lot of the bands we used to play with had merchandise with that feel So we ordered one and it sold really well Then he invited me to come to his personal exhibition He’s from Osaka but he had one in Tokyo When I went, the art was so different from his designs He has a logo called the “Anarchy Peace”
with a anarchy sign with a peace There’s a “3” but I shouldn’t say why I was really surprised at how different his gallery was compared to his shirts From there, Verdy would tell me all these upcoming artists After that, I got interested and starting going to galleries myself There’s a place called H Gallery An artist named Haroshi makes art out of broken skateboards Another guy Usugrow who has crazy drawings of Travis Barker He makes these interesting fonts that mixes arabic, Japanese and English styles Also, a person from a art publisher Gestalten These people all got together at H gallery and I went I met James Jarvis there, and watched Usugrow’s live painting Live painting is just like playing a show I felt a connection and relation with all forms of art when I saw that I would constantly upload photos or videos of things that I liked Do you think that art will influence maybe your next music video? You nailed it I can’t say anything yet but We have plans to have our next MV taken by someone crazy It was someone that we asked from an “art” point of view I want our next album to have alot of pieces of art in it There’s no need to rush. We just want the perfect album We don’t want people to look down at us Also at the right time, so people don’t look down at us The timing is important too huh Also a show/tour that people will think is cool The bottom line is “Don’t be looked down on” I think people born in the 80s all think the same thing We had color gangs, and scary people Today’s guest was Sho from Alternative Medicine I talked so much It was fun!
–every time with you ken