GOVERNMENT ALPHA INTERVIEW

Gov. Alpha is a noise project by Yasutoshi Yoshida. His sounds are screechy harsh feedbackscapes that are most likely unhealthy. We love his stuff here in Paraffin so we hooked up with Yasutoshi for a few questions and hereīs the result of our short correspondence...

Q: What is your line-up? When did you form G.Alpha and how has your style developed in time?

A: When I started Govt.Alpha in 1992, it was experimental sound like constructive/alternative music using musical instruments (guitar, keyboard etc.). At the time I didnīt know much about "noise music". I thought noise music is alternative music that sounds like Einsturzende Neubauten. Early G.Alpha works (before "Doze" tape) had musical construction. When my friend listened to my sounds, he said "sounds like noise music" and he taught me Whitehouse, Nurse With Wound, Throbbing Gristle... after that I have got into noise music. And I had an interest in pure electronics noise without using musical instruments. I have been really fascinated by "extreme harsh noise" because itīs the end of music.

Q: What is your motivation for making noise?

A: If you have an experimental curiosity for music, naturally you would find noise music out. So, noise music has many possibilities for making sound. I can try to do a lot of things with it, and I can be free to make sound/ to express. Because wecan make some values for it by each artist.

Q: You did a split cd with Macronympha. Are you good friends with Joseph Roemer? Who else would you like to work with?

A: Yes, he is my best friend because some people stop to contact, but he never stops to contact me. I always feel his passion for noise music from his letters. Now I have worked with PBK, Stabat Mors, Namanax, Cartesian Faith, Skin Crime and Dogliveroil. Maybe these works will be released this year.
I am interested in working with other music genres, for example techno music, hard core/grind core, industrial etc... In fact, sometimes I have taken part of my friends gabba techno/industrial noise bands. Itīs a lot of fun. I am starting to collaborate techno rhythm with noise 2 pieces unit called Barom-San. I think it sounds like Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, Old SPK... Now we have 3 live shows this spring.

Q: Have the other noise bands from Japan influenced you?

A: No they havenīt. But concerning my posture for live performance I might have been influenced by the Incapacitants. They are really great artists and great performers. If you have a chance to see them live, you should do it. And if you donīt feel anything from their live show, your sensitivity for noise must be dead.

Q: How do you create your wonderful feedback? What kind of equipment do you use?

A: All Govt.Alpha sounds have been made with a very simple system. I canīt make loud sound at my room. When I make noise sound/others, almost always I have been using headphones. I really like feedback noise, my first noise experience might be feedback guitar on hard rock. My equipments are HM-2, FZ-2, DD-3 of Boss pedal, FX-86, FX-33 of DOD pedal, WH-10 of Ibanez pedal and Zoom 9050 multi and a microphone. It means live setting for G.Alpha.

Q: How do you record, do you use 4-trackers, overdubbings etc.?

A: Yes, I have 4 track tape recorder (Yamaha) for G.Alpha recording and a hard disc recorder for S.Isabella (Yasutoshiīs other project) recording but our first cd was recorded by 4 track. I am always trying to do overdubbings, because overdubbings lead to a more fantastic/amazing sound world than no dubbing. I want to enjoy recordings. When I do live shows, I canīt overdubbings in real time so I have to make no dub simple sound. Therefore, I have done overdubbings at home recording time.

Q: Do you perform live a lot? How do you create your live sound? Are there many noise concerts in the Tokyo area? Have you played outside Japan?

A: Yes I do. I havebeen playing as Govt. Alpha, S.Isabella, Barom-One, Barom-San, collaboration live etc. Now I have some more liveshows at 4/4 as Barom-One, 18/4 as S.Isabella meets Barom-Man, 24/5 as Barom-San and June/August as Govt.Alpha. Maybe Iīll do more live shows this year. Certainly,there are noise artistsīlive in Tokyo, but there arenīt only noise concerts a lot in Tokyo. I did a California/USA tour with Kazumoto Endo last year. We had 9 shows in 10 days. We had a lot of fun and we met some nice people. They were very kind to us.

Q: Who are the most interesting new noisers youīve heard?

A: Deison, who is a new Italian dark ambient/electronics noise artist. Cartesian Faith, who is an experimental noise artist from Alaska, USA. Magmax, which is Koji Tano/MSBRīs new power "death" electronics noise project Their liveshows are excellent.

Q: What else do you enjoy besides noise? What other kinds of music do you listen to?

A: I like movies, books. Recently, I have almost listened to only noise music but sometimes I listen to FM radio stations.

Q: G.Alpha discography?

A: discography, except compilation works:

"Doze" tape, Xerxes
"Funeral Procession" tape, Xerxes
"Erratic" tape, Xerxes
"Advisability Study" split tape w. TADM, Xerxes
"Headache Chocolate" split tape w. Lasse Marhaug, Xerxes
"The Declining Sun" collab tape w. Naj, Xerxes
"Epidemic 9" split tape w. R.H.Y.Y., Ausculture
"The Maternity Music" tape, Mother Savage
"The Garden Of Eternity" tape, Less Than Zero
"Defective Politics" tape, Self Abuse
"Obliteration" split cd w. Macronympha, Mother Savage/Xerxes
"Hesitation" 7", Vinyl Communication
"Ephemeral Warmth" cd, Xerxes

Q: Do you care about the format of a G.Alpha release? Would you rather make cdīs than lpīs? Do you also release cassette tapes?

A: No I donīt because I am most interested in making noise. When I make sounds I donīt think about the releasing format. I just do best work for each works. I have released a lot of cassettetapes.

Q: What record did you listen to last?

A: Genocide Organ "Remember" 2LP
Brutum Fulmen&Ninnuam "Collapsing Orchestra" cd

Q: What do you think of noise magazines? Are there enough zines and are they good in quality? Your favorites?

A: I think noise magazines are needed by worldīs noise listeners. These are precious information/data for us (even flyers). Actually, I have participated to a noise magazine in Japanese called Denshi-Zastuon (translation, "electronic noise"). this zine has been made by Koji Tano/MSBR, K.Kusafuka/K2 and a few others. Usually the Japanese havenīt used English. Some people wanted a zine in Japanese.

Q: Whatīll be the next G.Alpha release?

A: "Melancholic Pomegranate" tape, New Noise/Holland
"Pulse" tape, Loud!/Italy
"Yakuza Vs. Mafia" split w. M-Nympha/OVMN vs. MSBR/G.Alpha 2cd,MSBR/Japan
split tape w. Skin Crime, Xerxes
split tape w. dogliveroil, Xerxes
and some compilations.

Q: Is Xerxes very active? Can you tell us everything there is to know about it?

A: I think Xerxes is very active. At first I started xerxes for G.Alpha releasings in 1994. I did just a little distribution in Japan. One day I was interestedin releasing another artists, because I am a noise listener myself. And I wanted to spread good noise artists in Japan.

Q: What do you think of the current noise scene of the world? Do you think there is enough audience for noisers?

A: Recently the noise scene has been a mixture with other music genres and some people start to make "noise (no rules)" by just using noise as a material for music but there are good sounds in them. I can say noise is not fashion. Noise is "blood" and "life" for me. You know that the noise scene has no big audience in the world. Some people have thought that Japan has a big noise audience and famous but the reality is same circumstances with other countries. Although we are enjoying to make sounds and do live shows for ourselves. This is an important thing.

Q: Anything else?

A: My collaboration project S.Isabellaīs 2nd cd "Pleroma" has been released on xerxes. This is unfilmed "delusion noise" soundtrack. Featuring: A.M.T., Astro, B.Gunter, Connect The Dots, Dead Body Love, Govt.Alpha, K2, Lasse Marhaug, Macronympha, Meeuw, MSBR, Odal, Stabat Mors, Steve Eto. Price: $14.oo incl. postage
Stabat Mors/S.Isabella collaboration lp will be released on "abRECt" in Germany.
Xerxes will start a new section called "96". These are all handmade cd-r.
Upcoming are:
Kapotte Muziek,ltd.96
Namanax, ltd.95
Astro, ltd.94
Klangkrieg, ltd.73
Artificial Memory Trace, ltd.72
Government Alpha, ltd.71

If you have an interest in my activities, please get in touch. Thanks!
Xerxes c/o Yasutoshi Yoshida, 203 Fujimori-kata, 1-4-5 Wakabayashi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 154, Japan.
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