Workspace and Environment: Melt Banana

Hello world,
I'm starting to send out signals to artists again and in return have generated a lot of interest. Hopefully when I get back from L.A. and finish with Arlovski I will have some free time to really sit down and get the series going again. In the meantime, I was fortunate enough to play e-mail tag with Agata from Melt Banana! Enjoy your weekend!

Agata of Melt Banana

How long have you been involved with making music/sound?
I was born in Japan. I moved many times in Japan because of my father's job and also lived in Thailand when I was a kid. I moved to Tokyo because I entered university. I've been making music for more than 20 years. I started doing this because I liked making over dubs using 2 cassette recorders when I was a kid.I still make music because I feel that it is not necessarily the case that I must be a super technical guitar player to make music or sound. Now, I play guitar in Melt-Banana.
You can find my work on Melt-Banana records and concerts. Also I did a solo album on Tzadik records called Spike.

What are your current favorite pieces of hardware?
Lightfoot lab's goat keeper. I got this a few years ago, and I still like it. I also checked boss slicer which is a similar thing, but goat keeper makes me feel more natural when I use it for guitars. Also I can change patterns by myself.

What are some softwares or plugins you prefer?
I currently do not have favorite softwares or plugins. Maybe I had fun iZotope's Trash plug in a little bit.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
I haven't thought about it before. I live in the same place for more than 10 years now. I've changed arrangement of furniture in the room many times. And I have less and less stuff in my room. Doing these things makes me feel different even when staying at a same place. At band practice studio, for me, if the room is bigger, it is better. If the room is small and there are many room reverb, it is hard to recognize the real sound from cabinet.

Could you describe what you might think your ideal location would be?
I think the best location to write music is in a train during a peak rush hour with a paper and a pen. Melt-Banana singer Yako wrote many songs with a paper and a pen when she was working for a company and needed to take a train to go to work. Private big studios with our favorite equipment is nice, but I'm not sure if I can write music which I really like.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining? The last?
The first one was a handmade guitar which I made with cardboards and duct tape when I was a kid. I used rubber bands for strings. The last one is Korg Nano Pad.

What is on your current wish list?
Electro Harmonix Hog. Guitar made by Yuri Landman from Holland.

What does your live setup consist of?
It includes gibson SG guitars, pedal boards, sunn beta lead head, mesa boogie head, 2 marshall cabinets.

How many physical locations have you had your studio setup in over time and how have they changed?
When I was using Adat, there were some outboards, and many cables and also a mixer but I'm not using them now. Now there are only computers and a few amps and effects.

Have you ever heard your music being played at a random/public place?
Only a few times. We went to change oil of the van during the tour, they were playing our music during we were waiting..

Are you involved in any music/sound work outside of your own projects?
When I was at school, I recorded sound effects for amusement place where people shoot each other using fake laser guns. But the place went bankrupt before they replaced sounds from old ones to the version I recorded. So after all, they did not use it.
I also wrote demo's for pop singer, but I don't know what it was for. These days I'm not doing these kind of things.

Melt Banana Official Website
Melt Banana Myspace


Anonymous said...


Pete Shambler said...

Saw Melt Banana a couple of years ago opening for Fantomas. They KILLED it!

Titanic Sinclair said...

Pedal board = want.

r0zh0k said...

Great interview, thanks man!