Brighton’s Fujiya & Miyagi return to Ireland this weekend for shows at The Village in Dublin (Friday) and Black Box in Belfast (Saturday), both in support of their fourth album Ventriloquizzing. The band’s David Best undertakes the State quizzing.
Who are you and where are you from?
My name is David Best from the group Fujiya & Miyagi and I was born in Leamington Spa in Warwickshire.
Who are your favourite artists from your hometown?
I think the Swell Maps were from around Leamington, or maybe Solihull where my Nan lives. Spacemen 3 were from nearby too. I like them both equally.
What’s it really like touring?
At it’s worst it’s like a works team building evening stretched out for two weeks. The good aspects are playing music to people who hopefully enjoy it. I appreciate touring now much more than i used to, I feel really lucky that we can still do what we do.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
My favourite city is New York. I have favourite crowds rather than venues. Although this might appear a little creepy Dublin has always been good to us. San Francisco too.
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
Captain Beefheart, Can, Serge Gainsbourg, Parliament, kraftwerk, Terry Riley, Don Cherry, Stooges, David Bowie, Sly and the Family Stone, Emeralds, Prince, My Bloody Valentine, Rob Jo Star Band, The Kinks, Aphex Twin, Roxy Music, Cybotron, Suicide, Miles Davis, Husker Du, Silver Apples, Afrika Bambaataa, Harmonia, The Cramps and The Make-up.
Tell us a tour story…
I haven’t got anything I really want to share.
What has been your biggest achievement of the last year?
Being able to spend lots of time with my 17 month old son Riley. I also dismantled and re-assembled a wardrobe within an hour.
What do you do to relax?
I construct lava lamp patterns in my eyelids.
What are you reading?
Bernard Wolfe’s Limbo. It’s a book from 1952 which shares quite a lot of themes with J G Ballard. It’s a post apocalyptic world where to avoid further wars men voluntarily have their arms and legs amputated and replaced with cybernetic limbs.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
Sherlock and Match Of The Day with the sound turned down.
What’s the last thing you bought online?
It was either a silver Sergio Tacchini jacket or Robert Fripp’s LP Under Heavy Manners. They both came in the post today, as a fascinating aside.
Who would you most like to collaborate with if you got the chance?
Aphex Twin would be good.
What is the worst cover your band has ever performed?
We’ve only ever recorded one cover and that’s ‘Your Silent Face’ by New Order. Very early on we tried to do ‘I Don’t Know Why I Love You’ by Stevie Wonder. It was never finished which suggests it maybe wasn’t the greatest.
Have you ever trashed your equipment? When and why?
I trashed a transistor radio during a band practice once. During a lull in proceedings I was listening to an Arsenal game and they scored in the last minute so I pummelled the radio into the ground with sheer ecstasy. It felt good.
What website do you visit most?
20jfg is one I check regularly. The other would be the live bus timetable for Brighton and Hove. It’s relatively accurate.
What is your favourite…
…album of the last year?
Imaginary Softwoods – The Path Of Spectrolite.
Panabrite – ‘Camembert Symphony’
….Lost classic song?
Grandmaster Flash – ‘Scorpio’
… Record label?
A new artist that you are most excited about?
What was the last great gig you went to?
Probably Prince at O2 arena in London a while ago. I haven’t seen that many shows since Riley was born. The greatest show i’ve ever seen is My Bloody Valentine on the Rollercoaster tour at Brixton.
What should we expect from your Irish shows?
I think we are playing better than we ever have done at the moment. We tend to play songs mainly from our records Transparent Things and Ventriloquizzing, plus a couple from Lightbulbs. If there are projectors at the venues they’ll be visuals behind us which look pretty good. Live we sound faster and more aggressive than on record. We are really looking forward to playing in Ireland again.