OMG. We love The Suzan. We can’t get enough of them. They have swept us off our feet with their contagious dance-y pop music. We met them when they last minute jumped on the bill at our Ace Hotel NYC party with MNDR last summer. Since then we have had them play our SXSW show in texas, Northside Festival showcase, Wayfarer’s Brooklyn show and our upcoming CMJ Showcase. Whew. We mean it when we say love. In the meantime, get to know NICO. Their adorable badass of a drummer answered some fun and some serious questions we asked her about her band moving from Japan to NYC.
Full Name: NICO
Lives In: Harlem NY
Current Bands: THE SUZAN
Past Bands: only THE SUZAN
Day Job: THE SUZAN
Top 5 places to see a show in Brooklyn:
1: Kanye West @ Brooklyn Bowl
2: Chromeo @ Brooklyn Waterfront
3: Titus Andronicus @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
4: Crystal Fighters @ Glass Lands
5: PS XO @ The Knitting Factory Brooklyn
Top places to eat in Brooklyn:
I don’t know! I love the Vietnamese sandwich shop in Sunset Park. I don’t know the shop’s name…. And also I love the hamburger at Rock Shop.
Top 5 things interesting things you have done while in the US:
1: First time playing at TOM TOM MAGAZINE’s event at ACE HOTEL 26th Feb. 2011!!
2: Touring with Chromeo & MNDR
3: First time playing at ANIME festival in Nashville
4:Found my home in Harlem.
5:Lost my cell phone four times during the two months.
Who are you favorite American Bands?
Marilyn Manson, The Doors, Blink182
Who are your favorite Japanese bands?
Do you have women drummer role models in Japan?
I don’t have it.
Do you ever meet any sexism when you play the drums?
No. I can’t think of anything difficult when I play the drums. It’s struggle against the rhythms for me. And, I think the important thing to play the drums is MIND. Not power or skills. Sex doesn’t matter my drummer’s mind. There is no sex to play the drums.
What is the best show you have ever played? Why?
My best show is in Leipzig Germany five years ago. It was our first European tour. We played at a haunted house in Leipzig. There was a cave of punks. Their appearance was like the punks that are neo-Nazis. All windows were broken, big stray dogs were prowling. From the darkness, a blond girl wearing a white dress came to pick us, and She guided us to an upstairs room. There were no walls. Punks were staring at us from afar. I was worried whether we could survive safely. BUT, We were able to get the encore 10 times at the show. We played three hours. Punks remember our lyrics and sang along with us. And, They came to the stage, carrying Saori (Vo.) and lead her away from the stage a lot of time. It was very happy show.
How long have you been playing the drums for?
How did you get into it?
First, Vo.Saori and Key.Rie made some demos in Japan 8 years ago. And, The demo was released by Japanese record label. Then, Rie and Saori needed some members for gig. So, Saori invited me to the band.(I was friend of Saori in high school.)
What does your family think about you being on tour?
My family has been cheering to me. They said that they saw the commercial of NFL + VERIZON has been used in our songs “COME COME” more than 100 times on youtube! But My mom say “When will you come back to Japan?” sometimes. She misses me.
What was it like working with Peter (Peter, Bjorn, etc)? How did you start working with those guys?
Our producer is Bjorn of PBJ. He is a super great artist. We got a message from Bjorn on Myspace. He said “Your music is amazing. Let’s work together!”. WE WONDERED. We wondered whether is that really Bjorn or other guy. So, We went Sweden to meet with him. And, We decided to work with him. He produced our album “Golden Week POCO POCO BEAT”.His idea is very unique, I recorded ‘Ramble’ by hitting the trash can.I am honored to be able to work with him. I learned a lot from him.
How would you rate your time in the US on a scale of 1-10. 1 being kinda shitty to 10 being amazing.
Of course 10!!! I love US so much.
How is the music system different here then in Japan (practice space, shows, touring)?
The difference between both which I feel strongly is about the practice space. The practice studio in Japan have all equipments. And they are very clean and not corrupt. It just looks like a beauty salon. lol
Do you miss good seafood?
Yeah, sometimes really miss them. NY seafood is “Okay” lol.
What don’t you miss?
My dog. and My favorite clothes shop “ANAP” in Shibuya.
How do you deal with all the groupies/fans?
I have respect for our fans. They know much about the music. And they are greed to music. I learn a lot from them. I wanna be friends with them.I hang out with fan on private in Japan. Our bassist IKUE was fan of the suzan. And She became a friend with us, and definitely became a bassist of THE SUZAN.
What’s next for The Suzan?
We have some shows in September. We gonna play with Peter Bjorn & John and other great bands. It’s so excited. And We had 2 music video shootings, you can see it soon. And, We’ll go to tour in U.S at the month. And Recording for next album, some shootings, and more!!!! See us at the Tom Tom Magazine CMJ Showcase on Oct. 2oth at The Woods in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Interview by Mindy Abovitz
Pics of Nico of the Suzan by MAMIKO MIYAKOSHI