sho asakawa is the epitome of the inspiring 21st century rock star: he’s self-reliant, poly-oriented and very driven. his look is special and it makes him stand out just as much as the great quality of his music. he is very active in social media, he markets his personal brand as well as his band’s, he is well versed in making the best of the promoting channels available. and i admire how he always has his eyes on the prize. i will be watching you, sho asakawa! i’m pretty sure your future is bright!
sho asakawa is the creative back bone of plasticzooms. they are a very interesting post punk japanese band. i really like their stuff and i plan to support their effort as much as i can. because they have super striking, well-produced music. because they are young and focused and their energy is contagious.
i started talking to sho online back in november. he has always been polite and thorough. so, we kept on exchanging ideas back and forth and, today, i am in the position of presenting to you the exciting interview we have been working on.
please tell me about yourself
for plasticzooms, i have a hand in almost everything. writing lyrics, music composition, design, producing, etc.. i am also the designer for my accessory brand, venus eccentric, and am currently working on my solo project fritillaria camtschatcensis.
please tell me about plastcizooms
plastcizooms is what came into being when we decided to combine music and fashion. we are not so much a band as we are an active artistic group.
you seem to have it all figured out: there’s this whole sho character (i have to admit i have myself fallen for) and a complex vision for the band
image is incredibly important to me. if you were to take emotions such as grief and anguish, and translate them into a color, it would definitely be black. in presenting my work, these emotions are essential. the black color that is born from them is beautiful.
if you were to ask why, it’s because I am bringing death itself into an image. when human mortality is exposed, that momentary flash and recognition of imminent death is almost radiant – the recognition becomes a living thing in and of itself. for me, the color that was most radiant to me was black.
are plasticzooms an independent act?
yes. we are indies.
in this era, if you want to honestly think about creativity, being indie is a must. if you’re indies, what you create is handled directly by you, made by your own hands.
your musical range is quite large: some of the tracks are fucking angry while other songs are quieter and more melodious
i think you are such a great songwriter. how do you work on that? please tell me about the process.
i’d like to answer these two questions together. when i write songs, i focus on emotions.
this way, it’s possible to write songs that are honest, that can actually express human feeling. by doing this, i can raise different levels of tension and reactions from the listeners through music.
the same goes for lyrics.
did you make a conscious effort to make starbow more accessible than charm (i mean less punk and more pop)?
more than that, the challenge we faced in recording starbow was trying to bring out our punk roots through experimentation in pop music.
please tell me about your involvement with lilies and remains
i used to be their support bassist. even now, i’m still close with both the members and the label. kent, the vocalist, is a really amazing composer,
i read about some collaborations: long clothing and venus eccentric. is this kind of collaboration a regular occurrence in japan or is it just you?
no, it’s actually quite rare. our band is active as an axis between music and fashion, which is the basis of our collaborations and releases.
i heard you had a show of your art
there was an exhibition – at harajuku select shop a store robot, where plasticzooms-focused photography taken by our official photographer, nao takeda, was put on display.
you also dj quite often. what can i expect if i come to one of your nights?
what i spin the most when i dj is:
soft cell. depeche mode. new order. buzzcocks. public image ltd. the cure. the sisters of mercy. joy division. the smiths. ride. aztec camera. daf. ike yard.
what’s next? do you have plans for the future?
on january the 27th, we released some big news! we release a plasticzooms logo necklace. and we announced the upcoming release of our new song: raven, on 7 inch. stay tuned for more!
what are your main interests, beside music. do you have any time left for hobbies?
what i like to do is what i am already doing. i spend every day devoting myself to a creative existence.
i love your sense of style. please tell me about it.
one of the things i love the most is finding things that suit my style. the time i spend refining myself is incredibly important to me. if i didn’t do this, uneasiness from not being honest to myself would keep me from sleeping at night.
what are your favourite places to hang out?
my home. my bed.
what are the places in tokyo (and japan) that i definitely shouldn’t miss.
the sushi from tsukiji is definitely the best!
thank you very much, sho! see you soon in tokyo!
photo and video credits: sho/plasticzooms