For how much the Japanese are supposedly in love with American culture, they seem to do it better than we do. Possibly that's because in a land where they're taught to respect their elders (over here, we tend to drop 'em off at Shady Pines and stop by with balloons every once in a while), musicians aren't afraid to fiercely imitate and honor their heroes. In the case of Tokyo's POLYSICS, those heroes were the potted-plant-headed electro-freaks known as Devo, the template from which vocalist-guitarist-programmer Hayashi has built his own "Technicolor pogo punk." They're sci-fi nerds with guitars who sing in their own "space language." And they've come to rock your world, language barrier be damned.
CityBeat: What the hell is the "space language" in which thou sing?
Hayashi: I listen to rock music, but lyrics have never been important to me. I thought the Western rock was stunning. An artist's performance and atmosphere meant everything, so it didn't matter what language or the meaning of the lyrics. Lyrics from our old songs didn't make any sense at all. Our recent lyrics still do not have any special meaning or message. For example, the sound of "Kaja kaja goo!" allows us to scream with the audience. That's much more important to us.
What specifically did you love about Devo? When you met them, did they have any sage words of advice?
One of the things that drew me to Devo was that the band didn't have a typical "rock" look popular at that time. I think that Devo have ordinary people's craziness with some humor and it shines in their performance. I think that's real punk music. It was in April 2000 when I first met Mark Mothersbaugh. He found POLYSICS and welcomed us. I was very, very happy. He accepted what we are doing and understood our music. He told us we were the only band that he could feel the energy coming out. Mark told us POLYSICS is the techno's explosion. He encouraged us.
What's up with the metal visors? Because your guitar licks are so damn hot?You're damn right!