An interview with Tomoyuki Tanaka by Phillippe Coullette, IV
Dawn was approaching rapidly and the G5 was gassed and ready to go, but I wasn’t. I used to think there was no such thing as too much pleasure, but that was before last night.
Last night, last night– where to begin? Needless to say, my charming and gregarious wife Coverton, of whom we shall speak no more, was not in attendance. It was therefore up to me and me alone to entertain Angelika, Carmen, and Ina, a trio of models who were so hungry for… entertainment that I thought I might not survive. Naturally I performed like a champion, but even the great Ilie Nastase was given the opportunity for water breaks between sets, a courtesy I was not afforded.
But there was something nagging me as I piloted my Citroen DS through the streets of Paris at breakneck speed. Suddenly it clicked– I had promised USOUNDS to do an interview with Tomoyuki Tanaka, the enigmatic wizard behind Fantastic Plastic Machine. Luckily I was able to engage the man himself on my net-enabled cell phone, and conduct the following text interview through a kindly Emperor Norton translator.
Phillippe Coullette IV: Tanaka, it’s simply smashing to hear your voice, even though I’m not actually hearing it right now. Let me say that I’ve been a big fan since the start and I think you’re the apogee of class and style. You know, I’m in Paris right now and your music fits the scene like a glove. However, I’ve felt the exact same thing in Barbados, Sao Paolo, Prague and Tokyo. Did you have a specific desire to create an international sound?
Fantastic Plastic Machine: I didn’t really intended to make music “globally” in the first place, and yet I never narrowed myself only to Japan either the whole time.
PCIV: Fascinating, and yet still your sound is the pet sound of the world right now, in a way. Speaking of which, do you have any pets?
FPM: Since I live in an apartment, I unfortunately don’t have a pet.
PCIV: That is a shame– my dog Roderick is one of the joys of my life. How about machines, then… what are your favorites?
FPM: Sampling machine VP-9000, which is Rolands’ brand-new product.
PCIV: So you’re onto the latest technology. Certainly fantastic machines have been a part of your scene for some time now, but it wasn’t always that way, was it? How long have you been making music, anyway?
FPM: I suppose that I’ve loved music much ever since I was born. My first experience of creating music is that a time when I formed a band with my friends at the age of 14. I played a bass-guitar then.
PCIV: What’s the most recent album that excited you?
FPM: Joan Gilberto’s new release.
PCIV: I absolutely adore it as well. But you’ve always been an artist with impeccable taste, and have thus done some amazing remixes. Do you have a favorite?
FPM: It is very difficult for me to choose just one track…..but the most recent remix that I did and like at the same time is ‘Belinda May’ by Ennio Moricone.
PCIV: Interesting choice! Tell me, do you think the future will be happy?
FPM: I am always hoping that our future will be full of happiness.
PCIV: As am I, as am I.
With that warm, fantastic plastic feeling in the pit of my stomach, I logged off and walked onto the waiting jet, ready to blast off into the future with FPM by my side.