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Mouse on the Keys

Last month you may have been introduced to the Japanese Mouse On The Keys here at Lords Of Metal through a review of their EP 'Sezession' from 2007. This months' issue also contains a review of their 2009 release 'An Anxious Object', which now also is available in Europe. Because the band is a mysterious newcomer to us, Daisuke Niitome (written as D.N. below, piano/keyboard) and Akira Kawasaki (written as A.K. below, drummer/composer) answered some questions about where their inspiration for piano jazz mixed with furious drumming came from and what some of their future plans are.

By: Bart D. | Archive under fusion / jazz

First of all, welcome to Lords of Metal! I'm very glad that for a still mysterious reason you decided to send your EP 'Sezession' to our headquarters. What made you decide that a website dedicated to all things somehow connected to metal could also include your brand of music?
D.N.: We love any kind of music if it sounds cool. As you guessed, we are not only listening to metal, but we definitely love some elements of metal. We don't want to hesitate to enjoy music like Meshuggah or whatever sometimes, just because it is metal. I don't think it would not make sense for music fans who mainly love metal to enjoy some of our songs and to want to extend their interest.

As most people, even the more jazz-oriented among them, reading this website would've probably never heard of you, could you introduce yourselves biographically and musically?
A.K.: Mouse On The Keys is formed by the drummer/composer Akira Kawasaki and the piano/keyboard player Atsushi Kiyota in 2006. Another piano/keyboard player Daisuke Niitome joined the band as a support member just before the recording session of 'Sezession' in 2007, then he became a permanent member at the time when the band did a release tour of 'Sezession' in 2008. There was a term for having a member for producing and controlling projection but finally we have decided to strengthen the trio style. I would describe our music like this: mix the piano sound from the early to the middle twentieth century's contemporary classical music and the rhythm/drum style of post-hardcore from the mid-eighties to the nineties, in the sense of the followers of Detroit techno.

band image


As it so happens to be, I'm a big fan of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, and you got my attention by comparing yourselves to them. Now, most groups who do this, end up making a false comparison. You, however, pass the test! In what way do you think your music resembles that of the Late Great?
D.N.: I'm not sure about this because we always try to be different. I like the music of Esbjörn Svensson Trio, though. Thank you for letting us pass the exam, anyway.

The EP 'Sezession' I received is already from 2007, and in the meantime you also had a full-length album, 'An Anxious Object', out in 2009. Are we going to be pleased with that one over here in Europe and at Lords of Metal?
D.N.: The album 'An Anxious Object' has been released in Europe via Denovali Records last March.

As I write this, you are touring Europe. It's a pity that you don't attend the Netherlands, as it would be great to see you perform live. Could you tell something about what your live shows are like, and if we perhaps might be able to welcome you back in the near future?
A.K.: In our live performance, we project visual images onto a screen while we are playing the instruments. We visualize some kinds of images which symbolize today's Tokyo and Japan in our own way. You can see some of our performance videos on youtube, a few official ones and many unofficial ones.

Are there also plans for the release of a new record in the near future?
D.N.: Yes, we want to release a next mini album later this year.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer the questions, and thank you also for the beautiful music. If you would like to say anything you couldn't say above, fee free to do so below!
Thank you very much. We hope to play in the Netherlands in the near future.

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