Interview with Yamantaka Eye of the Boredoms

Jesse Jarnow on March 1, 2010

Translated by Fumie Ishii

Yamantaka Eye, leader of Osaka’s Boredoms, has practiced a kind of unhinged psychedelic shamanism since the early 1980s, encompassing noise and chaos. Recently, he has orchestrated a series of massive drum performances, including Boadrum 9, staged during a total solar eclipse on a cruise ship off the south coast of Japan.

What was playing on a boat during an eclipse like for you?
It was really interesting to see the horizon moving up and down as if it was reacting to the sound we made with an open reel. Anyway, we got seasick and it was kind of tough, but I think the audience enjoyed the sound very much along with the ocean, sky and the motion of the ship. It seemed they had more internal trip than regular shows.

*The show was billed as the “LSD Tour.” *
The name of the ship was “The Lucy” and the organizer thought it would be cool to word play off the diamond ring shape of the solar eclipse and the Beatles’ song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” I was a bit worried because it was too direct. I heard some undercover cops were on board because of the name.

About 10 years ago, the Boredoms became less noisy and a lot spacier, with an emphasis on percussion. What brought on this change?
The band consists of just drummers and me so, after our guitarist and out bassist left, it was a natural process to become like the way we are now.

What does the word “psychedelic” mean to you?
Since this word has comprehensive meanings and sometimes it is confusing to get, but to me, maybe, diversity? I heard the word “psychedelic” for the first time from my mother. She was referring to neon colored stationary. I was dying to buy to it.