Static X guitarist, Koichi Fukuda, is amazing in ever aspect of the word. Originally heard onWisconsin Death Trip, he returns for some killer riffs and solos on Cannibal. When I found out I would be interviewing two members of Static X, I hoped one of them would be Koichi. He emailed me, in confidence that it would not be him, as he isn’t comfortable with speaking English. When I asked if he would be interested in an email interview, he jumped on the idea!
Micah (RM): You say you still enjoy playing classical piano. Do you think you would be where you are today if your mom hadn’t made you take piano lessons as a child?
Koichi: I don’t think I would be here where I am now. I really appreciate everything my parents did for me. My parents have 5 children. (I’m the 4th) They had very hard time supporting 5 children, yet they let me take these, costly, lessons. My mom told me that music will be a priceless gift for my life. It’s true. Also she is the one who gave me the idea of coming to the U.S. One day, out of the blue, she said it to me “Why don’t you go to the U.S., if you want to do what you want to do?” I think I was like 17 years old then. Three years later I came to the U.S.
Micah (RM): How much freedom were you given with your guitar solos on the Cannibalalbum?
Koichi: When Wayne gave me the demo of the songs, he didn’t say anything and I didn’t ask anything. I even didn’t know which part was intended for a solo. I know Wayne has high standards for everything, so I was a little nervous to see if I could meet his expectations. At the same time, I wanted to give him something he wouldn’t think of. So, I just started recording lots of solo ideas onto the demo and sending them back to Wayne. Then, we started talking about them. Some of them were accepted. Some of them needed minor change. Some of them needed total redirection. When Wayne and John (Producer) rejected some of my solo ideas, I was little upset, but after all, I think they pushed me to help open a new door. All the solos I played on this new album wouldn’t sounds like that without Wayne and John being there to push me. I’m very proud of all the solos on Cannibal including the one John 5 did for the title track.
Micah (RM): Why do you think bands got away from guitar solos for awhile?
Koichi: Because back in the 80’s, many guitar players paid too much attention to its technical aspect, only, and forgot about the musical aspect, which is most important. If it’s not interesting, musically, it sucks, even if it has million notes. Then, some bands started thinking that if a guitar solo is nothing but a masturbation of the guitarist, why don’t we just drop it all together for the song’s sake!? I think that’s how this anti-guitar solo thing happened.
Micah (RM): Aside from the videos on your MySpace page, are there any other films/video games/ads, composed by yourself, of which you are proud?
Koichi: Before I was in Static-X, I used to make soundtracks for some porn videos, to pay my bills, but I’m not proud of them. I did it for the money.
Micah (RM): Describe, in your own words, a typical day with Static X.
Koichi: Wake up. drink coffee. Check email, etc. Take care of the business. Shit in a bag. Sound check. Meet and greet with fans. Eat whatever. Rock out! Take shower. Sleep. Loop!
Micah (RM): What went through your mind on your first day back with Static X?
Koichi: It felt like I had never left the band!