Acid Mothers Temple May 3 at Total Drag

by Grant Wentzel

While our main objective is to showcase South Dakota talent, we’re starting at new feature called “Passing Through” where we will occasionally do a quick Q&A with some of the incredible talent rolling through our state.

Off-the-radar rock bands have always joked that, “We’re big in Japan!” For Acid Mothers Temple, the inverse is true. Twenty-five years of touring and over 100 albums later, the psychonauts of the “soul collective” founded by “guitar/speed Guru” Kawabata Makoto still find bigger crowds cheering in North America and Europe than back home.

They’re back at it this spring, on a relentless coast-to-coast schedule that has them playing almost every night. This time, they’ll be hitting up Sioux Falls, with their MetaReboot Tour descending on Total Drag on May 3. 

Makoto, who primarily speaks Japanese, was kind enough to chat with us via email and revealed some of the secrets of the band’s musical magic. His haiku-worthy responses, lightly edited, are below. 

On the band’s prolific output over the last few decades:

i set up my small private d.i.y. studio in my temple on the top of the mountain.
i have listened to music from my cosmos all the time.
i wanna be a good radio receiver to catch the sound and reproduce the music to make it possible for people to listen by their own ears.
always music from my cosmos teaches me what i should play.
if the music from my cosmos would stop one day, then i will stop playing music.

On his sonic process:

i try to get rid of my personality,
keeping a pure mind, pure ears.
personality interferes when playing music from my cosmos, purely.

On their popularity outside of Japan:

there is only one reason, more people want and need our music outside of Japan than in Japan.
what is a psych-rock scene in Japan?
if there was one, it was in the 90s around PSF Records in Tokyo, and around Alchemy Records in Osaka/Kyoto, but it was not enough to call a “scene”.
that’s why we knew the “scene” is just an illusion.

On the new music and current tour:

we imagined how the world would be changed as a “New World” after the Covid pandemic,
we also should change too, that means a “Rebirth,” or “Reboot.” so i named the tour “MetaReboot.”
we have always improvised on the stage,
nobody knows if a “new song” will come out or not,
but you can listen always to something new.

On American road-trip cuisine and surviving life on the road:

basically, i cook by myself on the tour, i don’t eat American foods.
i watch films (especially Japanese 60s – mid 80s),
i read books,
i walk around in my mountain,
you know, like really common actions.

Catch Acid Mothers Temple and openers, My Education, May 3 at Total Drag. Doors at 7 PM.

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