1. How did you get your band name?
"Takasugi" is a Japanese family name. It's written with characters that mean "tall cedar." Perhaps Kei's ancestors lived in a tree. "Stromberg" is apparently Swedish in origin. It might mean "mountain stream" or something. If Dale's ancestors had lived in a stream, they would have drowned before he was born. We got these names from our parents, of course.
2. How did this band get started?
Takasugi: Made music in Boston, Japan, and Brazil. Started playing solo ambient guitar in Tokyo. Met Stromberg at a gig.
Stromberg: Wrote and recorded songs as a hobby in California. Moved to Japan, began playing gigs. Met Takasugi.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
Takasugi: Pat Methany, Bill Frisell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, etc.
Stromberg: Unwound, Elliott Smith, Blonde Redhead, etc.
Both of us: Radiohead, Sigur Ros, noises around us, our own picky tastes.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and
We'd liked to have toured with Johannes Vermeer. The reason is difficult
to explain. Maybe something to do with ghostly light and shadow.
5. If you were a furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal?
Takasugi would like to be, or may already be, a frog. Frogs are not furry, which may invalidate this response. The reason has to do with obscure Sino-Japanese orthographic arithmetic: "Kei" plus "insect" equals "frog." Stromberg's favorite animals are humans. Some are furry, but this is not a requirement.
6. Why should people listen to your band?
Because there will be a quiz at the end. Ha, ha. People should listen to music because they should. In other words, you don't need anybody to tell you to listen to music, because you already want to. (Or if you don't, then, forget it.) You should listen to our band once or twice if you've got a few minutes to spare. Whether or not you should listen to it after that will become self-evident.
7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
Is this a TV show? We won't go on TV unless the money's good.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
The kind people at the Grammies who gave it to us.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it
The industry's seeming lack of expertise in the areas of developing and selling music.
10. Memorable tour experience?
Shows where outside noises (crying babies, passing cars, doorbells, paper rustling) mix in with the music are memorable. Where being in that place gets all tangled up with the music itself. You instantly realize that you could only have played this song in this particular way here, now, in this instant. Since music is basically an experience. Et cetera.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
A site that promotes music for the love of it. We like that sort of thing.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
Songs we haven't quite learned yet can be a lot of fun.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Takasugi often skips off to Dubai or Paris between engagements. Stromberg
prefers the Maldives.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Vehement, furious, tempestuous, intense music. Also, anything crash-a-lang-lang noisy.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
The power to calm people down with a word or gesture.
16. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?
We've made it plenty of times, but not with each other. With girls, of
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Our names, our songs, etc.
18. What's your favorite holiday?
Hoo. Nothing comes to mind. When you're in a rock band, every day's a
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Read. Takasugi: non-fiction. Stromberg: fiction.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Takasugi was very good at Japanese in school. Stromberg liked math. Now, Takasugi's art is entirely nonverbal, and Stromberg's makes no use of the calculus, so these talents are, if not hidden, neglected at least.