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A Conversation With Nipon
by Samuel Barker
May 2, 2000

Mike Moy
Mike Moy of Nipon

Eager to learn some information on the Detroit band, Nipon, I e-mailed guitarist Mike Moy about doing an e-mail interview. He was more than happy to do it, and I'd like to thank him for taking the time to answer these questions. For those of you who don't know, Nipon is one of THE premere bands out of the Detroit punk community. A combination of punk, hardcore, ska, and classical overtones, Nipon possesses a very unique sound which makes them an interesting band to listen to. Here are a few questions about the band answered by guitarist Mike Moy.

Samuel Barker: First off, who are the members of the band and what do they do?

Mike Moy: Terry-vocals, guitar, steel drum, Brad-bass, vocals, Mike-guitar, and Ryan-drums

Samuel: How long have you been together?

Mike: Together since ’95

Samuel: What bands have majorly influenced you guys musically?

Mike: At the beginning it was bands like OP IVY, NOFX and stuff but now a diverse mix consisting mainly of classical but also Refused, Deftones, The Beatles, Dillinger Escape Plan, some drum and bass and lately a lof of jungle….a lot of stuff. Anything that inspires us and sounds good or innovative will usually influence us.

Samuel: On "Theory" there is a steel drum used on the track, who plays it, how did he initially pick up the instrument, and what inspired the usage?

Mike: Terry plays it. We just thought it was a really cool sound and no other band had really used anything like that and we always try to do new/innovative stuff that no one else is doing. that was actually a last minute thing of throwing in to that song. We were in tha studio and we wanted to put it in a song and we just made it up on tha spot.

Samuel: Was it hard coming out of Detroit which is mostly a punk/ska to find an original sound and make it work?

Mike: When nipon started out , the scene was exploding and that was back when tons of kids were showing up at all tha local shows. Looking back now, there were a ton of generic bands being like the Suicide Machines forming and popping up in the scene. It was fun at the time cause It was such a new thing for everyone. Now I think its all kinda played out and its time for something new.

Samuel: What are some of the things we can expect on the new album?

Mike: A LOT of experimentation and exploration into differnt sounds and such. You’re gonna hear some of everything from jungle and ambience to straight up ska to hardcore and some pop punk. We have quite a few ideas and aren't positive yet on what exaclty we are settling on. We even re-recorded an old song from back in the day that was released on our very first tape.

Samuel: Is it hard to keep the band going with ryan moonlighting in the Suicide Machines?

Mike: Yeah..that’s been real tuff..itz just extremely hard to come across a really good drummer these days.

Samuel: Are you guys gonna utilize the 2 vocalist more in the next album?

Mike: Yeah, we are doing a lot more especially with duel vocals and alternating vocals.

Samuel: What is the most fucked up show Nipon has ever played?

Mike: Wow….that’s a tuff one. One time in Lansing,MI we played the basement of this dorm at Michigan State Univ, and the crowd was mostly jocks who didnt give a fuck about us so we all went really crazy and terry ended up bleeding all over his guitar.

Samuel: What can we expect from Nipon in the future?

Mike: That remains to be seen. Just an evolution of sounds and music to come. Stay tuned!

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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