Interview with THE MINKS Vo. Okada Yoshiaki

Can you tell us how you four people formed a band together.? Please tell us how you started.

At the end of the “Showa”  There was a band named Midnight Call(ミッドナイトコール) in Sapporo, Ito Ryuichi (伊藤龍一) and I were members of that band. Ito changed the name of the band in order to make a fresh new start. Shinichi Yoshida(吉田真一) joined the band as the heart beating drummer and so we became the prototype of THE MINKS(ミンクス).

Then Hidenobu Matsuhashi (松橋秀信) from SCREW DRIVER(クリュードライバー) joined us and we started to play live gigs.

For those who don’t know you yet, please tell them why they need to check your music out.

SIMPLE STRAIGHT ROCK.
Getting very excited! (big laugh)

What inspired you all to start making music? Why did you want to become a bandman?

When I was in high school, I went to see Anarchy(アナーキー) live, It totally knocked me down, So the next day I immediately quit the baseball team. (BIG LAUG).
And I started to play the drums.

You guys started your career in the late 80’s. The golden music time. What’s the biggest change inside the music industry since then?

From vinyl to CDs.
And nowadays  you can listen to it with streaming media.
It changes rapidly while you are alive.

  • streaming media; such as spotify, apple music etc. 
Until now what are some highlights from all the time?

Everything was impressive, already shortly after starting our activities,

I think it was at a live house called Kitami Onion Studio in Hokkaido when the power went out during the performance of「相棒(Aibou)」.

The audience continued singing the chorus, and then at the highest moment of the chorus, the power was turned back on.

I remember being moved by this accidental staging happening.

In 1997 you guys disbanded, however came back in 2001 again until 2006. Then 13 years later in 2018 you guys decided to be active again.

Also between 2006 and 2018 you were active under the name THE MINKS B3 isn’t? Could you tell us a little bit more about it?

Yoshida: B3, the 3 people behind THE MINKS(ザ ミンク) BACK 3 (B3)
We didn’t want to end THE MINKS  like this.
So Yoshida(吉田) started to play drums and vocals and Matsubashi(松橋) and Satsuma(薩摩) also joined.
Tokyo, Sapporo, Hakata etc.. We did about 10 live performances

First, why did you decide to disband in 1997?

I guess I lost my motivation to continue at that time.

After all, why did you decide to play on stage again after such a long activity break?

As people already could read via my SNS, the death of my father is the reason. 

On his sickbed he said to me “didn’t you go to live in Tokyo for a reason?”
After he passed away, I wondered if I could die satisfactorily.

Some weeks before my dad’s death I got in contact with Matsu again, also I received flowers from Shin-chan for my father’s funeral.

So I thought, I guess everyone is waiting… And we don’t know how many more years we live on as a human, so I decided to sing again.

What’s the most difficult thing about coming back, after such a long time?

After all, looking inside the eyes of our fans again.
Your support, thank you very much for everything!

TOURING/GIGS

Your last tour 「Saturday night GIG THE MINKS」 was last year. Did anything surprise you during this tour?

Some of the fans came to all the venues like they used to do in the past. We all have so much going in our private life and still they came to watch all our gigs!!  I’m very grateful for that!!

How did you decide your setlist for this tour?

This time, I made a list of songs I liked to play. Later on I asked the members to review it. Also we arranged it a little at our rehearsals.

What’s the most fun thing about touring around Japan?

To eat local food.

How do you prepare for a live gig?

To get your hair styled. (BIG LAUGH)

Is there any difference between playing a SOLO live and a LIVE together with a band?

Solo is flexible.
Band is Power.

MUSIC

What’s your inspiration for writing lyrics?

Happy things. Upset things. Sad things. Fun things

What’s your inspiration for writing music?

Scenery reflected in vision.

What’s your favorite THE MINKS release?

They are all adorable now.

Which song is most loved by fans? And why do you think so?

After all 「パッシュ (Pash)」 is still exiting. The song has an amazing power!

How do you create a song also what makes a song a good song?

If the fish is biting. It came it came! (BIG LAUGH)

The last release was in 2003. Are there any new plans to release a cd or MV anytime soon?

We are preparing to release something new this year!

What’s the biggest challenge while recording a CD?

To keep your own spirit on!! (BIG LAUGH)

FEELINGS & LIFE

What makes you smile?

HIGHBALL

What does “rock music” mean to you?

It’s like the smell of Camphor.

How did life change after becoming famous?

I don’t think that I am or was that famous, I am not different from anyone, just a normal person.

In all those music years, what’s the most valuable memorable memory?

It’s an old story, but there was a high school in Hokkaido called Yoichi that took in dropouts from all over Japan, and we held a live concert at their school festival.

What’s the future goal for THE MINKS any big plans?

I don’t have big plans, but I’d like to cherish every live concert!

What are some of the greatest challenges you have faced as a musician in your life?

Everybody’s song. (laugh)

What’s the most difficult part of being in a band?

That each member has their own schedule. That you need to adjust it with each other.

Is there anything you have learned from all those years being a musician?

The importance of being alive.

if it’s possible, Do you think it’s important to talk and drink together with your fans after a LIVE? ?

I think it’s important. I’m really thankful to those who come and talk.

Other

What are the typical expressions in the Hokkaido dialect?

なまら namara – very much
だべ dabe – role of ending a sentence
そだねー soudane – yeah

Any other things you love to do besides music?

Right now it’s just music. I listen to it and I go to lives.

What’s your favorite drink?

Highball

WISDOM

What’s the biggest difference between older and younger bands?

I wonder about it. A band will exist as long as the passion continues. Whenever it’s a long or short time.

What advice can you give to the musicians, who starts to play now?

If you are doing it, do it because it’s fun, please enjoy it!

As an artist, if there was one thing you want fans to remember (some words of wisdom), what would it be?

Hard work comes through.

And as last, your message to your fans!

Always thank you for your support.. We’re going to see you all at our own pace, so let’s enjoy it when it’s the time! ❣❣

Thank you very much again for this interview and support!
Let’s keep rocking ROCK’N’ROLL!!

OFFICIAL SNS:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE
OFFICIAL FACEBOOK
OKADA OFFICIAL TWITTER

Translation English → Japanese:  Yasu, RIORIO & vk.gy
Translation Japanese → English:  Ryu & Yasu