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Interview with Guitarist Takafumi Matsubara

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Last Updated on 09:15 PM by Lilliana Tseka

It is said that whatever can’t kill you, makes you stronger. The point is, when you are going to deal with something that wants to kill you, how hard is to beat it and fill yourself with power? Takafumi Matsubara is a Japanese guitar player, well-known for his extreme performance, played in Gridlink, Mortalized and Hayaino Daisuki. In our conversation he delivers a lesson of power that deserves your attention!

Hello Taka! I read you are getting better and better after the health issues you had. Is that right?!

Hi!! I really appreciate you gave me a chance to tell the truth. Yes. I’m getting better and better. That is due to hard rehabilitation and Karate. And many friends and musicians always give me kind words and bravery. That makes me practice the guitar again. My index finger, middle finger of left hand and throat were dead when I had a stroke. But I continued rehabilitation and karate that helped my recovery. Karate is so dangerous for the body. But my master and teachers always give me good advice. That helped the improvement of the blood circulation. To keep on practicing karate and to rehabilitate in the hospital had very good results. My throat recovered. And my index finger works better than last year. My middle finger has never worked. New rehabilitation program started two weeks ago. That is very good. After coming back home from hospital, the finger works a little. I must keep on doing what is needed to fully recover.

So, it’s been two years since you stopped practicing your guitar, as far as i know… How difficult is this for a musician?

It was the most terrible, difficult and the saddest thing in my life. I couldn’t understand what happened. Fortunately the cerebral infarction was light. But I was very very surprised to feel my fingers never worked. It needed a lot of time to understand what happened. “Longhena” had been released before I had the stroke. Many people asked me to do liveshow and tour and make new album. I couldn’t do anything. The saddest days… So I asked Jon to announce I retired from music. My master and teachers of karate and doctors said me to “Be positive!”. So I stated practicing the Mandolin and learned how to make PC music. Jon gave me a lot of chance to write soundtracks for his business. I could hang on to music. One day, I heard the news. My friend passed away. His name is Hee Chung. He was the drummer of Unholy Grave. Ha had fought against disease, too. We promised we started new band. He had recorded one song. I wanted to record my guitar on his drumming. I must do that and get over my paralysis to release this song. That is the most important thing to play the guitar again. But two years is very long. That made me a terrible guitarist. I must practice harder and come back.

12787987_463309783874279_2036439539_nYou continue working with Corrupted and Mortalized?

No. I suffer from terrible headache after playing the guitar over ten minutes. The songs of Corrupted are long. I can’t play them. Mortalized was broken up. Discography will be released soon. But I have no interest in the band.

How would you describe the music of Gridlink? You miss those days or is it a chapter of your life that has now ended?

Gridlink is the special band. We live in Kyoto, NJ and TX. It is an unheard-of band activity. We must feel our own way. But Gridlink is Jon’s band. I wrote songs from Jon’s ideas and vision. I had never used the riffs such “WOW This riff is cool!! I want to use it for new song!! Yeah!!”. Jon sends me many books and pictures to write songs. I tried to make riffs that have meaning and scene.

The Gridlink days were too amazing and hard for me. I’m mere Japanese Grind Guitarist who loves cats. Jon and Bryan were already famous as great musicians. Teddy and Steve are legendary musicians. Though I was glad to play with them, I was always nervous. I really appreciate that Gridlink made me grow up as a grind guitarist. The future of Gridlink… I don’t know. Only Jon knows. Bryan is one of the strongest drummers in the world. He is very busy and still grows up better. But now I don’t have the technique to keep up with him.

What guitars are you using now?

I’m using Ibanez 9 strings guitar. I got it for my rehabilitation at home and thought it gave me much idea for new songs.

What about the grind scene in Japan in our days?

Japanese grind scene… I love and respect many old bands… Swarrrm – Black Ganion – Die you Bastard! – S.O.B – 324 – Multiplex – Red Ran -Amber- Zagio – Eva Diligji etc. but I don’t know current bands. I’m sorry.

Are Hayaino Daisuki active, on hold or dead?!

On hold. Eric plays for Organ Dealer now. I want to play with him again. I always think so.

What does life mean to you now after all this adventure with the hospitals and so on?

Life… I have been confused since I was dying. Thanks to Gridlink, I got various things as a grindcore guitarist. And I lost it all in a moment. I had to sell my guitars, amps and pedals for medical and rehabilitation bills. And I must work from am 0:00 to pm 2:00 everyday for medical and rehabilitation bills. I must go to hospital every Wednesday. Sometimes I think that’s what I live for. But I want to keep the faith as a grindcore guitarist. I practice karate for my body and spirit. I practice the guitar for my friends. My confused life will continue for a while.

Patterson-Chang-Fajardo-Steve and you were the dream team of grindcore. Everybody was12782107_463309780540946_1619977040_n really perfect on his instrument/voice. Do you think you will find again this kind of musicians to work with? Or perhaps you’ve already found them? 

They are perfect musicians; that’s true. I was a big fan of them. Was that a dream?? I still think so even now. And I know there are many unknown and talented musicians all over the world. They contact me very often. I’m very glad to hear they want to play my songs. But I’m not a guitarist now. I’m a student of grindcore guitar. I practice to record the guitar on the drumming Hee Chung had left for me. And I have a plan to make my solo album. That will include unreleased Mortalized songs, my new songs and collaboration songs with my favorite band. I’m going to ask some famous musicians to take part in this at first, but I ask only incomplete geniuses to play, just like Jon and Bryan gave me a chance. It’s my turn. Some musicians in various countries always give me bravery. They always love my music. I want to make something with them. After finishing solo album, I think of new band. To tell the truth, I take part in a band in Kyoto. But the drummer is French and the vocalist is Crech. I really enjoy this band because we play traditional grindcore. I can play the songs with one finger LOL! I enjoy watching the guys’ growth. Their speed of growth is awesome. If my finger recovers, I want to fight with world grindcore again. Of course with Jon, Bryan, Teddy, Steve.

I want to thank you for this interview and hope to see you on stage really soon. Last words are yours brother! Stay strong!

I really appreciate your kindness. I hope so , too. I never give up my grindcore guitar. I’m going to pave the new way as a Japanese grindcore guitarist. Thanks!!!!

Leonidas Douras
Leonidas Douras
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.

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