Interview with City of Dis(Count) Keyboardist Marc Joestar
So tell us about the new side project.
The which…oh, yeah, that. Well, we were over in Japan, doing a show At Budokan. Note the caps; you have to say it that way, y’know, it’s on all the album covers.
Anyway. We do Budokan, which was obviously just a gig, yet another million faces to see and rock and…no, I lie, it was fucking incredible. It’s…it’s fucking Budokan, y’know? I used to sing “Surrender” into a hairbrush I’d duct taped to a broomstick to that record when I was a kid, and we’d played it and…Jesus. Fucking incredible.
Have you seen the place?
I was at your show, actually. Remember?
Okay, but you’ve fucking seen the outside of it, right? It’s like…it’s like exactly what you’d imagine it to look like. Like something out of, I dunno, Street Fighter. Place looks like a boss level, and the boss level is a giant Japanese rock stadium.
Somebody told me it means “fight palace” or something. Budokan, this is. Amazing.
It’s an amazing place.
So, about the side project, that came from the Budokan show?
No, not really.
It was afterwards, while we were still in Tokyo. Me and Arno are fucking around in one of the music stores…might’ve been Virgin, I dunno. Weren’t after we went through, anyway…
Anyway, I’m just flipping through the racks in the Complicated Squiggle section, and it’s like…”girly surly dude, girly surly dude x4, actual girl, actual girl with good teeth, actual girl with horrible teeth but otherwise cute, not actually sure if it’s a guy or a girl” and then…”small army of dudes in suits.”
It all these dudes in sunglasses and suits, holding their instruments like a firing squad. Lots of horns, a few guitars. One guy was throwing a kick, one guy was gonna throw a punch. It was like…like Tarantino had made up a Asian Buddy Holly Attack Squad.
You heard me. Obviously, I had to buy the thing. I took it home, skipped a party, and played on my old beat to shit disc man.
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. That was the band, and…holy shit. Holy shit, man. Like the fucking Blues Brothers led by…led by Akira. Y’know, that movie Akira? Kanye ripped off some of the visuals for that Daft Punk video? Anyway, just this like blast of small-army ska and this dude ranting his lungs out in Japanese. Goddamn magnificent.
So that’s where this side project came from?
Sorta? I dunno, I bought out their whole catalogue with my Fat Musician Paychecks and just went Asian crazy ska mad for a week. That’s where it came from.
So. What’s it called?
It was Skarmy, but that ended up being taken. Bless you Google and fuck you Myspace, I always say. Or have just said and plan to use again.
Point being, I went with Skar-me. It’s my screamo crazy Japanese ska attack squad. Only none of us are Japanese.
Skar-me, your screamo…what?
Well, y’know…ska, army, scars, scar me as in cut me, so there’s that emo-y cutting factor…black suits and finger nails, black eyeliner and porkpies so sharp you could harm yourself with them.
It’s just me fucking around and having fun with a small army of other musicians. As sidey a project as was ever side-projected.
It sounds great.
Fuck you, sir, I hear the insincerity.
Well, c’mon, it’s a bit…high concept.
Hold on, I’ll play you a bit.
You’re doing the keyboards?
And vocals. I can’t sing, but shout? I can shout. Yahahaha.
Anyway…here…it’s not the full band, obviously, but…actually, wait, I have a demo with the band, I’ll play along.
…Okay. Okay, this is called…Your Horn’s In Me And It Blows.
He’s not kidding. The track opens with a ska-punk gallop of drums.
Then the keyboard comes in.
(Bambama)Plunkplunk plunk plinka(bamabama)plunk plunk plunk plinka)bamabambambambamabam.
What? I can’t…
I can’t hear you.
I CAN’T HEAR YOU.
Later, the dull roar in my ears will fade to a ringing, which will fade back into actual hearing, thank god.
And it, literally, pains me to say it. Hurts me to admit it, and you can check my medical records to verify that. But…
Right up until the bleeding started, it sounded pretty good.