“I couldn’t speak English at all when I moved from Japan to America [in 2003],” says Four Minutes Til Midnight guitarist Kenta Hayashi. “I had a really hard time. I was totally alone.” He says Japanese bands toil in a different music scene.
“It was so hard to find band members, especially drummers, because Japan is not big like America, so it’s hard to find space for practice. Also, pop music is really big, but all the great funk, blues, and classic rock is underground, and very rare. And musicians in Japan are crazy about technique but don’t care much about feeling and groove.”
Four Minutes Til Midnight initially formed in L.A., where they spent around three years.
“But we felt like Hollywood was so plastic. There are definitely great people there, but too many are only about branding, trends, fame, and emptiness.”
The band departed from L.A. last year.
“I didn’t know anything about San Diego at all, but our old bass player was from Poway. I had a chance to come here, and now I never want to go back to L.A. or Japan. Except maybe on tour.”
Four Minutes Til Midnight appears October 14 at Winstons in Ocean Beach.
– Jay Allen Sanford