Tokyo's Kikagaku Moyo Brings a Psychedelic Vision to South Florida

In the realm of concert planning, the members of Japanese psychedelic rock band Kikagaku Moyo are true believers in an intuitive approach.

"We wanted to create a story for people listening to the album."

tweet this

"We decide onstage what songs we play," Go Kurosawa, the band's drummer, tells New Times. "If the crowd is silent, we'll play meditative, dreamy songs. If people are more wild, we will play more punk, garage stuff."

South Florida will have its first opportunity to check out this versatile group during two shows this weekend. The five-piece out of Tokyo is playing the East Coast for the first time and has been pleasantly amazed by the crowds so far.

"In Japan, we only play in front of 150 people," Kurosawa says. "The reaction here is much bigger. How they take in rock 'n' roll here is much bigger. They appreciate it much more here in America than in any other country. We knew that, but when we see how they enjoy it, we really appreciate it."

Kikagaku Moyo, whose name is Japanese for "geometric patterns," started when Kurosawa and guitarist Tomo Katsurada were students in Tokyo.

"We wanted it to be more than a band, to be an artists' collective," he says. "Paintings, writings, theater."

After meeting their bassist, Kotsuguy, they decided to settle on music. "We liked heavy stuff like metal and '70s hard rock and folk," the drummer says. "We wanted to put everything we listened to into our jams."

Over the course of three albums, they've done just that, culminating with the beautiful weirdness of their latest, House in the Tall Grass.

"This was our first album where we had a clear image before we recorded," Kurosawa says. "The first two records were written while we recorded. To make it, we took a trip to northern Japan in the winter. We rented a cottage and took a walk in the snow every morning. We wanted to create a story for people listening to the album."

As they tour the States and see parts of the country for the first time, Kurosawa says Kikagaku Moyo is finding more inspiration.

"The drive from the Midwest is very special," he says, as if transcribing lyrics for a new psychedelic song. "The vast fields, prairies, mountains, the nature, it's really inspiring to look out the window. Now we're in the middle of nowhere in Idaho. We're parked by a church on the grass, and the leaves are changing orange, yellow... We've enjoyed every single day."

Kikagaku Moyo
9 p.m. Friday, October 28, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669;

8 p.m. Saturday, October 29, at Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-832-9999. Tickets cost $15 at

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novels, The End of the Century and Yo-Yo, are available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland