I’d just spilled out of an Austin bar after a day of drinking on the streets when I met BuscoMujo (formerly Bosco Mujo Palace). It was the perfect way to meet the explosive psychedelic punk band.
The band’s frontman Ken Minami’s rock ‘n’ roll journey brought him from Tokyo to Bushwick, where he lives above a bar and, in a magic New York rock coincidence, down the street from my very own apartment. Meeting a neighbor for the first time while on a trip to Texas is natural for the magnetic frontman who thrives on drinking with new people. His English wasn’t easy to understand after a few beers, but he made up for it in hand gestures and passion. He brings the same chaos and electricity to the stage when he sings his Japanese and English lyrics in a Jello Biafra-like howl while Drummer Charlie McGrath hits the drums like a wrecking ball and bassist Hudson Harris carries the melody.
BoscoMujo plans on hitting the West Coast this summer for a quick tour and are currently working on new material. Read the entire interview below.
BTRtoday (BTR): Alright this is going to be really casual guys. I’m Elena Childers from BTRtoday drunk on the streets with BuscoMujo—are you guys from here, where are you from?
Charlie McGrath (CM): We’re from New York City.
BTR: Oh, shit. New York City. That’s where I’m from. What brings you to SXSW?
CM: What brings anyone to SXSW?
BTR: I don’t know, suicide? [laughs] So, how did you guys meet and decide to form this band?
CM: Ken used to play in this band called Toranavox they were really cool and played a lot in Brooklyn and toured a lot. I saw them play one night and after that Ken and I became friends and eventually just started jamming together and here we are
BTR: Cool, so I hate trying to figure out genres and stuff, but how would you guys describe your sound?
Hudson Harris (HH): Explosive psychedelic punk.
BTR: I like it. Tell me about your music—I know nothing about you guys. Do you have stuff out already?
HH: We’ve got a shitty demo on Bandcamp. I wasn’t involved when it was recorded, but it’s a pretty alright one. It sounds like it was recorded through a fucking toaster, but we’ve got a couple of videos up on YouTube and we’re also working on the process of putting a better single out right now.
BoscoMujo live at Red Kross House 2019
CM: We’re 99 percent live shows because I don’t know, you [Ken] told me once, nowadays anybody can have a well-made record and do that whole thing, [but] the money in music now is not in records or recording, it’s all in live shows. So it’s a lot harder to be a musician now and it’s just all about the live show—it’s why we’re here it’s all we do.
Ken Minami (KM): What’s my life? My life is a drunk.
BTR: Do you have a specific song you think is a good intro to the band?
HH: A song called “Jiyu” which means freedom in Japanese.
BTR: Why that one?
HH: That’s the one that everybody goes off too, that’s when the crowd goes ham. The chorus is just “jiyu, jiyu, jiyu, jiyu,” which feels like it represents Ken a little bit, represents me a little bit and Charlie—just screaming, “freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom.”
KM: Basically, I write down just five words and just repeat them. “Jiyu” is just, “hudabaloop, hudabaloop and jiyu jiyu” and that’s it almost. Our other song called “More” is just, “give me more, you’re insane” that’s it. Sometimes I write down more interesting things, like my new song “Bomb Criminal.” It’s basically [a story about] Buddha who has three poisons—greed, anger and moon and it goes, “I am greedy, I am anger, I a mourner” then, “boom, boom, boom, criminal.”
BTR: Sounds amazing. Real quick, what should we be keeping an eye out for in the future you guys?
CM: We’re coming to your town and we’re going to explode.
BTR: Nice. Any last words you wanna shout out while we’re standing here in the middle of the street?
KM: Yeah sure, next June/July we have a West Coast Tour. And, basically we are from Bushwick and throw good events. Do you know Bootleg Bar?
BTR: Yeah I live right down the street.
KM: I live upstairs.
BTR: Then we’re neighbors.