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by Mario Bueno, Translated by Evan Miller,

ANN: In your offtime, what are some of the artists you enjoy listening to?

TMR: I listen to non-Japanese artists a lot more than Japanese ones. I like heavy rock, but I also listen to R&B and regular Rock as well. The song Rascal Flats did for the movie Cars is an example. I have to check my iPod to see what other music I have in there...

Are there any artists out there that you hope to collaborate with in the future?

In the case of my band, I've made requests to other artists before. We've done a few collaborations - things like having guest rappers and hip-hop artists (from Japan) record a track with us. If we could ever organize a collaboration with an artist from outside Japan, I'd be thrilled. I'd go anywhere to make it happen!

You mentioned Abingdon Boys School, which formed in 2005. Could you tell us a little bit about how that project came about?

I actually performed in a band before I performed solo as TMR. While I was performing as TMR, I met many other musicians, worked with many people and began thinking that it would be nice to form a band again someday. Eventually I met a number of artists that I worked really well with - people who could help create the kind of sound I was hoping for. That's how it all came together.

So in essence, you just wanted to go back to what you started with, in terms of having fun with a band?

Yes, you could say that. Abingdon Boys School feels like a return to my roots in many ways.

Prior to being in Abingdon, you were a solo artist for over 10 years. Did you have to change or adjust to work with a band again?

I think challenges like that build you up as an artist. My solo work as T.M. Revolution is seperated somewhat from my work in the band. The focus is different. When you're solo, you continue to challenge yourself and "evolve" as an artist. In a band, you rediscover the joy of playing the music you love.

What will be coming up Abingdon Boys School in the future?

Right now there are fans of T.M. Revolution in 50 countries around the world, and I would love to perform in those places with Abingdon Boys School if possible. In any case, I want as many people to hear our music as possible.

So it's safe to say that for now, you would like to bring more attention to your work in Abingdon Boys School than your solo work at TMR?

To me, my work as TMR, in Abingdon Boys School, as a creator, as an actor in musicals and so on... as a performer, all of that is the same. In everything I do, I want to have audiences get to know my ideas and expressions. Like changing a channel on a TV, no matter which one of my projects someone sees, that's connected to my identity as an artist.

That's a nice take on your work.

Thank you. Even now, while I'm in New York, performing as TMR is one example. Soon I have a performance in Japan with Abingdon Boys School, and that's another. At the beginning of next month, a movie that I starred in opens in Japan. I'm working on all these projects around the same time, so you can see what I'm talking about.

Can you tell us anything about the movie?

Much like the musicals, I received many offers, but I didn't have enough time to work on films because of my singing career. One day, I got a very passionately-worded request for a small, limited release production. Even in Japan, it won't reach many theatres. However, the film is coming out on DVD and maybe Blu Ray later this year. The film is a drama - a love comedy of sorts. It doesn't have the big gags that a Hollywood film would have, but it's a really cute film, and the role was written for my character. It's been a fantastic opportunity.

Any messages for your American fans?

Thank you for inviting me to New York to perform! I hope to continue to use these experiences to foster communication with fans and others who take an interest in my music. It's been four long years since PMX, so please keep supporting me so I can come back again soon - maybe next month or the month after that! This has been a wonderful experience, and I hope it can lead to future collaborations and projects in some way. I truly treasure this chance, so again, thank you!

Special thanks to Justin Sevakis and Rachael Carothers for helping put this interview together.

Images © Epic Records Japan Inc.

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