Grind Core Goddess Makiko Chats with CVLT Nation About All Things Being Woman and Loving the Grind (Core).
If you are not familiar with Makiko Suda, let me have the pleasure of introducing you. As the lead vocalist of the Japanese grind core band Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation (aka F.I.D), she is not someone you would want to fuck with. Luckily, she’s my friend. She has been the vocalist since 2003 and is now living as a newlywed in Portland. The band is still together and will be playing Obscene Extreme Festival this summer. Makiko and I had a little chat about the normal “girl stuff” like Assuck, broken limbs, and bitches not spending enough money. Talk about a spirit animal…
I think there is a misconception that many Japanese women are submissive and wearing Hello Kitty Lolita outfits (thanks, Baby Metal). It has always been inspiring to see F.I.D. as just “one of us.” Rocking out in t-shirts and screaming. I guess a good place to start is how did you decide grindcore was where your heart was?
Oh a good question! I started listening to Punk at first, but was digging through other music (thanks to MRR, Slug and Lettuce and the other zines around time) and found Grindcore. The first time I heard it, I was like, “what is this!!?? This is too crazy for me” – but hey, it was too crazy, so that it got me into it. And, this is my personal opinion though, there are less posers in the Grindcore scene.
What have the challenges been for F.I.D.?
This is very boring but, as with many bands, we have had conflicts within the band. The original guitarist was a control freak. She hated the drummer, got pregnant. She was slightly older, she wanted to get married but she couldn’t at that time, so jealousy and her personality built a tension with us, and we didn’t get along well with her.
How about challenges as women? Have people taken advantage of that?
Actually, we’ve been very lucky with it. The people who we dealt with are all nice and respectful, and didn’t treat us differently just because we are women. But we often received those back-handed compliments such as, “you girls are good even though you are girls!” Once, and maybe this happened because I am tiny, this huge Russian guy suddenly grabbed me, lifted me up and slammed me on the floor while I was singing on stage, similar to how a dad plays with a baby. Then he ran away. I actually broke a limb. Another time, someone touched me once when I was stagediving. Those are some individual examples.
Ugh. That’s so disrespectful.
The touching things only happened in Japan, though. So, not as a band, but as an individual.
Were you influenced at all by any women?
Gaia, the all female Japanese hardcore punk band, gave me the idea that “girls can play too.” The band has been broken up, but all the members are still active in the scene. And Athena from Six Weeks Records and Voetsek. She has been leading the West coast power violence scene and is now making a documentary of it. I have a huge respect for her. Those ladies are doing what they want and just happen to be “women”!
We were laughing about not being able to understand your lyrics (even your band doesn’t know them) – give me an idea of what you are screaming about. What are some of your favorite songs that you have written?
All my lyrics are about my anger! Hahaha
What are you angry about?
Right?! The first album, it was mainly about my personal matters – around that time I felt I was stuck. I couldn’t find a way out. But getting older, my thoughts have been changed slightly, so my lyrics changed from not only anger but to coping with it and letting it out.
What changes would you like to see in the metal scene?
Personally, I think it is getting better, but it would be great if more girls join the scene.
I think guys want to too!
Ahahahaha! And maybe the idea of equality should be raised more in the scene as well, for men and women.
Yes! I agree, but what do you personally think of the women/dudes that aren’t there necessarily for the music?
This is tricky, huh. First of all, there are girls who want to sleep with Metal boys, and there are boys who want to sleep with girls. So it is a win-win situation. Those girls spend money at bars and sometimes buy merchandise. But the thing is that some unintelligent boys think all girls are like that. That is a problem.
So, these people need to spend more money!
Yes, spend it all!!
You are so confident and strong on stage. Do you ever have low self-esteem days?
Wow, thank you!! You made my day!!! I have never felt confident, actually. Low self-esteem every time. What I am trying to convey is that I want to belt out my full energy with my vocals.
When you feel that way about yourself, how do you cope?
I love bands playing with their full energy. Powerful ones. And I hate pretentious ones, haha! Since my lyrics are about anger, I want to put it out with my energy. It would be different if I was singing for a shoe-gaze band though!
What bands help with the anger?
Hmm, maybe they are not a straightforward angry band, but my absolute favorite is Assuck! Their albums make me mosh in my bed room, hahaha!
YES! I played Anticapital nonstop growing up! How did we get so angry?
Hell yeah! I think we get angry when we aren’t understood properly by others and when we can’t express our feelings properly. Not about social issues ,though. That is on a different level.
What is the best way for a fan to approach you?
To me, someone who digs my band is another grindcore fan like me, so I feel like a friend, so it would be cool if they could talk to me at a venue or leave a comment on FB or whatever.
I have to break the unfortunate news that you are married. How is married life and living in the states so far?
Haha! Fortunately, my husband is my best friend as well. So it is easy! I went to a high school in Florida so I feel like I came back to somewhere I am familiar with.
What do you miss most about Japan?
Of course the food hahaha.
OH COME ON! Is it that different?!
Actually, I am not missing it too much. The thing I miss the most is the public transportation in Tokyo. Basically you can go anywhere without a car. The bus service is pretty good in Portland, though I think I got spoiled in Tokyo!
Have you seen Portlandia?
Of course! The show describes this city so accurately!
F.I.D. is doing a show this summer. What else do you have going on?
Hopefully we can record some songs and record an EP. It is up in the air though. Besides that, the EP with Noisear should be out soon, so I am excited about it.
Any last words for your fans?
First of all, F.I.D appreciate all kinds of support that people have given us. We always feel so lucky and happy about it. We are just playing what we want to sound like. Grindcore is love, haha.
The next one is that I think it is very important to do what you want to do in your life. Gender, age, job – they don’t matter. It is about you. So, if you want to start a band or be active in the scene, do it! You won’t regret it.
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Please check out the links below for F.I.D. As always, please purchase the music to help support these bands.