Friday, 12 September 2008

Zazen Boys: Judo ni-dan Matsushita Atsushi

a.k.a. "J-rock Weight-loss!"

Zazen Boys... week?... continues tonight as we look at their awesome drummer Matsushita Atsushi (Atsushi is his first name). Mukai, the Zazen Boys' main guy always seems to introduce him as "Judo ni-dan Matsushita Atsushi", meaning he's a second dan blackbelt in Judo, meaning he could probably fold you like a napkin. Matsushita was a session drummer who joined the band after their second album, when their first drummer Inazawa Ahito (formerly of Mukai's previous band, the legendary Number Girl) left. He's an astounding drummer, but today we're looking at the notches on his belt, rather than those on his sticks.

On his first release with the band, 2005's Himitsu Girl's Top Secret, he was... paunchy to put it lightly:

That's right porky, hang your head in shame...

God! I don't know what came over me! It's never fun to make fun of fat people. That one just slipped out. I swear. No more cheap jibes. Anyway, on Zazen Boys III in 2006, his first full album with the band, he's looking a little lighter and that chin is coming up...

No jokes about how many cows gave their lives to put that jacket together. Fast forward another year and a bit, to Zazen Boys' last single I Don't Wanna Be With You at the very end of 2007:

HOLY FREAKIN' CRAP! That lanky fellow in the orange jacket is the same guy that was in the cowskin tarpaulin less than two years before! Now that is some impressive excercise/diet regime right there. Was it just drumming? Zero carbs? God, that's pretty inspirational - he should do infomercials or something! Last month at Rising Sun I told a couple of people "Yeah, Zazen Boys should be good. They've got a fat drummer too", and when he walked out I assumed they'd changed the line-up again. NO! Not a double, or a twin - the same damn guy!

Their new album is out next week, and I'm assuming that the band photo will be three guys and a stick figure. Judo ni-dan Matsushita Atsushi, I applaud you.

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