Metal Empire: Please introduce yourselves to our audience what are your names and what do you do in the band?
Fujiwara: We are Fujiwara, a three piece punk band from Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. We have Skillet, aka Skilrock (okay, Kirk Kellett) on drums and backup vocals, Buc, aka “the Critter” or Chris Clemmons on guitar, and Billy Burley aka Billy Burley! on bass and vocals. We have been playing together all over the East Coast for almost 20 years.
Metal Empire: What is the band up to at the moment? Is there something you’re working on currently?
Fujiwara: Fringe Records just did an official release of our “Legacy” record, which is available on itunes, bandcamp, amazon… anywhere. You can go to fujiwarapunkrock.com to listen, too. We also just got finished laying tracks for a new release at The Jam Room in Columbia, SC, engineered by Jay Matheson. We are all super stoked about how it’s coming along. It will be released late summer.
Metal Empire: Tell us about the music you make, how would you describe your sound?
Fujiwara: Our sound is best described as high energy, surf/skate punk.
Metal Empire: Can you talk about your production process? How do you go about writing new material?
Fujiwara: The three of us write the music. Usually one of comes in with a riff/melody, then we run it through the “Fujiwara filter”, and if it turns out rockin’, we keep it. Sometimes one of us will come in with a semicomplete song, and it’s the kind of the same process.
Metal Empire: What and who are some of your major influences? Please give a few details about what you enjoy about creating music and what inspires you to make it.
Fujiwara: All of us would have separate answers, but 90’s and early 2000’s punk rock for sure. For me it would be bands like Youth Brigade, The Descendants, and Bad Religion. For Buc it would be more 80’s punk… and Bad Brains. Skillet is a closet country music fan… not that you’d know it from hearing him play drums!
Metal Empire: What’s your favorite thing about playing live?
Fujiwara: The energy of being in a room with a crowd who is feeling us makes it the best part of being in a band. They can tell that we all really, truly love the songs and love playing together.
Metal Empire: Have you played any shows or toured alongside any major artists? Are there any shows that come to mind that you feel make a great story? If so, tell us about it.
Fujiwara: We’ve played with a lot of great bands. After we played a show with The Candysnatchers, Buc drove Matt Odietus’ (RIP) girlfriend’s hot rod Chevy Nova and crashed it into a house. They all proceeded to beat his ass because he started laughing. The good old days…
Metal Empire: Is there any band or artist you would give anything to play a show with? If so, who are they and why?
Fujiwara: The Faction for me. Devo or Circle Jerks for Buc, and Bad Brains for Skillett.
Metal Empire: What are you hopes for the future? Where do you see yourself as an artist this time next year or the year after?
Fujiwara: We hope to have a good tour and that the new record is well received.
Metal Empire: If I was to turn up at a show, what should I expect from you in terms of music and showmanship? Is there any crazy stuff you do to pull the crowd?
Fujiwara: The music and performance are high energy and fun. We like to have fun with the crowd, and not take ourselves too seriously. Sometimes it can be a little unpredictable, but that’s part of it. We are not GG Allin or Gwar though. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Metal Empire: What do you think about music piracy, do you think it effects music sales negatively, or do you think there is another cause behind the current drop in record sales?
Fujiwara: We are from the Outer Banks, the home of Blackbeard. Arrrggg.
Metal Empire: There is a lot of talk about the downfall of the music industry as a whole, do you believe this is the case, or do you believe it is evolving? What do you feel could improve the situation?
Fujiwara: I definitely see it evolving. I think last year was the first year in a while that the music industry saw growth. Tech was growing so fast the industry couldn’t catch it, but it will find it’s way. I hope.
Metal Empire: Do you receive much fan mail, and if so what’s the craziest, creepiest or coolest thing you’ve ever gotten from a fan?
Fujiwara: I can’t wait to start receiving creepy fan mail.
Metal Empire: Name one thing you love, one thing you hate and one thing you think everyone should try at least once before they die?
Fujiwara: LSD. All of the above. (This message not endorsed by Fujiwara, just Billy Burley…)
Metal Empire: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us about what you do. Do you have any final words, or anything you would like to add?
Fujiwara: Look for us out on the road. You will not be disappointed.