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Tokyo Rock Machine - Tokyo Rock Machine Interview

19 Jul 2016 // An interview by jdiddynz

Fresh off the back of their latest EP New Ink and the release of their killer new track and video Simulate You, I had the pleasure of catching up with Waka and Kevi Metal from Tokyo Rock Machine at my local in Putney which meant good beers and good banter. Imagine the love child of Foreigner and Fall Out Boy raised by a pack of wolves with a penchant for 80’s metal riffs the TRM sound is uncompromisingly rock. Here is what went down:

What’s in your pockets right now?

Waka: A single key for my beer fixing machine.

Kevi: Really?! Wallet, mobile phone, headphones, keys, 3 x Lotto tickets, 2 x Condoms.

What did you expect to happen tonight?

Kevi: Win the lottery and have heaps of crazy sex.

How did you guys meet each?

Waka: We met each other in Munich at Octoberfest, Kevi had dreads at that time and everyone was saying that Kevi was a good guitar player and singer and Waka you play drums why don’t you guys get together. We got on the booze for the whole weekend. The next time we met was at a strip club and everyone was saying you guys MUST get together, in fact our first jam was with Jayson Norris but he was already really busy so we just continued on the two of us jamming and writing some songs and then more songs and so on and so forth.

Why did you both move to London?

Waka: I always wanted to play in the musical Mecca of London and see the world.

Kevi: I’ve been here on and off, I get bored then go somewhere else, it’s a love hate relationship with the big city really but you feel like you are in the centre of the universe here and you never know what’s going to happen, someone could spot you at any time and it could all go huge.

Do you both miss home?

Waka: I miss my friends and family.

How did you both get into music and what are your influences?

Waka: Like most drummers I started on mum’s pots and pans, then I got a drum kit for Christmas when I was 7, I’m pretty sure my dad ripped off the local church as the bass drum had two hands saying “Praise the Lord” on it. Thanks dad! Then I got into Dad’s records and played at high school and the ended up playing in Palmy band The Livids. Lot’s of flannel shirts and marajuana involved. I’m a rock man from way back.

Kevi: I have always been in bands playing music and gravitated towards song writing and have always had an affinity for rock. The guitar playing and singing have developed as I have gone on. We are both really fond of classic rock and grunge, I’m a massive sucker for big hooks. I love that shit! We have got lots of 80’s and 90’s influences.

What’s your favourite drink?

Kevi: I’ve been getting into the English bitters this year thanks to Waka but also Fuller’s Frontier lately as well.

Waka: I’m an ale drinker so London Pride. I actually taste beer as a day job which is horrible. (he is clearly lying)

New Ink EP, talk me through it?

Kevi: This was recorded by Paul Matthews (I Am Giant) at Kingston Road Studio in London towards the end of 2015.

Tell me about Deepest Cuts?

Kevi: This was the last song we wrote in a hurry but took a chance and recorded it and it turned out great. It definitely has a bit of a nod to Iron Maiden right from the start. Lyrically I was watching lots of motivational videos at the time so the message is a very positive tough it out one.

Waka: Bruce Dickinson and Janick Gers (for anyone living in the void then this is the vocalist and one of the guitarists of Iron Maiden) both drink in my local pub so I cannot wait to get the EP in front of them when they are back from their latest tour. The track is fast as fuck, Kevi needs oxygen on stage to get through it.

New Ink?

Kevi: We wanted to get a bit more temporary and there is definitely some American style influence on there. I love to tell a story in the songs and it’s working the contrasts between grungy verses and an 80’s chorus. It’s a fun song and people get it. It’s all about tattoos, women, and all those good things.

The War You Didn’t See?

Kevi: it’s a little bit more progressive, it’s the longest track we have and it builds right up. It has a slightly hypnotic drone going on, a nice big sing along chorus. Lyrically it’s bit darker.

Simulate You, which is also the latest single and video?

Waka: We have a great videographer called Lola Bastard (she is French) the video was shot in an infinity room by her and we are really happy with the result.

Kevi: It’s got the whole cool black and white effect. Really happy with the result. There is a bit of a Sci-fi story going on in the background.

At this point we stopped to refill our glasses. Kevi’s round, what a legend!

What’s your obsession with Tokyo?

Kevi: Originally we were looking for a theme to string things together and I have always had these delusions of grandeur about writing a rock opera. At the time I was really influenced by sci-fi guys like William Gibson and also the idea that we are living in very technically advanced age and all the things that were sci-fi a few years ago are reality now. To me Tokyo is the centre of all that stuff and it’s the most crazy, futuristic city on the face of the planet; Lyrically the songs relates to the theme in one way or another. So yeah… it’s all about a rock opera with a huge story and characters. I wanted to paint some cool pictures without just writing about love. It’s all about story telling for me.

What’s next for TRM?

Kevi: We will be releasing another video shortly. We have some English summer festival dates. At the same time we are recording a third EP which is already going well.

Waka: We will be back in NZ this coming December and January to play some shows. Drinking beer and playing rock n roll.

If you were a sausage what flavour would you be?

Waka: Garlic Boorvoorst.

Kevi: Something spicy like Chorizo.


More information about Tokyo Rock Machine can be found on their website.

Simulate You Video 

Purchase New Ink EP 


About Tokyo Rock Machine

The Tokyo Rock Machine destroys then creates. With little respect for the rules of hard rock angular guitar lines collide with primeval beats and leave the listener exhausted - reeling from a sonic one-two of punk attitude and anthemic, raging choruses. Something twisted and dirty, something cathartic and beautiful. Gritty tales set fifteen minutes into the future drawn from personal experiences of living and struggling for survival on the mean streets of the London underbelly.

Based in London, Tokyo Rock Machine features two New Zealanders - Kevi Metal (vocals/bass) and Waka (drums) and Londoner Sam Halen (guitar). Kevi and Waka met in the early hours of a Munich nightclub, introduced by a mutual friend. Together they jammed through the bitter London winter of 2014 and slowly sharpened a set of rough, angry punk songs into things of shiny rock and roll beauty. Recording sessions with legendary engineer Paul Matthews of I Am Giant followed. Now joined by Sam on guitar, Tokyo Rock Machine are roaring out of West London slaying audiences with their live show and unique take on Rock.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tokyo Rock Machine


New Ink
Year: 2016
Type: EP
Batteries Not Included
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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