The band’s main reputation is for live shows, which are mesmerizing, wild and immersive. The constant focus on live performance comes because “people can understand some really important things only through real live sounds, and these can’t be replicated in recordings or with any super technology,” said Kawabata.
Acid Mothers has also produced a huge catalogue of recorded music. But this is almost just a byproduct — like the Grateful Dead bootleg tapes. The CDs come out sporadically on small labels scattered across North America, Japan and Europe and can be very hard to find. It is also hard to pinpoint which recordings are definitive, if any.
“I don’t care about the music business,” says Kawabata “If I don’t finish a CD, I don’t care.”
“We worked with Sub Pop once” — for a 2003 split album with Kinski. “It’s a big label, isn’t it? But they didn’t respect us as an underground band. We signed a fat contract with such complicated English sentences. They sold more than 8,000 copies, but we got less than US$100! Also they re-mastered our mastered track, so the sound became just shit! And the artwork was unbelievable shit too! So I stopped working with any big labels,” he said.
“I prefer small labels, because they respect us. We don’t have any paper contracts, we just have trust! Trust is the one most important thing for a business partnership. It must be human!”
■ Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno play on Wednesday at 8pm at The Wall, B1, 200 Roosevelt Rd, Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Admission is NT$1200, or NT$1000 in advance via www.indievox.com.