VQDM: So Misai can you tell us a little about your background and how you became a drummer?
Misai : I started playing drums when I was 13 years old. I went to see a famous band in Japan and when I saw the drummer playing I got shocked because the drummer was very short like me but very powerful and aggressive on drums, so I started thinking to become a drummer like him. I graduated from 2 different music collages in Japan and I met Munetaka Higuchi the legendary Japanese rock drummer from a legendary Japanese rock band LOUDNESS. He taught me how to play heavy rock drums.
VQDM: What has been your main drive to do what your trying to do now as far as coming over to the United States?
Misai : I love American and Canadian music so much. I don't usually listen to Japanese music but foreign music such as Motley Crue, Pantera, Daughtry, Nickelback, etc... I have been playing drums in Japan for more than 10 years but I couldn't find great female musicians whom I really wanted to play with (There are so many great female musicians there though) One day, my friend who lived in L.A. asked me if I could visit him, and when I visit him in LA, I saw so many people live in the US and how big it is. I could see more opportunities in the US. At the same year, my teacher passed away from a cancer. I felt like there was no reason to stay in Japan anymore, so I decided to move to the US where my teacher used to tour a lot.
VQDM: When you were growing up was there any bands or musicians you looked up to?
Misai : Yes, the drummer who is the reason I started playing drums, my teacher Mr.Higuchi, my forever hero Tommy Lee.
VQDM: How do you feel the music scene differs from where you were born verses where you have traveled to?
Misai : Music scene in Japan and in the US are totally different. In the US, we play cover songs and make money. Concert tickets are very cheap unless it's a big concert. We usually start playing at 8 or 9 pm and finish at 1 am. People love to dance during shows. People always come to talk to artists if they like them.
On the other hand, we can't play cover songs and make money in Japan unless we pay some fee for the copyright. Concert tickets are very expensive even though the artists are amateurs. They usually start playing at 7 pm or before and finish at 10 pm because everybody takes a bus or a train to go home. People are very shy, so nobody dances during shows. They don't come to talk to artists unless they are groupies. For me as a musician, I like being in the US because I can find a musical job easily here.
VQDM: Has there been any incidents that may have put you in a position to want to give up on your musical dream?
Misai : No, I never give up on my dream and always try my best.
VQDM: What was the most memorable time you have had on stage?
Misai : When I was on tour with my band Allison Chains (All female Alice in Chains tribute) We played some Mad Season songs with Barrett Martin the drummer from Mad Season in Seattle. That was a great experience to me.
VQDM: If you could play with any band (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Misai : That's a good question! I like female musicians so much... so I would say "Avril Lavigne", "Joan Jett", "Lady Gaga" or "Orianthi"
VQDM: Where do you see yourself as a musician in five years?
Misai : I see myself traveling all over the world with my bands.
VQDM: Do you feel that social media has been a big plus for you as a growing artist?
Misai : Yes, I do because I can show what I do in the US and people know what kind of person I am, what I do as a musician, etc... even though they don't live in my town. It's also good for making connections. Good musicians support each other and that always makes good vibes and new connections. If I don't use social media at all, nobody would know me.
VQDM: Do you have any one that has been a huge help in your career and who has made you stick with it?
Misai : That's my mom and my cat Jack. My mom has been always supported me since I started playing drums. My mom is such a positive thinker and she always encourages me when I am about to give up on something. My cat Jack is always hungry and I feel like I have to work very hard, make money and somehow feed him well.
VQDM: Do you feel there should be more female drummers and if you could tell a young girl something positive about learning the drums what would it be?
Misai : I see so many great female drummers these days. If I could tell a young girl something positive about learning the drums, I would say please play cover songs as much as you can and steal their techniques and grooves from the songs. I recommend famous songs from 70's 80's 90's because they play real drums. I know many people play complicated things and try to impress others, but they usually are not able to play very simple 8th note beats. So many drummers just focus on what they do but they don't care what the other members do... it doesn't make any good grooves in the band. I think it's very cool if you play very simple rhythm patterns with great grooves in the band.
VQDM: How many bands have you played with and who has been the most rewarding to be apart of?
Misai : I don't remember how many but I guess I have played with more than 20 bands including support/session shows. I usually have more than 2 bands at the same time. I have played 2 shows with a famous Japanese guitar player in the US as his temporary drummer few years ago. I wasn't his big fan, but when I was playing with him it was very comfortable and I really liked his guitar sound. It was a great experience :)
VQDM: Is there any thing you feel may keep you from accomplishing your goals?
Misai : No, I never give up on my dream and always try my best.
VQDM: What is the one place you would like to play location wise? (Country or City)
Misai : I would love to play with my band at a rock festival in Japan someday soon.
VQDM: Finally in closing we met you through one of our recent Voodoo Dolls Leona Marie also known as LeonaX, she gave us nothing but a positive review on you. Do you have anything you would like to say about her?
Misai : Leona asked me to join her AC/DC tribute band but I was already very busy with my 3 bands... so I couldn't join her band and we've never played together...
However, I've always heard about her since I moved to Las Vegas, and I like female musicians and respect them because I know how hard it is being a female musician in this music industry... so whenever I hear about her doing well I'm very happy to hear that and respect her hardworking :)
VQDM- Sept -2016