INTERVIEW WITH TOKYO SPANDIXXX BAND MEMBERS, PETE LIXXX, AXXXE, YOU AND DR. HIMAXXX
Date: August 18, 2019
IT’S TIME TO DISCOVER ONE OF JAPAN’S BEST KEPT SECRET — BUT NOT FOR LONG! TOKYO SPANDIXXX CONSISTING OF LEAD VOCALIST PETE LIXXX, GUITARIST AXXXE, BASSIST YOU AND DRUMMER DR. HIMAXXX RELEASED A FOUR-SONG EP TITLED ‘KICK BIG ASS‘ BACK IN MID-2017 AND TRUE TO ITS NAME, IT REALLY DOES KICK BIG ASS. THE GROUP IS POISED TO RELEASE ITS SECOND EP ‘GIVE A LOUD F*CK’ WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH READY TO GO. IF YOU LOVE STEEL PANTHER, ODDS ARE THAT YOU’LL LOVE TOYKO SPANDIXXX AS WELL!
Sleaze Roxx: When I listen to Tokyo Spandixxx, I think of the Japanese version of Steel Panther with some slightly heavier guitar licks and a singer with a higher pitched voice. How much of an influence was Steel Panther on Tokyo Spandixxx?
Pete Lixxx: Thanxxx for havin’ us dude! Well, I think at this point, it’s pretty hard to have a band with a dirty humor theme and not be compared to Steel Panther. Of course, I love Steel Panther’s tunes too but I’ve been fuckin’ with lyrics and singin’ dumb shit since I was a kid so it’s just natural to me. I basically just never grew out of toilet humor.
Dr. Himaxxx: Thank you for taking the time to interview us today. Of course I respect them, but I’m not directly influenced by their music. I think it’s natural to be said to have [been] influenced by them too though, because we love hair metal!
Axxxe: Yeah! Our ’80s rock sound concept is in common with them.
Sleaze Roxx: In terms of presentation and look, Tokyo Spandixxx gets an A+. How important do you think that image and look are to a band’s marketability?
Pete Lixxx: A+?? Wow, that’s a better grade than I ever got in school that’s for sure. In terms of importance, I think it depends on what you’re trying to do but I’ve always thought that as an entertainer, it’s good to look at least as — if not more — flashy than your audience. We’re there to put on a show and the visuals go along with the whole over-the-top thing.
YOU: Yeah, that’s very important. Just as much as the band’s sound! I don’t want to stand on the stage with my flannel and jeans [laughs]! Don’t you think so?
Sleaze Roxx: Definitely no flannel [laughs]!
Dr. Himaxxx: When I realized how serious I am about hair metal, then I got this style [laughs]!
Sleaze Roxx: The white face make up for the Tokyo Spandixxx band members reminds me of a cross between KISS and EZO. How and why did you decide to go with the white face make up?
Axxxe: As for me, I thought that I could create another person with this make-up.
Dr. Himaxxx: Axxxe and I have been doing many bands for a long time in Japan and I wanted to start a band from scratch with Tokyo Spandixxx. White make-up is the equivalent to a blank white page. So I chose this make-up to differentiate from ourselves!
Of course I listened to KISS and EZO though, Flatbacker too!
Tokyo Spandixxx‘s “Big Tits Rockin” song:
Band: TOKYO SPANDIXXX Song: Big Tits Rockin’ Album: Kick Big Ass Release: Sept. 2017 Country: Japan Video Director: ATSUSHI ISHIZAKA TOKYO SPANDIXXX Online: Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BedHeadDisks/ Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/spandixxx CD sales direct from Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/Kick-Big-Ass-%E3%82%AD%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF%E3%83%BB%E3%83%93%E3%83%83%E3%82%B0%E3%83%BB%E3%82%A2%E3%82%B9-%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%ACSPANDIXXX/dp/B076PK3SP5
Sleaze Roxx: Unlike other Japanese bands, you have a North American singer with Pete Lixxx fronting the band who I understand actually speaks Japanese. Pete — How did you end up being in Japan, get so immersed in the Japanese culture and end up in a couple of Japanese heavy metal bands? And why did you leave Japan to join Striker as a bassist under the name Pete Klassen?
Pete Lixxx: Well, I should point out that I’m actually not Pete Klassen… That guy’s a great singer and accomplished musician but he’s too polite for rock n’ roll. He got all the good jobs in Japan — acting, voice overs and studio singing and whatnot. They don’t usually let me on TV with my dirty mouth. We’re usually pretty good buds though and I’m basically the dirtier version of that guy. I do also speak Japanese too yeah… I got excited about some Japanese rock and metal some years back and decided I was gonna learn Japanese and go rock Japan so I just made it happen with the help of some really cool colleagues of course!
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] I didn’t realize that you and Pete Klassen are actually different people!
Pete Lixxx: Well it depends who you ask… Some would say more different than others [wink, wink]. I first met Klassen at a rock / metal bar in Tokyo called Godz. I was drinking with a C-list porn star and he was brown nosing to some industry dudes.
Sleaze Roxx: Speaking of other bands, Axxxe and Himaxxx — you played in the popular Japanese band Sex Machineguns. How was each of your runs in that band, under what name did you go by for each of you, and what did you take from your experiences in Sex Machineguns into Tokyo Spandixxx?
Dr. Himaxxx: We played in Sex Machineguns together a long time ago. I think we were just the drummer and the guitarist but we co-wrote a few songs.
Axxxe: I learned “Don’t care about the details. Just play loud!”
Dr. Himaxxx: We were reborn with a new name to say “fuck” loudly with Spandixxx. So give us your loud fuck!
Sleaze Roxx: You released a four-song EP titled ‘Kick Big Ass‘ in 2017. What I really like about the EP is that the four songs on it are all really good. You’re about to release another six-song EP where song quality seems to be at a premium. Is this a conscious decision by the band to limit the material being released to only the very best stuff rather than go with a full-length album?
Pete Lixxx: We’re totally stoked you dig the CDs, man! Well, when I was living in Japan we did a lot of gigging and writing but yeah, probably spent too much money on booze and titty pubs to record a whole album at once.
Axxxe: It doesn’t matter how many songs we have. Even if it’s a full album, we try to make all the songs at the highest level.
YOU: That’s right. Besides, we have some unrecorded songs too. One of these days, we will brush up on our unrecorded songs and it could be a full album!
Dr. Himaxxx: We had no time and no money [laughs]! I’m ready to make the best of the best!
Sleaze Roxx: Not being that familiar with Tokyo Spandixxx and since I thought that Pete Klassen and Pete Lixxx were the same person, I thought that the band was over when Pete Klassen returned to Canada and joined Striker as a bassist. Pete — You mentioned that you were living in Japan so where are you living now and what made you make that move?
Pete Lixxx: No fixed address man!! Canada to L.A. to Tokyo, wherever rock n’ roll takes me and wherever girls let me crash [laughs].
Sleaze Roxx: Pete, given that you know Pete Klassen pretty well, are you surprised that he landed the Striker gig and do you know why he went back to Canada?
Pete Lixxx: Not surprised. He’s a hard working artist and plays all kinds of instruments… Mostly the skin flute though I bet.
I dunno exactly why he left. He had it all over there. I heard something about a divorce, maybe? Serves him right for getting married I guess [laughs].
Sleaze Roxx: I was in Tokyo, Japan for a couple of nights back in 2007. It’s such an amazing city and so different from North America. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to catch a rock n’ concert in Japan. Given that Tokyo Spandixxx played the Whisky A Go-Go in California, how would you compare the rock n’ roll scene between Japan and North America?
Pete Lixxx: Oh cool dude! Yeah, Tokyo is an amazing city. So much opportunity and so many hot chicks! There are huge differences between Japan’s scene and elsewhere that I could probably go on about forever but I think the biggest difference is that everything is done in Japanese and people don’t piss around when it comes to getting stuff done! Playing the Whisky was a great experience for us too though. I love the venue and the people who work there so I hope to go back again soon.
Tokyo Spandixxx performing “Crap Your Hands” live at the Whisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood, California, USA on January 25, 2019:
TOKYO SPANDIXXX – Crap Your Hands Live At The Whisky a Go Go Jan 25, 2019 Vo. Pete Lixxx Gt. XXX-RAY Ba. YOU Ds. Himaxxx Shooting : Sae Tatsuzawa Apple music URL : https://music.apple.com/jp/album/kick-big-ass-ep/1466918815?l=en Spotify URL : https://open.spotify.com/album/54A5nJqtW7K7uViQ7XPGSA amazon music URL : https://music.amazon.co.jp/albums/B07SWQFLXV?ref=dm_sh_53a2-ac6e-dmcp-ea49-0605f&musicTerritory=JP&marketplaceId=A1VC38T7YXB528
Tokyo Spandixxx performing “Kick Big Ass” live at the Whisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood, California, USA on January 25, 2019:
TOKYO SPANDIXXX – Kick Big Ass Live At The Whisky a Go Go Jan 25, 2019 Vo. Pete Lixxx Gt. XXX-RAY Ba. YOU Ds. Himaxxx Shooting : Sae Tatsuzawa Apple music URL : https://music.apple.com/jp/album/kick-big-ass-ep/1466918815?l=en Spotify URL : https://open.spotify.com/album/54A5nJqtW7K7uViQ7XPGSA amazon music URL : https://music.amazon.co.jp/albums/B07SWQFLXV?ref=dm_sh_53a2-ac6e-dmcp-ea49-0605f&musicTerritory=JP&marketplaceId=A1VC38T7YXB528
Sleaze Roxx: How did you guys come up with the name Tokyo Spandixxx and what were some of the other potential band names that were in the running?
YOU: It’s a long story… When we tried to decide the band name, Himaxxx wanted to put in “Tokyo” because he wanted to be involved in the Tokyo Olympics, and then he thought of “Spandex”.
Pete Lixxx: Yeah, but we have our dicks in our spandex so… Spandicks!
YOU: Right [laughs]. Then Pete hit upon a cooler spelling so, this is “Tokyo Spandixxx” — the beginning…
Dr. Himaxxx: It wasn’t so much of a long story…
YOU: Shut up [laughs]! Other than that, wasn’t it gonna be Crotch Rockets or Kick Big Ass?
Dr. Himaxxx: Yeah, actually one of those became the EP title!
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] I understand that Tokyo Spandixxx’s next EP ‘Give A Loud F*ck’ is ready to go but you’re first looking for a label to possibly distribute it. Interestingly, Striker with your buddy Pete Klassen has renounced working with a label and embraced the “do it yourself” mantra in that regard. When is the new EP going to be released and why do you want to work with a label?
Pete Lixxx: I can’t say anything just yet about the exact release date but yeah, the tunes are ready to go. If there is a label interested in working with us, we will be considering it. I think Striker has a great work ethic and really good thing going with their own label and whatnot but we in Tokyo Spandixxx have drinking to do and girls to shmooze with so it’d be great to have someone else take care of all the boring shit [laughs].
Sleaze Roxx: What are each of your favorite tracks on the new EP ‘Give A Loud F*ck’ and why?
Axxxe: “Give A Loud F*ck!” — I want to hear everyone’s “F*ck” big gang vocals!
YOU: “Dick It!” Why? Because it has my bass solo [laughs]!
Pete Lixxx: …and if you listen closely, it has real sex sounds from a secret girl right after his bass thingy! Definitely my favorite too.
Dr. Himaxxx: “Beefy Vagina” — I’m proud that I was able to mix ’80s Japanese metal riffs with Western hair metal well!
Tokyo Spandixxx‘s ‘Give A Loud F*ck’ album trailer:
TOKYO SPANDIXXX – GIVE A LOUD F*CK Album Trailer Twitter : https://twitter.com/spandixxx Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/bedheaddisks/ Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BedHeadDisks Contact us : [email protected] Give A Loud F*CK!
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] It’s unusual for a bassist to get a solo in a song. What made you decide to have YOU get a bass solo during the song “Dick It”?
Pete Lixxx: You mean me? No bass solo for me…
Sleaze Roxx: No [laughs], YOU.
Pete Lixxx: Me? Wha…?
Sleaze Roxx: The bassist [laughs], YOU!
Pete Lixxx: Oh! Yeah, of course… this guy’s bottom end is cool as a frozen piss popsicle so he needs a spot to shine too!
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] Moving on, how does the songwriting process go in Tokyo Spandixxx, and in terms of Pete and the other three guys in the band, do you communicate in Japanese and / or English?
Axxxe: Japanese, sometimes English?
YOU: Yeah. Mostly in Japanese. And we basically just have four members making songs while jamming together in the studio! And sometimes the “Jinglish” used by Japanese members becomes an idea of the English lyrics!
Pete Lixxx: Totally, the writing is quite a natural process really. Maybe we communicate mostly in Japanese ‘cuz it’s more “hentai” ya know?
Sleaze Roxx: I think one of my ultimate rock pairings at this point would be for Tokyo Spandixxx to open for Steel Panther somewhere within striking distance to Toronto in Canada. Do you think that you can make that happen [laughs]?
Pete Lixxx: That would be a dream come true! Put it out there for us will ya [laughs]? I’m so jealous. Klassen got to tour with those guys! I bet he didn’t even bang any groupies… Pffff, what a pussy.
Axxxe: If that happens, it would be great!
Dr. Himaxxx: I want to DO IT with anyone anywhere!
YOU: Hell yeah, that would be awesome!
Sleaze Roxx: Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to add?
Pete Lixxx: Booze, boobs, and rock n’ roll man, what else is there?
Axxxe: I think people who like ’80s metal will definitely like our songs. Let’s listen and rock it together!
Dr. Himaxxx: So it would be great to spread us and our songs with everyone’s help!
Pete Lixxx: Yeah, spread songs and spread legs, right?
YOU: Don’t think, feel Spandixxx! We need to search for labels and agents to make North America our base.
Pete Lixxx: Smell the Dixxx, bro!
Sleaze Roxx: Last question for each of you — what are your three favorite albums of all time and why?
Pete Lixxx: Another difficult question [laughs]! It changes all the time but right now mine are Grim Reaper’s ‘See You In Hell.’ Such an underrated band and the album was born the same year as me [laughs]! H.E.A.T.’s ‘Freedom Rock’ — Some of the best rock vocals in existence. Sex Machineguns’ ‘Live! Final Attack At Budokan’ — Probably my favorite line-up and such a great collection of comedic Japanese metal.
Axxxe: Van Halen’s ‘Van Halen’ — Eddie’s sound on this album is a bible for me and this is my goal. Dokken’s ‘Under Lock And Key‘ — I was most affected by George [Lynch]. This album has the best phrase sense. Loudness’ Thunder In The East’ — An album that proves that even Japanese people can challenge the world. It makes me proud to be the same, Japanese.
Dr. Himaxxx: Loudness’ ‘Thunder In The East’ — Mr. Higuchi kicked my ass to rock! Warrant’s ‘Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich’ — Great songwriting. Cowboy boots rule! Vince Neil’s ‘Exposed‘ — All American hair metal band!
YOU: Mötley Crüe’s ‘Dr. Feelgood’ — I was knocked out by them in a few seconds of the intro. This album definitely changed my life. KISS’ ‘Alive III‘ — When I knew KISS, they were already with no make-up. This live album sounds awesome!
Sleaze Roxx: Yeah! I definitely love that last one! That was an amazing tour!
YOU: Seikima-II’s ‘Frightful Restaurant’ — Actually, this album is my first J-rock album experience. The album concept is dope!
Oh wow! They are white make-up too [laughs]!
Tokyo Spandixxx‘s “Summer Time Lovers” video:
Band: TOKYO SPANDIXXX Song: Summer Time Lovers Album: Kick Big Ass Release: Sept. 2017 Country: Japan Video Director: ATSUSHI ISHIZAKA TOKYO SPANDIXXX Online: Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BedHeadDisks/ Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/spandixxx CD sales direct from Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/Kick-Big-Ass-%E3%82%AD%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF%E3%83%BB%E3%83%93%E3%83%83%E3%82%B0%E3%83%BB%E3%82%A2%E3%82%B9-%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%ACSPANDIXXX/dp/B076PK3SP5