Fujiya & Miyagi Rekindle “Transparent Things”

David Best discusses the songs that influenced the band’s sound

Fujiya & Miyagi

A little over 10 years ago, Fujiya & Miyagi released their seminal record, Transparent Things. In celebration of their last decade of success, the English foursome has reissued the LP, along with a bonus track and a running mix they worked on in collaboration with Nike.

The group has released four studio records since Transparent Things, but now they felt it was time to unveil their classic record on vinyl for the first time. Indeed, the remastered edition helps the album sound even crisper than it did ten years ago.

ARTISTdirect caught up with David Best to discuss the classic album, learn about the tracks that influenced the band, and find out what song he’d want played at his funeral.

First single I bought…

Shakin Stevens & Bonnie Tyler – A Rockin’ Good Way

I was very young when I bought this. Shakin Stevens was billed as the Welsh Elvis and was my first favourite pop star. This record is awful though, and I think even at 10 or 11 years of age I knew this. I still have it somewhere. I then got into Madness who I’m still a big fan of. I wish one of their singles was the first record I bought instead.

First live show I attended…

…was Bucks Fizz. They won the European Song Contest and my sister was a big fan. I was too young to stay at home so I had to go to London with her and my mum & dad. The first group  I saw that caught my imagination however were The Fall at Reading Festival in 1987. They were magnificent. They had bottles thrown at them by angry goths but still came back on for an encore. I was 13 and the only person wearing white.

First song I learned to play…

Other than the obvious ones like Wild Thing or Louie Louie I suspect it may have been Freak Scene by Dinosaur Jr. I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t sound as good when I played it as it did when they played it. It also made me not want to learn many songs I really loved as it diminishes the magic a little.

The song that encouraged me to learn my instrument of choice…

Maybe Marquee Moon by Television. Its an interesting song to work out. But mainly I tried not to work stuff out and concentrate on making my own songs up. The kids who could play ‘Money for Nothing’ by Dire Straits probably didn’t pursue a musical path in later life.

The song that reminds me of home…

If we are talking about my current home its probably something by David Bowie. Both my kids are big fans of his. We take it in turns pretending we are him. I’d go with either ‘DJ’ or ‘Changes’.

My guilty secret track…

I have no guilt when it comes to music, but if you are talking about something others consider uncool perhaps ‘Yes sir I can Boogie’ by Baccara.

The song I wish I wrote…

So many to choose from…’I Feel Love’ by Donna Summer is my favourite song of all time so perhaps that one. It might’ve not sounded quite as good if I was singing it though. If I’d have written ‘Kiss’ by Prince I’d have been pretty pleased with myself too.

The finest song from my all time hero…

There are many people I admire such as Serge Gainsbourg, Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Lou Reed, Arthur Russell etc but my all time hero is David Bowie. I enjoy almost everything he did and my favourite song of his changes from week to week but at the moment its probably ‘Absolute Beginners’. Its a classic song and the fact that he produced it in a fallow period makes it all the more special for me. Other than the great soul singers I’m not a fan of over emoting whilst singing except when its Bowie. His character seemed to shine through.

The song I’ve written of which I’m most proud…

As a group I’m most proud of ‘Extended Dance Mix’. Musically it captured us how we are live as a group and lyrically its the most honest words I’ve written and the most enjoyable to play live. Its quite cathartic to play.

The song that should be played at my funeral…

I always thought it would be ‘Purple Rain’ but as funeral services are in 30 minute blocks I think it would be too long and I don’t think my finances could stretch to an hour. So, with that in mind, I’ll go with ‘I’m so green’ by the greatest group that ever walked the earth, Can. Its only 3 minutes or so so that would work well.

My favorite track from my most recent project…

We are about to issue our album ‘Transparent Things’ on vinyl for the very first time. We always wanted it to have as a record so its quite a big deal to us. So my favourite track from our most recent new project which is in fact over 10 years old is ‘Photocopier’.

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