Beth-Ami: This is my sixth time in Japan. The last time I came here was on Toto’s tour. I traveled with them on tour because we are good friends. Prior to that, it wasn’t with bands. I wanted to come to Japan just for travel. I feel that I was Japanese in another life or something. Even though I don’t feel like a Japanese person now, I feel very at home here. I love the Japanese sensibility. Their food, art and architecture all make sense to me. I love the little alley ways where you just turn a corner and there’s this beautiful shrine or something.
“I feel that I was Japanese in another life”
ZERO: How’s the tour going?
Beth-Ami: It’s fricking1 amazing. Other than having children, this is one of the best experiences of my life.
ZERO: Have you had a chance to interact with your fans here?
Beth-Ami:Yeah. They are at the hotel, the train stations, and they are so nice here. I’ve gotten so many presents and they are so complimentary and kind. I studied Japanese a long time ago so I’ve forgotten a lot of it, but it’s coming back to me a little bit, so there are some people that I’m having difficulty communicating with, but a smile says everything.
“A smile says everything”
ZERO: What advice do you have for learning English?
Beth-Ami: Just immerse2 yourself in it any way that you can. I found some piano bars in New York that cater to Japanese people, so I got a job working in one of them. That’s how I learned Japanese. I would bring my school work and ask the people who came in to help me with it.
ZERO: What songs from your band do you recommend for learning English? Beth-Ami: Graham’s songs are so provocative3 and so beautiful. There’s one song that he wrote about his brother, the working title is `For Tony.` He just wrote it and wrote it and wrote it and changed it constantly. I heard the song all the time and I cry whenever I hear it. I was fortunate to meet him before he passed away. There’s another one that Graham wrote about our sons, the working title is `Sweet Prince.` We don’t have any children together, but we both have a son with autism. He wrote a song about this and I cry every time I hear it. It’s so beautiful.
“Graham’s songs are so provocative and so beautiful”
ZERO: What concert inspired you to become a musician?
Beth-Ami: The first concert that I went to was Yes and Peter Frampton. It was an outdoor festival and it was unbelievable. Not only was I inspired to become a musician, but there was this amazing comradery that occurred between all of the audience. People shared food and drinks and everybody had a good time. It was so nice. It made me realize how powerful music is in drawing people together. It’s sort of like blood that flows between you.
1. This is a more polite way of saying “fu#king,” which in this context means “really.”
2. “Immerse” means to get deeply involved in something.
3. “Provocative” means that it’s very interesting.