Volume 96, Issue 14
Friday, September 20, 2002

Search the Archives:



Sanseiru's sping on terrorism, post-modernism and karate

By Megan O'Toole
Gazette Staff

The Gazette recently had a chance to harass Roberto LoRusso, vocalist of London's own Sanseiru, with 12 burning questions. He took a few minutes out of his day job as a teacher to respond to the barrage.

1) On your Web site, you are referred to as "a band in the great post-modern tradition." What does this mean?

It [is] appropriating old ideas and making them new again. Although we don't do sampling per se, we do pool from many musical sensibilities.

2) How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?

A dissonant rock band with heavy post-punk influence.

3) What got you started in the industry?

The Jesus and Mary Chain. I needed to make noise like that.

4) What's your favorite aspect of the rock scene?

The sense of community, I guess. Aside from playing music we love, it's about being around other people who share a common interest in the art form. I think for a lot of people, music fills the void that suburban living creates.

5) What do you like the least about the scene?

The scarcity of those who support the scene. Unfortunately, we are so inundated with American culture, most Canadians have acquired a completely flippant attitude toward Canadian artists... I think that when people see their home-grown talent working day jobs, it kills their romantic notion of what it is to be a musician. [Also], the moment you stop making hits, the label stops cutting cheques – congratulations, your 15 minutes is up!

6) "Sanseiru" means "the way of 36 hands." How is this a fitting description of your band?

Sanseiru is what is called a Kata, specifically a Kata in Okinawan Karate. This Kata focuses on fighting in all four directions. If executed properly, there is no defense. We are four members attacking music in such a way that if executed properly, preconceived notions of what is a rock band don't stand a chance.

7) What was it like being at the Vans Warped tour?

It was an experience of a lifetime, that's for sure. That was a very rare moment, being part of a large rock festival in your own town, especially one that drew thousands of people.

8) What is your dream gig?

This is a tough one, most of the gigs I dream about would require a time machine. I would have loved to played with The Clash or The Jesus and Mary Chain back in the day.

9) How has your band evolved musically since the release of Hannah Maria Teresa in 1996?

Leaps and bounds. Hannah Maria Teresa was a great record and I still love all those songs, but since then, we have acquired a better sense of dynamic and writing versatility.

10) How has the Internet aided your band in self-promotion?

Very little actually. We use it and have been for years, but it takes time – time that most of us don't have.

11) In your opinion, what is the biggest problem in the world today?

There are countless problems in the world, but probably the biggest problem, that I see, is North America... Terrorism is a symptom, not a disease, and until we get that though our thick, over-privileged skulls, the fear will never end, the threats will never end and eventually we will lose, because in a war of attrition, those who have nothing to lose will win.

12) What is the next project that Sanseiru is tackling?

Releasing the record that we have been promising to release for the last 5 years.

Sanseiru will be playing at the Gravity Club (355 1/2 Talbot St.) tonight for $5.


Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department