Chris Monnier

Chris MonnierOccupation:

Time in Japan:
9 months

Where are you from?
Melbourne, Australia.

What is your background in music?
I first started playing the drums at the age of ten. Even then I knew that it was what I wanted to do, so I spent hours practicing each day. At 16 I started playing gigs in pubs and clubs and since then I have been recording, playing live and touring on a regular basis.

Why did you choose the drums?
I chose the drums because I have always been interested in rhythm. When I was at school, one of my friends was taking drum lessons. One day I was waiting or him in the music room and I decided to try and play the drums. After about five minutes I started to pick up some basic beats and really liked the way it felt to play so since then I have been playing compulsively.

What brought you to Japan?
I have always been interested in Japanese culture. I guess I wanted a change and I heard that the Japanese music scene was really happening, so here I am.

How did you get involved in music here?
When I first came to Japan I started doing some street performances, performing by myself at places like Inokashira Koen and by Hachiko in Shibuya, just to make some contacts. I was lucky because a lot of people approached me about band work and recording sessions.

What kind of projects are you working on?
I am playing in a funk and jazz band called Innofunk and doing recording sessions for a band called Kurico and also playing with a piano player named April Perkinson. I am also working for a drum company called Canopus, who sent me to Los Angeles last month to do some product promotion, and playing at a music convention called the Namm show.

Who have been your biggest influences?
I listen to every style of music you can imagine and I try to draw influence from as many musicians as possible. I sometimes go through phases where I will pick one musician and study their music. I have been doing this with Stevie Wonder for a long time, so I would probably say him. Also on the drums people like Bernard Purdie [Aretha Franklin] and Carter Beuford [Dave Mathews Band] have been big influences. Being a self-taught player, I have been influenced by just about every musician that I have ever listened to, and it has helped to keep learning and expand my musical vocabulary.

What kind of advice would you give for musicians in Japan?
That' a tough one. I would probably say be good at what you do but don't forget to promote yourself or your band. There are a lot of great musicians who only play for their bedroom walls because they don't use initiative and only wait for opportunities instead of going and finding them.

What was your weirdest experience in Japan?
I would probably have to say either seeing a Shibuya girl for the first time or maybe the first time I saw a guy picking his nose on a crowded train. Gross!

What is your recipe for a happy life in Japan?
I think the best way to have a good life in Japan is to make lots of friends and visit as many places as possible. Also I think it is very important to try to get out of the city sometimes and enjoy some fresh air and nature because Tokyo (or any other big city) can really take its toll on you.

You can contact Chris at

Chris Monnier spoke to Maki Nibayashi.

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? If so, email us at

360: Gustavo Marchesi
Professional tango dancer
355: Alec McAulay
352/3: Mary Frenzel
Professional singer / songwriter, bandleader & voice instructor
350: Kate Smurthwaite
Bond analyst and aspiring novelist
349: Tim Spangler
Recreational Equipment, Inc.
348: Robin Rozzell
Tribal Nation Security
347: Marco Invernizzi
Bonsai artist
346: Charles E McJilton
345: Chris Chavez
344: Donna Burke
Singer and narrator
343: Dennis Sun
Artist, freelance graphic design and illustrator
342: Martin Hope Berry
Natural food shop owner
341: Donald James Berry
Technical Adviser
340: Amy Jorrisch
Tokyo International Players
339: Anthony Al-Jamie Ph.D.
Education consultant and journalist
338: Joel Silverstein
President of Outback Steakhouse Japan
337: Neal Dauber
Termite and Pest Control Operator
336: Marcus Spurrell
CEO of No Mass Media, Internet Co.
335: Stefan Fanselow
Flight Instructor
334: Colleen Lanki
Theater Artist
333: Ben Leibson
Scuba Diver
332: Bernard Yu
Executive Director of TELL
331: Hayden "Hay-chan" Majajas
Informations Systems Manager
330: Alistair McLachlan
BootsMC Finance manager
329: Ronald Lee Davis
Missionary / Teacher
328: Ed Durbrow
327: Isabelle Maranda
Marketing Coordinator
326: Brian Marcus
Food & Beverage Director at Tokyo American Club
325: David Baran
Managing Partner, Compass Partners
324: Murali Kupusami
Furla Tea & Coffee Owner/Model
323: Angela Jones
Fire Dancer
322: Tim Tsang
Coordinator for International Relations (CIR)
321: Chris Monnier
320: David Snyder
President of Rising Crane Sports Consultants, Inc.
319: Juliet Hindell
BBC's Tokyo Correspondent
318: Sid Lloyd
Football team captain
317: Niels Frederik Walther
Chef for the Danish Ambassador
316: Jonathan Katz
Jazz musician and composer
315: Yoichi Hayase
President, True Travel, K.K.
314: Ira Bolden
Program Manager
313: Benjamin Gurnsey
Corporate Communications at Sony Computer
312: Dr Jonna D. Douglass, PhD
Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist
311: Roy Kilner
Izakaya Manager
310: Neil Day
Senior Software Research Engineer
309: Stuart Ablett
Sakaya Operator
308: Maggie Tai Tucker
Animal Trainer
307: Carmine Cozzoline
Restaurant Owner/Chef
306: Alison Noonan
305: Kevin Meyerson
Rainbow Japan Inc. President
304: Randy McGraw
DirecTV Marketing Manager
303: Roy Ron
302: Antonio Plozay-Liberatore
Economist/TV Talent
300: Miguel Angel

Issues 250-299

Issues 150-199