Iggy Pop Discusses Working with Japanese Guitar Sensation Hotei

(Image credit: (provided))

Although he's notched up sales of more than 40 million in his native Japan, guitarist Hotei is best known in the U.S. for his original song, “Battle Without Honor or Humanity,” which was used in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill soundtrack.

Hotei released his first international album, Strangers (opens in new tab), this summer via Spinefarm Records/Universal. It features contributions from Iggy Pop, Bullet For My Valentine’s Matt Tuck, Noko, Shea Seger and more.

Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of a new video featuring Iggy Pop, who discusses how he came to work with Hotei on two tracks on Strangers, including "Walking Through the Night."

"I heard about Hotei from Don Was, the Stones' producer," Iggy says in the clip. "He said, hey, there's this dude from Japan who really wants to work with you. I said, let me hear him. What does he got? They sent me these two tracks. Whoa! This is good, really, really, really clearly produced and written rock and roll. It had a lot of space in the tracks for a vocal, which is a big problem for butch guitar players. They always wanna use up all the space. But this guy has a really good sense of space and drama."

Check out the video below. And stay tuned for the official U.S. release of "Walking Through the Night"—and its music video—this Friday.

Strangers (opens in new tab)demonstrates Hotei’s diversity as a songwriter and guitarist by mixing instrumental epics with contemporary mini-masterpieces, from “Move It” to the atmospheric “Kill to Love You," a dark, emotive track featuring Tuck on vocals. With Iggy's abrasive roar on two tracks, the unifying nature of Hotei’s guitar work and electronic wizardry produces a unique, futuristic and diverse album that's equal parts rock, dance, punk and electro.

"British rock has always been a great source of inspiration to me,” Hotei says. “And now living in London with a fresh start, Strangers (opens in new tab) allows me to take a step out of this new and relatively anonymous space to introduce myself. A stranger to many, remembering the days when I was young and just starting out, playing gigs to a room of only 20 people, I want to connect with people individually and let them understand me through my music.”

For more about Hotei, visit hotei.com and follow along on Facebook.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.