Ichirou Agata, often known simply as Agata, is the guitarist and co-founder in 1992 for the Japanese noise rock band Melt-Banana from Tokyo. Agata is known particularly for his furious stage antics, jumping and constantly moving around, and exceedingly unique approach to playing the guitar which involves extended technique heavy use of effects pedals and guitar slides resulting in sounds not easily attributed to the guitar. He is also known for consistently wearing a surgical mask on stage during performances.
He has also released a solo guitar album in 2004, entitled Spike, on John Zorn's Tzadik Records.
The album consists mainly of solo guitar and sound effects. Agata is known for creating strange soundscapes with his guitar and often sounds nothing like a guitar. This album could be seen as an extra addition to Melt-Banana's discography as it shares many similarities to his guitarwork in Melt-Banana. The album also sounds similar to "Outro For Cell-Scape" on Melt-Banana's previous album Cell-Scape, with most of the songs (eg "Frontside Boardslide Shovit out" or "Nollie Crooked Grind") being named after popular skateboard tricks.
Agata claims that he gets the inspiration for his guitar riffs from the moment of euphoria when achieving something on a video game (Tony Hawk's is a favourite of his) and at that moment sings out the melody pattern and converts it to guitar.
Agata is normally seen wielding a vintage Gibson SG and plays through a Sunn Beta Lead Head with a Marshal 4x12 cabinet (as of 1999 Guitar Geek Link). Here is a more recent picture of his effects chain (2005). Identifiable effects in this picture are; two Boss Super Shifters, Fulltone Full Drive Pedal, Digitech Whammy, Pro Co Rat, Boss 2-Way Selector, and a Line-6 FM4 Filter Guitar Pedal.
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