Five Questions With… The Routes

Band: The Routes
Country of Origin: Japan

Fuzzed out and ready to rock, The Routes will scratch that garage itch. Moving from the UK to Japan, Chris Jack started The Routes, influenced by the genre’s early days. Given their garage roots and multinational background we thought The Routes would be a great band to feature on, well, the Global GarageFive Questions With…” series. If you’re sitting down and give their most recent record a spin, In This Perfect Hell (2017), while reading through Chris Jack’s responses I can almost guarantee you will be out of your seat dancing or rocking out or whatever it is you do when music strikes the right chord (pun intended) with you.

Five Questions

1. What is your desert island disc (the one album you couldn’t live without?)

The Fall – Dragnet OR Guided By Voices – Alien Lanes? That’s a tough question…

2. How did the band members meet?

I met the original drummer Masao through a friend from New Zealand, who was teaching English at a TDK factory (Masao was his student there). He was from a different part of Japan, so we were both pretty much foreigners in Hita city where I live. The original bass player was introduced by the guy that worked at a record shop I used to frequent in Kurume, Fukuoka. I met the current drummer (the second drummer currently resurrected), after the original drummer moved away. Not being able to find someone willing to play drums with me, I took to playing as a one man band. I met the drummer when he was playing in another band at a gig.

3. What is the underground music scene like in your home country?

In my immediate area of Hita there is no scene whatsoever. In Fukuoka, there is a surf band called The Whys, a garage band called The Paralyz, then tons of very straight cliche rock’n’roll bands (it’s called mentai rock, and people down here love it). We are very far from the Tokyo scene, on the island of Kyushu.

4. What are some of your biggest influences outside of music?

Biggest influence? Easily my wife. If I didn’t marry her and abandon UK when I was 23 years old, I’d probably be long dead.

5. Tell us about your favorite show you ever played.

That’s a tough one. Maybe when we played at Barreiro Rocks festival 2015 in Portugal. It was packed, and I was shitting myself with nerves, but once we started playing, I got such an amazing buzz.


Ryan first discovered his love of radio at WSOE FM, where he spent all 4 years of college as a DJ, 2 as program director, and 1 as general manager. While his musical tastes are fairly broad, he has a big nerdy spot in his heart for prog rock.