FLOW AnimeFEST Interview at JRock247

In addition to reporting on FLOW’s concert, I got to do a brief interview with them at AnimeFEST for JRock247.  We talked about anime theme songs, the previous night’s show, and what’s up with the recent baseball theme in their work.

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How do you balance having two vocalists instead of just one?

KOHSHI: Our vocal qualities are different, and we sing in different keys too. We consider how both the technical aspects and our personalities fit the parts. We actually consider this to be our strong point; we like to use it as a weapon.

Click here to read the rest of the interview.

Listening to: “BRAVELUE” by FLOW

FLOW AnimeFest 2014 live report on JRock247

A couple of week ago, I attended AnimeFEST, which had FLOW as their musical guest.  The concert was very exciting and I wrote a live report for JRock247.

Without hesitation, FLOW got the crowd moving with “Sign”. Vocalists KEIGO and KOHSHI darted around the stage, jumping and throwing their fists in the air. Next came the much-loved Eureka 7 opening, “DAYS”. The funky guitar was the perfect companion to the flawlessly delivered rap.

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Click here to read the rest of the report (and see more pics!).

Listening to: “HERO -Kibou no uta-“ by FLOW

WING WORKS interview on JRock247

I took a short break from writing articles for JRock247, NekoPOP, and Drama-MAX, but now I’m back and I’ve got a new interview with WING WORKS.

The three PVs in your DVD are part of one story yet they’re very different in setting and overall atmosphere. How did you decide on the look for each one?
RYO:SUKE: We get our ideas from various songs and lyrics. “Silver (シルヴァー)” is cyber and gothic. “VAD†MAN” is conspiratorial and “Fushichou (不死鳥-FENNIX-)” is Japanesque.

“VAD†MAN” features a lot of historical and religious imagery. What events and historical figures influence you? How about religion?
RYO:SUKE: A lot of the influence for “VAD†MAN” was taken from the cultural aspects of the Christian worldview.

Click here to read the rest.

Listening to: “Silver” by WING WORKS

Lustknot. reveals mental illness as reason for indefinite hiatus

Activities pauses are not uncommon in the world of J-rock.  Explanations are a little bit harder find, but there’s usually a vague statement to let fans know what’s going on.  However, the bands remain private.  That’s half of why the news of Lustknot.’s hiatus is so surprising: they gave a specific reason.

The other reasons is the reason itself.  Their vocalist Yuki suffers from dissociative identity disorder and can no longer continue with the band.  You can read a translation of the officiate statement at Shattered Tranquility.

This announcement is a big deal because there’s always been a stigma against mental disorder in Japan (and other parts of Asia too).  In a culture that places so much importance on a public face versus a private one, it’s no surprise that such disorders would be kept secret and that patients would be locked away.  That’s not to say there haven’t been reforms and better treatment, but just take a look at how Crown Princess Masako was treated after she was diagnosed with adjustment disorder.

I commend Lustknot. and their management for both bringing attention to an illness that isn’t visible and showing their support for Yuki.  It would’ve been easy to leave it at health issues and continue without him, but they chose not to.  Thank you Lustknot. for the music you have given us, and I wish Yuki the best.

Listening to: “Sakura Memento” by URBANGUARDE

GEEKS interview on JRock247

I had the chance to interview GEEKS for JRock247. They’ll be playing A-kon this year.

You all have unique titles like “Genius Scammer”. How did you acquire them?

Endo (Gt): We intentionally picked these unique nicknames to leave an impression on a new audience so they wouldn’t forget us.

What inspired you to have multiple vocals?

Endo: Isn’t it more awesome to have multiple vocals instead of just having one? That was it.

Click here to read the rest. Thanks to Babel Entertainment for making this possible.

Listening to: “Eine Kleien Nachtmusik” by GEEKS

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