akai SKY interview on JRock247

Recently I was able to conduct an interview with akai SKY, whom I saw at AnimeFest.


How does Chasing Lights reflect how each of you has grown over the course of ten years?

Ryuusei: Our recording engineer remarked that our songwriting had really grown since Heart, Attack! [their second EP, released in 2013]. I think we’ve really grown in how we develop our songs, particularly in the area of arrangement and with this release, adding different backing tracks. Individually, I think the individual parts we write have all gotten stronger and show more of our individual personalities.

Umi: We’ve built upon our previous experiences and tried some new things with Chasing Lights that we haven’t done before. Every time we do something, we try to make it a little bigger and better using what we learned from the process the last time around.

Click here to read the rest of the interview.

Listening to: “Break Down!” by akai SKY

Kinematograph review on JRock247

Visual kei band umbrella released a new mini-album earlier this summer.  Their single caught my attention, and I decided to check out Kinematograph and write about it for Jrock247.


The latest mini-album from visual kei quartet umbrella opens with the cranking sounds of an old-fashioned camera projecting film. Indeed the aptly-named Kinematograph does provide a glimpse into the past—the early 90s to be exact, when shoegaze was all the rage. Those hazy guitars float from the intro, “Lumiere”, to the very end, yet umbrella manages to break free from the wall of sound to have a modern rock sound.

Click here for the rest of the review.

Listening to: “Keihaku no Hito” by umbrella

Kinematograph / umbrella

Anna Tsuchiya interview on NekoPOP

After Anime Matsuri, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anna Tsuchiya about her show and future plans.

When you put on the fan’s “yankii” jacket, how did you feel revisiting a character (Ichiko from Kamikaze Girls) whom you played over 10 years ago?

Anna Tsuchiya: I was genuinely happy! I hope to create more long-loved works that will stay in fans’ hearts after ten years.

What made you choose more upbeat songs for your set?

Anna Tsuchiya: Since this was an event, I wanted to have fun and get excited with everyone. Also I made this set list mainly with my songs that overseas fans know (NANA‘s theme songs and the latest single “LUCIFER”).

NekoPOP-Anna Tsuchiya-Anime Matsuri2014-3

Click here to read the rest of the interview. Photo is from the concert live report.

Listening to: “Change you life” by Anna Tsuchiya

DISACODE Anime Matsuri 2015 live report at JRock247

Here is the final Anime Matsuri live report.   Performing for the first time in the U.S., DISACODE helped kick off a fantastic night of music.

AKIRA danced all over the stage—the kimono sleeves of her outfit swirling around. That motion perfectly complemented the traditional Japanese sound of “Mononoke NIGHT”. She also delivered drama with both her voice and body in “Sakura x Kuroku x Kuraku” while drummer Marcy banged away at the cymbals.


Click here to read the rest of the report.

Listening to: ARCO∞IRIS” by DISACODE

Sakura x Kuroku x Kuraku / Disacode

Roclassick2 review at JRock247

Since BIGMAMA’s conceptual album, Roclassick2, made my Best of 2014 list, I decided to review it for JRock247.


BIGMAMA has done it again, blending classical and rock in a completely unique manner. Rather than covering or sampling from classical music pieces, the band has used them as inspiration for original songs. Roclassick2 reimagines some familiar pieces from childhood piano lessons or high school band days that will please fans of any genres…

Click here to read the rest.

Listening to: “Swan Song” by BIGMAMA


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