INTERVIEW

HER NAME IN BLOODの〈野生スイッチ〉がオン! ライヴ感強めた激烈なメジャー初EPと型に嵌らない自身のサウンドを語る

【特集:日本の重音 2015】Pt.1

LOUDER JAPAN
[Special Feature]The Heavy Sounds of Japan 2015

Riffs played out audaciously, bestial howling, plunging breakdowns and rumbling double-bass drums… here’s the 2015 map full of heavy rock sounds that will keep your blood boiling!


 

HER NAME IN BLOOD   BEAST MODE

The unstoppable five with their BEAST mode fully switched on are ready to play havoc wherever they are!  

 

The BEAST mode and humanity

Titled “BEAST MODE”, the first release from a major label by the rock band HER NAME IN BLOOD, is, so much as the title suggests, an intense piece of work in absolutely raw beastiness.

“It’s something like a [BEAST switch], if you’d like. And it’s a title that is so us. Not that we used to do our things underground, but (in this album,) there is implication of us going out into the world, freeing the beasts in ourselves. There may be some fans who are worried that we might go all softy by going major, but we want to assure them, -‘wherever we go, we are ready to play havoc, and that remains unchanged’. Like [we haven’t lost our instincts, so all you dare not!]” (Daiki, guitar.)

HER NAME IN BLOOD BEAST MODE ワーナー(2015)

As backed by these words, the sounds of this piece, that are actually so intense that it makes it even inappropriate for the piece to be called an EP, does not let out the slightest obsequence to the world. Tracks from the latest releases such as “THE BEAST EP” (2013) and “HER NAME IN BLOOD” (2014), as well as a selection of new tracks that would easily exceed the expectations of readers here who had been enthralled by their ever-convincing and compelling live performances, are tightly packed in this new album.

“We’ve always wanted to aim for a broader field and play out our career in a larger scale. But that doesn’t mean that we want to go pop or catchy, -we rather wanted to go against that. Making a debut from a major label, to us, was a change of environment that made it easier for us to pursue our ideals. (Ikepy, vocals)

One highlight to be noted in particular with this album is the strong sense of being ‘live’. Not that there used to be a too-obvious difference in tone between live and non-live with previous works, but in this album, even the slightest is clearly dissolved, completely.

【Video】HER NAME IN BLOOD's live performance at [SCREAM OUT FEST 2014]

 

“From the record label, as well as from our management agency, we were told ‘you should put forward the ‘live’ness in the recordings more because the live performances are so good’. We were pleased to hear that, and actually, it was something we were proud about ourselves… In the past, our sounds were pretty much tightly squared sounds, as if they were strictly lined up in tandem grids, but this time, we tried to leave traces of ‘human’ elements. For instance, even if there were glitches with the rhythms, if they sounded cool, we just used them as they were. And that, we also consider our own virtues.” (Daiki)

Basically, in this latest release, the members are in their ‘human’ mode, as much as being in their beast mode. The album exhibits warm waves of emotion of humans, and not too much of robotic smartness. 

 

 The desire to pursue more sophistication

 

Now, let’s take a quick look at where they stand in the current music field. Even in the loud rock scene today where there is a profusion of powerful and talented players, this band certainly draws a clear line with the sounds they play, and moreover, they obviously cannot be categorized under mere ‘textbook’ metal core sounds. Let’s hear how they self-analyze themselves.

“Well, the basis may be metal, but it’s important that it’s not just that. Putting it nicely, it’s kind of [hybrid]. So there is no clear definition of how our music should sound. We’re good as long as we are happy with it, and feel that it’s cool ourselves.” (Ikepy)

“I don’t think we categorize ourselves as, say, a metal core band. Our bottom roots may be metal and hard core, but we’re not simply doing just what they are supposed to be. Each of us listen to all kinds of music, regardless of genre, and spontaneously, those preferences seem to come together as a collective.” (Daiki)

What stands out when actually listening to their music, is how out-of-the-box their songs are. There seems to be a vague sense that there is a fixed form or style in the field of loud rock or the genre of metal core, but this band finds itself completely disconnected from such a saturated state of music.

“We are kind of tired of such formula-set type of music, and want to be a band that simply doesn’t go with that. Rather than [breaking the format], we want to [pursue sophistication]. Of course we do have some tracks that follows basic theories, but we want our music to keep betraying the listeners’ prediction of ‘how the track is going to unfold next’. And we want that to be something people take to.” (Daiki)

As a result of an attempt to go into a more specific analysis of the elements that structure their music, drawn out from the two members, Ikepy and Daiki who kindly took the interview, were the words, [punk, doom, metal and ‘traditional old-school hard rock from the 70s to the most state-of-the-art sounds]. In sum, not only the sideway breadth of genres, but their sounds also carries vertical length and depth. Rock music of the 70s would be sounds from several generations ago for them who are still in their twenties, but that being pointed out, they gave their own explanations.

“In my case, it’s completely my parents’ influence (laughs). My parents used to play those tunes, and I would simply fish around and listen to what I fancied, ending up with my getting really immersed in them. Artists like Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Deep Purple or KISS. Both Ikepy and I, in particular, really like those kind of old sounds.” (Daiki)

And such purview that rises above categories and times also transcends borders, naturally. While Ikepy explains that ‘as a band who’s been so influenced by bands from the US, and has a strong desire to venture into that very country’, there seem to be various undersurface coordinations taking place for future activities, both domestically and internationally.

“Currently, our dreams are gradually expanding. To challenge the bands you once were influenced by, that too in their territory, is more like becoming a rival, even though you’re still a fan. It’s a challenge to find out whether you would be accepted there, but we are confident that we will never be defeated.” (Daiki)

“True, it may be baseless confidence, but we have worked headlong with our live performances, and for that we take immense pride in. We are also confident with the sounds in the album that has completely flattened out any difference in the tone compared to live plays.” (Ikepy)

There are bands that, for example, who start sounding completely Japanese as soon as the vocals play, even though the music played are at global standard. However, in the case of this band, there are times you only realize they are Japanese when looking at their faces. Ikepy thinks to himself with all seriousness, “I wonder if we have the kind of Japanesiness”, while Daiki comments, “I do want people to wonder whether we are Japanese”. And now that they have been unleashed to the world, what lies in front of us may be a world in which reasons is brought into submission by the power of the beast.

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