Metal is very much a universal language. Japanese metalcore outfit Crossfaith are a prime example of the genre’s widespread appeal. With a new album out and a return to Australia coming up, Killyourstereo.com sat down with vocalist Koie ‘Ken’ Kenta to discuss everything going on in the world of Crossfaith.
Hi Ken. Thanks for doing the interview. How has the year been for you guys so far? It has been a busy period for Crossfaith.
This year has been amazing. Seriously amazing. We left New Years day from Japan to fly out to New York to record our album, then from there we flew straight to Australia for Soundwave, then straight to the USA for a five week tour with Enter Shikari and Architects. Then in April we came back to Japan for two weeks before heading out to the UK with Bring Me the Horizon, then back to Japan for festivals, then straight out to the USA for two months on Warped tour, then back to Japan for festivals, [and also] to the UK for festivals…. yeah… you could say it’s been busy.
I’ll refrain from asking the standard question of directly asking you to tell us about the new album. However, I’m interested to hear what is the most surprising thing listeners might discover from ‘Apocalyze’?
It’s completely original. There are tons of carbon copy bands out there, which are great live but do not offer any sense of originality. I think that is the most exciting part, which will surprise a lot of people because it is completely new.
I am curious as to what the Japanese metal music scene like? When we think of metal we think of Scandinavia and the Bay Area in the states as clear examples, what’s it like in your country?
It is a scene, which has been growing. This is something that we have been trying to build and expand. There are other bands out there in Japan doing this as well such as Coldrain. A lot of the kids listen to western music so they know the sound but some kids only support western bands. That’s the difference in culture I suppose. Some kids will only listen to Japanese bands and they will not listen to western music and some kids will only listen to western music and they will not support the Japanese bands. I guess by touring more internationally we are trying to bridge that gap and have our fans from Japan completely mixed. This is our real aim.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with since being in a band?
Not finding good Japanese food out side of Japan…
Just on that, a lot of bands when they tour Japan remark how the food is a lot different. From your side of things, what’s the food situation like when you tour America or come to Australia for example?
Of course the food is different. You are in a different culture so you adapt to the way they live their lives. In America there are huge portions and tons of really unhealthy food. We love the food in Australia too. In the UK they have the best Fish & Chips. I seriously think we are all open to new ideas and trying new things. Being in a band and travelling the world with your best friends is an adventure. We try and embrace every bit of it.
You were here for Soundwave earlier in the year. What were your best experiences from that?
The shows, the Metallica BBQ, the plane flights, the hotels, all of it. We really had such an amazing time and that is definitely one of the best festivals in the world without a single doubt. I honestly would do that festival every year if I had the chance.
Just generally, what did you enjoy most about travelling through Australia?
The people. They were so nice to all of us and really made us feel so comfortable. When you are away from your home for six months and constantly touring in different countries you do get treated differently and in Australia we were treated like kings. We are so thankful for AJ and all the Soundwave crew.
Tell us what it’s like being a full-time touring band? You played Soundwave then jumped straight on a plane and begun a US tour. As you touched on with it being a busy year, must be tiring at times too.
Sometimes it is tiring yes. We love tour life and meeting new people and just having a crazy existence. It’s really inspiring watching these bands that have been on tour constantly for 18 months and really pushing themselves to the limit to secure their bands success. We really want to put the hard work in and not be one of those bands that gets everything handed to them. Try doing Warped Tour. You can’t say you are a real hard working band until you do that tour. It is like none other and we were out there every day promoting the band with signs in 45C degree heat. We had such a good time but after doing tours like Warped you do need a few days to recover.
What album or albums have had the biggest impact on you as a musician?
Bon Jovi – Crossroads
Aerosmith – Big Ones
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
Who have been some of you favourite bands to tour with so far and why?
Bring Me the Horizon, The Used, Enter Shikari, Architects, Of Mice & Men, While She Sleeps, Bury Tomorrow, Goldfinger, Polar…there are so many.
You’ll be back soon with Bring Me the Horizon and Of Mice & Men. Tell us your thoughts leading into this tour.
This is a tour of family friends I think. This will be a large group of really close friends hanging out with each other around the world. That’s the best part about this.
Just some easy ones to finish off with before I let you go:
Favourite album of 2013?
Don Broco. Check these boys out!
If you could pick any three bands to tour with, who would they be?
Slipknot, The Prodigy, [and] Papa Roach.
Favourite song to listen to in the tour van?
Aerosmith – I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.
Slayer’s ‘Reign in Blood’ or Metallica’s ‘Black’ album?
Reign In Blood.
Any final words you wish to share?
Please check out our new music video ‘Eclipse’. This song is us moving forward and trying out new things.
Thanks for the interview. Appreciate your time and look forward to seeing you in October.
Come out and party!
Will do, thanks Ken.