Japan’s power metal heroines LOVEBITES have announced that their debut European headline tour will take place this November. The all-female five-piece, who recently won the Best New Band Award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, have joined British agency X-Ray Touring and will return to the UK and Germany for the tour, and perform in the Netherlands and France for the first time. Continue reading
Japan’s heavy metal heroines LOVEBITES have won the title “Best New Band” at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2018. The finalists were nominated by the staff of Metal Hammer and the winner voted for by its readers. LOVEBITES were crowned Best New Band during the ceremony tonight at Indigo at the London O2 and saw the band’s by bass player miho and guitarist miyako flew in from Tokyo to accept the award. Continue reading
New EP Battle Against Damnation Cover Art and Tracklisting Revealed.
Japan’s heavy metal crusaders LOVEBITES follow up their blistering debut album Awakening From Abyss with new mini-album Battle Against Damnation, revealing its track listing, cover art and video to lead track “The Crusade” today – watch it HERE.
The band have partnered with JPU Records for the mini-album’s release on 08 June 2018in North America and Europe, and in Japan on 06 June 2018 via Victor Entertainment. The release is also available for digital pre-order now via iTunes with “The Crusade” as an instant gratification download – get it HERE.
Lead track “The Crusade” sees LOVEBITES – who are nominated “Best New Band” in Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods Awards 2018 – pay their respects to British heavy metal. Their admiration for it deepened further following the band’s appearance at a UK event and their headline performance at The Underworld in Camden in November 2017.
“Break The Wall” is the first song joint-written by miho (bass) and miyako (guitar, keyboard) and is propelled forwards at breakneck speeds through thrash metal riffs and grandiose solos, and features a change of atmosphere midway through before hurtling towards its dramatic finale.
The final two tracks “Above The Black Sea” and “Under The Red Sky” share similar names and themes. The former written by miyako, the latter by LIGHT BRINGER keyboard player Mao, both tracks see the classically trained pianists pen a metal-themed love letter to the works of Sergei Rachmaninoff, a composer from the Russian empire of the late Romantic period and inspirer of metal today.
Bass-player miho and vocalist asami comment on the themes and title of the mini-album;
“Humanity is faced with battles on a daily basis. Each person has their own fight, whether it’s illness, time, solitude, war or something else they have to face.” (miho)
“However, we consider that humanity’s most serious adversary is its own destiny. Sometimes it’s essential to defy the fate bestowed from the heavens. Battle Against Damnation depicts such a fight.” (asami).
Skilful engineers Mikko Karmila and Mika Jussila of Finland’s legendary Finnvox Studiosonce again return for mixing and mastering duties on all tracks. Similarly, the cover illustration is handled once again by David Lopez Gómez and Carlos Vicente León, the Spanish team behind LOVEBITE’s debut album cover art and German heavy metal band HELLOWEEN’s best album SWEET SEDUCTIONS.
LOVEBITES will appear at two of Europe’s biggest metal festivals this summer, appearing at Wacken Open Air on 04 August, the same day as HELLOWEEN, ARCH ENEMY and DIMMU BORGIR; and Bloodstock Open Air on 10 August alongside JUDAS PRIEST, EMPEROR and KAMELOT. The band will also tour Japan with ANTHEM as part of the Headstrong Festival 2018 and performed at the Vans Warped Tour Japan last month.
Lovebites on Twitter
Marking the first time an instrumental piece without vocals had ever closed the special television event, Yoshiki’s first musical performance on television since his surgery had received a lot of media attention since its announcement. He appeared on stage without his neck brace, showing the painful scars from his surgery four months ago.
As he performed on the TV Asahi stage, a powerful montage of images — Yoshiki flying around the world, his energetic drumming, the deaths of his band members, his own neck surgery, his career with X Japan, and his personal history — played in the background, triggering comments on social media such as “I have goosebumps… riveting”, “Yoshiki is so amazing!”, and “I can’t stop crying” as fans expressed their awe and praise for the elegant musical presentation which climaxed in a shower of rose petals.
Afterward, Yoshiki returned immediately to Los Angeles to work on the final touches of the soon-to-be-released X Japan album. Later, in October, he is scheduled to tour a total of 10 countries to promote the European theatrical premieres of the award-winning documentary film, We Are X.
After the television performance, Yoshiki commented: “I still have sharp pain in my neck, but as my doctor said, moving forward is a part of rehab. I’m thankful for the opportunity I was given. And I want to thank the fans who are always supporting me.”
Yoshiki European Theatrical Tour 2017
October 12 – Berlin, Germany
October 14 – Florence, Italy
October 15 – Vienna, Austria
October 16 – Amsterdam, Holland
October 17 – Oslo, Norway
October 18 – Helsinki, Finland
October 19 – Stockholm, Sweden
October 20 – London, UK
October 21 – Reykjavik, Iceland
October 24 – Paris, France
“I think the Sun Always Shines On TV. Its an amazing song and its got the guitar riff and its got that slight heaviness to it” says bassist Ross as I ask the band to consider what juxtaposing song they would cover as Ana (lead vocals) chips-in “Jay [band manager] wanted us to cover it but we just sent him back to the corner!”
It’s fun interviewing these crazy young scamps and references to silly 80’s pop acts aside, things have certainly progressed for the Glasgow five piece as they embark on a tour of the Philippines and Japan later this month.
“Feelings are everywhere. They can be exciting, scared terrified. Its insane” muses Ana as Ross adds “I’m looking forward to the Philippines the most based on all the response. I think a lot of gigs will be quite busy” with Jay pointing out “we discovered that the Philippines was our second biggest fan base in the world [outside the UK]”
It’s no accident Altered Sky are touring the Far East as they are big fans of some of the area’s biggest acts. Ana cites Japanese rockers One OK Rock “they create this really melodic atmospheric … I dunno how you’d describe it mwrrrwwwah!. They just remind me of the way I write” and Amy beams “I’d love to play with BABYMETAL” with Ana adding with no sense of shame “yeah, they’re mental!”
What’s really cool – aside from the interest from overseas promoters – is how the band are receiving validation from some pretty awesome endorsements such as Tuk Shoes and Germany’s Real Guitars with Tara noting of the latter “the guy who endorsed us hand builds all his guitars so we just got these incredibly well thought out machines…I would never been able to afford it [sic]” before Ryan says “its [the guitar] the way its built: with love and care”.
And sometimes the endorsement can come from a simple Tweet. Amy points out “I’m with Premier [drums]. I gave them a mention on Twitter amd they were like ‘ooh we’ll send you a kit!”
And as I reach for more vodka (this was, after all, a very – erm – liquid interview) Jay suggests I “get yer endorsement to Glenn’s mate!”. I’m working on it, Jay.
But joking aside, the serious nature of the band comes through when I ask them about the positive feedback they get from fans “It’s less surprising now. It’s still humbling and its surreal that the music that we’ve created is mentally and emotionally helping someone” muses Ryan with Ana adding “we’re obviously here because we love music and we’re here to make a mark in peoples lives. Anytime someone says its helped them it hits you right in the heart”.
Of course the music is important and Ryan observes “I dont know if I have sort of autism and when I grew up I didnt have many friends and that brought me closer to music”.
Asked about the direction of the band’s sound Ana notes “I think we’re taking a step in a heavier direction, not too much though. We’ve always been sitting on the fence with it. Do we go more Crabcore for Ryan?” at this point Ryan attempts Crabcore (no, me no idea either) and rips his jeans. Skillz.
Distractions aside, Ana says of the new album “we are sitting at about 14 -15 songs that are just about finished. So the album will be recorded very early 2018”
And that’s that. The band’s next interview is in twenty minutes but I know they’re super excited about the tour “The locations we’re going to be going, the people we’re going to speak with, we’ll be writing the whole time. I’m taking my mini piano!” beams Ana.
I bet you will Ana, and this wee outfit from Glasgow are onto something. As the song maybe goes ‘If you keep yer eye on TV….’
Images copyright Marianne Harris
BAND-MAID has released latest album Just Bring It in America and Canada on CD ahead of the band’s world tour, which includes San Fransisco this weekend and the UK, France, Germany and Spain in November. The album and their previous material has also been made available in Spotify for the first time outside of Japan, as well as latest double A-side single Daydreaming / Choose me.
On the CD release in America, guitarist and vocalist Miku comments, “We’re happy and very excited that Masters and Princesses overseas are enjoying our music. It fills our hearts with excitement and joy! We’re also excited about returning to America, the first country we served overseas!”
Regarding the tour, Miku adds, “We’re looking forward to see Masters and Princesses, new and old! And also for shopping and eating lovely food in each city – we can’t wait!”
BAND-MAID WORLD TOUR 2017
Burn! Burn! BAND-MAID Moe Moe Cune
(Sun) 10 September: JPOP SUMMIT, San Francisco. USA 🇺🇸 [tickets]
(Fri) 3 November: O2 Academy Islington, London. UK 🇬🇧 [tickets]
(Sat) 4 November: La Boule Noire, Paris. France 🇫🇷 [tickets]
(Sun) 5 November: Zeche, Bochum. Germany 🇩🇪 [tickets]
(Wed) 8 November: Bi Nuu, Berlin. Germany 🇩🇪 [tickets]
(Thu) 9 November: Backstage, Munich. Germany 🇩🇪 [tickets]
(Sun) 12 November: Salamandra, Barcelona. Spain 🇪🇸 [tickets]
Just Bring it
Buy on CD:
“Dishing out apoplectic mosh-starters… worthy of global recognition” – Rock Sound
“I saw them at KnotFest. Hoo boy, they were good.” – Daniel P. Carter, BBC Radio 1 Rock Show
Japan’s metal heroes CRYSTAL LAKE have revealed their exciting anniversary plans for this October, including a string of shows across England. The band will celebrate their 15th year by throwing their own festival in Tokyo, dropping new single APOLLO, and conducting their first UK headline tour before finishing the month off with an appearance at a metalcore festival in Germany.
For a decade and half, CRYSTAL LAKE have been cranking out some of Japan’s most explosive heavy rock. Blending elements of metalcore, hardcore and hard rock, the band has created their most ambitious and dynamic album to date with TRUE NORTH. The release is out now in the UK and Europe courtesy of JPU Records, and in America via Artery Recordings, and is also the name of the UK Tour.
23 Oct: London 229 The Venue
24 Oct: Manchester Satan’s Hollow
25 Oct: Birmingham The Flapper
26 Oct: Plymouth Underground
27 Oct: Southampton Talking Heads (CRYSTAL LAKE only)
28 Oct: Cologne MoreCore Festival
More dates to follow.
Back home in Tokyo the band will mark their 15th anniversary by throwing a festival under their name and inviting 15 of their favourite bands to perform, including Japan’s coldrain, America’s Fit For A King and Taiwan’s Emerging from the Cocoon, as well as a number of names from Japan’s punk, hardcore and metal scenes, such as SHADOWS, SAND and NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST.
CRYSTAL LAKE will release latest single APOLLO in Japan from 11 October, including two new songs and a remix of Dreamscape by dubstep producer PhaseOne, as well as a DVD featuring footage from their sold out tour finale earlier this year.