“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
In a recent interview with Teamrock, Miku Kobato from Bandmaid explained rather succinctly “we play our own instruments”.
Of course, depending on how one views BABYMETAL this isn’t strictly true: BABYMETAL’s Kami band has some of the best metal musicians on the planet right now (FACT). Is Miku being a little disingenuous?
Anyway, Band-Maid tour Europe this autumn and headline The Underworld, London, UK on October 12.
For more information visit JPU Records.
Rising international star Amatsuki rocked MCM London Comic Con recently, as the three-day pop culture event experienced record numbers of more than 133,000 people attending, making it Europe’s biggest comic con and the third biggest event of its kind globally.
Amatsuki, who originally became popular through recording cover songs online, has since topped Japan’s national charts with his original work and I was lucky enough to catch up with him back stage at the convention for a quick chat!
As many followers of my blog know I am a fan of many musical genres. Well OK, mostly Japanese heavy rock, but I also have a penchant for other cool stuff! The more hip among you may remember a French outfit called Air who built a name for themselves making gorgeously melodic electronica during the late 1990’s and into the early 2000’s with albums such as critically acclaimed Moon Safari and the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides. Continue reading
Have a radio special *throws*
EDIT: It’s gone! Have no idea what happened to it.
I’m interviewing these crazy cats when they perform Hyperjapan November 27-29.
What should I ask them?
I met Tom on a train to Hackney after the BABYMETAL forum show last July – which was well wicked – and we’ve been in contact ever since. I figured it was about time I interviewed the wee bam, especially seeing as how I took him around Glasgow and we both got properly wrecked. Continue reading
Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently you will have heard that Jimi Hendrix has been all over the news on account of a legal dispute over one of his guitars. As luck would have it – and because it seemed serendipitous – I nabbed a quick chat with a very anonymous buyer who owns the black Monterey Stratocaster Hendrix used back in the day and asked him: what is it like to own one of the great man’s guitars?
(A shorter version of this article appeared in the Huffington Post)
The 3 girls of Babymetal look as if they are en route to a friend’s fancy dress party. All frills and red and black and silver. This is what I am looking at just before they go on stage to deliver, some 2 hours and 15 minutes later, one of the best concerts I can remember. Never have stage persona and real person been so mutually exclusive.