The BBC Airs Documentary on BABYMETAL, Featuring AKB48, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and More

Tonight, the BBC aired a documentary titled “Babymetal: Wembley to Tokyo.” But BABYMETAL is only one part of the show. The film delved further into Japanese pop culture, and included a discussion about idol culture, featuring AKB48. There was also an interview with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu….

Read More on aramajapan.com

I shot a lot of shows in 2015, and it was totally insane. To celebrate an incredible year, I just posted a huge year end gallery of some of my favorite photos of 2015 on my website! (Including, the photos above and a TON more.) This year has been absolutely incredible. I shot nearly every single show for my own publication, did my second Warped Tour and first ever Riot Fest, and on top of it all, made a ton of new friends. I can’t wait for 2016!

Check out all of my favorite photos from 2015 at shannonshumakerphoto.com/blog


Getting hammered mayer

(Source: https://www.instagram.com/toru_10969/)

LIVE HOLIC SSTV 2015 MY FIRST STORY x Crossfaith Up!!!Interview Part 2

Continuation of Kenta Crossfaith and Hiro MFS for the LIVE HOLIC Event. Read Part 1 here. This one got delayed because Sho Tsuchiya’s hiatus took over. Well, the LIVE HOLIC 2015 was already over but still this is a fun interview to read as Hiro continued fanboying over Crossfaith and Ken was just hilarious (^^)

To International MFS fans, stop dreaming for now. Hiro already said they’re not going to tour abroad till they are able to do the arenas in Japan. He said something similar in Musica magazine during the 虚言NEUROSE release and looks like he is still sticking to his words. Besides, I doubt MFS would want to go abroad without Sho.

Original Japanese text from Up!!!

Translation by me. Lots of paraphrasing as usual XD. Sorry for any mistakes and inaccuracies. 

*Kindly please do not copy and repost. Reblogging and linking are welcomed.

方法論がちがうバンド同士のガチンコ勝負! 【LIVE HOLIC対談・後編】
The methodology is different for each band in a hard fighting Match


12月22日に行われるLIVE HOLIC Vol.5で、初の2マンを行なうCrossfaithとMY FIRST STORY。フロントマン対談の後編では、それぞれの音楽のあり方、活動のあり方から、LIVE HOLICに向けての思いを語ってもらった。対談前編はこちら
In the LIVE HOLIC Vol.5 that takes place on 22nd December 2015, Crossfaith and MY FIRST STORY are carrying out their first 2-Man. In the sequel to the frontmen talk,  each of their music’s current state, from the way-abouts of their activities, they talked to us of their thoughts towards the LIVE HOLIC. 

―― Each of you, regarding music, what kind of part that (you feel) emphasis is placed on?

Hiro(MY FIRST STORY):僕の音楽の考え方としては、日本人は子どもの頃最初にJ-POPを聴いて、声や歌詞を聴いているから、大体の人はメロディだったり、ボーカ ルをメインで聴いてると思うんですよ。バンドの曲を聴いた時にも、最初に耳に入るのはそこだと思うんです。ということではメロディや、3分間でいかに短編 小説を読んだくらいの起承転結やストーリーをつけるかは大事にしてます。
Hiro(MY FIRST STORY): My point of view of  music, for Japanese people, when they were kids, they’d be listening to J-POP first, and because they’d be listening to the voice and the lyrics, so to a general person, I think it would be the melody and the vocals as the main parts. Even when I listened to the songs of a band, I think those were the first that I hear.Therefore, the melody, putting the story and development like more or less reading a short story, and how you put it in 3 minutes are important to do.

――J-POPにおいてはそのサビの強さもまた大事になってますね。 Crossfaithは海外でも活動することが多いです が、こうしたサビという考え方もまたちがうのでは。
―― Regarding J-POP, that (song) hook is also still of a great importance, isn’t it. As for Crossfaith, you do a lot of activities overseas, but is the idea of such (song) hook different?

Koie(Crossfaith):俺らの場合は根本がシャウトなの で、もちろんサビは大事というのはあるんですけど、昔の曲 だと1回しかサビが出てこない曲もありますしね(笑)。考え方としては、聴かせるところがちがうのかな。とくにメタル・バンドって、ボーカルだけじゃなく て、ギターやドラムを聴かせるのもあるし。MY FIRST STORYの場合はボーカルがドンと真ん中にありますけど、うちの場合は、全員が全員バキバキな感じ(笑)。ただ新しいアルバム『XENO』ではメロディ も入れているので、サビ感は重要視しています。
Koie(Crossfaith) : In our case, because our root is in screamo, of course there is a great importance (placed) on (song) hook though since a long time every song has been produced with hooks you know (laughs). My way of seeing it, the places/parts that I listen to are perhaps different. Particularly talking about metal bands, not (just) vocals, there are guitars and drums that I also listen to. In MY FIRST STORY’s case, the vocals is exactly at the centre of it but in our case, everybody and everything has that snapping / cracking feel (laughs). However, in the new album XENO, because we are also including melodies*, so that (song) hook feel is (something) we are attaching importance to.
* Ken sings more clean vocals on XENO compared to previous albums

Hiro:僕らがやってることが正解だとは思っていないんです。 Crossfaithは単純に、曲にも作品にもストーリー性が あるじゃないですか。それがめっちゃかっこいい。それは海外でもできる強みでもあると思いますね。曲としてのドラマ性や構成がしっかりとあることは、僕の 考え方ともリンクしている部分もありますしね。
Hiro: I don’t think what we’re doing is the correct solution. Crossfaith is simply, to any song and any (piece of) work , there’s a storyline, isn’t it. That is just crazy cool. That I think is a strong point that enables them to (perform) overseas. As a song, having something solid in its drama nature and organization, there are also parts that link to my way of thinking.

Koie:合体したら最強のバンドになるな。俺らは根底に、ダンス・ ミュージックの要素が強くあるので、歌で聴かせるというよ りは、ライブで暴れさせる、躍らせることがすごい大事なんですよね。もちろん歌もありきやけど、ビート感とかグルーヴが大事。踊る、体を動かすというの は、俺らの音楽には根底にありますね。うちのDJ(Teru)なんかはBPMを、小数点以下まで考えてますからね。4つ打ちはだいたい218とか、ドラム は160~180やろとか、これがいちばん気持ちのいいBPMやっていうのはこだわってますね。
Koie: We become the bands that are strongest when combined. As for us, because dance music is a profound element to our foundation, or should I say listening to the singing is to “rampage” to the Live or something you dance to is something utterly important, you know. Of course, though it (all) originates from the singing but the beat feeling or the groove is important.  Say it as something to dance to or sway to is the underlying foundation to our music. Because our DJ (Teru) is such that he thinks about the BPM till after the decimal point. Such as the 4-on-the-floor beat* count is roughly 218 or doing the drum at 160~180, doing the this-is-the-BPM-that-feels-the-best is (something that he really) fusses over.
4打ち(Four on the floor (music)) ~ A steady, uniformly accented beat with a 4/4 time signature.

―― Is such a speed something that was derived from experience and bodily sensation?

Koie:そうですね。ダンス・ミュージックはすごく好きなので。と くに僕らみたいな音楽は、ライブに行っても、歌も歌うけ ど、暴れにいくものやと思ってるので。俺もそういうのが好きやし、この前もプロディジーを観たんですけど、ハンパなかったんですよね。あれが俺らの、到達 点のひとつでもあるのかなって思いましたね。ダンス・ミュージックやけど暴力性があって、ロックで、躍らせて、歌わせて、というマスターピースのような気 がしましたね。
Koie: That’s right. because we like Dance music very much.  Especially music like ours, even if you go to the Live, the song and the singing though, I think are something that are riotous. So, I like that as well and , some time ago too, we watched The Prodigy though and, man, wasn’t it impressive! That is what we thought of as, maybe you can say, one of our goals. Though it is Dance Music but there is also rampaging-nature, rock, throbbing excitement, making you sing, it’s having a feeling like (something) called a masterpiece, you know.

――Crossfaithは早い段階で海外にも進出しましたが、バン ドをはじめた当初から海外は視野にあったんですか。
―― Crossfaith advanced to overseas at an early stage but was it in the field of vision from the beginning that the band started?

Koie:そうですね。洋楽を聴いている時点で、野球していたらメ ジャーリーグに行きたいっていうのと同じような感覚で。ロッ クやるんやったら、アメリカ、イギリスでしょうっていうのがやっぱりあったから。ほんまに、それだけの理由ですね。直観的に、“海外でやりたい”ってい う。。
Koie: That’s right. At the point when I was listening to Western music, the feeling was like the same as wanting to go to the Major League if I played baseball. Because after (I started) doing Rock (music), (there was) America and there would still be the United Kingdom (to go to). Truly, it’s that much of a reason, you know. Intiutively, we said, “We want to do it abroad”.

―― You felt like embarking into that yourselves?

Koie:俺らのなかではだいぶ、時は満ちたくらいの感じで行ったん ですけど(笑)。客観的に見たら、飛び込んでいったなとい う感じだったんでしょうね。日本で、アリーナとかでライブするようなバンドじゃないけど、行けるチャンスが目の前に転がってきたから。じゃあ、行く! と いう感じでしたね。まずは行ってみないとわからないし、やってみないとというのはあった。通用する自信はあったんですよね。MY FIRST STORYは行かんの、海外は?
Koie: We personally greatly (felt that way), in time that the feeling was approximately high enough, we (just) went though (laughs). When we see it objectively, it felt like we just took a plunge into it, didn’t we? In Japan, it’s not like we’re a band doing Live in arenas though, and because the chance to go rolled over before our eyes. “Well, so off we go!” was the feeling, you know. Firstly, if you do not try to go, you will not know and that was because you did not try. There was the prevailing self-confidence. As for MY FIRST STORY going away, how about overseas?

Hiro:僕としては、Crossfaithみたいに海外でキャリア を築いて火がついて、それで日本に来るというのか理想では ありますね。そうじゃなかったら、日本で圧倒的に売れて、東京ドームとかでライブをやるようになってから、海外に行くのなら成立すると思うんです。僕は横 浜アリーナとか、さいたまスーパーアリーナとか幕張メッセくらいでは、絶対にまだ行きたくないと思っているので。
Hiro: Speaking for myself, regarding the building up the heat of your career overseas like Crossfaith, well, it is whether coming to Japan is indeed the ideal. If it wasn’t so, after becoming overwhelmingly popular in Japan and doing Live at somewhere like Tokyo Dome, I think if we (want) to go overseas then, it can be executed. For me, I think it’s because I absolutely still do not want to go if (we hadn’t done places like) Yokohama arena or Saitama Super Arena or Makuhari Messe.

Koie: Ah, like that, eh?

Hiro:絶対に行きたくない。バンドをはじめた時は海外は視野に入 れてなかったので、バンドをはじめてすぐに海外にライブに 行くっていうことが僕らはできなかったんですよ。周りのバンドとか、海外からいろんなバンドが来るのを見ていて、行きたいなとは思うんですけど、こうして バンドが進んでしまっている現状があるから。それなら、日本でやれることをすべてやり切って、海外でまたゼロからスタートするほうが美しいかなと思ってい て。
Hiro: I absolutely do not want to go. Because we didn’t eye the possibility of going overseas when we first started the band, so we couldn’t just be going overseas right away to do Lives! The bands around us (who go abroad), or when we’re seeing various bands coming from overseas, I think sometimes there is this wanting to go overseas though, advancing ahead from the current existing state. In that case, cutting off doing what you’re doing in Japan and starting from scratch overseas is nice I think.

Koie:正解やと思う(笑)。おっちゃんそう思うよ。お金もかかる しね、海外に行くのはほんとに。
Koie: I think that’s the correct solution (laughs). You’re thinking like a (wise) uncle. It also costs money you know, going overseas….really!

Hiro: (laughs)

Page 2

Koie:Crossfaithの日本のお客さんにしてみれば、 「え、また海外ツアーなの?」みたいなのもありますしね。日本 でももっとツアーしてやって、言われるしね。海外と日本とで活動をしていると、国内のツアーでも、なかなか各地を細かく回れないので。回りたいんですけど ね。だから、ごめんやけど、ある時に来てってなってしまう。でも絶対、国内で土台を作ってから行くというのは、僕は正解やと思いますね。でも、俺らはもう 我慢できへんかったから(笑)。向こうでキャリアを作りたかったのもあったしね。例えばジャパンエクスポみたいなものに出て海外ツアーをやりました、とい うのにはしたくなかったし。行くんやったら、向こうのやり方で成功したかったし、キャリアも培っていきたかったので。実際、それが形になって結果として出 てきているので。
Koie: As for a Japanese audience of Crossfaith, they also say something like “Eh? Overseas Tour again?”. They say to us, “Do Tour in Japan more too!”. When you’re doing both overseas and Japan Tours, you sort of delicately not make a round of every place. Though we do want to go round (more places). Therefore, we’re sorry for that though but at one point, we will get through with coming over (to more places). But absolutely, to go (overseas) after making a foundation domestically is I think the right answer. But, for us, it’s because we were already impatient (laughs). We also wanted to build a career over there. For example, doing a tour appearing overseas at something like Japan Expo, we didn’t want to do that in spite of it. If you go (overseas), you wanted to succeed beyond the border, it’s because you wanted to cultivate your career. Really, since we’ve been going out there, as a result, things have started to take shape.

Hiro:僕はCrossfaithみたいなやり方の方が、憧れはあ りますよ。そっちのほうがかっこいいじゃないですか! 僕 は海外のバンドから受けた影響を、“こういう音楽もあるよ?”って日本で伝えたいんです。バンドでしか出せない音って、アイドルやJ-POPを聴いている 子たちには、絶対衝撃はあると思うんです。実際、僕がそうだったから。最初はそれこそJ-POPやアイドルを聴いていたのが、ニルヴァーナで受けた衝撃は ハンパなかった(笑)。世代はどんどん変わっていくし、そういう子たちにもバンドの音楽の面白さを味わってもらいたいと思って、日本でバンドやっているの で。そこに、Crossfaithみたいに本場からきたバンド――しかもそれを日本人がやっているというキャッチーさは、受け入れ やすいものがあるんじゃ ないかなって。洋楽だと、ひとりでライブに行くのはちょっとなという子も、そこを日本人がやるキャッチーさと、しかも世界の最先端のものをやっているとい う強みは、Crossfaithにしか出せないし。それは僕は羨ましいんです。
Hiro: For me, doing the way like Crossfaith’s way is of course something I am yearning to do. Yours is just cooler, isn’t it*? I would want to convey in Japan the influence received from overseas bands, “Oh, there is also such kind of music?”.  The bands whose sole sound that I think will be an absolute shock to kids who listened to Idol and J-Pop.  In reality, because I was such a kid. In the beginning, how that J-POP and Idol was the very thing that I’d been listening, the impact I got from Nirvana was staggering (laughs). Generations change more and more, I think those kids want to have a taste of what’s insteresting about those bands. So, because of that, we’re doing (such kind of a) band in Japan. There, a band that come from home (Japan) like Crossfaith―― and yet that catchiness (of the music) is being done by Japanese (people), it might be easy (for those youngsters) to accept. If it’s the case of Western music, even the youngsters attending the Live alone, when the catchiness that is done by Japanese (people), and yet with something with the strength (levelled) at world-class state-of-the-art, only Crossfaith puts that out there*. That is something I’m envious of.
* Hiro fanboying again XD

Koie:そういったもらえるのは嬉しいな(笑)。やっぱり、この2 バンドが合体したら最強なんだよ。
Koie: I’m so happy to hear that (laughs)*. As I thought, these two bands will be the strongest when united!
* Ken got flattered again by Hiro the fanboy

――今回の2マンでは、きっとお互いのファンが会場にくるわけですよ ね。互いのバンドを見ることは大きな意味もありそうです ね。
―― This time with the 2-Man, for sure each other’s fans will come to the venue. It may well be crucially important to watch each other’s band.

Koie: Could our fans be pretty much smashing each other too, I wonder?

Hiro:ちょうど僕たちが今年の9月にZeppツアーをやっていた 時に、Crossfaithも同時期にZeppツアーをし ていて。
Hiro: Precisely when we were doing the ZEPP Tour in September this year (2015), Crossfaith were doing the ZEPP Tour at the same time.

Koie: Oh yes, that’s right, and because of that you came to the Nagoya Live right?

Hiro:次の日が僕らも名古屋でライブだったから、 Crossfaithは絶対に観るって前乗りして、ふつうに、お客さんと 同じフロアで観ていたんですけど(笑)。そんなに気づかれなかったから。
Hiro: Because we were also to have a Live in Nagoya the next day, so absolutely I dropped in and watched Crossfaith and like it’s a normal thing, I’d been watching from the same floor as the audience (laughs). Because I was not noticed so much.

Koie:もしかしたらかぶってないのかもな。じゃあ、今回のライブ は面白いな。方法論がちがうバンド同士のガチンコ勝負なの で、歩み寄る必要はないし、お互いのいいところを出すのがいちばんいい。ケガすんなよ?っていう(笑)。結構、この2バンドの発表をした時、バズりました からね。「え、CrossfaithとMY FIRST STORYが?」って。周りから見ても、全然ちがう路線のバンドだからこそ、面白い。
Koie: By any chance that you were not wearing something on your head (to hide your face)*? Well, this time’s Live is interesting. Because the methodology of the competing bands are different from each other, therefore compromising is not necessary, (instead) putting each other’s strong points is the best way. No playing dirty ok**? (laughs). Well, because there was a buzz when these two bands were announced. “Eh, Crossfaith and MY FIRST STORY?”, they said. Even seeing it from around it, there is nothing aligned of these two bands, that’s why, it’s going to be interesting.
* Ken teasing Hiro (^^)
* *My own interpretation of ケガすんなよ?in this context (^^)

Hiro:僕も、このミスマッチ感はすごいいいなと思っていて。個人 的にはずっとやりたかったことだったので。
Hiro: As for me, I think the feeling of this mismatch is great and because personally it was something I wanted to do all along.

Koie:しかも、どちらかのバンドの主催ではなくて、イベントでこ の2バンドがのっかれるというのがいい。それこそ、ガチン コでできるというかね。
Koie: Besides, even without this organizing of either of these bands, an event that these two bands can appear in is good . To an extent, maybe we can really earnestly compete (with each other).

――逆に、じつはこういうところは共通点だっていうのはありますか ね。
―― On the contrary, as a matter of fact, is there such a place where it is a point commonly shared?

Hiro:ベタに『ネヴァー・マインド』から入って、“スメルズ・ラ イク・ティーン・スピリッツ”を初めて聴いて、「うわ、 かっこいい!」って思って。
Hiro: Solidly, starting from the first time of listening to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirits and I thought, “Wahh! It’s so cool!”

Koie: Certainly. That could be it.

Hiro:それで、シャウトで盛り上がって踊れてっていう。そういう のは、僕たちには数曲しかないので(笑)。いい意味での相 違、相対感があると思う。でもきっと、僕がMY FIRST STORYでもなくCrossfaithでもなく、客観的にお客さんとして観るのであれば、言葉では言い表せないんですけど通ずるものはあると思ってる。 単純にライブを観ていて楽しいっていうのは、絶対的にあるし。僕らのファンは、Crossfaithってどんな感じなんだろうと思って観ると思うんです よ。
Hiro: Well then, it is called rousing up and dancing by the screamo. As for such a thing, we have only a few songs (laughs). I think in a good sense, there is a variation in that feeling of confronting each other. But for sure, for me, whether it’s MY FIRST STORY or Crossfaith objectively if I were to watch as a member of the audience, I’m thinking it’s something that leads to (a situation) that you are unable to express in words though. You call it simply watching and enjoying a Live, it’s absolutely that. Our fans, I think must be thinking how is the feeling watching Crossfaith.

Koie:たぶんそうやろうなあ(笑)。うちのファンは 結構、なんで も好きやと思うよ。
Koie: Maybe yours try to do so (laughs). I think our (Crossfaith) fans pretty much like anything!

Hiro:いちファンとしてどうしても期待しちゃうんで すよ。毎回ラ イブが変わるし、今回どんなことしてくるんだろう? とい うのを上回ってくれるので。そこを僕ら以上にいちばん感じとれるのは、僕らの音楽を聴いてるキッズだと思うので。すごいイヤな話すると、集客とられるのが 怖いです(笑)。
Hiro: As a fan, I would absolutely totally anticipate (how it’s gonna be)! With every Live, something changes, and because that “what kind of thing will you do this time?” vibe will transcend to us. That’s the place where it is more than what we most feel, it’s because I think there are kids who are listening to our music. When they say “Wow, this is great!”, that’s when the pulling/attracting people in (becomes) a scary thing (laughs).

Koie: こっちのセリフやわ(笑)。MY FIRST STORYのファンの子たちがみんなチケット買って、「あのヒゲのおじさん誰?」ってなったら、俺、どうしようって思ってるもん。
Koie: Hey, those are my words (laughs). MY FIRST STORY’s fangirls all buying the tickets, (and then) upon reaching (the venue), “Who is this beardie uncle?”, and me, I think I’d be,  "What do I do now?“ 

Hiro: それは絶対ない、ない! こういう対バンやイベントに対し て、集客とられるとか、今日大丈夫かなって思うことってま ずないんですけど。このイベントだけは、ガチで不安。
Hiro: That is absolutely NOT, NO! It’s regarding such "taiban” and events, like pulling people in, or wondering would today be alright, thinking (of those things) first of all though. This Event at the very least, is truly an anticipated suspense.

Koie: NO, NO, hey, it is either way an absolutely “delicious” (Event)!