As we gear up to head to the next instalment of UNIFY Gathering, we can’t help but get keen and eager in anticipation with just over two weeks to go, so instead of waiting by the calendar, we’re catching up with some of the bands appearing, one of which is Japan’s Crossfaith who will be bringing their new album Ex_Machina to our shores for the first time and getting rowdy AF watching some of the bands performing acorss the weekend, we grabbed Kenta Koie for a chat about what’s to come…
Hey Ken, we’re keen to have you back down under for UNIFY, have you changed up your stage performance since the last tour here with In Hearts Wake in 2017?
Yeah, we’ve released our new album called ‘EX_MACHINA’ last summer and this time we have special set for UNIFY, also we’ll use LED screen on the stage and other stage productions, we will show you our next level.
Awesome, can’t wait to see what you’ve got planned. Speaking of the new album Ex_Machina, you headed in a new direction with a few ballads on there. What or Who inspired you to head down this path?
This album got specific concept and we needed some slow songs to express the atmosphere of ‘EX_MACHINA’. And those songs made this album deeply and widely. Hope you enjoy our new directions.
I’m a sucker for a ballad anyway so it worked in some cases. Since the release of the Zion EP, you’ve constantly changed things up a bit with every release (more notably the lyrics), is this to try and appeal to a larger audience or was the band always going to progress this way?
Yeah, we wanted to be international band since we formed this band, of course it’s not easy to write lyrics in English, but I want you to be received our message directly. And we’ve been growing up with western music, which is the biggest reason why our lyrics are all in English.
Looking at another band from Japan, BABYMETAL, they’ve slowly started to head in the English singing direction too. Do you reckon they’re taking inspiration from you guys? haha
I’m not 100% sure but I think they started to tour outside of Japan and they had a huge success, so they became serious about to present Baby Metal to the world.
One thing we loved was your collaboration with Skindred. How did you manage to team up with these guys? Was it as simple as saying “hey, wanna do a song together?”
Yeah that was like that, we prepared a song ‘Wildfire’ to collaborate with Benji Webb, he is a real musician and more importantly entertainer. And tracking process was so much fun when we were making album ’XENO’ in LA. Benji lives in the UK so I got a skype call from Benji at 4am and he was sitting in front of mic and suddenly started singing and actually it was one shot kill, we used most of it for the record.
The song ‘Jägerbomb’ managed to score you a few followers back in the early days, do you guys still chug down the Jagerbombs at shows and are you still endorsed by them?
Yeah of course, Teru and Hiro always drinks Jägermeister on the stage and they always kill the bottle, I do drink it sometimes on the stage as well.
Most bands start to slow down the partying after a few years, will we see you all start becoming mature, young adults sipping tea in future?
It will never happen, who do you think we are? haha We’ll be sipping tea with whiskey for sure!
What about at UNIFY, any chance we’ll catch you guys in the mosh after your set?
Yeah there’re so many great bands and our friends too I’ll definitely watch Underoath, While She Sleeps, of course our Australian families in In Hearts Wake and Ocean Grove too!
Rad, well I may come out of Jäger retirement and join you guys for that. Anything else your Aussie fans need to know ahead of your performance?
Be prepared for the sound of future metal!
Interview by Browny @brownypaul
Crossfaith play UNIFY Gathering 2019
Set Times & Map Here
UNIFY Gathering 2019
January 11 to 13th @ Tarwin Meadows, VIC