They’re one of the most exciting bands out of Japan right now and Crossfaith are pumping out new music like there’s no tomorrow! With the release of their EP Species coming out tomorrow (our review here) we caught up with frontman Kenta Koie to have a chat about their new release, working with new people and what young Japanese band he thinks you should be listening to right now.
Ken hello! How are you going today?
I’ve been great, right now I’m in the studio writing new songs.
You’re writing new stuff already? Your EP hasn’t even come out yet!
You said it! There is nothing to do but make music.
We’re all very excited for your EP Species. It has five fiery songs, it’s short and punchy – why an EP and not an album?
Our last album was released back in 2018 and it took a long time to make and write the concepts. But this time we don’t have any concepts and making an album takes a lot more time than making an EP, so in our minds we wanted to release music as soon as possible and that is one of the main reasons we decided to release an EP. For Crossfaith an album is very important, but at the same time an EP is short and strong as well. Recently people are listening to music on subscription services like Spotify and an EP is, I think, the best size to listen to. Our EP Zion was released back in 2012 and so it feels like this EP brings us back to the beginning.
You have a few surprising songs including featuring rapper Jin Dogg on the track ‘None Of Your Business’. Did you feel like because it’s an EP you could experiment and have a bit more fun?
Yeah! This track is also our very first track with Japanese lyrics as well, so people will know for sure that Crossfaith is a Japanese band. Actually I don’t sing in Japanese but Jin Dogg does and he can speak English, Japanese and Korean as well. Working with a different person is a new experience for me and working with him was so much fun. We offered him to sing on ‘None Of Your Business’ last October and I called him and asked if he was interested and he was and said let’s make a 2020 version of Judgement Day. He came to the studio, wrote his part in like 30 minutes and then was straight into the recording booth and finished in two hours. And that was great lesson for me that maybe it’s more natural to write lyrics in a short time which means there’s no space to think about all the other things. It’s totally different for me with working with people from different genres.
I do want to talk about the last track on the EP called ‘Your Song’, it’s my favourite for sure and you’ve said it’s the most emotional Crossfaith song of all time, will we hear more songs like this in the future?
Oh yeah! I think that one is the most emotional and also the chorus is the most decorated because there are so many harmonies with backing guitar and backing synth as well so it has the best balance, I love the track. I hope we can make more songs like ‘Your Song’. I think people think that Crossfaith is heavy so people will be surprised with a song like this and I can’t wait to hear the reactions from our fans.
You’re one of the most prominent Japanese bands right now and there are quite a few young Japanese bands coming up through the ranks Crystal Lake, Baby Metal, One Ok Rock. Do you feel like you helped pave the way for these younger bands to rise up?
I think so, but recently so many younger bands are trying to get out of Japan and the quality of music is incredible, it will help them but I think they don’t actually need it. Now, everyone find new bands from Spotify or Apple Music or Youtube and finding new music is a cool thing and that has changed from 10 years ago. Japan has so many cool heavy bands as well but at the same time there are so many similar bands so it’s hard to find originality from younger Japanese bands. Some bands have it and some don’t but I think it’s going to be fun to explore these younger bands. My recommendation is Paledusk, they’re from Fukuoka and their music style is very unique and they sample Nickelback on some of their songs! Hip hop and rappers are always using famous phrases from other artists but it’s not normal for the rock scene. They’re super interesting and young and I think they want to go outside of Japan as well so you should check them out.
I definitely will! I’m sure they could all take down a few notes on your live shows though! How many red bulls do you down before you go on stage because I’ve never seen anything as energetic and epic as what you guys do up there.
(laughs) I only have one! Too much red bull is killing me and my heart is beating too fast. I’m always drinking beer instead and sometimes whiskey as well but when I’m talking of this I’m missing the live shows. Coronavirus took us out the live shows which is the worst thing, now I miss the stage and I miss the audience and like I think next time we play on stage, an actual live show, I’m going to feel amazing!
Two red bulls for that day!
I’ve heard that you guys like a party, you’ve toured all over the place so which city according to Crossfaith parties the hardest?
We party just a little! I love Australia for shows and parties and there are so many friends out there. It’s hard, but definitely London is always crazy and Melbourne is one of the craziest cities as well. You know the bar Crowbar? Yeah, it’s a cool place to hang out and they also have the stage as well. We pretty much party in every single city but definitely London and Melbourne.
You’ve said that you’re always looking at the next step, what is the next step after releasing Species on May 22nd?
We’re supposed to do a world tour with Species but right now no one can find it so that means we have plenty of time to make new music, so that is good luck and bad luck. We’re lucky to use the time for our job, a lot of people cannot so all we can do is make new music and prepare for the future. And this time we are releasing our new EP from our own label called Species Inc [in Asia], so this our own label and its very first release. We can’t wait to see how it’s going to be! Our future is making new music and staying healthy and being prepared for life.
Interview by Ebony Story
Pre-Order Species EP here
Crossfaith – Species EP tracklisting
1. Digital Parasite
3. Truth Of Insanity
4. None Of Your Business ft. Jin Dogg
5. Your Song