Found In Translation
When Offstreet Press sits down with HIROKI IKEGAWA, the bassist from Japan’s premier metalcore outfit CROSSFAITH, there’s a substantial language barrier to contend with. TOM HERSEY finds out that there’s no such barrier preventing him from digging the band’s latest EP Zion.
It seemed from the outset like an interview that was never going to go well. The time difference between Brisbane and Osaka, Crossfaith’s hometown, meant both Hiroki and I were awake before 10am and neither of us was particularly comfortable with the fact. Then there was the language barrier, which in fairness to Hiroki, is mostly this gaijin’s fault. His English is exponentially better than my Japanese, which extends no further than ordering food, asking directions to the bathroom and ‘sumimasen’, which means ‘pardon me’ (a super helpful phrase if you ever find yourself in the Land of the Rising Sun).
Despite all we have going against us, Hiroki and I commit to making lemonade out of the situation. There’s a lot to talk about, what with the band’s latest EP Zion, which they recorded with famed metal producer Machine, and their slot on next year’s Soundwave festival, where they’ll get to match it with the crème de la crème of the world’s up-and-coming metal/alternative bands.
Speaking in short, matter of fact sentences, Hiroki discusses how the band reconvened after the success of last year’s The Dream, The Space to conceive Zion. “We write the songs in Japan. After that we went to New Jersey, Machine Shop. And Machine produced the record. He was very good.”
With two successful full-lengths under their belt, what made Crossfaith decide to do an EP?
“We are not big out of Japan. We like to play shows in the world. We grow up with US cultures and UK cultures, so that is why we are going out of Japan.”
As an introduction to the world outside of Japan’s oft-insular music scene, Zion deftly manages to distil the essence of Crossfaith into six songs. A rollicking mess of good-time breakdowns and dark, glitchy ambience, the EP is a blast of fun trancecore (if you subscribe to such an inherently ridiculous term) that will prove capable of opening up pits no matter what country Crossfaith are playing in.
Discussing their upcoming run on next year’s nationally sold out Soundwave tour, Hiroki promises that all the members of Crossfaith are stoked to be playing shows for Australian crowd’s (“we all excited for Soundwave”). When asked what Soundwavers can expect from the Japanese outfit, Hiroki offers:
“Lots of energy. Fast music.”
CROSSFAITH play Soundwave 2013 alongside Fucked Up, Orange Goblin, Ghost, Red Fang and heaps more (like, I don’t know, Metallica and Slayer). The festival hits Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds on Sat Feb 23, 2013. Zion is out now. www.crossfaith.jp, www.soundwavefestival.com
TOM HERSEY is a writer and Amazing Race aficionado.