“How are you?” Steve Lamos’ voice delivers pleasantries from down the line. He sounds far …
As we well and truly move into the Asian Century, western music is going through a cultural reinterpretation; in countries like Japan, hardcore and metal are growing markets and many Japanese bands are now receiving international acclaim and recognition.
In Australia the inaugural 2018 Good Things Festival invited novelty band BABYMETAL to play on its bill whilst Osaka rave metal outfit Crossfaith will be joining Underoath, Karnivool and many other top metal bands for next year’s Unify Gathering Festival in Victoria. Crossfaith have toured Australia on numerous occasions and will be returning in support of their latest album Ex_Machina, a release that fuses elements of metal, electronica and hip hop. Hysteria spoke to the band about playing in festivals abroad, fusing genres together and the growth and popularity of Japanese metal plus much more!
Hysteria: Crossfaith are returning to Australia early next year to play UNIFY Gathering 2019. Having played in many festivals abroad including Soundwave, how does Crossfaith find playing to Australian audiences in a festival setting?
Crossfaith: Australian audiences are always super energetic and you guys love heavy music and dance music too. Our music genre is hard to analyse because we mash up so many styles in one song so we can play on many types of festivals. UNIFY has so many heavy artists but no one could play like us. No words can describe how excited we’re and we’ll show you our next level!
Your music has always been a fusion of metal and rave music, what similarities do you see between the two genres?
I guess tempo is really a key for both music and we always care about tempo when we write songs.
Your latest album Ex_Machina features guests Ho99o9 and Enter Shakari, how did these two collaborations come about?
When we wrote Freedom (feat. Rou Reynolds), Teru made the trap part right after the chorus and we decided to have some guest vocal on it because we thought it made this special. Plus, this song is about ‘What is the true meaning of Freedom in the near future?’ and Rou has been writing so many things about politics or environment, etc. With that, we decided to ask him to do a guest spot on this track. Also, we’ve toured with the Enter Shikari boys across the world, so that was quite natural move for us.
We watched Ho99o9 on a festival called Concrete & Grass Festival in Shanghi, China. Their music style is super unique. They’ve got two singers and one drummer and they mix so many types of music, it’s like noise meets trap music playing with punk rock attitude. Their show was super intense and chaotic. So we thought they were perfect choice for Destroy (feat Ho99o9).
Plus we want to play on the moon too!
[ Crossfaith ]
The album also combines elements of rap and auto-tune, what inspired you guys to incorporate these stylistic approaches?
I don’t think we used auto-tune on this album but yeah we’re always trying some new things through our music. We believe music has no specific goal. We don’t want to have limits on our music, we’ve never stopped exploring and trying about creating music with our own style.
There’s a loyal fan base in Japan for local and international metal and hardcore bands, do you think Japanese bands are finally getting the recognition they deserve in the global market thanks to bands like BABYMETAL and Crossfaith?
I’m really not sure but I think so many Japanese artists have potential to reach the overseas market because Japanese bands are really unique. Also, I think people will want to know more underground bands.
How has the touring to support EX_MACHINA been so far, in what way have the new songs been received by your fans around the world?
We got great reactions for the new songs through socials and touring too! As everyone can imagine, middle tempo songs like ballads always make differences between the show and the time you listen at home. This time we try so many tempos and middle tempo songs became tunes for the show. Of course, heavy songs are always getting heavier on the show too! haha
After UNIFY Gathering, what are your plans for the rest of 2019?
We will have a month off and start writing new music and our headlining tour in Japan and other countries too. Then we’ll be back in Europe for summer festivals. Also, you can expect new songs from us in 2019 too!
What else do you wish to achieve with the band?
Playing arena sized venues in Australia one day. Because Australia is one of my favourite places in the world. Plus we want to play on the moon too!