Thursday, April 19, 2012

[Interview] Blue Friend - 04/2012

Blue Friend
I first heard Blue Friend on Bandcamp, which I wrote about on the blog. They are fairly young as a band and not much info was out about them yet.  Through Twitter, I met the guitarist/vocalist,  Sho, and started chatting about various things. He had studied in California for awhile and even ordered stuff from my distro years ago. His English is good, I love Blue Friend, and I wanted to start doing interviews on the site, so it seemed like a great way to start. I'm not too good at interviews, so I apologize ahead of time for any lame questions, but Sho had some great answers and we talked about some cool things.

Ryan: When did blue friend start, who are the members, what are the recordings?
Sho: Well, I was in a band called Alyosha: (Alyosha demo on Bandcamp). I (Sho gt/vo)and Ben(drum for Alyosha, bass for blue friend)were in this band.Alyosha formed in 2008, when I was preparing for going back to Japan from Los Angeles, CA and I tried to form a band in Japan before I went back.I searched band members over the internet and I found Ben on Envy’s myspace. I contacted with him and he lived in Portland so I went to Portland by my car and jammed. Ben was trying to study abroad in Japanese University, that’s why I contacted with him. Alyosha kept playing few shows until 2010. Also,we had recording and a show in Portland, and we kinda took a break after that. And Alyosha got completely stopped so I tried to start few bands until blue friend started. blue friend started from Nov, 2011. I and Wachan talked about playing emotive band like Loma Prieta, Beau Navire, Sailboat together over twitter. Btw,I and Wachan knew each other from 2007 over the internet (I think owner of Loma Prieta's mixi community was him) before he started playing in a band called Akutagawa. Then, we asked Ryu (drummer for blue friend) who is old friend of Wachan (Wachan's said soul mate lol) to play a band together. He’s not really into screamo or hardcore but now he’s listening Suis la lune or that kind of stuff. Then three of us started jam and writing songs together. All of our songs on bandcamp/soundcloud were made by then. Next, we were talking about bass player and we couldn’t find good one, and we wanted a bass player who knows same music and good personality. Also someone we knew. So I asked Ben.Hes also used to play a bass in a band called night of fungi.( BTW, Ben and Wachan were coincidently in same university and same program.
About recording, I studied audio recording in US so we did recording by ourself at small rehearsal studio. For recordings on bandcamp, we recorded in Feb at rehearsal studio by my recording equipments and was fun and sounded good. In japan doing recording costs a lot, also, personally, I want to be more DIY!! A song on soundcloud was recorded by one studio’s ambient microphone so sounds kinda bad... We try to release EP/LP soon(hopefully in the summer!) 12" w digital download. It will be 4 songs i guess, including the 2 songs on bandcamp with mastering. And we would like to release split with my friends’ bands Asthenia, cofun, from ten to nine, document not found also overseas band like Beau Navire,Kidcrash in the future if we can and I want them to tour in Japan too!

R: Does blue friend have a message? What are the lyrics about?
S: Ah, it will be personal message from me and i think other members has different opinions and thoughts. It’s difficult, but I want to be more honest and people to be honest. I wanna talk more with new people. Someone might said it’s wrong but to me Japan is closed as society. People don’t talk each other if they don't know. We need to more communicate and know each other. Japanese shows are kinda interesting. We play with same kinda bands. But we would like to present there are so many different music, thoughts, people, belief, country, and we can understand each other like mutual respect. So we want to play with any styles bands we like. We like to know more different minds, we like to meet new people. To me Japan is great country, I mean, Japan has so many great people. But sometimes people care too much so they can’t express their thoughts I guess. That’s what I feel. The problem is high morality, i guess. It’s also good thing. On the train younger people give their seat to older people. Shit like that. Sorry,  it might be out of point, haha. But playing in blue friend means express our feeling and having fun time with my friends and meet new friends. I and Wachan want more younger kids start screamo/emotive bands and know this my friends and bands. Japan and US are different, there are no house show, no house party. So how kids have fun? Regular show costs $15, so some of japanese hardcore bands play at studio to make cheaper. Even studio cost money so it’s tough to play a band for younger kids (include me too!!). I saw some of younger kids play at the club and pay so much money for the club. It might be fun but they could do some other way like playing at their class room or city hall. I dunno it might be their high school memories so its fine. But kids seems to be stressed out and bored so I want more younger kids come to the shows and have a fun.
Lyrics are about same thing.we would like to other people to know they can start shit. How life is, how friends are, important things. We will write down our lyrics on LP so you can check it. On our songs, we sing our expression and honesty i guess at least for me. It’s tough. Im  so influenced by my friends in west-coast diy. All of friends are so nice and awesome. I think I like to be like them. support the bands, friends,family. I feel like US focus on their life more than Japan. I wish Japanese society shift like that in Japanese way.

R: What does the band name, "blue friend", mean?
S: Ah.... haha. Me and wachan its one episode name from Japanese animation. Kinda old. That episode is really sad story so kinda traumatized episode.Also, I like meaning of blue=a pure, heartful.
R: What animation?
S: Rahxephon. Do u know this animation?
R: I know the name. They released it in the US.
S: You should watch this and i think you kinda get an

R: You have a video on youtube of your practice session, and you describe the band as doing a "nostalgic emo thing." Tell me a bit more what you mean by "nostalgic."
S: To me nostalgic reminds me of my emotion from my childhood. We forget so many things when we became this age. I feel like we are losing shit. Life is hard, busy, so I try not to forget what was my feeling, thoughts. That’s why I like nostalgic. I think we just post nostalgic cause sounds kinda old. I like those nostalgic melody maybe thats why. I feel like forget shit is guilty cuz you forget your belief or shit is important. Also I like Saetia, Portraits of Past a lot so maybe those bands melody are nostalgic to me. I want to keep my thoughts and emotions when we play. That’s why i feel like nostalgic. Wa-chan describes me about nostalgic emo thing. It is because he only wanted not to start playing new music.
R: So let's talk about influences. What bands influence your sound the most?
S: Well, Iwrotehaikusaboutcannibalisminyouryearbook, Sailboat, Loma Prieta, Saetia, Kidcrash, Portraits of Past, Lautrec, ...who calls so loud, Killie, cleaner, Hammock, Final, sigur ros, Indian Summer, Still life. Other members loves these plus some ambient, drone, sludge, doom, noise, experimental noise, nintendo-music, shit like that.

R: Tell me about how the songs are written. Is everything made in the studio or do you come with ideas?
S: Me/Wachan/Ryu also jammed as ambient band before. Like this in the studio, we brings own ideas and build up songs. I think we are all in same vector so we can get so many ideas. But we can not find out right one. This is one problem recently. Everything sounds fine but all of us can’t agree with one. But I’m having fun with playing a band w wachan , ryu-kun and Ben.
R: So, you're still looking for your sound, i guess?
S: I mean... yeah, kind of. I think a song called dasai is what we wanna play, i guess. We just need to jam more and make cool songs what we like.
R: Sounds good! I'm listening to dasai now.
S: I enjoy playing a band so I wish other members feels same way!!
R: What i like about this song, and the others, is there is a sense of fun to them. Not necessarily happy, but like an adventure.
S: Haha thanks! Adventure.this is first time to hear about it!!
R: I always like to think of those kinds of words to explain music.
S: I like it! Yeah, actually I do too! Like this part should be like...forest!! Shit like that. I think image is important for me to add melody line.
R: What does dasai mean?
S: It means not cool or looks shitty. Its not supposed to be title but we published as dasai and friends already memorized it... saisho=first. For these songs, we will name as dasai and saisho. It’s funny, everybody said not cool is cool! I mean we named it because first intro is not cool so anyway, these songs will be saisho and dasai. I dunno about other songs. Those songs named fast and short also. You will see when our LP came out.

R: Okay, to wrap up the interview, last words!
S: We were just normal 4 guys but we would like to know more new people,bands, things and having fun so hopefully some of you read this interview and interest in blue friend, please feel free to contact with us!! We try to have US tour in the future so probably see you then!! contact: Thats it! :D Thanks!!

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