It’s the last day of the annual Slam Dunk Festival and with a large variety of bands performing at the festival, Japanese metallers Crossfaith are certainly the most intriguing. Known for their massively energetic live performances and combining metal with electronic, the band are becoming a driving force in the metalcore scene. We speak to frontman Kenta Koie and bassist Hiroki Ikegawa to talk about the band’s unique sound, the challenges when writing and sharing a love for Lamb of God.
So you guys are into the last day of Slam Dunk, how have the performances been so far?
Hiroki: It’s been great! I love this festival so far!
Kenta: We had two shows and we’ve watched so many friends in bands. We had two big after parties as well!
So have there been any bands you’ve seen over the weekend that you have really enjoyed?
Hiroki: Trash Talk!
Kenta: and Beartooth!
So Crossfaith have enjoyed a lot of success, for example at Download festival last year you had a massive crowd. Is your success mainly down to your live performances?
Hiroki: The stage size is different here, especially on the first day where there were huge Architects drum kit so we were just kind of there! But still, we enjoyed it! We had a really big crowd, yesterday too, so I’m looking forward to today too!
So what can fans expect from today’s performance?
Hiroki: That’s the word yes! Haha
The band are known to play electronic covers like Omen by The Prodigy, what’s the thought process behind doing that?
Hiroki: So basically, Ken (Kenta) would find their album…
Kenta: Invaders Must Die
Hiroki: Yeah, at the CD store.
Kenta: We got offered from our Japanese record label they asked me if we could make a cover song but really, we don’t do cover songs. Like if we have the time to write a cover song then we would rather write our songs. But at the time, we were like “okay if we have to choose the one song then it would have to be The Prodigy”, because they have the same energy as us and they are the pioneers of mixing the metal and rock music with the electronic music. I think it was the best choice for a song to cover.
Crossfaith’s music is very much a combination of electronic and metal. Is it difficult when you write?
Hiroki: Basically we have two ways to writing songs. One is like writing riffs, the same as other metal bands and one is from our DJ. He would make a track, and then we add it all together. We did that With the Omen cover and we learnt that process from Omen and now we are doing that.
So when it comes to writing, what inspiration do you take?
Kenta: Everyone has different interests, like Hiro has so many friends from punk-rock, whereas my musical roots is Aerosmith.
Hiroki: James! What is your favourite artist?
Lamb of God for sure!
Hiroki: Lamb of God!
Kenta: From Wrath to Resolution, to the new album, it’s so good!
Yeah! They are my all-time favourite band haha!
Hiroki: Me too!
So Crossfaith are very unique in the metalcore scene, not many bands do what you do. Do you think that Crossfaith have given metalcore a breath of new life and it’s the best it’s ever been?
Hiroki: Yeah definitely! Like yesterday I was thinking, and I don’t want to sound offensive, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of originality.
Kenta: We are not a typical metalcore band.
Hiroki: Yknow we love metal like Lamb of God and we love stuff like The Prodigy so we need to express what we love!
Kenta: Yeah, we don’t want to sound like the others.
I think that is important, to find a name of your own.
Hiroki: Yeah, exactly!
So when you play back home in Japan, are the crowds much different to say when you play Slam Dunk?
Kenta: It’s totally different!
Hiroki: You guys drink and you guys sing along a lot! I love it!
Kenta: I think it’s my favourite thing about playing this country. Everyone is singing our lyrics, it’s beautiful.
So really my last question for you guys is what else can fans expect from Crossfaith for the rest of this year?
Kenta: We have a lot of things to come. We are going to release our new album and we have a documentary. Tons of stuff!
Hiroki: We did our show in Koko, London, last year. It was our headline show. We filmed it so we have that show and our documentary as two DVDs and our new album.
Well best of luck for the future and thanks for talking to me!
Hiroki & Kenta: Thank you.
You can follow Crossfaith on Twitter at @CrossfaithJapan. You can catch Crossfaith on tour in the UK this Autumn as special guests to Skindred.