[English Interview] coldrain : let’s start the conquest!
After its noteworthy tour with Bullet For My Valentine as opening act, some festivals, and the worldwide release of their latest album, The Revelation, coldrain is back in Europe this fall, but not alone : as support band for the crazy CROSSFAITH. This tour, dreamed by so many fans, stopped in Nantes and Paris at the beginning of November, and Journal du Japon was of course there.
We had the opportunity to meet again Masato, singer and leader of coldrain, to make casual conversation. The gentleman told us everything about this amazing year, as well as his aspirations for the future.
Journal du Japon : Hi Masato! So you’re back in Europe again!
Masato : Yeah, third time this year!
Do you plan to settle in Europe? (Laughs)
(Laughs) I wish! It’s awesome, I mean we’re lucky that we’ve got the chance to do it three times in a year, it’s crazy.
A lot have happened since the last time we met in February, can you tell us a bit more?
We got to play big festivals in June in Germany, we released a record in Japan, released a record for the world, we did a Japanese tour, a tons of festivals, and now we’re back! It’s awesome, I mean … it’s just simply awesome!
And how was the Download Festival experience?
It’s crazy! Rock Am Ring, Rock Am Park, Download … they’ve all been festival we’ve seen on YouTube or on TV, and to actually be there, in those places, that was crazy!
But Download was a hard one! I mean, I’m still saying that U.K. a still a place that we have to break through, we need to keep going back. I think it’s been easier in Europe because we’ve got the tour with Bullet For My Valentine, particularly in Germany. But I think we still need to work on the U.K. . Hopefully we’ll get to go back to Download!
I’m sure about that! (laughs)
Yeah tons of sure! (laughs)
I know you’re a big fan of Linkin Park, so did you have the chance to meet them overthere?
I saw Chester [Bennington] in catering, but there were these two security guards … and I just chickened out. I should have just walked down there!
I did the same thing in Ozzfest in Japan. Corey Taylor was like right in front of me, and I chickened out again.
Why!? You’re a singer too! (laughs)
I know I know! But … next time! I’m sure next time!
What memories do you have of the show? You were in crowd right?
Yeah, that was awesome, so awesome.
Yeah I was there too, it brought back so many memories!
I mean, I was a little kid back then! I was back to my fifteen ‘cause they were the first band that I covered, so it was special for all of us!
Definitely! So to sum up a little bit, it’s kind of YOUR year, because you’re everywhere at the same time!
(laughs) yeah definitely!
Don’t you feel sometimes like a freshman? I mean, you play in big venues in Japan, whereas they are rather small in Europe!
Yeah it’s crazy! We’re back to page one when it comes to the world, and after six years of playing in Japan, we forgot that feeling of being the new guys and being unknown. So it’s really good, it actually helped our shows, even in Japan, because we’re way more grateful of what’s going on in Japan. We know we have more stuff that we want to do for the world, more stuff that we want to do when we get back home. It’s basically brought more energy back into the band.
So it had a big impact on the band.
Yeah, I mean the biggest part of going outside of Japan was that feeling of being the rookie again, and that’s really good, it feels good.
So when you’re back you’re like “the boys are back in town” (laughs)
(laughs) yeah! SO much easier back there! (laughs)
I read in a Japanese interview that you want to make a headline tour here in Europe to show the band’s full potential, but here you are again, opening for another band. Don’t you feel a bit frustrated?
We’re still waiting for the right time. We still wanted to come back this year, and the only way that we could come back easily was because CROSSFAITH wanted us to support them. We were lucky that we actually get this opportunity and come back.
We think after a few supports, next year maybe, headline. After our next record. We still feel that we need a record that’s fully, fully worldwide for us to actually have headline shows. We’re just waiting for the right time. It is frustrating but when that’ll happen we’ll be able to play more songs, longer setlists … and I hope that everyone gets to come out and see us!
Let’s talk about the European version of The Revelation, which was released last June. How did you record the new songs (from Until The End EP originally)?
We basically recorded an EP for Japan, and it wasn’t supposed to go on the record, but when everyone heard the new tracks, the record company and stuff, we wanted to put those into the world version. They were the new songs and we would have definitely wanted to play them live.
We decided to record it in Japan because we wanted to try out different ways of recording, different sounds. But still, we wanted to make it so it sounded the same, as a lot of the stuff on The Revelation, that’s why we’ve got David Bendeth to mix it again. It kind of sounds different but it sounds the same in some parts, but I think we got to capture more energy than we did in the actual Revelation record. We all love the new tracks and I think it gave us more confidence because we recorded it on our own, and we still got the same kind of results, so we know for the next record what we want to do.
This is exactly what I was going to say: the new songs sound different, the atmosphere is also different … did you try to experiment new things?
Definitely. I think we tried to capture more of the “old” coldrain into the “new” coldrain, so it’s a mixture of what we’ve done in the last six years. I think it was more for the fans that have known us for a long time, and for the new fans so … it was good because a lot of people don’t know our old material, and I think we captured more of that in the new songs. It was just a way of showing our full strength in one record.
Your voice also changed, with higher notes and amazing growls!
(laughs) yeah the screams are definitely different. I mean, when it comes to screams, I just got better at it throughout the years, playing more shows and actually working on it. I never really cared too much about the loads of screams, but they feel better, and the singing feels better so … I think I’m tracking better at recorded this.
How did you choose the tracklist of The Revelation? I have to admit that I feel pretty bad for Falling Forever …
A lot of people keeps saying that to us! Falling Forever was a hard one because we never thought it translated well live, so we’ve never played it live. It just never sounds like the record. There’s something that happened when we recorded it, and we don’t want to chicken out on it but still, when we were picking songs, they wanted us to pick 13 songs out of 18. It was a hard vote but we all figured out what we wanted to take out and leave in, and just that one song was the one that we’ve never played live.
You don’t like it?
No I like it, I love that song! The bridge on that song is one of my favorite I’ve ever written! It’s just … it doesn’t work live, so we just decided to keep the new EP songs.
Did you argue about some songs?
Definitely, but we thought in the long run that those songs would come out as bonus tracks in some way. They never actually used it in Europe or the U.S., and that sucks because we thought it would have been bonus tracks for like ITunes, that kind of stuff. Australia wanted all the songs, so people will get everything (laughs). We’re hoping that it will come out somehow, in the future.
About the themes of your songs, you speak about fighting for what you want and being true to yourself … it seems to be really important for you, can you explain why?
Because I can never beat myself, I’m always losing to … things like fear. A lot of things that I do, I feel like I’m never good enough, and I feel a lot of people feel the same way about themselves. It’s hard to do something that you love and love yourself while you’re doing it. I mean, there’s those times when everything works, there’s those times when everything doesn’t work and … it’s just that feeling that you want to always be great, and I try to put those in songs ‘cause I know everyone needs those kind of words to keep on with their lives, I mean … everyday is a fight, it’s a battle.
With You Lie, you approach the political theme. Is it because you felt like you had to do it, or is it because every rockstar at some point makes a political song?
It was just an influenced song by a lot of things that were going on at the same time and … yeah it’s definitely political. Especially in Japan, I mean, the politic is just all messed up, people don’t have their hearts in anything, so … there comes a time when you just have to face yourself, and forget about greed, forget about pride, and get over it! Just do it for the good of being good. That’s just something that people have forgotten. It’s just one of those songs that you need to put out there for people, young kids. Young kids couldn’t care less about politics but … I’m getting older every year, and I feel like it’s not something I can ignore. That’s what that song came along with.
I completely change of subjects: what do you do with the songs, lyrics, melodies which don’t end up on an album?
Woh! They do stick around and every time we make a new record, we do go back and listen to them. Actually every record probably has a song that was made on the last record, it’s like revive. We always keep them around, always listen back to them. Some of the songs that we’ve never recorded sound actually pretty cool, and you always look back to yourself and try to learn from what you left behind, that kind of stuff, so … yeah they do stick around, a lot of them get forgotten but … we keep everything yeah.
Even the songs composed when you were a teenager?
Yeah, not long ago I found on Katsuma’s laptop a song that we wrote when we were 18! It was actually pretty cool, it sounded pretty good! I was playing the guitar back then.
You didn’t sing?
No I sang and played the guitar at the same time. We were three men in the band.
So are going to play the guitar on stage someday?
(laughs) oh no no no! Not anymore, not anymore!
I wish I could. I mean I do practice occasionally, and maybe in the future, maybe when I’ll have an acoustic guitar, that’d be cool! But I don’t feel ready, I’m too nervous (laughs)
What is your best memory with coldrain so far?
My best memory … hum … I’ll say when we recorded that DVD /blu-ray EVOLVE. We went to that venue, Shinkiba Studio Coast in Japan, in 2007. We opened Taste of Chaos with Story of the Year, As I Lay Dying and MUCC … it wasn’t sold-out and we got to play three songs, no one cared about us, and the day I stood on that stage I said “my dream is to fill this place with all my fans”, and that’s what happened the second time. It’s a dream come true.
That’s what you’re talking about in the speech you gave during that live?
Yeah. I mean I said in every interview that’s been my dream. I don’t care about 10 000 people, 20 or 30 000 people. That 2 or 3 000 capacity venue has always been my dream and I never thought it would happen. But it’s happened. AND I never thought I’ll be talking to you in France so I mean … that’s happening and it’s awesome!
What is your new dream now?
My new dream? Every country! 3 000 people in every country, the same thing we’ve done in Japan, but everywhere! (laughs)
Is that the thing you’re the most proud of?
Well, what I’m proud of is that we’ve done this for seven years … it would have easier for us to say “no we’re not going to the world, we’re just going to stay in Japan and do what’s easier for now” … but we’re here, opening for guys that used to open for us … and it’s cool being the rookie again. I’m proud of us being here after all those years in Japan, trying something new. It’s definitely cool!
What’s your favorite coldrain’s song ?
Whoh … what’s my favorite song … [thinks a lot] The War is On! Right now. Because I never thought that song would translated so big as it has and … we knew everyone outside of Japan would understand that song and sing to it, but the last tour we were in Japan, all these Japanese kids singing that song, it’s been crazy … people singing the verse, the chorus, people just singing the screams … it’s crazy.
Last question: what are you listening to lately?
I’ve gone back to my roots, and I’ve been listening to Incubus and Papa Roach again.
I have listened to them for a long time now, but my favorite new band is Beartooth. Their new record is just crazy good!
And I’ve never been a big EDM guy, but I’ve been listening to a lot of EDM lately, it’s pretty cool!
Really? Like who?
Martin Garrix, he’s one of my favorite! I’ve been trying out all kind of new stuffs.
You’ve been listening to Crystal Lake also, right?
Yeah I love them! They should definitely be here!
Yes indeed! I’m sure they’re amazing live!
Totally! You won’t have to wait, I think they’ll come sooner than you think!
I hope so! Thank you for your time Masato.
Awesome, thank you!
We deeply thank Masato for his time, Ryan, and more largely Raw Power Management.