In the beginning, there wasÂ Loudness. Formed in 1981 in Osaka, the Japanese quartet started out as a successful hard rock andÂ metalÂ outfit and expanded their fanbase to America four years later with an international album deal and hit single â€œCrazy Night.â€
History is now repeating itself. Twenty-five years after the release of original frontman Minoru Niiharaâ€™s last album with the group during their â€™80s heyday,Â LoudnessÂ has now inked a new global record deal with FrostByte MediaÂ to reintroduce them to a new audience outside ofÂ Japan. First up is the newly released studio albumÂ Eve to Dawnâ€”their 26th overallâ€”and a fall North American tour is in the works.
In this exclusiveÂ interview, I caught up Loudnessâ€™ charismatic vocalist to discuss opening for MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e at Madison Square Garden, the similarities between Japanese and American groupies, and which heavy metal movie makes him cry.
Eve to DawnÂ was released last year in Japan. Are there any differences between the original version and the American release?
I donâ€™t have a copy here yet, but I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s any difference between the two.
Are there any plans for your new label to release your most recent album,Â 2012, whichÂ also just came out inJapan?
Itâ€™ll be released next year.
For those unfamiliar with the band, how would you describe Loudnessâ€™ sound and lyrical themes?
Itâ€™s a very unique hard, heavy and explosive, Asian metal rock band. The most recent album has lots of songs with positive and encouraging messages because of the quake in 2011.
What made you want to become a rock singer?
When I was about 15, there is a cool singer named Masaki Ueda in Osaka, and because I really liked him, I got interested in singing. After a while I found joy in singing when I learned that people loved to listen to me sing. I became a pro, one synchronicity after another.
In a recentÂ interviewÂ with New Yorkâ€™s ownÂ ChopsticksÂ magazine, the band mentioned that its main goal now is to become a success in the U.S. What plans do you have to achieve this?
There is nothing but touring and doing lots of live performances, I guess. I believe that rock bands should live on the stage and thatâ€™s the most legitimate way to do our job. Thatâ€™s our policy!
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