HER NAME IN BLOOD
Interview by David Cirone
August 14, 2016
The album image for Evolution From Apes shows Ikepy in the position of modern man, Does this mean Ikepy or HNIB is the best version of mankind? Or has Ikepy taken over to change our direction?
Ikepy: About Evolution From Apes, of course it means that I’m at the final part of that chain, but it also means that I’m the best version of mankind. I’m sure each of us has our own interpretation, so I want you to think about it.
Makoto: (laughs) Yeah, please interpret that image whatever way you like.
When you let loose in concert, is it your mission to transform your audience into “BEAST MODE”? How do you want to see your fans react to your music?
Ikepy: There’s no doubt that transforming the audience into “Beast Mode” is our most important mission. But “Beast Mode” is different for each person.
Makoto: If someone wants to do a mosh pit, that’s his “Beast Mode.”
Ikepy: Head-banging can be it.
Makoto: There can be a guy starting to air guitar the solo by Daiki and TJ.
Ikepy: Watching and studying is “Beast Mode,” too.
Makoto: That’s “Beast Mode” for that person.
Ikepy: A guy who looks like he’s bored can be enjoying more than anyone in his heart, and that’s his “Beast Mode.” We want to see every version, every beast.
Evolution From Apes contains 3 re-recorded songs, mixed by Alex Prieto (The Devil Wears Prada/Crown the Empire) and Kane Churko (Papa Roach/In This Moment). How did you make the connection with these musicians, and why did you pick these songs to re-record?
Makoto: Our production team introduced us to them. They perform or mix the music I listen to, so I’m really happy to work with them. The sound of the mix they did is great for sure.
Ikepy: It came out to be the best sound. And, the reason why we chose these 3 songs to re-record is that we wanted to see how much we could evolve the songs we’ve been playing at live shows, using our current skills and current recording environment.
Makoto: The twin guitar in “Revolver” is wicked!
You finished the Evolution From Apes Japan tour in July, and you’ve already got multiple shows and festivals scheduled after that, including your major label release BAKEMONO. How do you keep your energy up?
Ikepy: We do have many live shows and tours. To keep our energy up, we work out of course! This is the only thing! Everyone is doing it, right? Working out is really important. Since the metabolism is improved, muscle aches recover faster. My neck pain goes away much faster ever since I started working out. I’m serious.
If you turn your fans into “beasts” you have to feed them, right? Do you write new songs while you’re touring?
Makoto: During tours, when I come up with new riffs, I record and store them in the hotel. Next month, there will be a new album. So please wait for it while doing some serious workouts.
Ikepy: Work out everyday for 2 months, and look forward to the album!
HNIB created music for the new PS4 game LET IT DIE. How did you get involved in the project?
Ikepy: We didn’t actually play the game Let It Die, but after seeing the images and story, I wrote the lyrics from the viewpoint of the main character. The music was inspired by the game of course, and the sound became aggressive. I think the song really matches the game.
HNIB plays large metal festivals and small clubs, too. What do you change in your set list for these different size shows?
Makoto: There are shows in different sizes, and every time, we think about the songs that our fans want to hear, and we play those. We want variation in our set lists, so we try to play different types of songs.
There’s a lot of English in your lyrics. Is this your way of being an “international” band instead of a “Japanese” band?
Makoto: This is very easy. We want to be the first Japanese international band. This is why we sing in English.
Ikepy: Our theme is “from Japan to the world” so we use English.
You guys are metal fans as well as musicians. When you go to see another band, do you “Go insane!” like you sing about in “Last Day”?
Makoto: Interesting question. Ikepy went to see Slayer the other day.
Ikepy: No doubt I was “Go Insane”! My metal spirit was shaken up by Slayer. My blood was boiling. It was awesome. But of course, everything I see doesn’t make me “Go Insane,” only the truly cool ones do.
Makoto: The hurdle is high.
Ikepy: Yeah, the hurdle is high.
You’ve said your goal is to capture the live show feeling on your CDs. How do you want your fans to feel?
Makoto: Like I said earlier, each person has their own way of enjoying, like going into Beast Mode. But for me, after seeing our live shows, I want our music to be stuck in fans’ head until a few seconds before they fall asleep in bed at home. This is the live show I want to do.
What can we expect fromBAKEMONO?
Ikepy: We’re releasing a full album called BAKEMONO in September. Surprise! The title is Japanese for the first time. (to Makoto) What kind of album has it become?
Makoto: I don’t think you can even imagine!
Ikepy: For sure, you can’t imagine. It’s become something beyond your imagination.
Makoto: The variation of the songs is really wide. Each has different color.
Ikepy: It’s something where you can see the development of each member of the band.
Makoto: I wrote a lot of songs for this.
Makoto: Also, the production is awesome. The sound is wicked.
Ikepy: No doubt about that.
BUY AT CDJAPAN!