Interview with THE SIXTH LIE at HYPER JAPAN, London

interview - 27.08.2017 22:00

THE SIXTH LIE talk about their plans for the future and their international ambitions.

Formed in 2015, THE SIXTH LIE have created their own brand of “future rock” combining rock and electronic dance music. Now, they’re taking the first steps in realising their international ambitions, playing shows across Europe with ex-ViViD singer SHIN on the joint tour entitled SHIN X SIXTH LIE EUROPE TOUR 2017 “THE INCEPTION”. Following their impressive shows at HYPER JAPAN, THE SIXTH LIE’s members, vocalist Arata, bassist Hiroto, drummer Ray and guitarist/programmer Reiji, take time out to talk to us before heading off to Paris for the next stop on their European tour.

You made your international debut here at HYPER JAPAN. How did you feel about the audience’s reception of your performance?

Arata: Japanese people can be shy, but over here people are so welcoming and really enthusiastic. We had a great response that made us feel excited and the cheers from the audience were ten times as loud – it was great! (laughs)

Can you explain the meaning behind the band’s name and how that relates to your music?

Ray: There’s a quote from the famous composer Debussy – “Art is the most beautiful of all lies”. So, inspired by his words, we want to create music that can be enjoyed beyond the five senses, with your sixth sense too. That’s where our name comes from. We also make videos ourselves, so during gigs we often play the video in the background. Our music can be enjoyed through all the senses.

You describe yourselves as a “future rock band” that combines the virtual and the physical. Could you explain more about that concept and how it’s reflected in your music?

Ray: If you listen to our lyrics it may sound at first like we’re talking about a future world and a fantasy, but they actually have a link to our reality. The lyrics have a double meaning.

How did you first get together as a band?

Ray: Myself and Reiji on guitar, we were writing music together at the beginning so we were the original core members. We tried to look for additional members on the internet. First, we found our vocalist Arata and then we also we found Hiroto on the internet. When we searched for “bass” and “model” his name came up at the top of the search results, so we chose him purely for his looks (laughs).
Arata: Most important! Good-looking guy!

So, Hiroto joins the band as a bass player/model, but he wears a mask! Did the rest of the band think he was just too handsome? What’s the concept behind the mask?

Reiji: It’s not so much about the concept. It’s just that he’s got such a youthful baby face (laughs). We thought people might not take him seriously if they see him as too young-looking.
Ray: Why did we even choose him for his looks? (laughs)

Based on your own experiences starting out, what advice would you give to anybody trying to get into the music industry?

Arata: It’s not easy, but have ambition. It sounds normal, but it’s very important. Practice and follow through to find the music that people want.
Reiji: Particularly for Japanese musicians, I think they should listen to more music from abroad, not just Japanese music. That way even international bands could be listening to our music, and we could all share and grow together.
Ray: Listen to a variety of genres of music. That will help you to widen your musical taste.

You’ve released two albums and your single Go On was released last month. What’s the next step in your career? Are you working on new songs?

Ray: We’re just kind of casually talking about perhaps choosing a concept for a story and then starting to write a new album based on that, but at the moment we’re just working on one thing at a time, so it’s still kind of a really early stage. This year we’ve got plenty of gigs lined up, so we’re going to go through those and see what the response is and think about what comes next.
Reiji: We’re also thinking that, in the future, we would like to make music for games or anime.

Is there any game franchise in particular you’d like to write a song for?

Reiji: Maybe a sci-fi type of game, and the idea is that we produce an album with the lyrics making a story that can be linked with the game. Also, Hiroto used to be a professional gamer, so perhaps using that as well. Whether we would write music for the game or write music first that then ends up getting used in a game, we don’t know yet.

What was it like being a professional gamer, Hiroto? Which games did you play?

Hiroto: I was a pro in FPS (first person shooter) games and “League of Legends”. I went abroad for training and tournaments but I found that after becoming a professional it became work. I had to shift my whole life around gaming and it stopped being fun. Also, the team that I was a part of changed its concept. We all lived together and it just became too much for me.

Are there any achievements that you’d like to fulfil with the band? Where would you like to see the band in the future?

Hiroto: I love the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I even started playing the bass because of them. It would be great if we became so good that they recognised us and invited us to support them on tour.
Arata: Of course, we would like to be big and famous in Japan and do arena tours. We’re influenced by lots of foreign artists, so it would be great if we could also become big internationally and do international tours. That would be great.
Reiji: The gig at HYPER JAPAN is the first time we’ve performed abroad, and we got a great response, so now I’m thinking perhaps we can be more active abroad. We’ve always talked about being active internationally, but perhaps we can do more abroad and then come back to Japan after we’ve become big.
Ray: Today at rehearsal Hiroto was playing the theme song from a “Super Mario” game and everybody loved it. Perhaps in the future our music could become so familiar that other bands might casually play our songs and everybody could recognise them. It would be great if we could get to that level.

What’s your process for songwriting, and where does your inspiration come from?

Ray: I write the lyrics and Reiji puts the melody to it. I like going to art exhibitions, so perhaps I’ll pick a painting and think about what the painter was thinking to paint it and get my inspiration from that.
Reiji: I always look out for any good music, even when I’m out shopping. If I hear anything that I really like I go home straight away and pick up my guitar and start humming to it. Once I’ve got that, then I will break it down into a style that I like and that’s how I start.

On your YouTube channel you regularly cover songs by western musicians. What’s your motivation for doing cover songs?

Arata: We love western musicians and their music, and because of that we want them to listen to our music too. The reason that we do the cover songs is perhaps it’s an easy way in for many people to listen to our music.
Reiji: When we do cover songs, we create our own new arrangements, but in order to do that we have to break them down and reconstruct the music from the originals and through that process we learn so much. That’s another reason why we do it.

After talking about your international ambitions, do you feel that performing more English songs and having more English lyrics in your songs is a way to achieve international success?

Reiji: We feel that there is a difference in taste between the Japanese audience and the audience abroad so perhaps we can pitch our music slightly differently domestically and internationally. We are also thinking of doing a Japanese version along with an English version and uploading it to our YouTube channel.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not busy with the band?

Reiji: I just play games.
Arata: I just go for a walk around Shibuya or Harujuku.
Hiroto: I just play games.
Ray: I’m either studying for university or playing games.

Finally, do you have a message for all the new fans you’ve made this weekend at HYPER JAPAN?

Ray: If you could just tweet and post on Instagram and Facebook about us that would be brilliant. That’s always very helpful (laughs).
Reiji: We are very happy and grateful that we got such a great response and a big cheer from the audience.

JaME would like to thank THE SIXTH LIE and HYPER JAPAN for this interview opportunity.

Links

Official Website - https://thesixthlie.jp/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/thesixthlie
Twitter - https://twitter.com/thesixthlie
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/thesixthlie/
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdomXpe8sM_IcsIgiFoXfuA
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