In July, Okinawan band ROACH traveled a long distance to Austin, Texas for a month-long stay while they absorbed the American culture, performed in one of USA’s largest music scene areas, and rediscovered themselves. During that time, JaME was able to meet up with the band to discuss their stay and their latest single, For you, I will.
ROACH has had a member change since the last time JaME spoke with you. Please introduce yourselves.
Dai-chan: I'm Dai-chan, drummer.
Ta-ma♪: He's our new drummer.
Kubocchi: I'm Kubocchi. I play guitar.
Katsuya: I'm Katsuya.
Ta-ma♪: I'm Ta-ma♪, vocalist.
Other than the band member change, a lot has happened with ROACH. We know you are no longer with Maverick/Danger Crue. Can you please tell us more about what happened?
Ta-ma♪: We know they're a good company. They have many good things and good artists. We just think that Maverick isn't our place.
Why did you decide to come to Austin?
Ta-ma♪: We just wanted to come to America. We wanted to see American bands, live shows, everything. Another Okinawan band has been to SXSW [which takes place in the spring in Austin] and told us how great that event is.
What were some things you wanted to accomplish in your month-long stay?
Ta-ma♪: Originally, we didn't have a purpose. We came to Austin to find a purpose. This has been an amazing time for us. I think we found our next step.
Do you think you connected well with people here?
Ta-ma♪: I think we did. We met many friendly people here. They made us relaxed and comfortable. Thanks to everyone who met us during our stay in Austin.
What do you like about Austin so far?
Kubocchi: Everything here is exciting. I really like it.
Ta-ma♪: I really like talking to the bands performing here.
Dai-chan: Austin and Okinawa are very different. In Okinawa, it's very, very humid. Here, it's humid, too, but not as much as Okinawa.
Katsuya: Everyone we've met is really cool.
Your music is hardcore/screamo, which doesn't seem to be a rising genre in Japan. Though, in the USA it is a very popular genre. What are some differences you noticed with your performances in Japan to those you played in Austin?
Ta-ma♪: You know, we have many American military bases in Okinawa. I didn't feel a big culture shock.
How about in general, outside of performing? How does Austin compare to Okinawa?
Ta-ma♪: Everywhere there are tattoo studios, pizza shops, live bars. That was a real culture shock! (Laughs)
Three of you are not fluent in English. How did you deal with the language barrier?
Ta-ma♪: We keep trying, trying, and trying! At least we could ride the bus and buy pizza ourselves. (Laughs) This has been an amazing experience. Oh, and bassist Katsuya can speak English when he's drunk.
It's been a few years since you released an album or a single. And now you've released your second single titled For you, I will. Please tell us more about this single.
Ta-ma♪: This CD is like a new beginning for us. We'll be happy if you like it. I am singing about three differences of love.
How did ROACH decide on these three songs being included on the single? Is there a certain theme?
Ta-ma♪: We didn't decide a theme beforehand. It was an accident; it just turned out to be about love.
You recorded For you, I will in Austin. What are some differences from recording in the USA and Japan?
Ta-ma♪: The language! Also, in Japan when we're recording, sometimes we're very meticulous about the position of the microphone against the speaker. We'll correct it many, many times until we feel it's perfect. But in Austin, it wasn't like that. We just played.
The songs on For you, I will are a lot harder than your previous work. Where did this new inspiration come from?
Ta-ma♪: It came from genres like metalcore, screamo, hardcore, but also from my life and Okinawa and my many friendships. Everything has given us inspiration, but most importantly it's us just trying to get that message out.
What about the cover art, which has two arms with what looks like tattoos. Who designed it? Are those real tattoos?
Ta-ma♪: We did it ourselves. My friend who is a cameraman took pictures and we designed the cover ourselves. The tattoos are real. One is my arm and the other is my friend's arm. He's a military guy. Oh! And he's from Texas!
A couple years ago when we last interviewed you, we asked why you chose "ROACH" for the band name. However, you didn't want to answer. How about now? Why did you choose "ROACH" for the band name?
Ta-ma♪: I'm still keeping that a secret! (laughs)
Lastly, please give a final message to your overseas fans?
Ta-ma♪: We are still trying to go to other countries. Thanks for your messages, for contacting us, everything. Next January we will release a new album. Be sure to get it! Please keep waiting for us! I love you, guys! Thank you very very much!
Many thanks to ROACH who took the time to answer our questions!
Interview with ROACH in Texas
interview - 10.10.2010 20:01
JaME was able to catch up with ROACH to discuss their month-long stay in Austin, Texas as well as their latest single.