Interview with YAMA-B

interview - 04.10.2016 01:01

Heavy metal man YAMA-B shines a light on his solo project REKION.

Most people first heard the name YAMA-B via GALNERYUS, but GUNBRIDGE debuted in 1998. How did your music career start?

YAMA-B: I started my musical career in 1996 with REKION. This project is the origin of my musical life.

Unlike GUNBRIDGE, REKION’s songs have 100% Japanese lyrics. Why is that?

YAMA-B: I think the Japanese language is difficult to fit with rock music. As you know, I'm not a native English speaker, so I can feel musical satisfaction when I use English lyrics, but it's hard to express my mind. On the other hand, Japanese lyrics come easily for me, but it's hard to make my music. Because of this thing and that, I need two projects: GUNBRIDGE and REKION.

Can you explain what the name REKION means?

YAMA-B: In the Japanese language, REKION means ‘the sound of debris.’ ‘REKI’ is ‘debris’ and ‘ON’ is ‘sound.’ I'm proud of my music even if everyone else thinks that my songs are worthless things. I hope that my ‘trash’ will shine forever!

Who are the members of the REKION live band?

YAMA-B: Ok, so REKION has Kume Ryo on drums, Iwaki Tomoya on bass, Tsubakimoto Naoya on guitar, and me, YAMA-B, on vocals and guitar. REKION has a twin-lead guitar style, so I play guitar on stage. My bandmates are graduates of MI Japan Osaka – MI is the Musicians Institute from Hollywood, USA. Like me, Ryo and Naoya are instructors at MI Japan Osaka. They have solid techniques!

In April, you released the REKION album Gareki-Taizen. What are the meanings of the album’s title and cover art?

YAMA-B: ‘Taizen’ means ‘complete work.’ This album includes some new songs and old songs. I hope that people can enjoy and understand what REKION is. On the cover, I used a photo of young goat's statue. The photo was taken by me in Switzerland last year – yes, it was during IRON ATTACK!'s Swiss live tour. In ancient times, people offered goats as a sacrifice. I think that ‘the sound of debris’ and scapegoat are similar.

In your previous interview with JaME, you said REKION is a side project you only concentrate on occasionally, but it has become very active recently. Will this continue?

YAMA-B: I think my behavior is strange for you, JaME. Many factors are involved in my action. The cause of this is the situation with GUNBRIDGE. Some members of GUNBRIDGE have left the band. Our drummer Hideki and bassist Toshiyuki left the band last year. The bassist Naoya joined after they left, and this year, a drummer named Tommy also joined the band.

However, Naoya left the band in July this year. Frankly, the situation was very hard for GUNBRIDGE, but I thought that I should take advantage of the chance to make time for REKION. Also, 2016 is the 20th anniversary of REKION, so it was very good timing.

You have recorded and performed a lot with IRON ATTACK! in recent years. How did you first become involved with IRON ATTACK!?

YAMA-B: It was in 2013. My first recording was HEAVEN'S SWORD. IRON-CHINO sent me a request by email. It was not my first time being in contact him, as before this we worked together in EIZO Japan. I knew his musical talent, and the demo of HEAVEN'S SWORD was very good music for me. I loved accepting the work that he offered me. The results were excellent, you know.

Besides REKION and GUNBRIDGE, you have also released music as AXBITES and RIVER END. Can you tell us a little about these projects?

YAMA-B: AXBITES is a heavy metal band formed by me and Anton Maeda. Anton and I wanted to play straight and natural heavy metal music. Our activities have now ceased because I wanted to make my own music. AXBITES was a very active band, but I had to reduce the time I spent on it to work on GUNBRIDGE and REKION. As for RIVER END, that project was for informal works of music. I wrote several compositions and some of my friends wrote their lyrics for my music.

Finally, do you have a message for JaME’s readers?

YAMA-B: Hi, I'm YAMA-B. Thank you very much for reading this article. I hope more people will be interested in my music as a result of this interview. In October this year, IRON ATTACK! and I will go to NiCon in Germany. See you in Hannover!

JaME would like to thank YAMA-B and IRON-CHINO for this interview opportunity.
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