Interview with Oda Kazuha from Kazha

interview - 09.24.2018 20:01

Kazha's vocalist gives some insight into carving out a career in the USA, the band's upcoming album and more.

Rock band Kazha made its North American debut in 2010 at San Francisco's Asian Heritage Street Celebration. Since then, the band has actively toured North America, performing at numerous anime conventions and local venues. JaME interviewed vocalist/bassist Oda Kazuha about life in the USA, Kazha's upcoming album and more.

Kazuha, how did your journey as a classically trained singer begin? Was there something that inspired you to take up classical singing?

Kazuha: I grew up training as a classical singer mostly because of my parents. My goal had always been a singer of a rock band but I was trained classically since I was kid and my first singing job was mix of classical and pop while I was still in school. I loved singing classical music too but eventually shifted to rock. Training classically has helped me in many ways, so I appreciate my parents for giving me the opportunity.

Was making the decision to relocate to the USA a tough one?

Kazuha: Actually, we made the decision very quickly. It wasn't tough to decide. But the fact that we needed to leave our belongings and almost everything behind in Japan and start everything all over again in the USA was a tough one. And since we are under the working visa as musicians from foreign country, we still don't reside in the USA, so going back and forth and renewing the visa in between our schedule is always pretty tough.

How's life as a band in the USA as compared to Japan?

Kazuha: We (the band) are traveling together 24/7 in the USA, and we don't have anyone else but one another right now. USA is obviously much bigger than Japan so we do spend a lot more time on the road together, and it has been helping us to learn more about one another, which I think might not be the same if we were in Japan.

Has living in the USA influenced your style of music in any way?

Kazuha: I'm pretty sure it has. I think you will notice some changes if you listen to all of our albums.

What can you tell us about the Deidara plushie has been featured in your vlogs? Is he special?

Kazuha: Oh yes, he is special (laughs) … Hideki and I are huge fans of "Naruto", and Deidara is one of our favorite characters. Deidara is an artist who loves his art to death, and he doesn't hesitate to blow himself up with it. If you've watched "Naruto", you might know what I mean ... but I want to love my art like he does!

How did you meet your new drummer Futa? Do you think your music has changed in any way since Futa joined the band?

Kazuha: Hideki found him online while we were auditioning drummers. We tried to find the best fit to our style, so I don't think we changed musically. He does fit to our style and we definitely do get along well, so I think that is awesome (smiles).

Why did you decide to use your band's name as the title of your third album?

Kazuha: My plan was to put the first album out as an OVERTURE (introduction) of the band and second album as our EVOLUTION (to show our growth) as a band. And with the third album, I wanted to kind of complete the foundation of the band. So it's like we are finally “the Kazha” that I wanted to create. It is still only a beginning of Kazha, but I thought it's the best title for this third album.

What are some of the highlights of Kazha?

Kazuha: We tried to make this album heavier and somewhat more technical than our previous albums, and all the instruments including the vocals are stronger/tighter, so hopefully it's more enjoyable. Hideki's guitar solos are definitely the highlights too. And I want everyone to listen to the album from the top to the end because the songs are kind of connected.

What are the main lyrical themes of the songs on Kazha?

Kazuha: Life and Death. Meetings and Partings. Happiness and Sadness. Both are necessary to know each other. We all die one day but we can embrace this life because we know it'll end one day.

Did anything interesting happen during the entire creation process of the songs on Kazha?

Kazuha: I cried a lot on each song while we were creating them … (laughs) Nothing personal, but I tend to get emotionally attached to the music especially while I'm writing lyrics.

What can you tell us about your endorsement deal with ESP Japan?

Kazuha: They are working on our signature models! Hideki and I designed our own guitars to fit our style and we cannot wait to show them to everyone.

To conclude the interview, please leave a message for JaME readers.

Kazuha: If you've never listened to our music yet, please try it out! If you've been listening to our music, please keep listening! And thank you so much for reading my interview.

JaME would like to thank Kazha for this interview opportunity.

Kazha will release a self-titled album on October 2nd. The album is now available for pre-order within the USA at http://www.kazha.net/store.html. A signed postcard will be included in the first 200 pre-orders.

Watch the teaser for Kazha below:

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