A new single and world tour for LOKA.
Rock band LOKA is releasing a new single on January 20th, as well as a song for PS4 video game "LET IT DIE". As guitarist SIN left the band not too long ago, they are currently collaborating with PABLO from Pay money To my Pain. LOKA is also working on a world tour. A great start to 2017! JaME interviewed Kihiro, leader and vocalist of the band.
Hi LOKA, long time no see! Our first question will be about your line up. After the departure of SIN, your new official pictures show three members only. Does it mean you won't replace your guitarist for now? Can you tell us how it will work with only the three of you?
Kihiro: Indeed, we don’t want to force ourselves to find a guitarist. We're just going to wait naturally; we think that "someone" will eventually show up. Being in a band doesn’t only require you to be good at playing the instrument. You have to be committed in other areas as well.
Actually, we have great guitarists supporting the band. In the first place, LOKA started with KEN’ICHI and I, the drummer and vocalist only. So it has been working all along (laughs). PABLO from Pay money To my Pain is supporting us for the next two shows, and we have other guitarists supporting as well. So it’s fun! It depends on their schedule, but it's fun to be in a position where we can call on all these great guitarists we’ve met to play with us!
You say you collaborate with PABLO from Pay money To my Pain. We know you are very close to this band. How important is this for you?
Kihiro: Oh man, it was great! We’ve known each other for 10 years now but never worked together on our music. I know how good and awesome a guitarist he is but just never had a chance because … well … I always had a guitarist (laughs). Since LOKA does not have a guitarist now, I just thought “Oh yeah … PABLO! If not now, when!?” and called him up. We toured together, got drunk and did crazy things together back in the days, and I guess the timing just came to actually work together. I’m grateful that I was able to record my voice over his guitar; I think it's many singers' dream. He was so great. I think I’m going to keep asking him to support our stuff (laughs).
You just announced the release of a new single, actually with PABLO on guitar. Can you tell us more about this song? Is the single teasing a new album?
Kihiro: It's a song we actually wrote as an image song for Sapporo’s SNOWBOARD EVENT, PARK AIR 2017. I love X-sports. Like any other extreme thing, or any person who is committed to doing one job, I feel that we all need to throw away many things to achieve its goal. I think these people have a great "SENSE OF CRISIS". People who are committed to their work trade many things away in order to keep doing what they do, as I have. So the song is about that: how tough and strong you can be when you are committed to one thing. And yes, we are definitely teasing you guys for an upcoming new album!
Exactly at the same time, you'll release LET IT DIE -20XX-, a song for the PS4 game "LET IT DIE". How did you come to work on this project?
Kihiro: We were introduced by one of our agents. We actually knew the company was looking for bands because I actually helped the band TOTALFAT to write their lyrics for it (laughs). So our agent approached the company and got the deal. It was LOKA's first experience working on a game soundtrack, but we enjoyed creating the song. As the game's theme and visuals were obvious, we knew instantly what kind of song we needed to create. I wrote many of the lyrics based on the the game's summary. However, as the phrase “LET IT DIE” seemed a bit too negative for me, I intentionally made the song's theme “We are going to die fighting”, meaning we are not going to sit here waiting, but do what we can until the day comes. Kind of a “bushido” spirit, if you know what I mean.
We could read on Facebook that you teased us about a "World Tour". Can you tell us more about it? Can we expect you in Europe?
Kihiro: Yeah, please expect us! We need many people to expect us, or else there is no point making it happen (laughs). We are working on dates, and just getting the schedule nice and clear. We plan to release the dates as soon as possible, so we have lots of time for our fans to adjust and have our street team to work with us. Europe? You really think we won’t go?
After several years of activities in Japan and overseas, how do you consider the past, present and future of LOKA?
Kihiro: I can only speak for the future but I know what LOKA has done in the past is true and right. It all adds up to where we are now, and I am proud of where we are. LOKA's members will start to challenge more things aside from music as well. For example, I challenged myself to be an actor last year for an American movie titled “She’s just a shadow". I hope the movie will be released this year. We are also starting a TV program on the internet that will be uploaded soon. There are so many challenges and we want to show our fans not only our music and performance but how we live as an artist as well.
How did you personally become an actor for "She's just a shadow"? Can we expect you to pursue this path?
Kihiro: Well … (laughs). This offer came from my friend who was casting for the movie. He told me that they were looking for a skinny guy that had tattoos and had the gangster vibe … Do I have that? (laughs) I wasn’t really into it at first, but when he told me I had to audition, I thought to myself that I was very interested in the “audition” part. I’ve never really gone for any audition in my life, so I was kind of curious how people would judge and see me. There was no pressure for me because the audition field was outside of music, so I went just to know what it was like. I passed the first audition, which surprised me (laughs). Then for the second audition, I went without memorizing the lines! (laughs) Well … I couldn't. I was on tour until the day before that audition and received my lines like two days before … The director and producer gave me 15 minutes to remember my lines though, and I did. Then ... I passed (smiles). Sure, it may happen again if there is any chance. I enjoyed working as an actor; it was a great experience. I hope you guys will like it when the movie is released.
Please leave a message for your European fans.
Kihiro: I miss you guys! Can’t wait to party hard with you all again. You will be surprised with our new bass player Miro’s technique, and we hope we can bring you a guitarist that will excite you. Our next tour is going be more than just a “release tour”. We are working to put together more entertainment to have fun with you guys. So, until then, keep up the hype and please support us through various SNS. Thanks!
JaME would like to thank LOKA for this interview opportunity.
Watch the preview for SENSE OF CRISIS below: