Broken By The Scream
might be one of the noisiest idol groups on the scene, but the past couple of
years have been pretty quiet for them on the new release front. However, in July, they returned with their latest album, RISE into CHAOS, which showcases their trademark style, combining guttural growling and screaming with shiny pop
vocals, set to a frantic heavy metal soundtrack.
Although the period before this new release may have seemed like a low-key
one for the group, there have been changes going on all the while. They signed a major label deal with Tokuma Japan Communications and new member Tsubaki Nanaougi joined Ayame Yabusame,
Io Nozukidaira and Kagura Uriin following the graduation of Yae Kumanomido in December 2021.
Shortly after the album hit stores, JaME had the opportunity to ask Broken By The Scream about the release and how life is shaping up as major label idols following the music
industry shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congratulations on your new album
RISE into CHAOS. Does
RISE into CHAOS have a central theme, or as the title suggests, did you take a chaotic approach to it? Ayame Yabusame:
Thank you very much! This is our first
album in two and a half years. We haven't been able to do as much as we'd have liked recently because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are finally able to present new songs to you all, and the album's message is that we want to make a work that gives hope
in a chaotic world.
Your music has a lot of different influences, often jumping from one genre to another in the middle of songs. Are there any new and surprising things on
RISE into CHAOS listeners should look out for? Kagura Uriin:
course the music will surprise you, but I hope you'll also pay attention to the vocals this time. We tried out some rather experimental voices, and that's another point to watch out for! Io Nozukidaira:
I'm not just doing death growls,
I'm also trying some narration, so I hope you'll enjoy that too. Your songs are always intense and complex, but were there any on
RISE into CHAOS that were particularly challenging to record?Io Nozukidaira: Mera mera senorita
quite a hard one 'cause it has lots of death growls! (laughs) Kagura Uriin:
It took us longer to record than we thought.
The recent songs have more complex rhythms, and they were all difficult. The simplicity of songs like Bokura no Mirai
meant that we had to be careful when recording them. Tsubaki Nanaougi:
right! It took us a long time to sing Bokura no Mirai
. We sang it over and over again to make sure we got the nuances right.
RISE into CHAOS is your first album released since you signed with major label Tokuma Japan Communications. After all those years on the independent scene, what does it mean to you to sign with a major label and how has life changed?Ayame Yabusame:
was surprised that there was so much going on apart from our music activities during the release period. We did a great number of interviews for magazines, and experienced a lot of things like radio recordings, filming and so on. Io Nozukidaira:
mainly doing live shows and promoting our music via YouTube, etc. before, but when we appeared in lots of different media, I felt that our music is reaching a different audience than usual.
Tsubaki, you’re the newest member of Broken By The Scream after joining in late 2021. How has your experience as a member of the group been?Tsubaki Nanaougi:
Fun! That's my first impression. It's hard
work, though! In the six months since I joined the band, I had to learn the choreography for more than 20 songs and even do a solo performance. But I'm totally happy because many people praise me for all the hard work I've done. I'm the type of person
who grows from praise. Io, Ayame and Kagura, what has Tsubaki brought to the group? Io Nozukidaira:
First of all, we were able to work on Broken By The Scream
without stopping for a bit because of Tsubaki
's hard work. I'm very grateful for that. Kagura Uriin:
I think we all discuss even things like on-stage banter at live shows a lot more now. Also, the four of us think about it together
more often than before. Ayame Yabusame:
We were all close to begin with, but I think it's great that we can work together now without any sense of discomfort. She is hard-working and straightforward, so I get a lot of inspiration from her.
Io and Ayame, you’re founding members of the group and Kagura, you’ve been a member almost as long, since 2017. How has Broken By The Scream grown and changed over the years?Io Nozukidaira:
Difficult question. (laughs) But I feel like we're
getting stronger by hitting the walls in front of us, getting depressed, breaking them down and overcoming them. Ayame Yabusame:
We've been working so hard that it's difficult to say how, but as Io-rin
said, if we work hard at what's in front
of us, it feels like "Huh? When did we become able to do this?". Kagura Uriin:
That's right. I've been working hard to get closer to what I imagine to be cool, and I think I've finally been able to express something close to that recently.
It's not quite there yet, though! (laughs)
. How have you each grown as individuals? Io Nozukidaira:
I think my death growls have evolved since the band's formation, but I still have a lot of things I want to try, so it means
that it's still developing. Kagura Uriin:
I feel like I have more time to think about how I'm gonna let my voice out during a live performance show than I did before. Ayame Yabusame:
I think I have more nerve than I used to. (laughs) Working with other artists makes me try my best every day not to lose. Tsubaki Nanaougi:
I want to grow even more with the members! The coronavirus shut down the live music scene over the last couple of years. How did you manage during that time when you were not able to perform live? How is it now that things are getting back to normal?Ayame Yabusame:
never imagined it would happen like that. It was pretty tough not having live shows and not being able to see our fans. We did some live streaming shows during coronavirus pandemic, but I deeply realised how happy it made us to actually have fans at venues
and to be able to get excited with them. People often say thank you for doing the live shows, but I realised that I was getting power from everyone at them. Io Nozukidaira:
We organized a metal festival called FEST OF EXTREME
recently. There were many people in the
venue from the beginning to the end, and they all looked like they were having a lot of fun. I was almost in tears thinking it was finally time to come back to enjoying music together like that. Tsubaki Nanaougi:
All the acts attending the event looked like they were really
enjoying the show. It was a marvellous day in every corner of the venue! Kagura Uriin:
That's why I’m feeling like we will be able to do some shows overseas soon! I really wanna go see everyone!
You’ve performed overseas in places like Taiwan and the USA previously. Do you have any future international plans now that travel is starting to open up again?Ayame Yabusame:
We don't have anything to announce yet, but our manager
told us that she's been hearing from a lot of people overseas again. We are also hoping that such a day will come soon. Traditionally, there is a wide divide in the music industry between idol groups and bands, but you perform with a live band and have appeared alongside metal bands such as NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST and SEX MACHINEGUNS at taiban shows. Do you feel that the divide between the two sides is become less strict recently? Io Nozukidaira: Broken By The Scream
a unique type of idol group so I don't know if the barrier between “idols" and “bands” is getting lower. However, as for Broken By The Scream
, I feel that more artists see us as a band. Kagura Uriin:
The bands that perform with us also decide
to do that after carefully looking at our performances and music. I wonder if the prejudice against performing together with us because we're idols has decreased from how it was before. I think you can tell how seriously we take our music
by listening to it. Ayame Yabusame:
But I always feel a sense of tension because I can't give a half-hearted performance. I feel that I can't afford to lose at each and every live performance. Tsubaki Nanaougi:
I recently joined the group
so I understand it well. I don't think there are very many idols who can perform with various bands as equals. And looking at the group photos from the last event, I don't feel out of place next to the bands in the photos. Please leave a message for your overseas fans.Ayame Yabusame:
feel very happy to be able to deliver our messages to you like this. I'm excited because It seems like the day when we can meet our fans overseas will be coming soon. We are far from each other but we always sing thinking of you all who support us from
abroad. Please continue to support Broken By The Scream
. We look forward to seeing you soon! JaME would like to thank Broken By The Scream and Mayumi Kojima for making this interview possible.
to download and stream RISE INTO CHAOS
on various platforms are available here
. A trailer for the album and digest live
footage from a show held at Spotify O-WEST in December 2021 can be viewed below.