Interview with XECSNOIN

interview - 13.07.2008 22:00

An interview with the Japanese metal band XECSNOIN.

XECSNOIN is a metal band who has been active for more than seven years now. After the release of their newest single THIRSTY, which can be bought exclusively from CD Baby in the US and their following tour, JaME had the opportunity to have a mail interview with the band.

ZEN and K.K., what made you join XECSNOIN? Had you known the band for a long time, or was it a spontaneous desire to join?

Zen: I joined because I read an article about the member recruitment on the internet.
K.K.: Same reason as ZEN. I didn't know that there were still bands who played such a style of music (laughs).

Besides the lineup, what has changed in the two and a half years since your last release? Was there an influence on your style through the new members? If there was, how did your fans react to the changes?

Band: When we're making new songs, we jam, based on some riffs or bass tunes which one of us has composed. We work in the studio and all of us participate in composing and arranging the tune. It doesn't take as much time than in the former line-up and it's easier. It may be that each of us is heading in a similar direction and understand what we want each other to do. It may also be because we reduced the number of live gigs and therefore we spend much time composing than before.

What are your main influences? Which bands inspired you in your career? More Western or also Japanese bands?

Band: We’re mostly influenced by bands outside of Japan such as UNEARTH, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, IN FLAMES, ARCH ENEMY etc. and the melodic death metal and metalcore scene in the USA and Scandinavia. Domestic bands who influence us are, for example, UNITED or THE MAD CAPSULE MARKETS.

What has inspired you for the new single? Are you already thinking about a new album?

JUN: As for THIRSTY, at first Zen brought a riff which was played in his former band and then we arranged it and constructed a melodic death tune. For CALLING, Zakuro composed most of it. We're currently planning a lot more tunes for the next year, though we still don’t know whether it will become a full-size album or a mini album.

You started a tour in May. What are you planing to do after it ends? Have you already got some plans for the future?

Band: After the end the tour in July, we will devote ourselves to composing new tracks in the second half of this year.

You will sell your newest single over an online shop (CD Baby) in the United States. Have you thought about selling it through an American label? And how about Europe? After your album was reviewed by a German metal site, have you thought about becoming active in Europe, through a label, for example?

Band: We didn’t think that we'd be able to sell this single overseas, even as indie circulation through Bazooka music, the record company for this release. We saw this single as a greeting from the new line-up to the domestic audience. Of course we’d like to have the chance to be active in Europe and America in the future, but to tell the truth, we don’t have any connections at the moment.

How about overseas concerts? Have you ever thought about a tour outside of Japan? If so, which countries would you like to play in?

Band: If we have the offer, we'll go anywhere. Especially to the countries of bands who have influenced us; USA, Canada, Germany and Scandinavian countries etc.

What is your label ZEROXRECORDS? Was it founded by one of the members, or is it a personal sublabel of 413 Tracks?

JUN: ZEROX RECORDS is a management to manage ourselves. It is necessary to administrate the band. We all run it ourselves. The trigger of its establishment was indeed the opportunity to release the album from 413Tracks, but now they are independent of each other.

Many bands, also a lot of bands from 413 Tracks, have recently opened their own MySpace sites. Have you thought about opening your own to get in contact with fans and also a lot of overseas fans?

Band: We are currently preparing our MySpace. It will open soon.

XECSNOIN has survived a lot of member changes through the years. Was there a point in history where you weren’t sure about the future of the band?

Band: What a band aims for is sometimes disturbed by a member change, but because we got past them, we were able to arrive at our present circumstances.

You are helping out other bands quite often, especially Bang-Doll with their new two member line-up. What connection is there between your bands? Is it from the time you were regularly playing at the Ichikawa Club GIO? Or is it because of the TRENDKILL Event series, which your bands have participated in quite often?

JUN: Bang-Doll are friends from the old days. When a friend is in trouble, we help them. We met them in GIO and appeared in lots of live gigs together and at that time, that was what I wanted to do. As for TRENDKILL, we approved of the concept that Bang-Doll had submitted. There was no reason to decline the offer to play as support.

Now some questions about your early years. Why did you start in the visual kei scene and why have you decided to leave it again?

Band: We started in the visual kei scene because there were a lot of bands like X JAPAN who inspired us to form a band. Having been through several years in visual kei, the Indie scene in Japan is now full of visual kei bands. They seemed required to 'play a pretty character' first and the performance level and the quality of the music came second. To be frank, it seemed to be overflowig with indiscriminate imitations of Dir en grey. We decided that we had to leave this scene to create the true metal that we really wanted play.

Was XECSNOIN your first band, or have you all gained band-experience before joining the band?

Band: As for JUN and Jin who founded the band, this was their first real band. The other three members each joined XECSNOIN via other bands.

And a question personally for ZAKURO, since we know that he was in other bands before: Are you still in contact with your former bandmates, for example Rin from Cerberos, who later joined Ibara, a band which XECSNOIN seems to have been friends with?

Zakuro: I sometimes contact AKIRA, guitarist of Cerberos, but I'm not in contact at all with other people.

JaME would like to thank the band and especially Jun Horie for making this interview possible.
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