Interview with OBLIVION DUST at AnimeNEXT 2017

interview - 06.28.2017 20:01

OBLIVION DUST speaks to JaME on their long overdue return to the US.

On June 10th, 2017 OBLIVION DUST performed at AnimeNEXT 2017 in Atlantic City, NJ for the first time. Although not their first time in the United States, this performance marked the band's long overdue return to this part of the world after more than 15 years. It gave their fans a taste of what is to come now that the band has celebrated their 20th anniversary and is ready for more.

The day after OBLIVION DUST's performance, JaME had the opportunity to interview them.

Congratulations on your 20th anniversary celebration and being a part of AnimeNEXT 2017. Can you please introduce yourselves to our readers?

Ken: Hi, I’m Ken, vocalist of OBLIVION DUST.
Rikiji: Hi, I'm Rikiji, on bass.
K.A.Z: Hi, I’m the guitarist, K.A.Z.

You began your career overseas, by recording in Scotland and playing in LA. Where did that idea come from?

Ken: It wasn’t like an idea. It was more that the people we were working with lived there. Our first bass player before Riki was the bass player from Scottish band Simple Minds, so we went to his house to record the demo. We also had a British producer, so we would hold meetings and write songs at his house. And then we took everything to LA to record because all those guys — the engineers and programmers — were based in LA.

We were lucky because we had a record company that was willing to pay for us to do that. I think one of the reasons for that was because we were the first Japanese band to have a singer that could speak English, so that was also a strong point for us being able to do that.

K.A.Z: I think he already told the whole story (laughs). I really like the music of the USA and UK. We were influenced by it and I really admire it.

20 years is a long time to be active in the music industry. What keeps you going?

Ken: We have broken up once! (laughs)

Yes, I know, but what made you get back together and continue now?

Ken: I apologized. (everyone laughs) I apologized to everyone and they forgave me! (laughs)
K.A.Z and Rikiji: (laugh) So we gave him another chance.
Ken: One last chance (laughs). That is why I brought my best behavior! (laughs)

I think there is something about us. When we get together, because we don’t talk that much, even for song writing, it just kind of happens. And there is a special connection that I can’t explain, even in photographs. We are all totally different, but for some reason when we are all together it goes together well.

So I think that a long time after we broke up, we kind of realized that we were doing something special, so when we got back together we said, ok let’s do it again. We are glad we got together (everyone else agrees).

We are glad you are back in the USA after so many years. I’m sure your fans are really happy! Many japanese fans came to see you too. How did you feel playing for a US crowd as a band after so many years?

K.A.Z: Well you know, depending on the band it has a different environment and different feeling ... it's like having different girlfriends. (everyone laughs)
Ken: “Is kind of,” not “like” (laughs).
Rikiji: For me nothing has changed. It doesn’t matter if I'm playing here or in Japan. It feels the same.

Did you have fun at the meet-and-greet? Any memorable experience?

Ken: I love meeting fans, especially at a convention like this because everyone is dressed up and is fun. We don’t usually get the chance to meet fans. So we are looking forward to today’s meet-and-greet too.

You played almost all the songs from your new EP Dirt at the live yesterday. They were really good. What song do each one of you enjoy playing the most live?

Rikiji: In Motion
K.A.Z: Nightcrawler
Ken: Lolita

Out of the seven new tracks on your latest EP Dirt, which one did you find most challenging or interesting to create?

K.A.Z: Nightcrawler, because OBLIVION DUST doesn’t really have something as heavy as that.
Rikiji: In Motion, because the song's bass writing was done by K.A.Z, so it's difficult to play and is challenging but really fun for me.
Ken: K.A.Z makes everything difficult! (laughs) Death Surf was the last one to record. It's really heavy but I wanted to make it catchier. I got the song from K.A.Z almost done, so all I had to do was arrange my vocals on top of that. And cross my fingers for him to like it (laughs). And he did, so it was good!

What would be your dream venue to play in anywhere in the world?

Ken: In London there used to be a place called The Marquee Club. I would have liked to play there, because all the great bands played there.
K.A.Z: I would like to play there too.
Rikiji: Wherever is fine.

Last night you said that it may be the first time for many amongst the audience to hear of OBLIVION DUST or see you live. For the new fans you made last night, which of the material you have released would you recommend to a new fan to start with?

K.A.Z: Dirt and 9 Gates For Bipolar.
Ken: The new EP is probably the best to start with, and maybe the best album RADIO SONGS ~ Best of Oblivion Dust.
Rikiji: I agree with both.

You're a rock band, but from December last year till January this year, you went on a Japan tour titled I Hate Rock'n Roll Tour 2016-17. Why such a tour title?

Ken: Because I hate Rock’n Roll!
Rikiji: It's because I said I loved the world's Rock’n Roll.
Ken: He thinks it's because of that but no, it's because we have lyrics for one of our songs that says “I hate Rock’n Roll”.
K.A.Z: Nightcrawler
Ken: Yes, Nightcrawler. Well, in a way Rock’n Roll has ruined my life and I have to live with it now (laughs), so it has that kind of meaning too.

If you could play with any artist from any band (dead or alive) who would you choose?

Ken: That is a good question. Chuck D from Public Enemy.
Rikiji: Chris Cornell and Mike Ness from Social Distortion.
K.A.Z: Umm. Let me think. Many artists. I would like to play with Nine Inch Nails!

What do you hope the future brings OBLIVION DUST?

Ken: We want to do more shows, not just in Japan but outside as well. Not just in the United States but in different places. Because this band needs to be seen and heard by more people.

Thank you for your time. Please send a message to your fans.

Rikiji: Please come to see our shows whether in Japan or overseas, anywhere we go!
K.A.Z: Many fans told me yesterday that it was their first rock concert or that they had never heard of us before, and it was their first time hearing us live. I got a lot of feedback like that. Hearing that it made me feel like coming back to do a US tour. So I'm going to work hard to be able to come and see everyone again.
Ken: Please check us out if you haven’t already done so because I’m sure that you will like us if you do!

JaME would like to thank OBLIVION DUST and AnimeNEXT for this interview opportunity.

The live report for OBLIVION DUST's performance at AnimeNEXT 2017 will be up soon. Keep an eye out for it!
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