On a cold and snowed in night, I found Crow x Class on Youtube scouring around for something fresh and new in Japanese music. I was immediately mesmerized by this bands music. I have a very strong respect for not only various facets of Japanese music but it's culture and traditions. To find my favorite styles of music wrapped into one band, I had found the perfect blend. I did the whole "fangirl" routine, made them my profile picture on Facebook, watched their video's over and over, looked up all information I could find, plastered them on all my social networks and finally decided, I have to meet this band. I did not have time this trip to Japan, so I did the second best thing, I contacted them for a short interview and they most politely agreed. No worries tho, I will return in the fall to Japan with a translator in tow and I definitely will see this band live and give you a more in depth look at these amazing musicians, so look forward to that feature article. In the meantime, with the strong language barrier we have between us, we decided to keep this interview as uncomplicated as possible so assistance was made by Yuka who is a staff member, a little translator, and costume creator.
Crow x Class making their debut in 2011 is truely unique in that they are the first 'Visual Kei' band that is composed entirely of professional Japanese instrument musicians. The music created by Crow x Class is a beautiful but edgy blend of traditional Japanese instruments and modern heavy rock. This combination of styles has created a new image for instruments such as the koto and shamisen and has made their sound accessible to a new generation.The bands on-stage performance brings together an energetic and eclectic musical show with elements of theater, to provide a truly original and entertaining experience.
Q: Who decided to form this type of band using professional Japanese musicians that play traditional instruments? and where did you find this type of musician?
When he did Europe tour (as another unit) he was surprised with how Japanese Culture is praised in Europe. It is not only about traditional culture, but also new culture like “Visual-Kei”. Since then, we started to think better what we have, our skills and this country’s cultures. Blending the tradition and the new culture is what can be done by only us because we were born in Japan. That’s one of reason he decided to form CxC.
Q: Of all the styles you chose Visual Kei, can you tell us how you came to that decision?
Kurona and some members love heavy V-kei sound.
Q: You made your debut at Rokumeikean in Meguro in August of 2011 where Visual Kei is very popular, how did the crowd accept the band that night, since you are unlike any other Visual Kei band using strictly traditional Japanese instruments?
Almost the same as other visual-kei bands..We studied up on visual kei audiences and their peculiar tendencies. LOL
Q: Do you find some people have a negative response due to you using the Visual Kei style with traditional Japanese instruments?
Yes. We can find them everywhere.
Q: Do you mainly play in Tokyo or do you travel the country?
Only in Tokyo so far as CxC.
Q: You have one album on i-tunes titled "Black Crow" [is the title correct?] with seven tracks, what made you decide to release this album on i-tunes rather than on CD or Blu-ray?
We have iTunes store but we’ve released actual the CD also! It is sold by mail order (in Japan only) and our gig venues. The title is exactly same as our band name. Yes, it means “Black Crow Group”.
Q: Do you have any new releases coming out any time soon?
We’ll release a new album this year. We are going to give at live show DVD to first 50 people who make ticket reservation of our exclusive show on the 22nd of August.
Q: To each member: Where did you learn to play your instrument and how long have you been playing this instrument?
- Ever since I can remember I’ve been doing Taiko playing.
- Mother does shamisen. 21 years.
- Father does Shakuhachi. 9 years.
- From club activity in high school. about 13 years.
- Was moved with Taiko show when he was a child. about 13years.
Q: Do you have any plans to play outside of Japan?
Now we don’t have plans but, we really want to play overseas! Actually, we've received requests for apperances from several events in US, but we couldn't make it with some reasons. We are waiting for offers!
Q: Who are your musical influences?
Cozy Powell, Scott Travis, Ritchie Blackmore, KISS, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Judas Priest, IRON MAIDEN、Metallica etc…
Q: Each member describe the other members for example: who is the funniest, the loudest, the most caring, the drinker, etc.
-He is like a older brother of all members. He leads them always.
- is the funniest person of the members. Always entertain other members.
- She is the queen…
- He is a little taciturn (reserved) and very polite person. He reads books at back stage.
- He shouts on the stages but in back stage, his behavior is very gentle!
Q: I ask this question on all interviews. If a fan came all the way to visit Japan from another country and you were their tour guide, where would you take them and why?
-Live music clubs! That's where you can see real Japanese music scene
. The atmosphere is really Japan!
- Nagano, because Nagano is the origin place of ”Tohno monogarari”.
old architecture, nature still remains in Nagano.
- “Kumano kodou” where you can find how Japanese treat nature. Still very beautiful.
- “Biwa lake”, the biggest lake in Japan!!
:Being a musician is always a struggle with so much competition in the music industry, was there ever a time when you just wanted to give up?
No there wasn’t! :)
Q: What would you like to teach the world about the instruments you play for those who have never heard Japanese traditional instruments?
I want many people to know that there are traditional instruments we still use here in Japan!
Q: Most fans always want to know this. Are you into Anime, Manga and if so what is your favorite?
(BTW, The taiko drummer for NARUTO animation is Kurona’s real brother.)
Q: What is the future of Crow x Class, where do you see this band in let's say, five years from now?
Want more and more people to see our shows!!
Q: On stage when the shirts come off and the guys are playing the wadaiko's the "fangirls" must go wild. What is each band members opinion.... is sexiness a large part of stage presence?
thinks it is not large part but it is one element to entertain audience and another reason of why Taiko drummers wear naked like costume is it can be seen as traditional style stage and it is just comfortable to play.
Q: In videos of the band, you use very ornate hand fans in your shows. Is their a particular meaning with the fans? and what is the Japanese word for the hand fans?
It is called ”Ougi” or ”Sensu”. In Japanese traditional dance, it is used to express wind, dancing petals, whirling snow and so on…when Kurona uses while he is singing, sometimes it express meaning of lyrics. Or part of Japanese traditional part, beauty.
Q: I understand you use alot of theatrics in your shows, do you mean "Kabuki" style of theatrics? Could you explain more about your live shows.
Actually, we don’t think we use Kabuki styles. Our style is Japanese beauty of the style fusions with V-kei style.
Q: So far, what is the largest amount of people (crowd) you have played in front of?
As CxC, the number of audience is according to live show club capacity (a few hundred)
But as each member, some have experience to play in front of a few tens of thousands.
Q: What part of Japan is each member originally from?
Q: Do you have a person who designs your stage clothing or does each member dress themselves and pick their own clothes?
We have a costume creator who helps us. Some wear her clothes, some buy themselves. Who wears her design, who buy themselves, depends on designs and timing.
Q: Every musician has a bad night every once in awhile, where everything just goes wrong. What is the worst thing that ever happened during a show?
When Koto thread snapped.
Traditional instruments are delicate.
Q: You have recently reopened your Official Website, is there a specific reason for doing so?
To make it an easier format/stucture to be viewed so a larger number of people can know and learn about CxC.
Q: Do you have any messages for your overseas fans?
We’ll do our best to be able to have gigs overseas!
Our performance is not like any other bands.
Please support us!
Loves from Japan!:D
Thank you so much for your time, I look forward to meeting you in the future. Lala~
[ytid=lu4qxgPhwYE][yttitle]月恍蝶 PV Gekkōchō[/yttitle][ytcontent]企画／撮影／製作 http://427foto.tumblr.com/official-site http://crowclass.net/wordpress/face-book http://www.facebook.com/crowclassTwitter 黒流 Kurona