HER NAME IN BLOOD, Tokyo’s latest metalcore unit to make a break for UK shores, have been creating noise up and down Japan since 2007. Signing to WARNER MUSIC JAPAN in 2015 and releasing the major debut album BAKEMONO earlier this year, HER NAME IN BLOOD are starting to make waves on an international scale, performing across Europe, Asia and the US.
Currently tearing up Europe alongside Eskimo Callboy, we caught up with bassist Makoto at their London show earlier this month.
Let’s start with a bit of a history lesson. How did you guys first meet?
Since 2000, myself and Daiki were playing in our former band. In 2007, Ikepy joined and then we changed our band name to HER NAME IN BLOOD.
What bands inspired you guys when you first started HER NAME IN BLOOD?
It’s kinda hard to answer, because we all have different musical infulences. But I’d definitely say Killswitch Engage are an all time favorite for all of us!
How has the metal/metalcore scene in Japan changed since you started out?
When we were playing as a local band, there were only a few bands in the scene in Japan. But after some bands had done international tours, it has totally changed and now we have a whole bunch of metal/hardcore bands in the scene.
In 2015 you joined WARNER MUSIC JAPAN. How was it signing to such a big label?
It was one of the biggest changes for us. Good guys, good music- we’re happy to work with them!
In September you released your major debut album BAKEMONO, congratulations! How does the album compare to your previous records?
We tried to create our own music, not just sticking to the genre of metal or hardcore. In the writing process, we really pushed ourselves to next point as musicians and as humans. We believe that this record represents how we are now.
A few years ago you released covers of Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ for Punk Goes Pop Vol. 4, and ‘Pretty Fly’ by The Offspring for Punk Goes 90s Vol. 2. What made you choose those songs to cover?
Back to 2010, Gaga was so popular in Japan. Then we thought like, “It would be cool if a metal band covered a popular pop song” so we decided to record it. And for Pretty Fly, really I’m a big punk rock fan. I’ve grown up listening to bands like NOFX, Rancid, and The Offspring. I wanted to show respect for them through music.
Are there any other songs you guys would like to cover in the future?
I would like to try covering something by Halsey. She’s amazing!
You just played your first set of UK shows. What was it like playing here for the first time?
Playing in UK was one of our dreams so we were really excited like, “Yay!”.
Earlier this month you played KNOTFEST JAPAN 2016, how was it going from such a massive show to playing small venues in the UK?
It was definitely interesting playing in such a massive venue, and then going to smaller venues. But we really love playing both tpyes of show.
What has been your best festival experience so far?
It’s gotta be KNOTFEST USA 2015. It was our first show in a Western country so I still vividly remember how it was.
In the last few years you’ve been playing more and more international shows. Where do you hope to take the band next?
We want to play headline shows in Europe in the near future, that would be awesome!
There have been quite a lot Japanese metal bands breaking onto the UK music scene in the last few years, but are there any bands that have yet to come over here that you suggest people should check out?
Crystal Lake, 100%.
To wrap up, do you have any final words for our readers?
Thanks so much for checking us out, and pardon our Japanglish! Arigato!
Photos and video by Charles Shepherd
HER NAME IN BLOOD