Lovebites is an all female heavy metal group from Japan, debuting for the first time in the UK at Hyper Japan and securing #3 in the metal category of the UK itunes charts. These girls are a band to keep an eye on and you can pick up their new album AWAKENING FROM ABYSS now!
Robin Bates from Coaching for Geeks attended a Q&A session along with a series of prestigious journalists. These include Chris Newton from ‘JaME Website’ and Paul from ‘J-POP GO’. These will be referred to collectively as ‘Journalists’.
The LoveBites members begin by introducing themselves. Mi-Ya San is still traveling from the airport during the time of interview. Lead vocalist Asami, bassist Miho, guitarist Midori and drummer Haruna are present. A translator is used but all band members and translations will be referred to collectively as LOVEBITES.
Journalists: So congratulations on making your overseas debut! What’s it like to play in London?
LOVEBITES: We wanted to play outside of Japan, overseas, so even though it’s [not a lot of] time after the debut, we can play outside in the UK, so we are really happy about it. The first play outside Japan is the UK.
Journalists: Okay so I was going to ask about UK musical influences such as Iron Maiden. What are your other musical influences?
LOVEBITES: When we first met and we had no songs, no [original] songs to play. We played songs like songs of Iron Maiden of course, or Judas Priest, so we got a lot of influences from many musicians.
LOVEBITES: I sang Painkiller.
Journalists: There’s lots of female fronted rock acts coming out of Japan, and I was wondering what your thoughts are on that?
LOVEBITES: From Japan? So, as a female only band, it’s really a good thing that the Japanese female bands are quite active outside of Japan. Also, not just watching them but [to learn] to do better than them.
Journalists: Okay, what do you say to people who say heavy metal music is not for women?
LOVEBITES: I don’t think so.
Journalists: West [metal] is very male, very hair, tattooed.
LOVEBITES: We, maybe might not be the real thing [a typical metal band] but because we are [a] women only heavy metal band, I think we’re gonna break through and do what women can only do in heavy metal.
Journalists: What are your typical fans like?
LOVEBITES: So, obviously heavy metal fans, heavy metal lovers, especially the people who like the 80’s heavy metal. These guys are just amazed at these ladies that play, so that kind of fans are the typical.
Journalists: Asami san, I want to ask you about your experiences with Vamps-
Journalists: Vamps. What did you learn from your experience working with those bands?
LOVEBITES: So initially when I was working within The Vamps, I used to work as a chorus. So in Vamps I wasn’t really front, so what I did in the Vamps was really different from here. As the front man or front person of the band, working with a rock artist has had a lot of influence on me.
Journalists: Another one for Asami, you started your career as a soul singer.
LOVEBITES: Soul, yeah.
Journalists: Yeah, what’s it been like changing from that style of singing to heavy metal?
LOVEBITES: So although I was like a soul or R&B singer, I supported a lot of the rock bands and people around me told me that, “Your voice fits to the more rock style of music.” So I was thinking of the way to sing in my own style.
Journalists: Okay. Ladies, what is your hope for the new album?
LOVEBITES: So our core fan is obviously the heavy metal lovers. So our next album is going to be something heavy metal. we’re not gonna betray our fans, but still there’ll be more kind of variation there but still heavy metal.
Journalists: Okay. What are your thoughts on the rise of idol metal groups in recent years of those like BABYMETAL and Death Rabbits, what’s your thoughts on those types of bands?
LOVEBITES: We’re happy that these kind of heavy music is appreciated overseas. But on the other hand we’re a band so although their doing something really different, we hope to be as popular as them.
Journalists: Speaking of those bands that have been successful internationally, you’ve signed with record label in the USA and a record label in Europe, I just wondered if you could tell us about your plans for international success or your hopes?
LOVEBITES: So we wanna play in the music fest…
LOVEBITES: Metal festival.
LOVEBITES: Although this was our first gig outside of Japan, if there’s any opportunity we would like to go anywhere. Also, our next album, we want to do more live performance and gigs, we’ll make it good.
Journalists: In the bands, in any sort of bands there are certain characters, and there’s always someone who likes to play jokes, the practical joker. So, who is the practical joker?
LOVEBITES: All of us plays a bit of joke but also in the heavy metal band, the way the drummer, is really, not like joking around but kind of more makes us relax. And the most joking person likely, Asami, kinda, maybe not joking, just playing around kind of thing, she starts dancing sometimes.
Journalists: So, originally there were four of you, and then Mi-Ya came and joined. Now that she’s not here, you can talk about her behind her back, what has she brought to the band?
LOVEBITES: So in terms of creating music or arranging, she’s really talented in that. So in the process of creating the music, her presence is really huge. She was almost like a member even from the start.
LOVEBITES: So without her, there won’t be any LOVEBITES.
Journalists: Next… What’s your favorite song to play?
LOVEBITES: Our favorite changes everyday. It’s thrash metal that lately, Japanese female bands don’t normally do.
LOVEBITES: Burden of Time – It has a strong line for the base, also it’s the hardest song to play as well.
LOVEBITES: Edge of the World. The tune of it, the, how do I say it, the tone of the song changes quite often so as a drummer it’s quite interesting song to play.
Journalists: I was gonna ask, do you feel metal is like a global language? Do you find new fans globally easier due to metal being, what’s sort of like a language? Metal as a genre of music, do they find it… Confused myself there haven’t I really? Do they sort of like treat music, treat metal as being like a global language?
[The translator steps in to help at this point.]
Translator: Do they treat their metal as a global language? So your question is whether they treat the metal music as a global language or not?
LOVEBITES: Maybe some J-pop singers quite famous in Japan may not be as famous as LOVEBITES outside Japan. We get a lot of comments all over the world to do their album and stuff so we feel that metal is really strong.
Journalists: Yes. J-pop is restricted really in some respects to Japan, whereas metal is more global, so easier to understand maybe even though the language, the actual spoken vocals may be Japanese, you understand.
Journalists: Can we just ask you for a message to your fans? Just to finish with.
LOVEBITES: So this was our first gig outside of Japan, but we want more people to listen to our music so we can keep up to play more.
So here’s some of their music!
Robin Bates – Jaying his rock right up!
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