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HEAL THE WORLD


Interview by: Henk van Nieuwenhoven


It is not everyday that you get to interview someone from the other side of the world, in this case Japan. And when that person is the singer of one of your favorite all-female power metal bands from there, then it’s a feast. We’re talking about LOVEBITES and the lovely Asami, of course. Despite a language barrier, we could ask Asami about their fascination for power metal, whether LOVEBITES are more popular in Europe than in Japan and we let her comment on the four songs of the new EP “Glory, Glory, To The World” (out on 28th May in Europe through JPU Records). As she answered in Japanese, we give you both the original Japanese text and the English translation.Lovebites - group

When I look at the discography of LOVEBITES, I see a pretty impressive list since the year of creation in 2016: 3 full-length studio albums, 2 live albums, a couple of EP’s, one single and a video. Where do you girls get all this creativity from?

結成当初から作品をリリースするしないに関わらず、制作作業を止めないということ を常に意識して進んできたので、自ずとコンスタントに作品を皆様に届けることがで きたのだと思います。

Since our formation, we have always been conscious of the fact that we would never stop working on our works, regardless of whether we would release them or not, and I believe that this has allowed us to consistently deliver our works to everyone.

LOVEBITES - Asami_TwitterJapan has a rich tradition of all-female power metal bands: Mary’s Blood, Aldious, Brideair, Fate Gear, LOVEBITES… and they’re all still active. Where does this fascination for power metal come from?

日本人はメロディをとても重要視します。日本人が作り出すキャッチ―なメロディはパワー・メタルと非常に相性が良く、それが男女問わず日本にパワー・メタル・タイプのバンドが多い主な理由だと思います。パワー・メタルの楽曲たちは、ファストな曲、ヘヴィな曲、メロディアスな曲、そしてバラードに至るまで変幻自在にその形を変えながらも、そのどれもが”パワー・メタル”なのです。そこが最大の魅力でしょうか。また私たちLovebitesは、HelloweenやStratovariusといった欧州のパワー・メタルの重鎮たちから影響を受けていますが、小柄な日本人女性がヨーロピアン・タイプの屈強なパワー・メタルをプレイすることにより生まれるギャップも、私たちの武器のひとつだと考えます。

Japanese people attach great importance to melody. The catchy melodies created by Japanese people go very well with power metal, which is the main reason why there are so many power metal type bands in Japan, regardless of gender. The songs of power metal can be fast, heavy, melodious or ballads, but all of them are “power metal”. I think that is the most attractive point. We, LOVEBITES, have been influenced by European power metal heavyweights such as Helloween and Stratovarius and we believe that the gap created by a small Japanese woman playing European type power metal is one of our weapons.

LOVEBITES is one of the very few Japanese female fronted metal bands that uses English lyrics instead of Japanese song texts. Why did you choose to sing in English?

海外進出を目標にしていたのもありますが、まずは純粋に楽曲を楽しんでもらいた いという気持ちからです。私たちはボーカルも楽器の一部でありたいと強く思って います。日本語歌詞だと、やはりまずダイレクトに歌詞が耳に飛び込んで来てしまう と思うのです。なのでまずは歌詞の内容よりもメタルの醍醐味であるサウンドを楽 しんでもらいたい。それから、そう言えば何て言ってるんだろう?くらいでいいの かなって。そういう理由もあって英語にしました。

Our goal was to expand our business overseas, but first of all, we wanted people to genuinely enjoy our music. We strongly believe that vocals should be a part of the instrument. If the lyrics are in Japanese, I think the lyrics will jump directly into your ears. Therefore, we want people to enjoy the sound, which is the best part of metal, rather than the lyrics. That’s one of the reasons why I chose English.

LOVEBITES - Asami_CCLOVEBITES have played a lot in Europe. You toured with Dragonforce in the UK in 2019 and did festivals like Download Festival and Graspop Metal Meeting. Would you say that LOVEBITES are more popular there than in Japan?

どっちの方が人気があるとかは私たちにはわからないですけど、有り難いことに、 フェスやLIVEも沢山参加させてもらいましたし、海外の方からの応援やメッセージ も沢山頂きます。MVのコメントにも海外の方からの反応が多くあって、いつもとて も嬉しく思っています。

We don’t know where we are more popular, but thankfully, we have participated in many festivals and live performances and we have received many messages and support from people overseas.

Recently, you had to reschedule your “Ride For Vengeance” tour in Japan due to COVID-19 restrictions. How bad is the situation in Japan at the moment?

全世界、皆さん本当に大変だと思います。コロナの状況もまだまだ油断してはいけ ないと思いますが、その影響で色んなことが制限されて、皆さんお辛いだろうとも 思います。ただその中でも出来る限り音楽も止めたくはないので、感染対策や体調 管理など最善の注意を払って、少しずつ、今やれることをやっていきたい思いです。

I think it is really difficult for everyone in the world. I think that we should not let our guard down about the Corona situation. But I also think that it must be very difficult for everyone because of the restrictions on many things. However, I don’t want to stop playing music as long as I can, so I want to do what I can do little by little, taking care of my health and preventing infection.

Let’s talk about your newest EP, “Glory, Glory, To The World”. What exactly are you trying to say with the title?

今のこの世の中の状況を打破する希望に満ち溢れた作品にしたく、このタイトルに しました。「世界に栄光あれ」というポジティブな思いと、この苦難をみんなで共 に乗り越えていきたいという我々の強い願いが世界中の多くの人に届けばいいなと 思っています。

We chose this title because we wanted to create a work full of hope to break through the current situation in the world. We hope that the positive thoughts of “Glory To The World” and our strong wish to overcome this hardship together will reach many people around the world.

LOVEBITES - EPThe EP contains 4 brand new songs that won’t be on any other LOVEBITES album and will never be re-recorded. You did that with “Battle Against Damnation” as well and that makes it very unique and a worthwhile collector’s item for fans. How important are fans for LOVEBITES?

どのくらい?そんなの言葉じゃ言い表せませんね! みんな(ファン)がいてくれるから私たちが存在するのです。 共に歩む、同志です。感謝しかないです。

How important? I don’t know how to put it into words! You (the fans) are the reason we exist. We are comrades who walk together. I can’t thank you enough.

Shall we go through the 4 songs? Please give your comments on each one. Tell us how did they come about, who wrote them, what they’re about… etcetera. And finally, promote the EP. Why must we buy it?

Glory To The World

教会音楽をテーマにmidoriが作曲した曲です。

それを受け、私が描いた歌詞にもゴスペル要素を含ませました。LOVEBITES史上か つてないほどにポジティブなパワーを放つ、このミニアルバムのリード曲に相応し い、救済の想いや光に満ち溢れた作品に仕上がったと思います。

The song was composed by Midori on the theme of church music.

In response to this, I included gospel elements in my lyrics and I think the result is a work filled with thoughts of redemption and light, suitable for the lead song of this mini-album, which radiates more positive power than any other song in LOVEBITES history.

No Time To Hesitate

曲が出来上がっていく中で、何も考えずにとにかく無我夢中で騒げるようなアッパ ーな楽曲が一つ欲しいとなり、最後にmiyakoが作曲した曲です。

立ち止まってる暇はない、どんな時でもやりたいことに突き進め!という前向きな ハードロックナンバーに仕上がりました。キャッチーなサビメロなので、早くLIVE でみんなと一緒に盛り上がりたい曲ですね。

As the song was being written, we wanted to have an upbeat song where we could just go crazy and make noise without thinking about anything. And this is the song that Miyako wrote.

It is a positive hard rock number that says: “There is no time to stand still, no matter what time it is, just go for what you want to do!” The song has a catchy chorus, so I can’t wait to share it with everyone live.

Paranoia

これは私が作曲したスラッシュナンバーです。

あえて、Glory to the worldとは真逆のものを作り出したく、半音動きのリフやメロを 多用したり、不協和音ギリギリのハーモニーを入れ込むことで、不安定さや今にも崩れ落ちそうな雰囲気を曲全体で表現しています。上はもちろんですが、下のレンジ を最大限に使ってるメロディも聴きどころです。

LOVEBITES - Asami_door

This is a thrash metal song that I composed.

I wanted to create something opposite to “Glory To The World”, so I used a lot of chromatic riffs and melodies and added harmonies that are just on the edge of dissonance, to express instability and a feeling that the song is about to collapse. The melody that makes the most of the lower range is also worth listening to, as well as the upper range.

Dystopia Symphony

ベートーヴェンの「悲愴」をモチーフにmiyakoが作曲した曲です。

中間の5拍子など1曲の中で色がどんどん変わる、プログレナンバーに仕上がりま した。クラシック音楽を勉強してきた彼女ならではの作品です。悲愴がテーマとい うこともあり、歌詞はベートーヴェンの半生を描いています。逆説的に、この苦難を 乗り越えて、、、という意味も込められています。

This song was composed by Miyako based on Beethoven‘s “Pathetique”.

It is a progressive number that changes color rapidly throughout the piece, including the five beats in the middle. She has studied classical music for a long time. Since the theme of the song is “Pathetique,” the lyrics are about Beethoven‘s life. Paradoxically, the lyrics are also about overcoming this hardship.

Promotion pitch for “Glory, Glory, To The World”:

この作品が、少しでも誰かの力に、支えになれれば本望です。 先ほど、「なぜ買うべきか?」と質問がありましたが、、、 それはもう「最高」だからです。笑 自信を持って、これだという作品しか私たちはお届けしないと決めています!

I really hope that this work can help and support someone, even if only a little. You asked “Why should I buy it?” It’s because it’s the best. Lol. We are confident that we can only provide you with works that we believe to be the best!

Your song “Winds Of Transylvania” was chosen as the opening theme of the new anime series ‘VLADLOVE’. How important are anime series and movies for yourself and Japan? Have you ever read the book ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker?

アニメ、ドラマ、映画、全て私にとってとても重要な芸術です。

そこからインスパイアされて出来る楽曲もあるし、歌詞は特に、常日頃そういう作 品からのインプットが大事です。特に日本のアニメはもの凄くクオリティが高く世 界に愛されていると思いますので、我々日本人にとってもとても大切な文化です。

その小説はまだ読んだことはありません。近々、読んでみたいと思います。

Anime, dramas and movies are all very important art forms to me.

Some songs are inspired by them and lyrics are especially important, so it’s important to have input from such works on a regular basis. In particular, I think that Japanese animation is of very high quality and is loved by the world, so it is a very important culture for us Japanese.

I haven’t read the novel yet. I would like to read it soon.

Last question: Will we be able to see LOVEBITES in Europe again when this whole COVID-19 thing has blown over?

もちろんです!!必ずいきます。その日が来る事を心から楽しみにしています。 みんな元気でいてね!!!いつもありがとう!!

Of course, we will definitely be there!! I’m really looking forward to that day. I hope everyone is doing well!!! Thanks for everything!!!


Website: https://lovebites.jp
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LovebitesTheBand


Photo credit: Kitetsu Takamiya (67531graphics)