Fredags Special#5 – Gammal Skåpmat

Det har varit lite döfött här på Blashyrkh de senaste veckorna förrutom de två stående punkterna "Veckans Playlist" och "Veckans Gratis" och så kommer det tyvärr att förbli åtminstone den närmsta tiden.

Varför denna torka av läsbart material?

Skulle kunna ge flera orsaker, men i det stora hela så är det universitetet som kommer att svälja den mesta av min tid de kommande tre veckorna. Alla arbeten skall slutföras, grafiska profiler inlämnas etc. Men även skriverier för VF har tagit lite av min tid, samt ett "projekt" som jag startade sju år sedan som sakta men säkert äntligen börjar närma sig startskottet.

Jag har dock än en gång grävt lite i arkivet och hittat lite fler intervjuer från en svunnen tid och tänkte att jag kan spinna vidare på detta fredags-tema. Denna gång i form av en intervju gjord med Mirai från Japanska SIGH och som vanligt så är intervjun nedan oredigerad från dess originalskick då den första gången publicerades 2001, stavfelen m.m får ni på köpet helt enkelt.


Greetings. I am The Reverend and this is my interview with Mirai, bassist and vocalist for the band SIGH. If you haven’t heard them, you are truly missing out. Hailing from Japan, SIGH has unleashed their unique music style upon the world once again with "Imaginary Sonicscape" available from Century Media. They are very talented musicians/songwriters, and one of the absolute best bands I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Do yourself a favor and pick up any one of their Cd´s, You will not be disappointed.

First , I gotta ask the obligatory questions …For anyone who hasn’t had the privilege of hearing Sigh, how would you best describe the music you guys play?
-Well, it is always difficult to describe music by words. As far as "Imaginary Sonicscape" goes, it is heavy metal with a psychedelic, spacey and exotic touch. It is 21 century’s music with 70s equipment, 80s metal spirit and 90s digital technique.

How did you three guys hook up?
-We all three went to the same university and met there. It is unusual to see people into Venom here, so we immediately went along with each other.

The music on each Sigh album differs from the previous one. Did you ever worry that some fans of your earlier material would say you "sold out"?(too many metal fans scream "Sell out" when a band’s sound expands and progresses)
-I really do not care even if people conisder that we sold out. I want to sell our albums more and more. As a musician, it is a natural desire that I want our music to be heard by more and more people. If you call it "sold out", that’s right in a way. I really do not see any reasons that we have to stick to "underground".

The new album, Imaginary Sonicscape, has a kickass stoner sound to it. Did you set out to make an album for stoners?
-We’ve always had a big influence from Black Sabbath, and this time we wanted to give a psychedelic edge to the songs. So it is natural that you feel stoner vibes on the album. All the good rock albums sound great on weed. If not, it’s not rock or it’s not a good album!

Do you endorse hallucinogens and weed? What do you think about the terrible anti-drug laws worldwide?
-At least, weed should be separated from other hard drugs. I really do not see any reason why the government has to forbid weed as illegal while alcohol and cigarettes are allowed. Weed should be legalized.

What are the drug laws in Japan?
-The drug laws are really strict here. We’ll get 2-3 years for Marijuana possession regardless from the amount. The Japanese do not know what is the difference between weed and other hard drugs like speed. Magic Mushrooms are still legal here, but now the government is taking steps to ban it, which truly sucks.

What is the songwriting process usually like? Is it all done in the studio?
-It depends. I usually bring a music note with me to write the idea down on it whenever I come up with new melodies, riffs etc. Also I sometimes compose on the piano. When those ideas are roughtly assembled as a song, I give it to other members and start jamming in the studio.

Could you explain what these songs are about:
Scarlet Dream
-It’s completely based on my drug experiences. 
Slaughtergarden Suite
-It’s a ten-minute horror story. It’s about a murderer. 
Sunset Song
-It’s about fear of getting old. Nobody can avoid getting old unless they die young. We’re gonna lose lots of things when we’re 70. It is really scary but there is no way to avoid it other than death. 
Bring Back the Dead
-It´s about losing somebody you truly love. How would you feel if your girlfriend would be killed in a car accident? How would you feel if your kid would die because of your fault? It is scary and it could happen in your life. 
Ecstatic Transformation
-It’s about sex/orgy things. Sex is an activity to create a new life, and life has to succumb to death in the end. You can’t separate sex from death.

Also, what exactly is "Living the Scarlet Dream"?
-Well, "L"iving in the "S"carlet "D"ream.

Ecstatic Transformation has a real good stoner rock sound. I was wondering if the opening riff was influenced by The Mentors…it almost has a Sickie Wifebeater sound to it.
-We didn’t do it intentionally, but we’ve been listening to the Mentors so much, so probably it is impossible to escape their influence!

What were some of the things that factored into Sigh leaving Cacophonous? 
-Cacophonous Records didn’t do anything right for us or other bands on them. You know they once had Cradle of Filth, Bal-Sagoth, Dimmu Borgir, Primordial etc., but ALL of them left the label. You can easily imagine how they sucked. They were very slow in doing anything, they didn’t pay money, their distribution sucked, they liked to intervene in our music etc.

How is Century Media treating you guys so far? When Dread Dreams was released on Cacophonous it was impossible to find here.
-I didn’t see any advertisement when Dread Dreams was out. How people could find out that it was released? Century Media are doing very well for us. We did lots of interviews for "Imaginary…" and they never intervened in our musical direction. It is great that now people can find our album much easier.

Being a trio, does it make the live sound different than the studio recordings? I imagine it would be hard to find a keyboard player that is as good as yourself. Speaking of keyboards , how many different keyboards do you own and what are your favorite ones?
-So far we played gigs without keyboards, but for the future, we will add a session keyboardist, or a session bassist and I’ll play the keyboards. With a keyboadist, still it is impossible to reproduce the album sound, but it will sound much better than trio. Now I have 13-14 keyboards and I also own many software synthsizers. I like all my instruments, but if I have to pick up one, it should be the acoustic piano. With the acoustic piano, I can express a lot of things. Other than that, I love the old equipment such as Minimoog, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, etc.

What bands/musicians influence you guys? I know you like alot of bands and musicians from a wide range of styles. Do you like any ’60s-70s bands or any country musicians? (for example Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, etc..)
-I like any kind of music as long as it is artistic. Yes, I do love many artists from 60s-70s such as Beatles, Beach Boys, 10CC, Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder, Doors, Byrds, Grateful Dead and so on. In those days, rock was one of the most ambitious styles in music. As for country music, our gutarist is a big fan of it.

What are some of the other projects you guys are involved in?
-Thrash metal project with Abigail members, CutThroat, just recorded a new 7"EP in October. It contains one original track and one Tankard cover. It will be released on a German label some day. Now I am not sure what is happening with the Enoch with Killjoy and Phillip from Pantera. I can’t say much about it right now. I am not sure even if it will actually happen or not.

Will Sigh come to America anytime soon, and are there any shows in Europe planned?
-Yes, now we’re talking about touring the States early next year. Also we hope to tour Europe too. We would love to play in as many countries as possible.

I’m curious, I know you like wrestling, so who are some of your favorite wrestlers and wrestling federations?
-I mainly like the extreme wrestling. The federation named WING, which existed in the early 90s here in Japan was really extreme, and I liked it a lot. My favorite wrestler is Mr.Pogo although he sucks these days.

Since I am a huge fan of The Mentors, I was wondering what your favorite songs/albums were by them?
-I guess "You Axed For It" is the best. All the songs off it are great. My favorite tracks are Golden Shower, Free Fix For a Fuck, Sleep Bandits, FFFF Club etc. I also love Trash Bag EP! Woman from Sodom!!

I also have a question about GG Allin for you. Do you think if he had ever toured Europe or Japan that he would’ve finally rose from the underground scene to be a force in the music world? Any favorite GG tunes?
-Yes, GG Allin is great. His attitude was as great as his music is. But I do not think he would have been a force in the music world if he’d come down here. He was too extreme and too much for "normal" people. Personally I like the track "Anal Cunt". Also I’ve heard some country tracks from him on the video, but unfortunately can’t find the country CD by him.

Many thanks to Mirai for taking the time to answer all my questions.
Until next time,
//The Reverend

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