INTERVIEW: RYO OF CRYSTAL LAKE ON THE BAND AND NEW MASTERPIECE ALBUM HELIX
SICK AND SOUND has the pleasure to introduce to its readers an exclusive interview our editor-in-chief Alessandra had with Ryo Kinoshita, vocalist of bespoken metalcore made-in-Japan band, CRYSTAL LAKE. We are catching up with the band of Ryo Kinoshita, Yudai Miyamoto, Shinya Hori and supporting members Bitoku Sakamoto, Gaku Taura after the release of their new album in studio HELIX released on November 28th, 2018 in Japan and due on February 15th, 2019 in the rest of the world via freshly signed label SharpTone Records.
Our track by track review (Italian) for HELIX is available at: www.sickandsound.it/crystal-lake-i-am-the-one-above-all-every-living-thing-will-spiral-into-dust-helix.
- The band has been around for 17 years and I joined 7 years ago. Hello guys, it’s such a honor for me to have a chat with CRYSTAL LAKE. Let’s talk about how the band was brought together and you got into music in the first place.
I first listened to Linkin Park then got into extreme metal.
- Your genre is a heavy blend of metalcore combined with electronic elements in a futuristic frame, spanning from progressive metalcore to deathcore. Let’s talk more about the mindset behind transitioning from its initial hardcore blueprint to the current sound.
We’ve got a lot of things that we’re able to do as we grew as musicians. We all love any kind of music and we’re just doing what we want to do.
- Obviously metalcore and related –core genres have a different background in Japan as compared to the States and Australia. What’s the metalcore environment and audience in Japan and how do you see that?
We have a unique heavy music scene that came from J-pop or J-rock. I love it cause it’s so original. The kids in this scene too. They’re the craziest people in the world.
- Congratulations for signing with SharpTone Records just recently. What are your thoughts and expectations about your new collaboration with such a leading label in this soundscape?
SharpTone is a huge label and they’re so supportive. They let us be what we want to be as a band. I’m looking forward to the future we’ll create together.
- HELIX is your last masterpiece album, released on November 28th, 2018 in Japan and due on February 15th, 2019 in the rest of the world. In terms of the writing process, what was different or new for this album as opposed to your previous materials?
Not so different. Just tried to be Crystal Lake. But this time we focused on what “heavy” means for us not only our sound but our lyrics and imagery.
- Nowadays many metalcore bands are experimenting a lighter sound more leaning towards rock scenarios which in some cases got the audiences frustrated. With HELIX, you are still firing on all cylinders and becoming an even more heavier warpath, that’s absolutely amazing. Any thoughts about how metalcore is changing and why it’s important/not important to stay true to your signature sound.
It’s just because we came from a different background than the other metalcore bands. We started as a hardcore band and the mind doesn’t change. And we do love extreme music like death, black, grind, sludge to name a few. I don’t care about staying true we’re just doing what we want to do.
- HELIX is a concept album de facto and revolves around artificial intelligence and the IT logical architecture taking over, manipulating the DNA and dehumanizing the world. Is this correct? Let’s discuss its lyrical themes and messages.
It’s about our lives we lead and how we handle so many “life and death” things we’re facing like to become a family, death of the loved ones, breaking up with your boy/girl friend and depression or suicidal thoughts.
- Let’s talk about AEON. This is a brutal track featuring AJ of Issues. The video which was released along with your debut with SharpTone Records, also includes the introductory track/speech of the album, HELIX. The video shows a creature with multiple arms, resembling an oriental God manipulating the human genome. Let’s discuss the track and its representative video.
Aeon is about singularity and apocalypse caused by excessive technology (that guy in the video is a metaphor of this) with taste of a misanthropic theme like meaninglessness of faith “We all die in the end. There’s no afterlife and it’s just nothing.”
- Track RITUAL. This is an interesting interlude including what seems to be a pre-show ritual. Would love to know more about that.
It came from the pre-show thing as you said. But it’s more spiritual. Circling the fire and praising our music as a god.
- You’re currently promoting the album in Japan, so how the audience is reacting to it and what was your favorite ever on-stage moment so far?
The reaction is positive so far. They love heavy songs like Aeon and Hail To The Fire.
I was about to cry when they sang Lost In Forever with us because it’s the most important song on Helix for me.
- What to expect in 2019? Any tour announcement or exiting news you can share with us.
We’re going to tour a lot around the world this year. I can’t tell right now but you’ll see.
Thank you so much for your time and following up with us on your amazing album. We are fully supporting Crystal Lake into Europe and US!
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