Art: Velio Josto

When I said that I am a typical Japanese person who does not have a very strong religious view, music might be my religion. I want to listen to good music and make good music myself because this is my purpose in life. So the most necessary ritual when I write a song is to listen to good music anyway, and then it builds up, and I suddenly come up with a melody.

I don’t have much, but in music, I’m always keen to create catchy melodies and riffs that you can hum after just one listens; choruses and guitar riffs are ideal. You can hum all the guitar riffs in Zeppelin and Purple; that’s the ideal. Metallica, Exodus, Queen, Iron Maiden. Once you’ve heard the chorus, you’ll never forget it.

It was the Rolling Stones, Beatles and the like that my parents were listening to, although everyone would have had a similar experience of being interested in music in the first place. And in my case, game soundtracks too. As for heavy music, I started listening to old rock music long ago, and then I wanted to listen to something more and more intense. I’m like that. My first shock was Led Zeppelin, Queen and Deep Purple, and for metal, it was Iron Maiden. Led Zeppelin and Purple’s live albums are still my favourites, and when I was in secondary school, I thought Ritchie Blackmore was the fastest guitar player in the world. My idols are still Ritchie and Jimmy Page.

I keep buying new albums and listening to them to death. If I buy an album, I have to listen to it properly because if I don’t listen to it, there’s no point; if I listen to it, it will feed me one day. But objectively speaking, it’s an obsession.

If it’s not metal, it’s a professor at the university. I’d love to be an intellectual like that one day. In music, I admire an artist called Yuu Sakamoto, although he is a minor. He is a genius melody maker. He works under the name Onpu-labour, so you should check him out. Of course, it’s not metal; it’s pop music.

It’s not that people need music; they need people to make and enjoy it. We’re dedicated to the music. We are slaves to the music. I am a melodic person, so I want to introduce you to a piece of work that is not metal but is extremely melodic. First, ‘In Blau’ by the German progressive band Anyone’s Daughter. It’s full of chord progressions and melodies that I like. Also, ‘Resort Escape!’ by Onpu-labo, which I mentioned above. It’s the ultimate pop music. Have a listen.

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