Rhythm and Drums March 2015 : partial translation

Tomoya got inspiring experience overseas
and it changed him

Explore that “value” of him through their latest album “35xxxv”!

First of all, I’d like to bring you an interview with Tomoya. How did he feel, what did he learn (?) by doing the long-awaited recording in US and performing on the dream stage of Warped Tour? He told the story behind the latest album “35xxxv” which is an output of those experiences, also the whole talk about his currently different style of drumming.

The big difference is that I could play stress-free

◉ Doing first recording overseas, participating in Warped Tour and holding Yokohama Stadium concert; wasn’t 2014 the fulfilling year for Tomoya?

Yes, it was extremely fulfilling year. We spent about half a year to travel overseas, everything was new, I got a lot of inspiration and had more fun than ever. As if the year opened new door because I also met many people who were so different with ones I’ve met before.

◉ I saw your joint concert with Crossfaith in August last year right after Warped Tour and I felt that your drumming has clearly changed. I thought that was something you learned in there (US).

Really? So happy to hear such comment. Both recording and Warped Tour has greatly affected me. There were bunch of good bands whom I spent the days together with like a family, always seeing them performing up close; having such a routines gave me a lot of influence.

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◉ I heard that doing recording overseas was originally Taka’s idea.

That’s right. Hearing his story, we were so afraid if we could do recording well with new producer in US who speak different language. But you know, we wanted to challenge new things, thus we shouldn’t stop. Everyone made up their mind to go America. It was terrible at first but the motivation, inspiration and fun were 100 times more than the pain itself. My feeling turned out to be like, “This is exciting, so fun!” LOL

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◉ Did you find your ideal drum sound in America?

I did. Good thing is because I could focus on playing, I didn’t waste any time. I could play the drum stress-freely and that’s a massive difference with the previous recordings. I’d always done recording narrow-mindedly, but I opened my mind this time. Of course I would put all my attention when I had to but I would also go to gym or took a stroll on the beach on clear day with the others. By doing so, I could feel relaxed during the recording and that was what I expected very much. I’m basically a chicken-hearted LOL, so I hate if I couldn’t get some solid image (of what I’m going to do). Therefore, I hate to do things out of a sudden/without warming up. But that mindset of mine has changed a bit as I went to US.

◉ That means John and the rest have pulled out the yet-undiscovered things in you. When you tried a fair listening to the music, how do you think?

There is surely a significant change and a bit different groove in the sound. However, that makes me want to do more hence a lot more goals I have right now. Of course I have given it my all that it turned out to be the best album so far but if you ask me, I’d say that I’m still far from reaching the top. My mental is completely different before and after going. That’s how great is the experience I got this time.

◉ How was working with the other producers?

We got 5 producers with their own characteristics. I can get really great experience by working together with them in this album.

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◉ You said earlier that it was great to participate in Warped Tour, but does that mean you could also do something like sharing infos with fellow drummers?

We always had barbecue in the end of the day. Since we didn’t speak English and were quite shy, we would feel on edge and intimidated all the time LOL and people on the other side would talk to us first. I somehow managed to communicate with only 20% English language I knew. I got comfortable and started to talk to many people. Our best buddy was probably ISSUES. They became like a family since we met each other everyday. Talking about drummer, there’s rap band called Watsky and Chukwudi, black guy playing drum for the pack was rad! He’s the best out of all drummers I’ve seen last year that made me think like, “What kind of beat is it?” and I always saw his performance. On our last day of Warped Tour, our band buddies…… Yellowcard, ISSUES and the rest came to our stage. There were many performing bands lined up behind us on such a small stage LOL Then, Watsky who played on same stage after us surprisingly brought improvised “Deeper Deeper”. I was touched and nearly cried that time.

◉ Isn’t that sweet? But I guess being surrounded by all foreign drummers during Warped Tour made you thinking a lot about drumming.

By seeing many drummers, I could see the difference with me whether it’s good or bad. On the other side, I got praised when they saw me playing. There I could find my “own style” and the next task will be weaving essence of American drummers into that style.

◉ Tomoya’s fine technical drumming was recognized as new to the other drummers.

”The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. My different basic beat-making and feel doesn’t sound Japanese for them. That’s just same as me. However, going there makes me strongly think that I have to keep the “Japanese part”. I’m gonna put everything I’ve got out of what I saw and felt into my system and once again, I will make new drumming style.

◉ What is the specific element you want to take from the foreign drummers and mix into your style?

It’s the distinctive “sense”. For example how they put tom or hi-hat, their sense was so different with Japanese drummers thus amazed me. Then of course their wider groove*. If my drumming creates a wave before, it’s like “weak and subtle kind of wave”, but I’d like to take a bit of “the weakness” out. (So I could make) The natural kind of wave. Wave with a good vibe. I want to make such a wave.
Notes :
*wide groove = idk how to translate this part but if I should define, then it’s some vibe from drumming that affects listener. Tomoya implied his drumming doesn’t have such a vibe/groove that can affect wider range of listener/audience. IMO, he’s wrong. He’s got the beat. Well but he wanna have stronger ones.

Apologize for any mistakes and incomplete translation because I only found that. At least we got his point of view. 🙂

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