Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sithter Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

We formed in 2006 and I am the only original member now. I used to play in a doom/sludge band called PSYCHOTOBLACK but when some of the main members left I began looking for new members to continue on with the band. A song we recorded at the time was ‘Chaotic Fiend (#8 Engrave The Misery)’. As the only songwriter in the band I wanted to carry on with the same style for PSYCHOTOBLACK but unfortunately the other members wanted to play “pop music”, so we couldn’t really decide upon a direction. After several member changes, our current guitarist Hyo Kagawa joined in 2008. He was originally a member of a band called MONE¥ I$ GOD and they had played a lot with PSYCHOTOBLACK over the years. I always thought that his guitar playing was amazing so I was surprised when he contacted me and said, "I want to join Sithter".  Finally I felt like I had found what I was looking for. He also wrote all the songs for MONE¥ I$ GOD and it was totally unique and clearly different from other “heavy” bands around us. I told him my vision then we hit upon a fusion that sounded perfect.

2.You have an album coming out in December, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

We just wanted the album to sound violent. On the last one we did we recorded each of the instruments one by one, but this time we recorded it all in one take, so I think it made it sound more alive. Also the songs were made for the way we wanted to produce the album. Every one of us worked hard because preparation time was very short, so I think it gives a greater sense of power and energy to the songs. All the songs were written by Hyo Kagawa, except for ‘Engrave the Misery’. The overall concept was same with the last album. We closed it with one huge, long Doom song. Also guest players did great work too. ‘Engrave the Misery’ was originally going to be a bass number but Mako Kotama from Japanese Doom band Magadalene Junen gave a great piano in improvisation. We offered US noise artist L'eclipse Nue, who actually used to live in Japan a chance to provide the opening narration to ‘Jerusalem Axe Massacre’ and every take was great, so we used it all. The recording engineer, Shigenori Kobayashi beautifully finished it all. He’s a terrific producer.

3.While there was a demo released on 2007, there was no new material again till 2014, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap in between releases?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

We did release a DIY 7” EP with two songs. One side with a PSYCHOTOBLACK track and the other side featuring the first song I wrote for Sithter. Since that time, the current line up was being finalized. So we did a lot of songwriting and playing live before recording this new album.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

I took a lot of influence from horror films between the 1950s and 1970. Some songs are about the films themselves, for others I just took the title and tried to create a vision around them incorporating themes of sadness and fear of human beings. There are also plenty of aggressive lyrics in there for the shitty people in my life but I don’t like directing them at anyone in particular.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sithter'?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

Since there are so many other bands out there with “Devils” and “Demon” sounding names I thought I’d try and think about film villains instead. But I couldn’t really settle on any. I’ve been a big fan of Star Wars for a long time and Darth Sidious really scared me as a child with his evil looks and evil mind. So I came up with the name from ‘Sith Master’ and changed to Sithter.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

Our recent shows in Korea and Taiwan have been some of the best shows we’ve ever done. These were the first overseas shows for us and the people there gave us a great reception. Playing live allows us to really expose the true madness, violence and evil on stage. I don’t want to be pretentious because I hate pre-established stage performances so we try to do everything on impulse. I get carried away a lot and as I’m not focused on technical playing it’s all about volume. There’s always feedback and I rarely hear my own voice so I have t shout at full power. After the show, there’s no energy left. My throat and voice are exhausted and withered. But we recover with sake.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

We’re going on tour with Serbian doom rockers Heretic Rites. Here are the date for November…

23 Nov – Sendai Bird Land w. Magdalene Junen, Bergrabnis + More

25 Nov – Higashikouenji 20000V w. Magdalene Junen, King Goblin + Zothique

26 Nov – Oosaka Sengoku-Daitoryou w. Magdalene Junen, Necromantics, W.D.L.K. + Hemipenis

27 Nov – Nagoya Red Dragon w. Magdalene Junen, Vomit Monster, Viollante + Stone Banquet

29 Nov – Yokohama El Puente w. Dunwitch No Inu, Su19b + Floaters

30 Nov – Shibuya Ruby Room w. Khola Cosmica + Dhidalah

8.A year ago you where a part of a split with 'Gonguri', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

I think it’s great to share our work with foreign bands. It might be a good opportunity to listen our songs for the people who didn’t know us. We want to put out a split with more variety of bands. A country band would be cool.

9.The new album is coming out on 'Bonten', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

Bonten is Tokyo based doom/stoner/sludge/psychedelic label, focusing Japan’s underground bands. They releasing the bands like King Goblin, Solar Anus…etc.
https://bontenrecords.bandcamp.com/

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and doom metal?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

We’ve had a lot Russian doom/sludge fans contact since we started out with PSYCHOTOBLACK. They invited us to contribute to a compilation and wrote an article for a webzine there. The owner of Bad Road Records, who released our first album was very kind to us. We’ve also had fans from across Europe who’ve ordered our T-shirts and music and some have contacted us to say that they’re really excited about the new album. That’s always really great.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

I don’t think we’ll ever change musically. We will keep playing punk rock with doom/sludge vibes. I don’t consider ourselves as metal.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

Sex Pistols and Japanese punk legends STALIN have really influenced me. And then tehre’s 70s, 80s dark punk rock like The Damned, Dead Kennedys, The Misfits, Discharge. Japan’s Kikeiji, Aburadaco is my foundation. As a band, our biggest influences are Black Sabbath, EYEHATEGOD, GRIEF, Iron Monkey, Sleep, Melvins and Saint Vitus. I’m also always keen to dig out obscure doom bands across the world. We also like Hawkwind, Sonic Youth, Napalm Death, Voivod, Pop Group, Ash Ra Tempel, CAN, Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, Suicide, David Bowie, The Doors, Alien Sex Fiend, Slayer, Kenji Sawada, Stone Roses, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, New Order, the Verve, and of course, Horror soundtracks. We also listen to Japanese “major” bands and we go to their shows often.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

We love the films, especially classic horror, gore, psychedelic, freaks films. I have a personal interest in the ancient Japanese culture. Recently, I’m keen to Rakugo, it’s like Japanese old school standup comedy. I have been practicing story not only to watch or listen. Also I’m practicing Japanese instruments little by little. Now I have the koto and shamisen.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Hiroyuki Takano (Vocal, Guitar):

I want people to listen to the album in a so many different countries as possible. We’re really proud of this album and we want to play more gigs overseas so if you’re interested in buying a CD or Tshirt, feel free to contact us at Sithter@msn.com.

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