Lamp “Komorebidoori ni te” interview & liner notes (2005)

According to Lamp, their third release, Komorebidoori ni te, was one of the toughest recordings of their career. Thankfully, their hard work paid off: I think it’s fair to call Komorebidoori ni te an absolute classic album that has stood the test of time. This interview from 2005 was published in the free magazine “bounce,” later re-posted on Tower Records Online in slightly edited form.

Original interview & text: bounce.com (parts one & two)
English translation: Henkka
Lamp on the web: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Botanical House

You can buy Lamp’s music directly from the band, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

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Lamp — a three-piece band that debuted in April of ’03 with their mini-album, Soyokaze Apartment 201. Their third album, Komorebidoori ni te, clearly showcases the members’ stubbornness in their attitude towards music — it’s a work of zero compromise. The harmonies of their male-female twin vocals, already highly praised since their debut, have been refined even further, and the gradation between their rhythms and their carefully selected tones has become even more vivid and colorful than in the past. We’re glad to present to you an interview from behind the scenes of this new-generation, pop music masterpiece.

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Lamp “Kanojo no Tokei” interviews (2018)

Lamp released their most recent album Kanojo no Tokei in May 2018. Translated below are two interviews they did in promotion of this fantastic album. The first one is from OTOTOY. Enjoy!

Original interview & text: Yuya Watanabe (parts one & two)
English translation: Henkka
Lamp on the web: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Botanical House

You can buy Lamp’s music directly from the band, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

Lamp — a band characteristic of their feel-good sound that is both complex yet refined, seamlessly weaving together various styles of music. Their music is always fresh, yet containing elements of their musical roots. We arranged this interview to talk to the members about this release consisting of eight songs to which the members have given their all. Kanojo no Tokei, their 9th album in total, follows nearly four years after their previous release, Yume, and is the band’s first release on their own label, Botanical House.

In the first half of the interview, we talked to the band about Botanical House and about AOR and Brazilian music — the foundations of Lamp’s musicality. Since their formation in 2000, Lamp has always placed the utmost importance in pushing themselves to make the kinds of works that they’ve wanted to make, and as a result the band has now reached a point where they will soon be performing an instantly sold out show in Ebisu LIQUIDROOM. In this interview, we managed to catch a glimpse at the sense of aesthetics shared by all three members.

The band also talks in the interview about how they’ve been finding it more and more difficult to produce new albums with each passing year — apparently they finally completed Kanojo no Tokei only after various ups and downs along the way. However, when you actually listen to the material they’ve delivered, the refined production as well as the songs with their mellow sounds that serve as vivid reminders of the 80’s immediately dispel any doubts one might’ve had. In the second half of the interview, the band reveals that what first pointed them in the direction of this exceedingly amazing new album was “Sachiko,” the last track on their previous release.

Interview & text: Yuya Watanabe

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Lamp “Zankou” interview & liner notes (2007)

Zankou, Lamp’s collection of new material and previously unreleased songs was released in March 2007. This interview regarding the album was posted in 2007 on a site called mf247 that no longer seems to exist. I’ve also included translations of liner notes of three of the six songs on the album; these were written by Taiyo Someya between 2004 and 2007. Enjoy!

Original text: Masaru Yokota
English translation: Henkka
Lamp on the web: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Botanical House

You can buy Lamp’s music directly from the band, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

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If I was to summarize them very briefly: they’re a hidden gem of pop music. Give them a listen and you, too, will quickly hear that they’re truly deserving of the title. City pop, soft rock, MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira, a genre of Brazilian music that came after bossa nova), soul, AOR, bossa nova, etc… You can find components of many musical genres in Lamp’s material. Now, nearly two years since their last release, they’re breaking their radio silence to release their first collection of unreleased material, Zankou, while they’re busy working simultaneously on their fourth and fifth albums. With a focus on this collection that gives us a glimpse into their future with its newly-written songs, this interview zooms in both on Lamp’s past as well as what they wish to achieve going forward.

Interview & text: Masaru Yokota

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Shin Rizumu “NEW RHYTHM” interview (2015)

Shin Rizumu is another great new artist who I hope will find lots of success in his musical career. Here’s an interview regarding his debut album NEW RHYTHM that came out in May. I hope this translation can be of some small help in finding him some English-speaking fans, too.

Original interview & text: Hotaru Kato (original interview)
Photography: Junko Yoda
English translation: Henkka
Shin Rizumu on the web: website, Twitter, SoundCloud, iTunes

Note: You can buy NEW RHYTHM physically from CDJapan or digitally from iTunes.

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A third-year high school student born in 1997 and living in Kobe. A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who not only writes, composes and arranges his songs, but also does all the vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, synths, trombone, and programming by himself. In his first year of high school, he began uploading music on SoundCloud that he’d written since he was in junior high school. These tracks started spreading on the internet, and sharp-eared listeners and musicians alike were quick to note that another musical genius had appeared. In January 2015, he released his first independent analog recording.

New wave, indie rock, roots rock, soul, funk, R&B, pop, and more — his music and sound which have the essence of all these genres know no boundaries. It’s music that has a freedom and sensibility that could’ve only been achieved by someone in his teens, and yet, the level of polish and perfection is something you’d never expect to hear from someone his age. This new-generation pop maestro is quickly starting to gain more and more prominence.

Text: Hotaru Kato & photography: Junko Yoda

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Uwanosora ’67 “Portrait in Rock’n’Roll” interview (2015)

Portrait in Rock’n’Roll, the debut album by Uwanosora “side project” Uwanosora ’67, was released on June 10th, 2015. This interview with its members Hirohide Kadoya and Megumi Iemoto was published on their website some days later. The album is unfortunately not as of writing available for digital purchase, but this shop appears to stock the album and will ship overseas (and here’s their English-language shopping guide). Please enjoy the interview.

Original interview & text: Takahide Uchi (parts one & two)
English translation: Henkka
Uwanosora ’67 on the web: website, Twitter: Kadoya & Iemoto

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— To start off, I’d like to ask you about your initial motives in regards to Uwanosora ’67 and your first release, Portrait in Rock’n’Roll. Why did you decide to release this album with just you and Iemoto, and why not under the name of Uwanosora?

Hirohide Kadoya: The initial motive was simple: we wanted to release an album with a 60’s approach. The fact that it ended up being just me and Iemoto was because me and Oketa had such different ideas about what we wanted to do with that concept. Sure, we could’ve just compromised and met halfway, but when we listened to what each of us had, there was just such a difference in the material that we found them incompatible with each other. That’s not to say that made things between us weird or anything — the both of us agreed that we wanted to try both those approaches and so we thought it’d be a fun idea if we’d both write our individual sets of songs for Iemoto to sing. And that’s how this came about. My batch of songs was completed first, so they’re also the ones getting released first. Uwanosora the group has always been us three, so it was our intention from the beginning to release this album under a different name. Well, all we did was add some numbers at the end though. (strained laugh)

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