INTERVIEW: Crossfaith (15/04/2017)

Depending on where you are in the UK, Japan is approximately 5,700 miles away. If we’re going to be a bit more exact here, Manchester – where Crossfaith are tonight to support Bury Tomorrow – is approximately 5,837 miles away from the band’s hometown of Osaka. Yet, with constant touring on UK shores over the past few years, the metalcore and EDM splicing outfit prove how strong of a universal language music is.

Having not long released a remix EP, and with a slot at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival coming up very soon before they hit the road once again support Enter Shikari in Europe, we caught up with Crossfaith frontman Kenta Koie and bassist Hiroki Ikegawa to talk about progress on a new album, some forthcoming singles for the summer, what it’s like touring the UK so much, how they plan to celebrate their tenth anniversary as a band, and more.

DP!: You guys are back over in the UK, having played Birmingham last night. How was it?
K: It was great. It’s the first show of the tour, so there’s a couple of problems and we’re still getting out bearings, but, it was still awesome.

DP!: With you guys being so far away from home back in Japan, does it take you a little while to settle in whenever you come on over to the UK?
K: Well, we use tour buses over here, but we don’t over in Japan. We just have a small van.
H: Everything is different, like how we transport, and the venues. The venues are really clean in Japan, but over here they, you know, have a smell, but I think it’s really cool.
K: I think we get used to being in this country. We’ve already toured ten times over here. This is like our second home.

DP!: Not long ago you released the ‘New Age Warriors’ remix EP. How did that project all come together?
K: We planned to have a remix record since around 2011 or so, but now we finally got around to making it. We offered six artists, like Enter Shikari and The Qemists, both of whom are great friends of ours, and we’ve toured together. With The Bloody Beetroots, who’s from Italy, we’re just a fan of his, and we grew up with his music, and that’s why we made an offer with him. We also made an offer to Zardonic.
H: He’s from somewhere in South America.
K: Yeah, and we chose two Japanese artists too.

DP!: So you mixed it up with a lot of artists from across the world then?
K: Yeah, yeah. We approached them with the idea. That’s what we wanted to do.

DP!: Do you happen to have a personal favourite remix from that EP?
K: My favourite would probably be the one by The Bloody Beetroots. He remixed ‘Revolution’. His remix was totally different from the original version of the track, and that was really interesting.

DP!: Your latest full-length ‘Xeno’ came out almost two years ago now. Are you happy with how that’s been received by both your fans and also the critics?
K: Yeah, definitely. Actually, we’ve just finished recording a new record. Well, it’s going to be two singles. In total there’ll be six songs. After we finished ‘Xeno’ we made ‘New Age Warriors’, and of course the remixes as well. Every single time we came back here, we’ve had some great reactions from the audience, such as when we played at Reading & Leeds Festival last summer. There were so many people, and we were slotted in alongside Asking Alexandria and Thrice, which means a lot of people know about us if we’re beside them.

DP!: You also had a bit of a concept running alongside your record ‘Xeno’. Do you plan on doing another concept with the next record, or perhaps a little further down the line?
K: Erm, well, we’ve just finished tracking the new singles, so we’re… gonna start thinking. It’s not finalised just yet.

DP!: Well, in terms of a new album, how far away would you say that it is from being ready?
K: Maybe next year. We’re trying a few new styles from what we did with ‘Xeno’ in our new singles, so I can expect how it’s going to be, and it’s going to be awesome.

DP!: Do you know when that new single is gonna come out and when we can expect to hear it?
K: This summer.

DP!: As a band you’re also quite well known for your love of Jägermeister. Have you got any crazy Jäger fuelled party stories?
H: Yeah, we don’t drink Jägermeister anymore… nah, I’m kidding. There are a lot of crazy stories, including with the guys in Bury Tomorrow. We toured with them in Europe back in 2013, and that was our first time touring Europe for us, so everything was new. We went to something like sixteen different countries, like the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia. I hadn’t really seen those countries, so that was really interesting. I know that it’s not a crazy story, but we’ve had them. Mainly drunken memories.

DP!: What’s the plan of attack for Crossfaith for the rest of 2017?
K: We’re going to release our new singles, and this year is the tenth anniversary for us, so we’re going to be doing a tenth anniversary tour in Japan.
H: We’re also going to be doing a pop-up shop in Japan, too. With all of our merchandise, and our stuff. We’re also going to be coming back for Slam Dunk.
K: Yeah, we’ll be playing at Slam Dunk Festival next month, and also joining the tour with Enter Shikari.

DP!: Any final words?
K: I love you.

The band’s fourth full-length album, ‘Xeno’, is out now through UNFD/Razor & Tie.

You can order it online now via the band’s website (here), iTunes (here), Amazon (here), and Google Play (here).

You can keep up-to-date with the band online by following them on Facebook (here), Twitter (here), and Instagram (here).

Interview by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)