LOKA, a Japanese alternative Hard Rock based in Tokyo, with a very unique sound, is starting off 2017 with a bang! They made their first appearance in 2012, and have since then impressed both Japanese and international fans with their original sound and unique styles.
The year has only just started, but the band is ready blow your mind with multiple releases. On the 20th of January, the band will release two singles: SENSE OF CRISIS and LET IT DIE-20XX-, and they’re planning to release a new album later this year. On top of this, the band will do another world tour, and this will be their third time touring through Europe and the Netherlands!
AVO Events & Promotion made it possible for JNL Team to interview this amazing band. The members of LOKA took the time to talk to us about these new singles, their upcoming world tour and more.
Before we start, we would like to thank you for taking the time to talk to JNL Team despite your busy schedule. Our readers are excited to hear from you, and even more excited to see you perform in Europe again!
Some of our readers might not have heard of LOKA before. So, to start off the interview, could you please introduce yourselves to them?
We are Tokyo based heavy drinking LOUD ROCK band *Laughing*. This band focuses on challenging new things, communicating with our fans, and fashion. Lately we’ve been focusing on the fashion side since we want to communicate with our fans to create a modern style of what kinda clothing styles would be cool at live venues.
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2017 has just begun and LOKA is taking it head on with the two new singles and another world tour! What countries will you visit during this world tour?
We are looking forward to South America, USA and EU. We will definitely go to countries we’ve already been in Europe. South America and USA will be our new challenge. We are hoping we can announce the schedule around Spring, so heads up!
What else can fans expect from you this year?
We are working on our new album to bring on the tour. However, we were not able to tour outside of Japan with our previous album “EVO:ERA”. So I guess it will be a double Album tour *laughs*. You can expect to get 2 new albums if you didn’t get them online.
All members have been in other bands prior to LOKA, so each members has different experiences. How does this influence your relationship as LOKA and your music?
KEN’ICHI with his HEAVY METAL style drums; we write our songs as fast as we can and he’ll blast the drums drinking coffee *laughs*. MIRO worked as a studio bassist as well, so his variety of skills just lets us do anything and he’ll catch up. His fingers are fast enough to keep up with KEN’ICHI’s double kick drum, head that LIVE, it’s amazing.
LOKA is not the ‘typical’ Japanese band, but is instead similar to American Hard Rock in style. Are you influenced by any American or other foreign bands?
We are influenced by many bands, not just American but Japanese bands also. What makes us different the most is communication. Not just from the stage or SNS, but lyrically also. Communication comes from experience, and Kihiro has lived everywhere, so his words create a natural sympathy with the fans. He knows how it is to be alone in a different culture, he knows how it is to feel left out even in his own culture, and he knows how to fight it.
SENSE OF CRISIS will be released on the 20th of January. Kihiro has written the lyrics for this song. Could you tell us a little about what the lyrics mean? What is the general story of this song?
We originally wrote this song for a SNOWBOARD event called PARK AIR held in Sapporo. The song is about “any second we can die, so make sure you prove that you lived”. I love X-SPORTS (Skate, Snowboard, MotorCross, Surf, etc.) which requires a lot of discipline and concentration because, one mistake and your life is at risk.
I believe having “sense of crisis” will always keep you sharp in life, cause there is always something out there that can just mess you up. Stay sharp and we can avoid that. That’s how I wanna live, share and care. We are all walking towards death anyway, so why not prove each second that we are alive.
On the same day, LET IT DIE–20XX– will be released. Why two singles on the same day? What is the difference between these two singles?
LET IT DIE-20XX- was actually the bonus CD single for our previous album “EVO:ERA”. At that time we were told the Gunho GAME LET IT DIE will be released, but it was actually released later in USA and EU only *laughs*. Now the game will be released in Japan on February. So that is the reason we are releasing it as a single online. The song is mainly focused on the game so it’s not the original style for LOKA which can be interesting for our fans. It’s pure HARDCORE METAL *laughs*.
Kihiro has written the lyrics for LET IT DIE–20XX– as well. Please tell us about the creation process of this song.
I wrote reading the game story. The word “let it die” just kinda sound too negative for me, so I wrote the lyrical theme to “don’t just let it die, fight it”. That’s what we all do right? There are many words and phrases linked to the game other than just “let it die”. I listened to other bands but I think I’m the only one who really did that *laughs*.
Not every band gets the opportunity to travel overseas for concerts, but LOKA has already performed many different countries. Are there still countries or cities you wish to visit?
Of course, we wanna go where everywhere. There is a lot of places we haven’t been. UK, Russia, middle-east, Australia etc… If you are a band and you’re reading this, remember “every band has the opportunity”. If you haven’t gotten it yet, you’re not “wanting it” enough or not “working” enough. For LOKA, if we want it, we will go and get it, that is it.
Your former two world tours brought you to Europe as well, and your performances here were quite successful. What do you like the most about performing overseas?
Realizing that our music is being accepted is the most happiness. Our song stays even if we die. That is the greatest beauty of being an artist. If we are not forgotten, we live forever.
Other than that we get to touch and feel the different culture, people, and nature which drives us to write more. The will to keep studying, learning, meeting new everything is simply FUN! It also helps us to become a better artist/human being.
During both your overseas tours, LOKA performed in the Netherlands. Is there anything in particular that you enjoy about this country?
Umm…other than we can stay high all the time?? *laughs* We’ve only played DenHaag so we’d like to explore more cities. Amsterdam yes we wanna go! but doesn’t have to only be Amsterdam, it can be small cities. All we need is the people to want us there (at least 300ppl please *laughs*). One thing we were surprised before was when we went to McDonalds… everyone was sooooo TALL!. We kinda knew that, but man… when you see it, it’s like we are in the anime Attack of Titans *laughs*.
And lastly, is there anything you wish to say to your Dutch and other European fans?
We’ve been in Netherlands twice, wij houden van jou! We wanna meet Arjen Robben!!! zorg ervoor dat u ons een gezamenlijk naar de show! *laughs*
Again, thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. We’re all looking forward to seeing you in the Netherlands!
Be sure to buy LOKA’s new singles this month, and to buy your tickets to their tour as soon as you can!
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