Interview: I Promised Once

JNL Team had the chance to interview German-Japanese band I Promised Once. They released their latest EP The Awakening last December, which we reviewed here. The band stands out with their fusion of many different music genres, such as Heavy Metal and Electronic Dance. Over time, the band has done a Japan tour and even held a Europe Tour.

foto van Mariëlle Möllers.

First of all, we would like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, despite your busy schedule. Both JNL Team and our readers appreciate this opportunity very much.

To start things off, could you please introduce yourselves to our readers?

Hey guys, we are “I Promised Once” a Metalcore band from Tokyo with members from Germany & Japan! There are currently 5 people in the band, George on Vocals, Flo also on Vocals as well as some Synth duties, Joe on Bass, Kunio & Nils of guitars and Sho on Drums who is currently supporting us.

The members of I Promised Once have all been part of different bands before coming together. What made you want to start your own band?

Nils & George have been friends since Elementary School in Germany where they grew up together and they already were in a band when they were in high school. Additionally, George and Kunio used to be in a Visual Kei band together before I Promised Once was started. Nils & Flo lived in the same building when Nils moved to Tokyo for the first time and since he was a DJ he was the logical choice to add some Synthesizers to the band. Also we noticed he is a really good singer which is why we forced him to sing as well J

The main motivation to start the project “I Promised Once” was to make borderless music that people anywhere around the world can enjoy, and we put our heart and soul into this. Our goal was to play in other countries except Japan as soon as possible and so far it has been going amazingly well!

Some of you lived in Germany before moving to Japan. What was the biggest challenge for you there?

Of course the first thing that came to mind was the language barrier for Flo & Nils, but now they lived here over six years and can communicate fluently in Japanese. Also, another challenge is that the metal scene in Japan is a lot smaller compared to Europe so we had to put a lot of extra effort to get the band noticed when we were just starting out.  Sometimes it would be also nice to be closer to our families in Germany, but we try to visit when time permits!

Is there anything you miss from Germany?

Good variety of beer for a good price! Also, we miss German bread L

I Promised Once just celebrated their 2nd anniversary, congratulations! When you first started, did you set goals for yourself? Have you accomplished any of these goals already? And what do you hope to accomplish in the future?

Thank you so much! It has been a very exciting ride so far for all of us.

When we started the band we wanted to play the biggest festivals in Japan as well do a European tour including Germany as soon as possible. Those dreams came true with performing at Countdown Japan 2015 & Loud Park 16 as well as when we did our first European headliner tour in 2016 spanning over 6 countries!

For 2017, we want to take our music to the next level with releasing our first full-length record. Additionally, there are still some festivals in Japan we are very interested in joining and of course we cannot wait to come back to Europe or also other countries to introduce our new songs. We are very exciting for what this year has in store for us!

Since I Promised Once is a German-Japanese band, how do the two different cultures influence your music?

Since our music background is different and we are influenced by Japanese as well as foreign artists you can definitely hear this in our songs! We are always actively trying to include other genres that are not metal into our songs to create a sound that makes I Promised Once unique.

When we create our songs we want to appeal to Japanese as well as Western audiences so that anyone can enjoy, and our fanbase is very diverse including J-Rock, metal as well as Visual Kei fans.

The story behind the name I Promised Once is intriguing. Do you use the concept of your name in your music?

Thank you! It took us a while to come up with the concept. Yes we definitely have some lyrics related to the everyday struggles someone can face in their daily life & how to overcome difficulties and emerging as a stronger person! While we do write about depressing concepts sometimes, in many songs you can always find a representation of hope that things will get better so long as you give your best shot!

The Awakening is the second EP you released this year. Could you tell our readers something about the songs on this album, and what this album means to you?

“The world against us”

A fast paced metal song in the typical “IPO” fashion! We always wanted to start a song with a guitar solo and this is the end result. The lyrics were inspired by the recent wave of terror attacks in Europe.

“White Nights”

We started writing this song while riding in the tourbus during our Europe tour in June. This song is about all the amazing memories & dedicated to our fans who have been there with us always!

“Winter is Coming”

We wanted to create an instrumental track using mainly guitars and orchestration which was totally new for us.

“The Walker Part 1: Realization”

Inspired by “The Walking Dead”, a show which we absolutely love! This is the song that got us signed to Jackman Records so it will always have a special place in our hearts.

“Broken Dreams”

The first song we ever wrote & many of our favorite memories are attached to it! We will play this song every concert, also this song won us the best newcomer award with “Geki Rock” magazine in 2014. We remixed & remastered this song to reflect an improvement in our overall sound.

What is the difference between your previous releases and The Awakening?

When we wrote “The Awakening” we had our live performance in mind and we wanted to write songs which we thought would fit well into our set. Additionally, we wanted to expand our musical horizon and try new things doing songwriting, for example starting a song with a guitar solo like in “The world against us”, or writing a song for big arenas like “Drown with me” which the audience can sing along to! Also this was the first release where we had backing by a record label, and therefore we were able to reach many new listeners in Japan as well as abroad.

Lastly, please leave a message for your Dutch fans and the readers of JNL Team!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to this interview! We really hope can make it to the Netherlands next time because we all love your beautiful country & the people. We hope you enjoyed our new release “The Awakening”, if you have not done so yet please check it out and let us know what you think! Veel dank en tot ziens!

foto van Mariëlle Möllers.

Don’t forget to support I Promised Once by buying their latest EP The Awakening. You can buy the album here:

The Awakening

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