Credits for the translations to altair46.tumblr.com
Drum Heroes of the next generation who appeal with aggressivenessEdit
Tomoya x Tatsuya
This is a special talk with our top batters who are two drummers in their twenties who carry the burden of the next generation. One of them is Tomoya from ONE OK ROCK who has immense popularity from teenagers and has a band based sound which is intensely and heavily developed with an emotional vocal style entwined. The other is Tatsuya from Crossfaith who has received high appreciation overseas from overwhelming performances because he uses synthesizers that include a thunderous roar with a hard core sound that has been brushed up by his techniques. Together they are the young charismatic drummers that create enthusiasm for their audience with their free use of aggressive play style with their hand and foot techniques. These two hold a close “Outlook on Drums” but through this talk each of their “personalities” starts to surface. This is a must-see!
We are not goalkeeper types of drummers… Tomoya
From the beginning the two of you were acquaintances but from when did you start hanging out?
Tatsuya: We only started to do battle of the bands recently but how long ago did we meet each other?
Tomoya: 1~2 years ago?
Tatsuya: Probably. Around then all of the members of Crossfaith went to see ONE OK ROCK perform live at the Studio Coast. It was the first time then that we met I think.
Tomoya: Really? I knew your name from before and I always listened to your sound so I was always curious, I thought we were acquaintances way before. (Laughs) Straight after you came to see us, all of us also went to see Crossfaith’s live but when I saw Tacchan’s (Tatsuya’s nickname) drum it gave me an impact. How should I put it, with just the drums it was complete. Just by watching only the drums you would never get bored your whole life. Including that sort of play style, I have lots of parts influenced by Tacchan.
Tatsuya: Really!? I’m glad (Laughs)
Tomoya: I don’t think us two are drummers who are the “goalkeeper types”. So in that sense I feel like we are similar and anyhow I like drums that make you feel fun by watching. I became a fan of Tacchan’s just by watching a live performance once.
Tatsuya: Thanks (Laughs)!
What type of impression does Tatsuya-san have on Tomoya-san’s drumming?
Tatsuya: Before we met I naturally listened to his sounds while thinking “This is so good!!” It’s technical and how do you say it, even if you watch the PV the drum stands out and you think wow that’s cool. Also, in reality when I talked to him in person there were places where our styles were close. I always thought of wanting to do this together so in June when we did the battle of the bands I was happy and it was fun.
The Battle of the Bands in Osaka Nanba Hatch in June was the first time you appeared together right?
Tomoya: That’s right. We got them to appear as our guest on our tour but when us, members were discussing what we should do about the Battle of the Bands we said straight away “We want to do it with Crossfaith”.
Just before you said you weren’t “Goalkeeper types” but you two have lots of hand and foot techniques and your technical attack like play styles are a distinctive characteristic correct?
Tomoya: That’s true that we are two people who have a lot of hand techniques. (Laughs)
In the latest band/drummers it seems to be that it is a requirement to have a high technique but in reality what is it like?
Tatsuya: It’s true that technique is important but personally I think that drummers now days need a “charm factor”. In reality there is technique and I think recently there are more cool drummers who can charm.
Tomoya: I also think that charm is an important factor. More than watching someone drum in a normal way isn’t it better if you enjoy it just by watching and getting excited by it? Of course it is better to have technique so that you can have a variation to how you express music and it is important to learn that but I think to show charm is important than that.
It’s true that charm is important. Is that something that you yourself have seen in your influential drummer, was that large?
Tomoya: It’s huge, it’s like it’s the only thing. (laughs)
For example Tatsuya-san, when you were in the middle of cultivating your own play style who was the drummer that influenced you?
Tatsuya: From the beginning I didn’t have a reason to start so it is Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Chad Smith. The live performance at Slane Castle was streaming on MTV, I hadn’t played drums before at all but I thought Chad was really cool when I saw him. With that reason I started drums, when I was in junior high I saw one of Slipknot’s PV’s and I got an impact thinking “What is this!!” I didn’t understand what they were doing at all but I knew they were really cool. The two of them show a lot of charm right? I think that impact is huge.
Tomoya: I, myself love Slipknot as well; there was a video that was taken from just behind the drum…
Tatsuya: I know! That video is so nasty right! ‘Cause the drum spins.
Tomoya: I know what you mean! From the beginning I also liked those sorts of drummers too but it’s only recently that I have been conscious about trying to charm. A lot of things have happened and when our band became four people, I thought a lot about how my way of being a drummer should be. It became a situation where I had to find my own style to also support my band too. After that I became conscious about the way I play drums and show charm. Also in overseas drummers and Japanese Artists … when we did a battle of bands with PTP (Pay Money to my Pain), when I saw ZAX-san’s way of drumming I got a huge impact. It’s also the same for Tacchan.
Tatsuya: I’m happy to hear that.
I think it is infinitive when you are able to use a drum …
Now days you can watch videos easily with drummer performances on websites like YouTube, while watching those sorts of videos have you learnt drums in some way?
Tatsuya: I watch videos but I don’t watch it to combine it with my own play style. I watch it with the flow of thinking “There are those sorts of drummers too” with half-interest or how should I say it. So to speak I mostly don’t use videos as a manual reference.
Tomoya: I’m also the same. I have only started to watch videos in that sort of perspective, before that I had hardly seen a manual before. In my situation, in junior high I was in the brass band so basic practices were forced to be done a lot then. But practices were only that, I think I got influenced more from seeing raw lives.
Tatsuya: I’m also the same and there are things you can only get from seeing lives because they have presence and appeal. Also if it’s live the sound it directly goes to your body that’s why it’s stimulating and I think it would be the same for me.
So, Tatsuya-san in detail how did you learn the drums?
Tatsuya: Just like how I said before I started drums from when I was in Elementary School but my parents said “If you’re learning drums, learn from the basics properly” and with that I started going to drum lessons in my hometown. For about 9 years I learnt one on one, I even went through the basic of rudiments. When I think through it again it was a huge thing that I learnt from that teacher. He liked to drum violently and he even showed me how to spin my sticks.
Tomoya: He is a pretty rock teacher. (laughs)
Tatsuya: At his own live performances he even had makeup on like KISS. (laughs)
(Laughs) After seeing Tatsuya-san’s video of drumming I assumed you were self-taught.
Tatsuya: (Laughs). I arrange things I have learnt in my own style and I break it down a lot so.
Tomoya: Now that I think about it the basic practices I did every day at the brass band were a huge thing for me. As a matter of fact I really disliked practices with pads (laughs). Even if I hit the pads I didn’t get excited and it was boring. But the things I did then definitely feel like they are living in my play style now. I feel really glad that I had done those basic practices.
Tatsuya: I think I’m glad that I had done them too. Basic practices might be the most boring part of the drums but I think they are the most important.
That makes sense. The two of you are double bass drummers but with foot work what sort of practice did you build up for that?
Tomoya: How can you step so fast like that, I want to know how. I want you to show me (laughs)!
Tatsuya: (Laughs). The teacher from the drum lessons I mentioned before was a double bass drummer (laughs). When I was in elementary school I loved Red Chilli so I didn’t have interest in double bass drums but when I went to junior high and I started to listen to Slipknot the teacher asked “Shall I teach you double bass drums?” We just went step by step just with our feet like how we did basic practices with our hands.
Tomoya: I feel jealous when I hear those sorts of stories. I started twin pedals after our band became four. Also I don’t even know how to practice. So that’s why I am mainly a beginner at it.
In Tomoya-san’s case you don’t continuously do some part but in a way you create an arrangement that you can put in calculated phrase in an accurate way correct?
Tomoya: In our situation the spaces to put in phrases are restricted to a degree. You can do one bass but to make it effective in that restricted space, I think using two feet instead of one makes the phrase easier to be broader. There’s still way more to go but in reality after I started to use the twin pedal my technique has broaden in a way. But just with challenging myself with the twin pedal I think it was worthwhile.
Just now you said the word challenge but with the two of you and also approaching it, you have tried many challenges correct? The patterns are completely different in the A-melody, B-Melody and the main phrase…. In what way do you think about it when you are thinking of how to approach it?
Tatsuya: Even if you are the drummer the image is that you don’t always think only about the drums you see. The thing you use is the drums but the things you can do are always thought about in an infinitive way. With that style of thinking I always ask myself if I can do something new and I try to challenge myself in a different way.
Tomoya: More than thinking about myself as a drummer my thoughts on how I think about what I can do as a person in a band is much stronger. Of course I like the drums but more than that I like my band so I usually think of myself as a person who is part of it. So even in recordings and lives my biggest challenge is to make sure the vocalist can sing 100% comfortably. On top of including that I want to express myself as a drummer. If I can do both of them I think it would be the coolest.
Tatsuya: That way of thinking is completely different to me. More than the things around me I just focus on how I can be what I think is the coolest and my members think the same way. Everyone is so conscious to “I will stand out from the rest” or “I will do my thing my own way, so you try your best” (laughs).
Tomoya: That difference could definitely be big.
That difference for the both of you I think can be found in your sound source. Tomoya-san you have a lot of phrases that are thought through to have a sort of unity with your band with your use of entanglement with the melody and guitar riffs correct?
Tomoya: That’s true. In reality, I enter it on a computer and think about arranging it and just roughly compact it together when I make it.
On the other hand, Tatsuya-san in your approach you give off a feel that you roll all the other instruments in and approach with charm.
Tatsuya: That’s true (laughs). We all come like a let’s go sort of way!
In Crossfaith prior to deciding things, how long do you have?
Tatsuya: It’s not something we decide on but when we are in the process of song making we go about it by how it feels and build on top of that. While we all do our own thing, how do you say it, we know it naturally. While thinking about it up till now there has never been a situation where it was like “This should be like this!”
Next I would like to ask about the drum sets you use but Tomoya-san you use SAKAE and Tatsuya san you use SJC, you each use new instruments correct? Is there a certain obsession with using the instrument of the “present”?
Tatsuya: I also like vintage but out of the present new instruments I have thoughts about making new music with it. With that I chose SJC. The sound is distinctive and it is different from the others. The look is also very cool. Furthermore the makers do anything for you really. Like making your set light up or putting a weird decoration on for you. That is also one of the reasons why I was attracted to SJC.
Tomoya: In my situation the reason was that the person on tech brought a set of SAKAE into the recording place. The moment I started drumming I really liked it. The raw sound is good and when you try to record it the sound is recorded even better. From that point I have always got them to allow me to use them. The SAKAE’s sound is something we like and we think it sounds close to all the bands we have listened to till now. It’s different to vintage; it has a more modern like sound so to speak. I’ve always wanted to get close to that sort of sound so when I listened to the recorded sound I knew this was it.
Is being able to use it in lives also one of the reasons you use new instruments?
Tatsuya: I have a direct connection to that. I choose it while also including looks so. A while back when we did the battle of the bands at the Nanba Hatch I watched it closely but two bass sets are really cool.
Tomoya: Thanks! I feel happy for being praised for my drums. I use two bass drums but I don’t use a pedal on one of them, actually I use a twin pedal on one bass drum. Lookwise two bass drum looks cooler in my opinion (laughs). With just that I get excited and I think it affects my performance too.
Tatsuya-san’s setting is also distinctive too. Furthermore, every time it’s different I think…
Tatsuya: Yes. From before I don’t have my own decided setting. So every day I discover that if I drum like this in this position it sounds better and it’s interesting.
More than drumming easily, I had thought that looks were more important but that isn’t true is it?
Tatsuya: Look is important but there has never been a situation where I felt it was hard to drum up till now.
Tomoya: Is that so. But personally I definitely can’t drum that set of Tacchan’s (laughs). The snare and hi-hat are really far apart and I thought it’s not possible.
Tomoya-san, do you have anything you are detailed about with your setting?
Tomoya: This is another story about looks but (laughs); I adjust the boom stand’s angle on the cymbal so that it is symmetric when you see it from the front. I put a lot of time in that (laughs).
Tatsuya: I understand that! At rehearsals we do a setting once and I have a look from the front and fix it while thinking “Ah, that’s a little different” (laughs).
(Laughs). I think there are lots of junior/high school students who are aiming to go pro in a band just like you two, could you please send a message to those young readers.
Tatsuya: Do your basic practices and on top of that enforce what you think is cool music and what you think is a cool style and I think it’s then that you will definitely be a drummer.
Tomoya: I myself want to keep absorbing and taking in different things and am aiming to find a cooler style so let’s try our best together!