After what feels like a lifetime of lock-downs and restrictions, it goes without saying that what transpired this past October was an event that had been a long time coming for fans of the Japanese live music scene. Of course, whilst things have not quite returned to complete normality, here in the UK and Europe music has made its triumphant return with the explosive tour from BRIDEAR.
Bringing their Into The Dark Forever tour to several cities across the UK and Europe, BRIDEAR delighted the fans who travelled near and far for what was the first (of hopefully many) Japanese tours in almost 2 years. It goes without saying that this was more than just the music; this was a reunion of fans and friends, a reason to rock out and enjoy themselves after enduring many months without leaving their homes, let alone their counties. This was about everyone embracing their love for the music, the band and the metal that they bring.
Now that a few weeks have passed since BRIDEAR graced us with their incredible performance, the girls have since returned to Japan, but Beyond Senpai’s team were able to catch up with the members and reminisce about their time touring overseas. So, please welcome Kimi, Haru, Ayumi, Natsumi and Misaki as they join Beyond Senpai for a post-tour chat.
Congratulations on finishing the tour! How does it feel to be back on the road internationally and the first Japanese band back in UK/EU?
KIMI: There were a few differences, but the shows were as good as ever! We had a lot of fun and no worries. We hope that the fans enjoyed it as much as we did.
HARU: Thank you very much! I think this tour was totally different from the previous international tours. It was our first tour after COVID, so we needed to know a lot of information and we were prepared for things to be a little different than before. At the venues where we toured, many people said, “Thank you for coming!”. I felt that these words had a deeper meaning than ever before.
AYUMI: People from all over the world greeted us warmly and we were really happy to organize the tour.
MISAKI: Thank you, it was great to finally meet all the fans who’ve been waiting for Bridear!
NATSUMI: It’s great to see so many international fans coming to our live shows. It’s a great feeling to be out in the world!
Which cities were you most looking forward to visiting?
KIMI: It was London.
HARU: Stockholm, Sweden, to be honest. However, this time it was cancelled due to last minute entry restrictions. I have always wanted to visit Scandinavia, and this was the first time we included it in our tour, so I was really looking forward to it. We will definitely try again to go on a tour to Scandinavia.
AYUMI: I’d never been to any of these places before, except London, so I was looking forward to it all.
NATSUMI: Glasgow, Scotland!
How do the crowds from the UK and EU compare to the crowds back home in Japan during the current climate?
KIMI: I have the impression that audiences from all over the world are as well-behaved as ever, enjoying themselves where they can and respecting the rules when they have to.
HARU: Under the current circumstances, we do our shows in Japan with more restrictions than in the EU and UK. We were very happy to be able to play a show where the audience could stand and cheer.
This tour was at live music clubs, but we hope to also play at festivals!
AYUMI: In Japan we are still in a situation where we can’t perform live without the audience taking off their masks and keeping their distance, so it’s been a really long time since I’ve experienced this. I hope we will be able to perform at shows without restrictions, as it is meant to be, everywhere soon.
MISAKI: The audiences had so much energy!
NATSUMI: It’s like a shout of the soul that comes straight from the heart. I think they really love metal.
How does it feel to work with Orion Live on a tour once again?
KIMI: It was great! Thank you very much to Orion Live.
HARU: This was the first time we did a full tour with Orion Live and I think it was very difficult for the staff to tour under the current circumstances. However, they always give us the best support and made us feel at ease during the tour. It was also great that they organized Meet and Greet sessions at all the venues, so we could talk to our fans directly! The tour goods produced by Orion Live are also very cool and cute!
AYUMI: It’s been a while since I’ve seen Chris and Dave, but they were always so kind and helpful and made the tour stress-free. We are very grateful to them.
MISAKI: Thanks to Orion Live for organizing it, we had great shows, and a great tour!
NATSUMI: The year before last, I went to London for the first time (for Metal Matsuri). This time we went to many countries and regions, and I could feel a lot of kindness from people and a lot of passion at the live shows, so I thought it was fun to tour EU and UK.
I also enjoyed the different food culture.
Before you begin a show, do you have a ritual or a small gesture you do together before facing the crowd?
KIMI: We say “Itadakimasu” to motivate ourselves before the show.
AYUMI: On this tour, for the first time, we did a circle with the band members in front of the audience. It was a fun moment, with the audience cheering along with us.
You released Bloody Bride back in the spring, how does it feel to bring your new material out on tour? And what songs did you enjoy performing the most?
KIMI: We are always nervous when we play a new song in a new place. For me, it’s the moment when I can see if the audience has accepted the new song or not.
The song I really enjoyed playing was “Daybreak”.
HARU: We enjoyed playing all the songs, but it was great to see the audiences singing along to ‘Bloody Bride’! And although it’s not on the album, the reaction when we played “Brave New World Revisited” left a strong impression on me.
AYUMI: Everyone reacted as if they were waiting for the new songs, so I’m glad we were able to perform them on tour. I was especially nervous about “BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED” because it was the first time we performed it on tour, but I think we were able to express ourselves as best we could.
MISAKI: It was great to see the positive reaction of the international audience to the new songs. Daybreak is the most fun.
NATSUMI: To be honest I wasn’t sure if I would have the stamina for the tour because of the intensity of the songs, but I’m happy to say that I was able to play all the shows the way I wanted to, and playing Ghoul was the most fun.
Did you have a favourite moment during any of the shows on this tour?
KIMI: When the audience remembers the songs, sings along and shouts along.
HARU: The moment the show starts and when I enter the city and see the cityscape.
AYUMI: I like the moment when I can hear the audience’s voice during the MC.
MISAKI: When one of us tries our best to speak English!
NATSUMI: I love the tension at the start of the show!
What was your favourite souvenir you got on the tour?
KIMI: It’s chocolate.
HARU: It’s Tyrrells Chips (Lightly Sea salted)! Very tasty!
AYUMI: Tyrells crisps. They are very tasty and my family enjoyed them.
MISAKI: The memories of the tour are the best souvenirs.
NATSUMI: It’s a chocolate cookie called BOURBON.
Are there any alcoholic beverages you enjoyed during the tour? And did you enjoy the whisky from Scotland?
KIMI: The IPA was delicious. My immunity to alcohol is weak, so I haven’t been able to drink whisky.
HARU: We toasted with Heineken the day before our day off (midway through the tour)! It’s always so good to toast after a show!
AYUMI: I forgot the name, but I enjoyed the Glasgow whisky. I found it more tastier than when I drink whisky in Japan.
MISAKI: I drank Scottish whisky! It was delicious.
NATSUMI: A whisky and soda made with Scottish whisky. It had a smoked smell. It was delicious.
How did you wind down from the tour after returning to Japan? Are there any exciting plans for the future that fans can look forward to?
KIMI: Many places abroad only had showers, so I took a long soak in the bath when I got back home. I’m working on our plans now!
HARU: I ate a lot of Japanese food. We’re hoping to organize another EU and UK tour next year!
AYUMI: I slept so much to get over the jet lag.
MISAKI: I slept for about 16 hours and recovered.
NATSUMI: I was healed a lot by my birds and hamsters at home.
Do you have a message for your fans?
KIMI: Thank you for your support. We’ll be touring overseas more often in the future, so please keep cheering us on. Please come and see us live! We’ll see you soon!
HARU: I’m hoping to go back! Wait for us!
AYUMI: It is thanks to everyone who came and supported us that we were able to make this tour a success. Thank you so much. Fingers crossed we’ll be back soon. See you next tour!
MISAKI: Thanks to all of you, the EU and UK tour was a success. Thank you for all your support!
NATSUMI: Thank you to everyone who came to see our show. We hope that our music will reach people who haven’t seen our show yet. Please come and see us at our shows!
Beyond Senpai would like to thank BRIDEAR for joining us for this interview.
Special thanks to Chris from Setsuzoku Records for arranging the interview.
To support BRIDEAR
http://www.bridear.world/ bridear.jp https://twitter.com/Bridear_info https://twitter.com/kimi_bridear https://twitter.com/haru_bridear https://twitter.com/natsumi_bridear https://twitter.com/misaki_napple
Bridear~Just Panda~Andrew Goodhew~Kelly
Interview by: Beyond Senpai
Edited by: Panda, Kelly
Proof-Reading: Beyond Senpai