On August 17th, 2021, the news that Miho – founding member and now former bassist of all female metal band LOVEBITES – was leaving the group was released, along with the announcement that the rest of the group would be going on hiatus. It sent shock waves through the metal scene in Japan and around the world. For me as one of their biggest fans in the UK, the announcement saddened and deflated me. It just feels so raw that a band that has meaningful lyrics, that sing to you about what you feel and inspired myself to be who I am today has gone on hiatus, and yes it hurts at times.
Here are my thoughts on why LOVEBITES are an important band to me.
Gothic-romantic songwriter and multi instrumentalist The Heana Cat returns with an epic re-recording and international release of The In-Between.
A cult favourite on the live Japanese music scene since 2013, The Heana Cat has turned classic J-Rock and J-pop on its head thanks to lead Hi-chan, who brings with her a dark and stylish fusion on the gothic-romantic genre.
With the long awaited release of mini album THE HEANA CAT to, moshimasu back in March – the first release in two years – Hi-chan has been busy on the live circuit and as well as being newly signed to Setsuzoku Records.
Now, the exclusive international release of The In-Between will be available on CD and digitally from December 10th, featuring 10 rerecorded songs along with an exclusive bonus track, Asobitai.
To celebrate this anticipated release, Hi-chan has joined Beyond Senpai to talk about the album, her inspirations and plans for the future.
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.
Hot off the release of her new self-produced single Guild, Saitama based singer-song writer Re:O is making moves in the music world with her dark and ambient dream-pop sounds.
With raw lyrics close to her heart, Guild tackles the dark world of losing hope. In a time where we live to work, Re:O used her talent for writing lyrics to transcend the darkness and struggles so many people face in a world that doesn’t seem too slow.
Please welcome the multi instrumentalist who joined Beyond Senpai to talk about music, creativity and her musical inspirations.
It’s been a hot minute since Saki Chitose, better known as Double And (stylised 2&) released her first self produced EP, Nisoku De Hokou, released on July 10th this year.
With the 2020 pandemic and closure of venues last year, Saki has been busy promoting herself online and showcasing her talent to fans within Japan and overseas. Despite the restrictions set in Japan, Saki has managed to overcome the hurdles set before her and showcased her growth as a performer.
Today, Saki has joined Beyond Senpai for a Q & A to tell us about the past year and her hopes for the future.
Since beginning their activities as Ever!BE Mayowanaide!! over a year ago, the charming duo made up of Natsukawa Aoba and Momoha Airi are moving forward after wrapping up their tour to promote their debut EP, #Ebimayo.
In the midst of the worlds current issues and its slow repair, both Aoba and Airi have continued to work hard as idols to create hope for their fans, whilst also taking on their own challenges as performers. Be it writing their own lyrics for the first time or preparing the choreography for their music, Ebimayo’s Aoba and Airi are starting a journey that will hopefully lead them to success the more they pursue this path they have undertaken.
Now after the successfully wrapping up their first CD release tour, Beyond Senpai were lucky enough to have a chat with the members of Ever!BE Mayowanaide!! to get to know the idols behind the music, and to find out what it was like working alongside the cute noodle loving mascot, Udon-Nou.
Pop, rock, pop-punk, idol and J-Pop are some common descriptions of self-produced Tokyo-based artist Saki Chitose, best known as Double And, stylised as 2.
Since her debut Double And album back in 2015, Saki has gone on to release a number of singles and EPs. She is well known for her dynamic and fun live performances and her distinct vocals that keep all the intensity with tightly choreographed dance routines.
In a year where so much has slowed down, there’s one artist who has been busy. Enter Japanese electronic metal multi-instrumentalist, Esprit D’Air.
Reformed back in 2016 as a solo project by the talented Kai taking the reins as vocalist, musician, composer and producer, Esprit D’Air have been bringing hard-hitting aggression with melodic vocals and electronic synths to an ever growing fanbase.
With over 3 million YouTube views and 80k Spotify listeners, and a growing social media presence, the fresh and unique sound of Esprit D’Air has continued to evolve.
After the release of the incredible Leviathan back in December 2020, 6 weekly consecutive releases in 2021 including the 10th Anniversary Live Album, and the most recent single, Glaciers, Esprit D’Air are certainly making an almighty impact which will culminate at the end of the year with the album Oceans.
Tokyo based indie pop rockers HEAVENSTAMP are back with a new record, From the Basement, and it doesn’t miss a beat.
After the announcement of joining the SETSUZOKU RECORDS roster in late 2020 and the January release of ‘Sail to Heaven’ setting the tone for the new record, fans have been waiting for the imminent drop. And they weren’t disappointed.
A Guide to the unexplored world of Japanese indepenedent music on the GET YOUR GENKI Compilation Series.
In 2018, Jmusic lover Christian had ambitious plans to start his own label, GET YOUR GENKI. And it was through this that he was going to release some full-length album compilations over the next years.
Although he was already aware that his task to find bands from Japan, to convince them to be part of his idea and to produce and distribute their music on cassette might be not the easiest one, Christian worked hard for the credibility he now has in the independent music scene in Japan.
His idea of the GET YOUR GENKI series was that it shouldn’t resemble anything else that’s been before. These releases would focus on different musical genres and styles. All the compilations are a result of the close work Christian has with the bands and his art designer, Ashton Lamont.