AN INTERVIEW WITH JAPAN'S VAMPS
Universal Music/Delicious Deli Records
VAMPS, the visually arresting rock duo formed by HYDE (L’Arc-en-Ciel) and K.A.Z (Oblivion Dust), are one of the hottest names in Japanese rock music.
Since forming in 2008, they have released three studio albums and several live DVDs, all of them showcasing the band’s signature approach to their craft: grand-scale theatrics and drama married to expert playing and captivating song-writing skills - and they're getting ready to take over the U.S. with their upcoming tour.
Thank you guys for taking the time to interview with us at SINN MAGAZINE.
Q: Could you please explain to our readers who VAMPS are and what the name signifies?
K.A.Z.: VAMPS is a Japanese rock band with HYDE on vocals and myself on guitar. We started the band in Tokyo in 2008 but we’ve been in other bands long before that. Over the last few years VAMPS have played everywhere from Europe to Indonesia. We really enjoy touring the US so we’ve been coming over here more frequently. First with Sixx:A.M. in 2015, then for more shows in 2016. This spring we can’t wait to finally play our first ever headlining show in Tempe. As you may see, VAMPS is a short term for VAMPIRES and we represent “THE LAST VAMPIRES" in this world!! lol
Q: The new album is due to hit stores and online on April 28th. We’re very excited about it and can’t wait to get out hands on that. What was it like working with such heavyweight producers like Howard Benson and Richard Kruspe?
Hyde: Working with Howard was a great experience. He’s worked with pretty much every big rock artists from Chris Cornell to Papa Roach. He’s a very mellow guy yet really, really good at what he does. It was definitely exciting and a different process than our previous records.
With Richard, we co-wrote a song. He had this rough track that we really liked it so we asked him if we could take it into the studio with Howard and make it a VAMPS song. Richard agreed and that’s how RISE OR DIE was born.
Q: Can we expect to hear any of their familiar elements that they as producers have brought to the table via the bands they have worked with?
VAMPS have their own unique sound but the cool thing about working with great producers like Kane Churko (In This Moment, Five Finger Death Punch) and Howard Benson is that they both contributed to taking Vamps to the next level, sonically. The sound evolves but it’s still Vamps and hopefully our fans will embrace our desire to grow with each album.
Q: The Japanese Rock and Metal movement is huge overseas. How big can you see it getting here in the U.S.?
We are just getting started so the sky’s the limit! Our new album UNDERWORLD is coming out on April 28 via Eleven Seven and we have a great team now here in the US. “Calling” is the first single and it’s doing great so far. We shot the video for it in LA and had a lot of fun. Check it out on Loudwire.com if you haven’t yet.
Q: The U.S. Tour dates are set to kick off May 2nd. How excited are you to get on the road here and what can we expect from a VAMPS live show?
We are super excited. We’ll be touring the US all of May with I Prevail and Starset. They are some of our favorite newer rock bands and we can’t wait to hit the road with them. Also, we’ll headline some of our own shows and we’ll play Blackest Of The Black Festival end of May in California alongside some rock legends like Danzig, Ministry, Suicidal Tendencies so that’s really exciting. Vamps shows are always very energetic. We want to turn on as many people as possible to the band if they don’t know us yet and it’s going to be one big party. That’s what Vamps is all about - having a good time so come out and celebrate with us.
Thank you so much for your time and safe travels to the U.S. We’re looking forward to seeing you here in Arizona on May 25th! It should be a killer show! - Mikey
Thank you & we hope you can make it out to one of the shows, Mikey!
Catch VAMPS on tour in the US this May!