"some music was meant to stay underground..."


Formed: 1990
From: Tokyo, Japan
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Sigh News

Below is our complete Sigh news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

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Sigh Vocalist Appears In Heavy Metal Cookbook

Dr. Mikannibal of Japanese metallers Sigh is sharing her Habanero Gyudon recipe with the world in the new cookbook "Hellbent For Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook." The book, which was put together by Annick "Morbid Chef" Giroux, is now available from Bazillion Points Books. "Hellbent For Cooking" features 101 entries from 32 countries and includes entries from bands such as Thin Lizzy, Anthrax, Destruction, Possessed, Obituary, Accept, Doro, Gwar, Toxic Holocaust, EyeHateGod, Saint Vitus, Amebix, Melechesh, Cauldron, Uriah Heep, and more. About 30% of the entries are vegetarian. More info on the cookbook can be found at this location.

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Sigh Streaming New Song "L'art De Mourir"

Sigh has posted a new song online titled "L'art de Mourir," which is off their upcoming album "Scenes From Hell." The track can be streamed at the band's MySpace page. "Scenes from Hell" was mastered by James Murphy, who also mastered "Hangman's Hymn" and re-issues of "Gallows Gallery" and "Imaginary Sonicscpe."

The track listing will be as follows:

1. Prelude to the Oracle
2. L'art de Mourir
3. The Soul Grave
4. The Red Funeral
5. The Summer Funeral
6. Musica in Tempora Belli
7. Vanitas
8. Scenes from Hell

"Scenes from Hell" will be released on January 19th 2010 via The End Records.

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The Red Chord Posts Live Video Clip Online

The Red Chord has posted a new video online for the instrumental track "It Came From Over There," which was performed at the Maryland Deathfest. Sigh keyboaridst Mirai Kawashima also makes an appearance on the video, which can be viewed below. More...

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Sigh Seeking Fans For Music Video Shoot

Sigh has issued the following update about shooting a new music video:

"What started off as a simple rights and clearances query has led to a creative partnership between Japanese black-metal heroes Sigh, and Canadian director David Hall. ‘I wrote the band to ask for permission to film them at this year’s Maryland Deathfest, and to film them checking out the sights of Baltimore,’ Hall explained, describing how the partnership came about, ‘Dr. Mikanibal (vocals and saxophone in Sigh) asked me if I could film them playing their instruments outside, and they would find someone else to edit it, so I asked ‘why don’t you just let me make you a video?’ A long time fan of the band, Hall is ecstatic to be directing the video for ‘Prelude to the Oracle,’ a track off the forthcoming ‘Scene’s from Hell,’ due out in the near future on The End Records.

"Hall will be in Baltimore to film ‘Maryland Deathfest the Movie,’ a feature about the 7th annual Maryland Deathfest music festival, but will make time to direct the video he and the band developed the concept for. ‘We’re going to be shooting in this amazing park called ‘Druid Hill Park,’’ Hall said from his London home, ‘and we’re going to shoot at parties, on the street and in our hotel rooms. The concept and story are a secret, but there will be blood, that much I can say. And we need extras!!!

"If you want to be in a cool Sigh video, email me at dhall@handshakeinc.com and we’ll talk.’ Hall has directed the feature films – ‘Axis of Eden the Feature Film,’ based on the album of the same name by Supernova Records’ Today is the Day, and ‘Disgorge, Mexico the Movie,’ for Quebec’s Fuck the Facts, which will be out later this year on Relapse Records. Maryland Deathfest The Movie will be Hall’s third production, and the second production of his newly formed company ‘Handshake Inc.’

"For more information contact David Hall – 519 859 1136 – dhall@handshakeinc.com"

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Sigh's Miarai Kawashima Posts New Studio Blog

SIGH mainman Mirai Kawashima has been posting a series of blogs from the studio exclusively on MetalSucks. The band is currently recording their new album, "Scenes from Hell," for The End Records, and Mirai has just posted his fourth blog entry in which he talks about female singer Dr. Mikannibal's bizarre dietary habits and recording practices, including a nude photo of the latter. An excerpt follows:

"OK, this time I’d like to talk a little bit about Dr. Mikannibal’s favorite foods first. As we reported before, her preference of foods is slightly different from others. Just take a look at the above photo of the noodles with those giant worms. She eats anything from gross bugs to bull’s penis. She even keeps hundreds of cockroaches to eat! Well, at first she was keeping them as a bait for her pet Gecko, but now they’re her important protein suppliers. According to her, “Roaches taste just like a shrimp.” Don’t get me wrong, this ain’t a Japanese culture or anything, it’s just her!

"People may think these are nothing but a shock tactics, but I assure you they’re not. She sings in nude and she eats those gross things. However, I am not sure about the last rule, 'Don’t masturbate during the recording'.”

You can view the nude photo, her food, and the rest of the blog entry here.

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More On Sigh Female Vocalist Recording In The Nude

SIGH's Mirai Kawashima recently penned the first of several exclusive studio blogs for MetalSucks. The band is currently in the studio recording their 8th studio album "Scenes From Hell" which will see a release by The End Records later in 2009. In this blog entry, Kawashima talks about female vocalist Dr. Mikannibal's bizarre vocal recording habits, among them getting naked and drinking cow's blood. An excerpt follows:

"At the moment, we are recording the vocal parts. This time, a half of them are taken care of Dr. Mikannibal.

"To get the best result, she sets several strict strange rules on her during the recording.

"The first rule is: Get naked when you record the vocals.

"As you can see in the above photo, she always takes off her clothes in the studio during the vocal recording sessions. Definitely this perplexes the recording engineer and other band members, but she claims that this is extremely important to her.

"It was one hot day that I took my clothes off during the recording session for the first time. I've stopped doing vocal recordings with my clothes on since then, as the first naked recording worked out really well for me."

"She claims that being naked is extremely important to her because "I don't wanna sweat. Also, my lungs and throat need to be wide open, and I feel more energy."

"The second rule is: Drink cow's blood during the recording.

"She eats anything. Here are a few examples of 'food' she has tried: Cockroach, moth chrysalis, bee larva, bull balls, and pig penis. No, this is not a typical shocking story made up for a band image, but she eats these things for real. And during the recording, cow's blood is something she can't miss."

Read the full article at MetalSucks.net.

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Sigh Vocalist Dr. Mikannibal Records Vocals Naked

SIGH's Mirai Kawashima recently penned the first of several exclusive studio blogs for MetalSucks. The band is currently in the studio recording their 8th studio album "Scenes From Hell" which will see a release by The End Records later in 2009. In the inaugural studio blog entry, Kawashima talks about the title of the new album, reveals that a full orchestra will be on the recording, and sheds light on female vocalist Dr. Mikannibal's penchant for recording her vocal tracks while naked. An excerpt follows:

"The biggest difference between this album and the previous ones is that we’re using the real orchestral instruments such as a string quartet, trumpet, trombone, tuba, flute, oboe, clarinet and so on. The score is very huge - the one for strings exceeds 100 pages! Definitely the orchestration sounds extremely vivid and powerful this time, and I can safely assure that this will be by far the most grandoise album by Sigh!

"Also this is going to be the first original album that features Dr. Mikannibal. She’s playing the alto, tenor and batirone saxophones along with taking care of some of the vocals.

"The next report will be about her vocal recordings. She always gets naked when she records the vocals claiming that she feels much more energy like that…"

Read the full article at MetalSucks.net.

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The End To Reissue Sigh's "Imaginary Sonicscape"

Since their inception in 1990, Japanese metal act SIGH has continued to push boundaries with each and every release. Often labeled as a black metal band, SIGH’s music has been and continues to be inspired by varied styles besides Black Metal including '80s thrash, classical, jazz, '60s/'70s rock and more.

January 20th, 2009 brings the reissuing through THE END RECORDS of "Imaginary Sonicscape," originally on Century Media (2001). Included on the album, remastered by James Murphy, will be bonus tracks, extended versions of songs and a previously unreleased track.

"Imaginary Sonicscape" features a liberal serving of vintage keyboards such as Minimoog, Hohner Clavinet, Fender Rhodes and so on, and was planned, explains bandleader Mirai Kawashima, as "something you should smoke to. The music does not belong to any country or any era. It's a 100% imaginary world and this is the most psychedelic and exotic album Sigh to date."

"For the original release in 2001," Mirai continues, "we removed 'Voices' and cut 'Bring Back the Dead' short, but this time around we've decided to return to the original plan by adding these and 'Born Condemned Criminal,' which was only on the Japanese release originally, so now Imaginary Soniscape has become a nearly-80-minute trip to hell!"

The cover artwork was done by Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O))), Southern Lord Records) and the lyrics to 'Nietzschean Conspiracy' were written by Bård Eithun (Blood Tsunami, ex-Emperor).

Here is the tracklisting for Sigh's reissued "Imaginary Sonicscape": More...

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Sigh To Embark On Tour, Releases Venom Tribute

Japanese black metal band SIGH's "A Tribute To Venom" was released yesterday via THE END RECORDS. Limited to one pressing, the album is available in three colors in a special collectible packaging that includes a 12" LP etched on side B along with a CD. The six-song tribute to legendary black metal band Venom features the bass work of Dan Lilker (Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault) and Shane Embury (Napalm Death, Venomous Concept).

"A Tribute To Venom"'s opening track, "Black Metal," is available for download exclusively at Brooklyn Vegan.

The release of "A Tribute To Venom" comes with SIGH's first proper US tour just around the corner. Frontman Mirai Kawashima says, "We've played several times in the US before, but this is our first full US tour and we're really looking forward to it! This is going to be a great opportunity for our fans to see a full SIGH set. We hope to see all the SIGH fans out on tour as this has been a long time coming. We're going to play the songs off Hangman's Hymn and there will be lots of older songs in our set list -- and of course some Venom covers! Come see us or you will regret it forever!"

Here are the SIGH tour dates with UNEXPECT: More...

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Onslaught Guitarist Speaks On Damnation Festival

Guitarist Nige Rockett of British thrash metallers Onslaught has posted the following message regarding the bands appearance at the festival:

"This is gonna be a fucking killer show and definitely the best UK festival for 2008. The line-up is truly awesome, boasting the Premier, most Extreme Metal bands from all genres this country (UK) has had to offer over the past 25 years...Hats off to the promoters for getting this one together. This could well be our last UK appearance before we wind up the Killing Peace' promotion, so hope to see you all there.......... for what I guarantee will be one insane fucking day."

The lineup for Damnation festival is as follows:


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Jeff Wagner Writing Book On Progressive Metal

Bazillion Points Publishing has announced the first definitive book on the elusive world of progressive metal, written by esteemed metal crusader and prog manic and THE END RECORDS staff member Jeff Wagner. Scheduled for release in Autumn 2009, the book will detail the common movements of pioneers like OPETH, WATCHTOWER, VOIVOD, ATHEIST, DREAM THEATER, PSYCHOTIC WALTZ, CELTIC FROST, SIGH, and FATES WARNING — metal bands who have gone against the tide of tradition and conservatism. Linked by a desire to push heavy metal forward, these varied bands with a couple hundred other black sheep form the hard-to-pin-down category of "progressive metal."

Beginning with the hugely influential mid-1970s efforts of Canadian band RUSH, Wagner's book explores the shared lineage of prog rock and metal. He unfurls the huge tapestry and examines the sounds and styles created during the genre's 40-year history, including: the "Big Three" — QUEENSRŸCHE, FATES WARNING, and DREAM THEATER; extreme prog pioneers VOIVOD and CELTIC FROST; Norway's post-black metal avant garde (ULVER, ARCTURUS, VED BUENS ENDE, BEYOND DAWN, etc.); and of course the huge global movement of Big Three-worshippers in the 1990s and the leaders that emerged (AYREON, SYMPHONY X, etc.). The vastness of what can be considered "progressive metal" has proven to be one of the most viable, malleable forms in all of modern music. More...

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Sigh Comments On Fall U.S. Tour Plans

SIGH, who will embark on their first-ever North American headlining tour this September, has posted an update on their tour dates and what fans can expect from their live performance.

Frontman MIRAI KAWASHIMA says, "We've played several times in the U.S. before, but this is our first full U.S. tour and we're really looking forward to it! This is going to be a great opportunity for our fans to see a full SIGH set. As you know, we're are going out on the road with two great bands: ZIMMERS HOLE and UNEXPECT. I'm a fan of both bands and excited to share the stage with them. Be sure to check out all the tour dates online as there have been a few changes and additions. We hope to see all the SIGH fans out on tour as this has been a long time coming. We're going to play the songs off Hangman's Hymn and there will be lots of older songs in our set list -- and of course some Venom covers! Come see us or you will regret it forever!"

In other news, SIGH's upcoming six-song tribute to legendary black metal band VENOM, titled "Sigh's Tribute to Venom," will feature the bass work of Dan Lilker (BRUTAL TRUTH, NUCLEAR ASSAULT) and Shane Embury (NAPALM DEATH, VENOMOUS CONCEPT)

Here is the "Sigh's Tribute to Venom" tracklisting:

Black Metal
Die Hard
Countess Bathory
Teacher's Pet
Witching Hour

The new album is scheduled for release this fall on THE END RECORDS to coincide with SIGH's headlining tour of North America with ZIMMERS HOLE and UNEXPECT. The tour dates are as follows: More...

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Unexpect Announces European Tour Dates

Montreal's UNEXPECT, who just played at the inaugural HEAVY MTL festival held at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec, has posted an update on how the show went, European tour dates and work on a new album.

"Thanks to everyone who gave us one of the most adrenaline-giving-overstimulating moment of our life at the Heavy MTL Fest in Montreal last Saturday! The whole day has been a major success and the 22,500 people present should be given an award for surviving such a punishment by Mr. Sun. North America now has its own powerful metal fest that should be an annual event from now on!

"...coming next is our headlining festival in St.Paul on June 28th! Flight of the Valkyries will be a real summer treat.

"We finally have some confirmed dates for our European tour in late 2008 with Sebkha-Chott! Some of those shows include a performance at Germany's Freak Parade with labelmates Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and legendary band Magma...and a prog festival in Algeria with Pain of Salvation. The rest of the schedule is under confirmation process and should be revealed over the next weeks.

"Composition for the new album is going pretty well and should satisfy all of you alien souls and kindred spirits of the unusual...Ok...now let's go for a stamp snack..."

You can view some photos of the band live at Heavy MTL Fest here.

Here are the latest UNEXPECT tour dates: More...

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Sigh's Venom Tribute To Feature Lilker, Embury

SIGH's upcoming six-song tribute to legendaryblack metal band VENOM, titled "Sigh's Tribute to Venom," will featurethe bass work of Dan Lilker (BRUTAL TRUTH, NUCLEAR ASSAULT) and ShaneEmbury (NAPALM DEATH, VENOMOUS CONCEPT)

In an update from the band, singer MIRAI KAWASHIMA says: "We're excited to have these two guest musicians and friends of SIGH to take part in our tribute to VENOM. Their work has helped make the tracks stand out even more. Dan plays bass on "Countess Bathory," while Shane is on "Witching Hour." It sounds awesome!"

Here is "Sigh's Tribute to Venom" tracklisting:

Black Metal
Die Hard
Countess Bathory
Teacher's Pet
Witching Hour

The recording line-up is as follows:

Mirai Kawashima: Bass, Organ, Backing Vocals
Satoshi Fujinami: Drums, Guitar
Shinichi Ishikawa: Guitar
Junichi Harashima: Drums
Dr. Mikannibal: Vocals

In other news, the band is preparing for their 8th full-length album that will be entitled "Scenes from Hell / Tempore Belli / Vanitas." Sigh will work with a real string quartet and some brass players on this effort.

The new album is scheduled for release this fall on THE END RECORDS to coincide with SIGH's headlining tour
of North America with ZIMMERS HOLE and UNEXPECT.

Here are the latest Sigh tour dates: More...

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Zimmers Hole Post New Album European Release Dates

ZIMMERS HOLE - featuring STRAPPING YOUNG LAD members Byron Stroud (bass), Jed Simon (guitars) and Gene Hoglan (drums) - are gearing up for the release of their new album When You Were Shouting At The Devil...We Were In League With Satan. The following European release dates have now been confirmed:

14 - Germany, Austria, Switzerland, BeNeLux, Italy
17 - UK, France, Norway, rest of Europe
18 - Spain, Portugal
19 - Sweden, Finland, Hungary

The album will be issued via Century Media Records in North America on March 11th. More...

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Sigh and Zimmers Hole Announce More Tour Dates

More dates have been released for the tour later this year featuring SIGH, ZIMMERS HOLE, and UNEXPECT:

September 6 - San Marcos, CA @ Jumping Turtle
September 7 - Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
September 8 - Hollywood, CA @ Knitting Factory
September 9 - Tempe, CA @ The Clubhouse
September 10 - Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
September 11 - Ft Worth, TX @ Ridglea Theater
September 12 - San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
September 13 - Houston, TX @ Meridian
September 14 - Nashville, TN @ The Muse
September 15 - West Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
September 16 - New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club
September 17 - Montreal, QC @ FouFounes
September 18 - Sudbury, ON @ Jubilee Centre
September 19 - Toronto, ON @ Wreck Room
September 20 - Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s
September 21 - Mokena, IL @ The Pearl Room
September 22 - St Paul, MN @ Station 4

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Sigh and Zimmers Hole Release More Tour Dates

Japan’s SIGH will embark on a North American tour later this year with ZIMMERS HOLE and UNEXPECT. The first dates to be released include:

September 11 - Fort Worth, TX @ Ridglea Theater
September 16 - New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club

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Sigh and Zimmers Hole To Team Up For Tour?

It appears that Japan’s SIGH will embark on a North American tour late next year with ZIMMERS HOLE and UNEXPECT. The first date to be released is as follows:

September 16 - New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club

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Sigh's Gallows Gallery Remastered By James Murphy

The End Records have announced plans to reissue SIGH’s 2005 album Gallows Gallery on November 27th, 2007.

The reissue, remastered by James Murphy, also features revamped artwork and several bonus tracks. The band recently released their album Hangman’s Hymn in June of this year to rave reviews.

About the reissue, singer/founder/frontman Mirai Kawashima says: “In the beginning, Gallows Gallery was planned to be pretty much a jazzy album. You’ll hear the discarded pieces along with some alternate versions never heard before in the bonus tracks. Remastered by the mighty James Murphy, finally Gallows Gallery will be released in the form of what it should have been!”

The tracklisting for the reissue of Gallows Gallery is:

1. “Pale Monument”
2. “In A Drowse”
3. “The Enlightment Day”
4. “Confession To Be Buried”
5. “The Tranquilizer Song”
6. “Midnight Sun”
7. “Silver Universe”
8. “Gavotte Grim”
9. “Messiahplan”
10. -
11. “The Tranquilizer Song” (David Harrow Mix)
12. “Pale Monument” (Harsh Vocal Version)
13. “In A Drowse” (Demo 2003)
14. “Messiahplan” (Gunface Alternate Guitar Solo Take)
15. “The Tranquilizer Song” (David Harrow Remix Outtake)
16. “Jazzy Outtake 1”
17. “Jazzy Outtake 2”

In other SIGH news, the band’s song “Inked in Blood” from Hangman’s Hymn is featured on the free compilation from SonicFrontiers.net.

To find out more on the compilation, go here.

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Sigh Frontman "I Hate 99 Percent Of The World"

MTV.com reports: Mirai Kawashima, the frontman for Japanese experimental black-metal band SIGH, is pissed. He’s not mad that the band’s U.S. dates with MAYHEM were canceled when MAYHEM drummer Hellhammer broke his hand, or that SIGH’s U.S. headlining shows were nixed because they were improperly booked. And he’s not even upset that SIGH’s seventh studio album, Hangman’s Hymn — one of the most innovative, unusual and brilliantly assembled extreme-metal discs this year — will be dwarfed in sales by some upcoming release by the next metalcore flavor of the month. No, Kawashima’s rage has more to do with his generalized disgust for the values and beliefs of modern man.

“I hate 99 percent of the people on this earth,” he said in a soft voice. “I hate weak people who have to cling to fairy tales like religion, and I hate greedy people that have nothing more than making money in their head. I just want all of them to die.”

Well, that accounts for the rage on Hangman’s Hymn, but not the artistry. Since their first album, 1993’s Scorn Defeat, SIGH have incorporated jazz twists, psychedelic interludes and orchestral flourishes into their songs. Hangman’s Hymn, which was largely influenced by Wagner, Weber and Mozart, is less jarring, but it’s even more creative. The tempos of songs like “Inked in Blood” and “Death With Dishonor” are still fast enough to trip up a NASCAR champion, but the way they’re constructed — by incorporating violins, cellos, horns, bells, keyboard and choirs — is more akin to classical opera than high-rise demolition.

“Good opera is so emotional and powerful,” Kawashima said. “And that’s what I was inspired by. A lot of black-metal bands use keyboards and strings for embellishments. But the keyboard parts and orchestration on Hangman’s Hymn are not embellishments. They are as important to the songs as the guitars, bass and drums. So even though it’s very metal, you can say it’s pretty much classical music as well.”

Like many operas, Hangman’s Hymn is divided into three acts. There’s no distinct story line, but each act represents a different set of ideas as presented through symbolic references to heaven, hell, earth and death.

“Act one and two is about the greed of humanity on this planet,” Kawashima said. “And act three is about destruction and images of burning like an inferno. Then, at the end of act three, there’s an image of heaven in the song ‘In Paradisum‘ and lots of Latin chanting to create the image of the funeral. I didn’t want to have a plot because it’s more powerful to create strong images.”

As multifaceted as Hangman’s Hymn is, Kawashima said it was the easiest SIGH album to write so far. On past releases, he has painstakingly written, arranged, recorded, re-written, re-recorded and rearranged for months on end. This time, however, the songs practically created themselves and there was no shortage of ideas. Three months after he started writing, he was done.

“I was just driven over a very short amount of time and I came up with many ideas in that time,” he said. “I think it happened so fast because I had such a clear vision of the concept from the very beginning.”

Kawashima, who works on video game and TV music when he’s not writing for SIGH, created 70 percent of the music for Hangman’s Hymn before inviting his bandmates Shinichi Ishikawa (guitar), Satoshi Fujinami (bass) and Junichi Harashima (drums) to add their input. After that, the entire album was recorded quickly, scheduled for release and came out June 12.

As talented and prolific as Kawashima is, he is unable to support himself strictly with his music. So, in the morning, he heads downtown to work at a Japanese telecommunications company, then works on his sinister songs at night.

“I actually think it’s good to have a day job because I don’t have to live on music, and that lets me do anything I want musically,” he concluded. “Of course, it would be great if I could live just on my music, doing something I like, but it’s very hard. If you live in Japan, it’s not easy to tour the U.S. or Europe. So having a day job and a band is the best thing.”

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