COLDRAIN

Like their broth­ers in Cross­faith be­fore them, Ja­pan’s coldrain are mak­ing waves in Europe and the US. And they’ve got their eyes set on sta­di­ums the world over.

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For a mu­si­cian, one of the most re­ward­ing as­pects of tour­ing abroad is be­ing able to wit­ness the growth of your band in a for­eign re­gion. For Masato Hayakawa, the pow­er­house vo­cal­ist for Ja­panese hard rock band coldrain, he was able to ex­pe­ri­ence that feel­ing first­hand when his band re­turned to Europe re­cently to play Down­load Fes­ti­val and Rock Am Ring off the back of a maiden voy­age with Bul­let For My Valen­tine in Fe­bru­ary.

“We went out not ex­pect­ing that much, but it’s been great from the start,” be­gins Hayakawa humbly, catch­ing his breath af­ter re­turn­ing from a run. “The crowd had just grown way big­ger than we’d ex­pected, so we must have done some­thing right the first time we went over.”

Though they may be new to our ears, coldrain aren’t the new kids on the block. They spent six years play­ing in­side of their na­tive Ja­pan build­ing up a steady fan­base, and the re­cent switch to Euro­pean fes­ti­vals has brought about fresh feel­ings of start­ing over, of be­ing out of their com­fort zones and work­ing from the ground up once more. Be­fore the five- piece came into be­ing, they cut their chops play­ing the lo­cal Nagoya scene, with the cur­rent mem­bers orig­i­nally split be­tween two ri­val bands.

“There aren’t a lot of bands that play our style of mu­sic in Ja­pan,” Hayakawa ex­plains. “Af­ter a while we fig­ured out that half of the guys in our band and half of the guys in their band had higher goals and higher dreams and one day we just fig­ured out that both of our bands weren’t re­ally go­ing any­where, so we de­cided to get to­gether and form one band.”

Hayakawa him­self is of both Ja­panese and Amer­i­can de­scent, which lends it­self to not only some cul­tural per­spec­tive when it comes to coldrain’s lyrics, but it’s also had an im­mense im­pact on their sound.

“I def­i­nitely grew up lis­ten­ing to more Amer­i­can bands and I was al­ways a big nu metal kid,” the singer admits. “1999 was around the time I started buy­ing a lot of CDs and try­ing to form a band, so bands from that era are my main in­flu­ence, but you al­ways grow up with the na­tional mu­sic style. In Ja­pan it’s pop mu­sic, a lot of anime stuff is go­ing on. Our gui­tarists grew up on a lot of Ja­panese pop and metal type groups, and I think it’s a Ja­panese thing that we try and do a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing in­side our style of mu­sic.”

The most strik­ing el­e­ment of The Reve­la­tion – coldrain’s third full- length – is how sta­dium- ready its cho­ruses sound. The band may not be pulling such num­bers just yet, but cuts like “The War Is On” and the ti­tle track soar with the gusto of acts like Linkin Park, 30 Sec­onds To Mars, Bring Me The Hori­zon, and at times our own Hands Like Houses. The record also re­ceived a boost thanks to the hand­i­work of award­win­ning pro­ducer Dave Ben­deth ( whose cred­its in­clude the likes of Of Mice & Men, Ask­ing Alexan­dria, Un­deroath and count­less oth­ers). There’s no ques­tion­ing that the Ja­panese five- piece are out to take the world by storm.

“It was the first time we’ve worked with any­one who’s done de­cent records,” the front­man tells us. “I mean the en­gi­neers and peo­ple that we’ve worked with in Ja­pan, they def­i­nitely know how to make things sound good, but they didn’t work on Paramore, they didn’t work on Break­ing Ben­jamin or with Papa Roach. To be in the stu­dio with peo­ple that tracked some of your favourite records, you feel so safe in their hands. It’s funny, you re­ally for­get that Dave’s writ­ten plat­inum records un­til you get into an ar­gu­ment with him and he says, ‘ How many records have you sold? How many records have I sold?’” Hayakawa laughs.

“When we were record­ing, he was al­ways telling us that we needed to sound like 30 Sec­onds To Mars, it had to be as big as Muse,” the front­man tells us. “And we know that we’re not one of those bands that does that sta­dium thing, but we tried to write cho­ruses that were as big as those. To me it was al­ways try­ing to get a Linkin Park vibe, keep­ing it sim­ple but big. When the chorus hits, you know that peo­ple are gonna wanna sing to it at shows. I think to that ef­fect, it’d be cool to hear one of our songs on the ra­dio. If your song is be­ing sung all over the world, I think that’s the dream.”

For the first time in their ca­reer, coldrain didn’t worry about what their fans in Ja­pan would think. Scor­ing a deal with Hope­less Records ear­lier this year has al­lowed The Reve­la­tion to see a re­lease in Europe and the US, as well as through Sony here in Aus­tralia, and much like their hard- par­ty­ing broth­ers in Cross­faith, Hayakawa never con­sid­ered any­thing other than the English route for his lyrics.

“We al­ways talked about try­ing to take our mu­sic to a world- class stan­dard to try and get this record out there,” he says of the al­bum. “I think in Ja­pan it’s some­thing re­ally weird that we’re do­ing and peo­ple are re­act­ing more and more as it sinks in. It’s def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent when you’re play­ing in front of an au­di­ence that un­der­stands the words, that un­der­stands what style we’re play­ing, but here in Ja­pan it’s break­ing new ground. It’s been in­ter­est­ing watch­ing the record from over here and how it’s gonna do now in the rest of the world.”

Speak­ing of those scamps in Cross­faith, the two bands have formed a bond as they both set their sights on some­thing big­ger.

“We shared a bus with them when we toured Down­load and Rock Am Ring, and those guys are like broth­ers. I mean, our styles aren’t re­ally su­per close, but we’ve al­ways toured in Ja­pan and we’ve al­ways had the same kind of dreams, so it’s cool to see what they’re tour­ing and it’s def­i­nitely gonna be cool what we can do to­gether from now on.”

And what of Cross­faith’s hard- par­ty­ing, liver- de­stroy­ing ways?

“They tend to pull us into that too,” Hayakawa laughs. “They have to have Jäger ev­ery­thing. It’s like a bot­tle a day.”

THE REVE­LA­TION IS OUT NOW ON SONY.

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