It’s been a long road for Japan’s premier metal band Aldious but they continue their march towards global domination with their self-covers album Evoke II 2010- 2020. Line-up changes and COVID-19 have all conspired to scupper their progress but they’ve continued stoically. UK based label JPU Records will release a special overseas edition of Evoke II on 29th January 2021 so Peter Dennis decided it was high time to catch up with the band.
Yoshi: I’m the guitarist. Aldious is a female metal band that I formed in Osaka, Japan in 2008. When it was formed, I wanted to wear clothes on stage that I wouldn’t normally wear.
How would you summarise your first decade in music?
Yoshi: It’s been the most important ten years of my life! It’s allowed me to grow considerably, not only in music but also as a person.
What was the metal scene like in your native Osaka when you formed Aldious?
Yoshi: There were regular metal jam sessions at venues around Osaka at the time. I often went along and also played in several metal cover bands. We used to arrange famous pop songs into heavy metal versions, rather than just directly copying a song.
New vocalist R!N joined in 2019. How has she fit into the band? Has it changed the way you compose songs?
Yoshi: She is a very cooperative person, so everything goes smoothly. R!N hasn’t had a chance to write songs before, and it’s her first time to turn lyrics into an actual song. When we begin with lyrics we already have an idea of the type of song we’re going to compose, so the process is even faster than usual.
You will release a compilation album titled Evoke II 2010-2020. The album features songs with vocals re-recorded by R!N. What’s the reasoning behind this?
Yoshi: After R!N joined we were thinking about how our past songs would be accepted by new fans. We were wondering what they’d think, they might be like “I’m gonna listen to all of Aldious’ music so I know the songs when I see them live” and then they find the songs differ from what they’ve been listening to. I want them to hear R!N’s vocal so they’re ready for Aldious now.
In 2021 you will undertake your first tour of Europe. What are your expectations?
Yoshi: It’s actually been postponed until October 2021 but I was surprised to hear that tickets have been selling very well. It’s hard to know if anyone overseas knows about us when you’re busy working in Japan, but when I hear such stories I realise that there are many Aldious supporters out there, especially in Europe.
The tour includes a date at London’s famous Underworld on 20th October 2021. How do you feel about playing in London and at such an iconic venue?
Yoshi: We are honoured to have our very first show in Europe at such a famous venue. When we first announced that we would be playing at The Underworld we received many positive reactions, so I’m really looking forward to being able to perform there.
How would you describe an Aldious concert to those who’ve never seen you?
Yoshi: Plenty of energetic headbanging! Usually our mirrors steam up because the venue gets so hot from everyone’s energy. We try to make the live performance as fun as possible and to make people smile.
Finally, do you have a message for your UK fans?
Yoshi: Since our show in the UK keeps getting postponed, I really hope we can meet soon. I’m looking forward to eating local food, in Japan we think ‘British food = Fish and Chips’.
Marina: I’m very sad that we haven’t been able to perform in London just yet, it’s been my dream since I was a little girl! I’m very sorry for everyone patiently waiting for us, but please take care of yourselves so when the situation gets better we can get excited and have fun together at The Underworld! Until then, play Evoke II 2010-2020 on repeat and STAY METAL! Aldious will definitely go to England!
Toki: It’s always been my dream to have a European tour. It will be my first time visiting England, so I’m really looking forward to experiencing the food and scenery. I’m looking forward to having a full English breakfast. I’m also curious what kind of reaction Aldious’ songs will have, what will fans think of our costumes and our intense live performances? Will they get excited too? My heart is beating just thinking about it!
Sawa: I was looking forward to seeing our European fans in 2020. It’s a difficult situation all over the world at the moment, but I’m looking forward to the day we can finally meet – so make sure you stay healthy!
Aldious play Camden Underworld on 20th October 2021. Evoke II 2010-2020 is released via JPU Records on 29th January 2021