Ian here! I know you're used to hearing my voice, but today, we're trying something a bit different. We've been talking about Crystal Lake, the four-piece Japanese metal band, on the weekly show Ian Hates Music with Jackson and I for a while now. They just released their fourth album True North through Artery Recordings and I was given the opportunity to ask vocalist Ryo Kinoshita and guitarist Yudai Miyamoto (YD) some questions before the big release! Check them out below!

First off, I’ve listened to your new album True North many times already and I’ve very much enjoyed it. Congratulations on continuing to put out quality music to the scene. I think that’s a good place to start. I hear a mix of a few different genres in True North including metalcore, alternative, hardcore, and nu metal influences, which is very refreshing. Was that an organic process while making this album or was it planned?

YD: We made clear what we really want to express and what kind of music we can be really proud of before we actually start writing songs.  As the result, we realized what we wanted to play was what we've been listening and various kinds of music related to the culture around us.   This realization made us free to write what we really like.

After making a mark on the American scene with The Sign, what was your mindset while making True North?

Ryo: We just wanted to make our sound more unique as a japanese band, especially its exotic melody and rhythm.

Of course, we wanted to make it heavier and more melodic sound.

With the shifts in genres in True North, was there an overall theme or message you want the listener to receive while listening?

Ryo: ”No matter what surrounds us changes, this is us.  This is the way we are.”

I was very impressed with the technical abilities showcased in True North, was there anything that each of you worked on and really wanted to showcase in this album?

Ryo: I want to show not only technics of growl and guttural but the wide range of voice as a vocalist.

The band has been around for a long time now, with member changes of course, but with such an extensive catalogue, how do you choose which songs to play? What is a favorite for each of you to play live?

Ryo: We always have trouble in choosing which songs to play.  We often change the set list right before the show.  My favorite song is ”Dreamcatcher”.  The rapping part is so hard to sing but always fun.

YD: I would choose new songs because they are made by our latest ideas and passion.  But we sometimes try to understand what kids want to hear and choose old songs.  I personally like 'New Romancer' and 'Waves'.

On the subject of touring, what’s the major difference for you between touring in Japan and touring overseas? Do you have any plans to tour the states in 2017? If so, I hope you come to Boston so I can see you live!

Ryo: Japanese wants messages and meaning from what we say, not what we sing about. On the other hand, I think people in overseas are hungry for music. They react directly.

Ryo: I'd love to!   I've wanted to see how the reactions in the states would be.  Can't wait to see people waiting for us.

For the end of a conversation, I like to switch it up from music because I have some other shows I do as well. I’m also interested in many different genres of movies. Do each of you have a recommendation for best movie of 2016 in your opinion?

Ryo: Definitely ”Your Name”.  ”Star Wars: Rogue One” will be the next.

YD: It's little bit difficult to pick up one but 'Sing Street'. It reminds me of youth.

Lastly, a weird one (laughing). As a touring band going all over the world, do you have a plan if the zombie apocalypse happens?

Ryo: I will become a zombie and eat away people without hesitation.  I will slit your guts.

Thank you very much to Ryo and YD of Crystal Lake for taking their time to get in touch with me! Make sure to support Crystal Lake by following these links:






And, for the full review of True North, tune into Ian Hates Music podcast/show! You can find everything Ian Hates here: