Interview August 2000 - REIGN
REIGN hail from Osaka and they have a wide variety of influences from Doom to classic Hardrock/Heavy Metal.The current line-up is: Fumiko Kitagawa/Voc; Tatsuo Suzuki/Guitar; Takahiro Nishino/Bass; Shikiko Nishino/Drums.Visit also the demo-reviews at the end of the interview. The questions were answered by Takahiro in August 2000.
Hi,Takahiro. You play bass and,sometimes, guitar in REIGN. Is it the first Heavyrock band,where you play for and when did you start with playing?
REIGN is the first Heavyrock band for me. I played popular music before REIGN. I play guitar on the 4th song of our CD.
When was REIGN founded and what was the reason for it?
When first Vo. and Gt. left the previous band, I wanted to play more heavy music. So REIGN was founded in 1996.
When did you release your first 3-song demo? How much time had the band spended in Studio GEN? Is it still available?
It was in December 1998.We spended about 20 hours for recording and mixing and it's still available.
There was a line-up change on the guitar between the first and the second demo.Is it a reason for the slight musical change of REIGN? I think your first demo goes more in a Doomrock direction,the other is more Heavyrock...with maybe some progressive ideas.What is your point of view?
Yes, the past-guitarist is a HM player, pure and simple. He likes Savatage, Megadeth, Pantera, etc. But REIGN's musical tendency changed like 70's heavyrock style gradually. His tastes were not in harmony with REIGN's one. The present guitarist's favorite musicians are Blues guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, BB King, etc.
The second demo is a professional package. It could also be a 4-song EP on CD! You have changed the studio.The production is fantastic,very dynamic,raw and powerful, maybe better as the first one. Is STUDIO Q a professional working studio? Were REIGN invoved in the end-mixes?
We wanted to record at Studio GEN: But the studio was not vacant. A very nice engineer worked for us, so we were satisfied with the finished sounds.Studio GEN and STUDIO Q are carried by the famous Japanese singer Madoka Hiroshi. He often records his songs at his studios.
How are the responses for the second demo? Have you maybe a distributor for it?
There are little responses. Some fanzines are friendly.We don't have a distributor, yet but we're searching for it now.
Who is responsible for the songwriting within the band? Has the music,you're listening to a big influence on your music?What music you're into?
Mainly, I play the riffs and make the composition of the songs. The lyrics and melodies are from Fumiko. Our common favorite band is Led Zeppelin.
REIGN's female singer Fumiko has a very powerful and blues-filled style of singing.What are her musical influences and have she learned singing?
She likes David Coverdale, Robert Plant, Fledy Marculy and Janis Joplin.She took lessons of singing long ago.
How much time does the band rehearse? Is REIGN a "full-time" job, and what are your other interests beside music?
We have 2 hours for the rehearse every Sunday. All of REIGN's members have full-time jobs. The drummer and me, we like football. Sometimes we go to see a football game of the J-league and we take delight in the next world cup.
You live in Osaka,a real big city I think. I have only less informations about the club-culture in Japan. Is it easy for you to play live? Are there places where people listen to Heavyrock in Osaka?
Melodic speed metal bands like Helloween, Stratovarius,etc. or Deep Purple are popular in Osaka.
What can people expect from a REIGN live-show? Is it very loud and hard or how do you perform?
Yes, of course! A powerful and active performance on stage is one of REIGN's characteristic. I like Raven and Anthrax very much, so please imagine their performances.
Are there any chances for you to make a small tour through Europe? Is it possible for the band to afford it?
I'm interested in a tour through Europe. If we are able to have a good chance, we want ti try it.For example,we can contact with some reveler from overseas.
I think Japan have a lot of interesting Heavybands to offer.Beside the well-known Church Of Misery and Eternal Elysium,there is Df, K.N.S.K., Ningen-Isu, Solar Anus, Corrupted etc. Have you played gigs with some of the bands?Are there any relations?
Last year, we played some gigs with Eternal Elysium.I am greatly influenced by Mr.Okazaki, the guitarist of EE and Df is our friend.
At least, one of my typical questions. What are the future plans? Maybe new REIGN-releases like a 7",etc.?
We have no plans for releases in the future, yet.The urgent problem is the search for a distributor or label and to play gigs in Japan.
Thanks a lot and good luck!
Thank you! Best regards.
Demo Reviews - REIGN (s/t) Tape
This is the first three song demo from REIGN. They have a wide variety of influences that ranges from Doom to classic Hardrock and Heavy Metal. This demo goes more in a heavy Doomrock direction, which reminds me sometimes to the great English band MOURN.One main reason for this point are the outstanding vocals from female singer Fumiko Kitagawa. Her vocals are rough and they got a lot of strength and Blues. I think, she could also sing in bands like GIRLSCHOOL or P.M.S..But the whole band plays very well like on the first track "Numa". A hard mid-tempo groove underlines the vocals and in the middle of the song there's a nice Doom part. The next one "I 4" is a slow song with a heavy bass-line and it goes more in an Epic-Doom direction. Very well done! The last song is "Lizard",the grooviest song from this demo.Good guitarwork and a "swinging" rhythm-section are making this track to a good ending for this demo. The demo was recorded and mixed at Studio GEN, but I must admit,that it sounds a little bit to dull.But this fact changed with the second demo(review below!) from REIGN. But aside from this, it's a good demo from a hopeful Japanese band. You find the band adress in the review from the second demo.
REIGN (s/t) MCD-R
Here we have the brandnew second demo, recorded between March and May 2000. It contains four new songs and it's much stronger as the first one. A better, very professional production that emphasis the musical potential REIGN is capable of. Another point is the songwriting. The band has open their music more to other influences, beside Doomrock.There was also a change in the line-up and the new guitar-player is Tatsuto Suzuki. The first song is really a killer-track, simply titled "Introduction". I would say it's one of the most powerful 70's Heavyrock influenced tracks I've listen to in the last time.Heavy as shit, the band plays with a fine drive and a lot of passion and the vocals from Fumiko are still very powerful and emotional. And it's a real catchy tune! The other three songs aren't easy to describe. In some moments REIGN are playing some kind of Fusion-Metal. The band changes the style within the songs but they don't lose the thread. The last song "Instinct" is an instrumental with a slight psychedelic touch and the interesting bass-play from Takahiro Nishino who is also responsible for some guitars on this demo. REIGN haven't much in common with Doom on most of the tracks, but that doesn't matter if you're open-minded for varied and original Heavyrock. All in all, it's a pretty good package and it doesn't sound or look like a demo. A very good and professional quality! Buy this fantastic demo directly from Takahiro Nishino, 1-2-30 Nakamoto Higashinari-ku,Osaka 537-0022 JAPAN.