Late last year we reported about Niten-Ichiryu, the traditional Japanese rock band who recruited a support bassist who is only 17 years old. They have collaborated with fashion store KINCS, who provided the gouk brand traditional costumes for their music video. We have also spoken to KINCS recently in an interview, so please check it if you missed it before.
Today we are speaking to three of the four members of Niten Ichryu: vocalist Sherry, guitarist Renas and bassist Airu, as their drummer Ebisumaru could not attend. So let’s take a look together at how Niten Ichiryu was born!
Please introduce yourself and tell us about how Niten Ichiryu began.
Renas: Hi, I’m Renas, the guitarist. Before Niten Ichiryu, I was thinking about retiring from music after I completed my solo project. However, I felt like starting another band and so I started this project.
Sherry: I’m the vocalist, Sherry. Niten Ichiryu was started by Renas with the other guys. I first joined the band as a chorus member.
Airu: Hi! I’m the support bassist of this band.
Niten-Ichiryu (二天一流) is also a name for a style of classical Japanese swordsmanship which uses two swords, can you tell us why you picked this band name?
Renas: I was planning to name this band “Gan-ryu” which is the other type of swordsmanship, but this technique was not around for very long and so is fairly unknown. So instead I chose “Niten-Ichiryu”, which was created by the other swordsman to bring us good luck. It is a very popular name, so I changed it’s Chinese characters a little to make it original.
You have recently released a new music video “Ee-ja-Naika” (ええじゃないか), what is the meaning behind the name? What is the concept of this video?
Renas: Ee-ja-naika is a Japanese historical incident. Everybody danced, chanting “Ee-ja-naika” (It’s all good)! It was like funny versions of dance for social or political protest.
Sherry: I’m singing in this video. I’m tired of herbivore boys (Soshokukei danshi is a term used in Japan to describe men who have no interest in getting married or finding a girlfriend)! I want to be a carnivorous girl. Please check out my costumes by gouk, which is a coordination of three pieces from their new collection. I tried to express the personalities of three different girls in this video, they should be able to express themselves in a naughty way if they so choose to!
You have a new support bassist Airu Unohana who is only 17! Tell us how this collaboration happened.
Airu: I met the members whilst supporting another band at the same live houses Niten-Ichiryu were performing at.
Renas: As you can see, her appearance is very prominent. I saw her at some live houses but I didn’t expect that we would play together. After our solo live, we started looking for another bassist, and by chance we found her again. She is very nice and has a good aura.
Sherry: Airu’s is only three years younger than me, but I feel she is very young.
You’ve recently collaborated with gouk, we really liked the costumes you wore in the latest music video, can you tell us more about them?
Sherry: gouk is my idol. I had been longing for this opportunity for years and so I’m very happy to have collaborated with them and wear so much of their collections. I changed my style in the music video to compliment all the different sets of clothes. I really enjoyed it. All of our costumes today are from gouk’s new spring collection. We really appreciate gouk’s support!!
Could you tell us about what approach you took when creating the songs for your new album?
Renas: We always put some elements of Japanese tradition in our sound, and we only use Japanese words in lyrics. For our new album, we recorded with some elements that we don’t show at our live concerts. As a drummer, Ebisumaru tried to make the tunes dramatic, changing phrases and dynamics.
Are there any funny or interesting stories to tell us about when touring or producing your music?
Renas: We only had 20 days to make this album! I really didn’t have time to sleep. I died straight after sending all the data to the studio.
Sherry: We only traveled to Osaka for a gig and it was a very short trip. However, it was too exhausting!! We are getting many offers to play from locals but I would love to tour around Japan and the world.
Are there any musicians you look to for inspiration?
Sherry: Maria Brink from In This Moment.
Renas: Slash from Guns N’ Roses.
Is there any song from the new album you particularly like to play during lives?
Sherry: I feel very good singing the song with the crowd.
Is there any other band or artist you wish to work with in the future?
Renas: Guns N’ Roses. In this moment. Nightwish. Amaranthe. Evanescence. Wow, I choose popular bands.
Sherry: Maria Brink! I want to talk with her about music. I need to learn English.
For the budding musicians on our website, do you have any advice for them?
Renas: Oh, no. I need their advice.
Sherry: That’s true. I just want to write a good story with them.
Would you like to leave a message for our readers out there?
Renas: We would be really happy if we can awake interest in Japan through our music. We are very interested in other countries, and would like everyone to see our performance on the stage. Oh, also. Please check our songs on iTunes!!
Sherry: Thank you very much for reading. Please don’t miss Niten-Ichiryu’s new projects!
Many thanks for allowing this opportunity to happen. A big thank you from JROCK NEWS.
All: I love Jrock News!!
Check out some of the beautiful clothes by gouk and vibrant hairstyles in some exclusive photos below: