Greetings Mirai, thank you for giving us this interview to our blog "Questões e Argumentos", it is an honor to interview you, for you as being the year 2014 and what are your plans for the future?
Mirai: 2014 has been the great year for us. We played with Rotting Christ in January in Tokyo. Then we went to Norway for Inferno Festival in April. Then we toured Japan with Emperor in July. Now we are working on our 10th album "Graveward". It's been taking a long time but finally the recording process is almost done and soon we'll start mixing the songs.
When can we expect a new album from the band?
Mirai: It should be released some time in 2015. Hopefully within the first half. I assure you the album is worth the wait. It's got everything. I mean it's heavy, symphonic, eerie, scary and psychedelic. 100% Sigh stuff.
When will be the next shows? Talk the dates for our readers.
Mirai: The only date confirmed right now is Metal Magic Festival in Denmark for July 2015. Dr. Mikannibal is expecting a baby for this November so we're not sure how our life will be after that. Obviously we'll have to slow down the touring for a while.
How was the impact of "Scorn Defeat" at the time it was released?
Mirai: It's hard to tell because it was pre-internet days you know. All the information you could get was reviews in magazines and letters from the fans. The letters were usually very positive because you wouldn't write to the bands just to tell you hate their album. But anyway we're still proud of the album and it is great to see it re-released in many formats many times after 20 years.
What are your main musical influences?
Mirai: One of the biggest influences are heavy / thrash metal from the 80s which I grew up listening to. You know the music you listen to when you're young is absorbed into your brain and you will never be able to get away from it in the rest of your life. Another one is the classical music. I was taking the classical piano lesson for more than 20 years when I was young. So I can say those two are the biggest musical background of mine.
What is the current lineup of the band?
Mirai: Actually we changed the guitarist this year. I can say this is the first major line-up change in Sigh's history. Since "Scorn Defeat" was released, Junichi and Dr. Mikannibal joined us, but nobody left the band in our long history. But this year we had to fire our long-term guitarist Shinichi as he had so many problems both musically and personally. I wouldn't go into the details but you could write a thick book about his problems if you want. Anyway we had to ask him to leave and now we have You Oshima from Kadenzza as our new member. He's by far a better guitarist than Shinichi. You will tell that very easily when the new album is out. So the current line-up is:
Mirai Kawashima : Vocals, Keyboards etc.
Dr. Mikannibal: Alto and Soprano Saxophones
Satoshi Fujinami: Bass
You Oshima: Guitar
Junichi Harashima: Drums
Mirai & Dr.Mikannibal
What bands are you currently hearing?
Mirai: Lately I listen to lots of jazz like Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans etc. There's a cycle of musical preference inside of me. Sometimes I listen to only classical music. Sometimes only metal. And these days it's jazz's turn.
For you as it was onstage with Rotting Christ this year in Japan?
Mirai: Yes, actually we played together 3 times this year. Twice in Tokyo and once at Inferno Festival in Norway. I did some vocals for their song too. It was great too finally see Sakis. We've known each other for 25 years via tapetrading but never met in person for a long time!
What do you think about the book "Black Metal - Evolution of the Cult"?
Mirai: That is a real good book. It's very in-depths and really well searched. We are truly honored to be a part of a book like this. I mean, when a book about black metal's history is written, one chapter is dedicated to us, which is a real honor to musicians. It's like a proof that you're a part of a history.
How was the worldwide impact of "In Somniphobia"?
Mirai: I believe the reaction was pretty much mixed. Obviously people waiting for "Hangman's Hymn Part 2" did not like it while others who appreciate our experimental side were into it.
We can expect news from bands Cut Throat, Enoch?
Mirai: CutThroat is 100% done. It will never happen as our relationships with Shinichi are completely over. Enoch, well maybe. When we are less busy in the future, Enoch might be back. I cannot confirm though.
Do have you thought about record something again with Necrophagia and Self Spiller?
Mirai: Actually the new Necrophagia album "Whiteworm Cathedral" is coming out this October and I played keyboards on it. Definitely Dr. Mikannibal and I will work with Self Spiller again when they do another album.
How is the partnership with Candlelight Records?
Mirai: It's really good. They're honest and supportive. These days it's not easy to find a decent label for extreme metal, you know.
The band was formed in 1990, as you see these almost 25 years of band? which the most significant events yet?
Mirai: Personally I must say it was Hammer Open Air in Finland of last year. We played with Venom and met Cronos in person there. Venom is one of the biggest reasons that we started a band, so meeting them was one of the highlights in my whole life!
What are the main inspiration for the compositions of the band's lyrics?
Mirai: It differs from album to album. Early stuff often had Oriental occultic themes. "Hangman's Hymn" was about human greed, "Scenes from Hell" has some war theme behind it. The new album "Graveward" is 100% about death. Inspiration comes from anywhere. Books I read, movies I watch, TV news and my daily life. Everything around me can be an inspiration for the lyrics.
Mirai, thank you very much for the interview, leaves a message for the band's fans and blog readers also let your contacts.
Mirai: Thank you very much for the interview. Watch out for the new album "Graveyard". This is going to be the most layered album with the thickest and the most powerful orchestrations. Follow us on Twitter for the latest information.
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