For all those who know a bit about Japan’s rock culture, it’s no wonder that there are plenty of cool bands there, but they are sometimes hard to spot. Of course, the language barrier is still a problem and labels don’t do much to sell their bands outside of Japan. However, in the punk/rock scene, names spread way faster and here comes Strike Again !
Hello Hide ! How are you doing ? Please could you introduce yourself and Strike Again ?
Hello! I’m fine, thanks for asking. My name is Hide and I play the bass in Strike Again. We are a 4-piece punk/rock band from Tokyo. We do many live shows a month, in different Japanese cities.
Up to now, we have released 2 mini albums on Catch All Records : “From the black haze” in 2015 and “Sicks of Darkness” in 2017.
I think we sound like Strung Out, A Wilhelm Scream, Rise Against or Belvedere.
Strike Again is pretty active and you played tons of shows this year, some with big punk/rock bands. What is the key for such a success and always making some news fans ?
Thank you very much. Catch All Records has helped us a lot from the beginning, and put us on shows with bigger bands on a regular basis, like A Wilhelm Scream, Strung Out, Frenzal Rhomb, Useless ID, … When we’ve been told we would play with Frenzal Rhomb, I was so happy I eventually cried.
I don’t know what makes us special or different from other bands. We try to keep some fun in playing with Strike Again and I think that people who come to our show can notice this. This way, it’s easier to keep in touch with people and they always have a good time with us.
You are on Catch All Records and this label seems to do much for you. How is your relationship with Catch All Records ?
We are in very good terms with Catch All Records. We have been some ups and downs with them in the past, but we are now close to each other … but not too much.
Shingo Satake, Catch All Records’ boss, works a lot and sometimes seems to be a bit lonely, haha. Even if we are close now, I want to preserve the relationship between him and us, so we don’t want this to turn into a friendship that could affect our relationship. Since the boss and other bands are all really cool people, we are proud to be in the same team.
Strike Again also has a good feedback from other countries. Do you plan to tour outside of Japan in 2018 or release albums outside of Japan ?
There is a Japanese tour booking team called RNR TOURS who makes us play with foreign bands in Japan on a regular basis. Some of these bands are killer ones and often say “come to our country.”
We’ve discussed opportunites to tour with Straightline and Dead Neck for example, but there are things I’d like to do in the Japanese punk/rock scene first, so the schedule is not set yet.
Since Strike Again’s stuff can only be purchased in Japan, we would like to find some more opportunities outside of Japan.
What are the next steps with Strike Again ? Any new record in 2018 ?
We would like to make a great event, where we would be the only band and do a long set. This is what we call “one-man live”.
I also have to lose some weight, hahaha. You know, Japan is a lot about how you look like, even for punk/rock bands. Regarding our next release, I think we will release something new next summer but we are still discussing this. It will be probably a new EP.
We’re almost done. Is there anything more you’d like to say about Strike Again to your fans ?
Thank you for reading this interview to the end.
There are a lot of cool bands with their own musicality in the Japanese punk/rock scene, so I’d be happy if you can check them : TNX, OWEAK, Mexican Age, COUNTRY YARD, waterweed, NORVER, …
I do not know where all the readers live, but let’s meet in the pit!
Arigatou gozaimasu, Hide san !