Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Interview with The Late Yetis

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Nol, front man and guitarist from The Late Yetis shares with me the secret of their mysterious band name, their influences, day time jobs and the bands love for retro anime.
Where did the band name come from?

The name of the band - inspired by music from the late 80's, rap, pop- we didn't want to be too obvious so named it on a cool magical, mysterious  yetis.

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Frontman; Nol
So  do you believe in yetis?

We love mysticism, folklore so yes.

The new Ep (to me)gives resembles American music like Nickleback, NIRVANA - what are your influences?

Myself and Rob grew up in 90's and had Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Morrissey around us and the best of hip hop.  The other two members were brought up on Blink 182. Between us we like to mix it up and not conform to one formula.




Who are the band?

Nol is a musician, originally from Brunei and does martial arts, they write collectively. Nol makes the skeleton but they work together bringing the organ's and soul together.

Rhys Wiliams grew up in Libya, a synth player who directed and produced the last video and has suggested animating versions of the band and they have discussed making a Daft Punk esque video. 

David Bell is a huge Dragon Ball Z fan. Via word of mouth they get heard and offered gigs to preform at. Have followed the Camden circuit, east London, North West...

Late Yetis Press shotJake the drummer also manages a music promotion company called Anivian and is currently organising the release of the EP show/twitter/ soundcloud/ bandcamp.

Rob the guitarist's forte apart from making music is a great cook, butcher by day and musician by night. He does pop up restaurants here and there. He's just great!

David Bell, originally from Malaysia is manager of a restaurant and the biggest DBZ fan and very family orientated.  

They want to build the music career together and ultimately play music for a living. They are prepared to work hard and make it to preforming full time.

Previously you released an album before Ep, shouldn't it be the other way around?

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Super Saiyan Mode!
We had two different members back then. Our former drummer produced it and went to Brunei. Jake took over after.  The second attempt is a lot darker rather than pop-py. The first album like most was; fresh, excited, happy go lucky and then the ep had happened after a long journey. Some of the members were going through a rough time and music reflected it.

Musically started from Goku to Super Saiyan.

Wait you watch anime?

Brought up on retro classics like Fist of The North star and Vampire Hunter D and the elephant in the room Akira. I even subscribed to a computer video game magazine which sent me a Manga membership card.

Have you thought of doing Soundtracks for anime/ video games?
We would love to look into these sort of avenues as me and Dave Bell ( a huge Dragon Ball Z fan) childhood was filled with anime and we still play video games when we have the time. Also Rhys has toyed with the idea of making animated avatars for the band members.

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Working on any future projects?

I will think of ideas, save them to my phone, and always brainstorm them with the boys. This is down to different influences from the band,we all listen to all genres of music alongside rock.

Looking at underground music becoming commercial like Muse, how do you feel about this stigma on bands?

I feel they got better, got more noticed, and then they progressed. 10-15 years ago you wrote stuff,  you would look back now and wonder 'why did i write that?' Matt Bellamy is a genius using classical music and rock with bits of electro, and very good at conducting it.

Any last thoughts?

Thank you to Andy from Steaming Kettle being an old friend from school, for supporting us.
For more news from The Late Yetis follow them on Facebook.
Buy their new Ep from itunes.

Watch The Late Yeti's latest video Blood Driven here below.




Street Fighter V Launch event

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Members of the Capcom Uk community would have received free tickets to this intimate event and they 50 tickets were raffled online to people to win amongst a few other ways to get into this supper hush hush event.
Upon entering you had about 10 consoles you could freely play and fight people in the vicinity. You also had an exclusive two pods which were for tournaments to win freebies courtesy of Capcom UK including mugs, PS4 skins, stat cards, head bands and more.
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For entertainment you had a free bar to have as much as you like, a steady infux of nibbles entering the room and a few Street Fighter branded fortune cookies scattered on tables. Twice during the evening we had live performances of characters reconstructing fights from the game.
It was mentioned that the creator of the game Yoshinori Ono would be in attendance and people expected an announcement of a signing or photo session. Througout the night while watching the matches, a fellow Gamer elebowed me saying 'It's him.' I spun around exiting a selfie to see and with a puzzled said 'Where? I can't see him?' and to my suprise a crouching Oni who was taking photos of the fights stood up, turned around and waved at me saying 'Hello!'
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It was alike a scene from an anime and as soon as I stopped saying 'OMG OMG OMG' I proceeded to get a selfie and group photo with all my friends including. This was a top 10 moment of my life. Capcom Uk even got in on the action and took photos of us in our selfie mode with Ono. He then got hounded by others after we initially spotted the ninja at the vent.
Whilst mingling we ended up near the entrance and saw a orange bomber jacket move through the crown and stop to look back, we all waved Ono goodbye as he left the building.  For a last minute decision to attend this was a glorious night and I hope to see more from Capcom UK for the fans.
See more of my photos on Facebook:

Thursday, 3 March 2016

London MCM welcome Japanese artists in May

Amatsuki

Following the popularity of Japanese music in the UK, London MCM Comic Con invite over the Japanese online music sensation Amatsuki and up-and-coming all-girl rock act Band-Maid who will both making their UK debut at this May’s MCM London Comic Con (27th-29th May 2016) – performing live, signing autographs and taking part in on-stage Q&As.

Amatsuki has achieved over 35 million views on NicoNico Douga, a Japanese videosharing service much like YouTube, with his covers of Vocaloid, anime and video game songs in addition to his original songs. He originally posted videos of himself singing along without thinking seriously about being a professional singer, yet he soon gathered a devoted following due to his powerful voice and charming and friendly character.

Amatsuki made the jump from internet stardom to mainstream success with his debut album HELLO WORLD, which reached number four in Japan’s national chart. His popularity has also reached further afield than just Japan, with one of his cover songs achieving a million hits after being uploaded by western fans on YouTube.

Amatsuki will attend all three days of MCM London Comic Con, taking place at ExCeL Centre, where they will perform live, participate in Q&A sessions and sign autographs with fans.

Amatsuki’s homepage: http://amatsuki.jp/
Amatsuki’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/amatsuki_info
Amatsuki’s NicoNico Douga: http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/16016171

BAND-MAID
Bands like Baby Metal have encouraged more of it's genre to rise and one such band is BAND-MAID, one of Japan’s hottest up-and-coming all-girl rock acts, will make their European debut with an appearance at MCM London Comic Con on 27-29 May 2016.
BAND-MAID‘s music videos “Thrill” and “Real Existence” went viral soon after release and have achieved over three million views on YouTube, gaining recognition from western media such as Guitar World, Team Rock and many more.

Formed in 2013, the band’s concept is based on founder Miku’s experiences in Akihabara’s maid cafes, and area of Tokyo famous for otaku (“geek”) culture, combined with a passion for rock music. BAND-MAID will attend all three days of MCM London Comic Con, taking place at ExCeL Centre, where they will perform live, participate in Q&A sessions and sign autographs with fans.

Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/bandmaid
Buy Tickets to London MCM Comic Con here: http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/london/
Watch my previous  interviews from London MCM Comic Con below:



Dimps (Masahiro Kashino)

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

BJFF 2016: Shady

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Shady a Japanese thriller released in Japan in 2012 and then by Third Window the following year in the UK. This was a welcomed addition to the Brick Lane Japanese Film Festival. A 93 minute story of bullying in Japanese schools where the treatment gets so out of hand that school children take justice into their own hands.

Kumada (meaning Bear and Rice Paddy) played by Mimpib is the overweight student in her classed bullied by the popular girls and nicked name 'Pooh'. She witnesses bullying in her class but does not intervene to avoid herself being caught in the cross fire. Eventually one girl goes missing and her case becomes high priority in the news and also a mystery at school. Who kidnapped her? A teacher, a fellow student? Is she still Alive? these are all questions running in Pooh's mind.

You eventually realise that the girl who has gone missing was also a bully who had made other girls lives hell including pretty loner Izumi. Strangely she is given a hard time for being attractive the opposite of Pooh. Izumi reaches out a hand of friendship to Pooh and they become close friends. Pooh finds it hard to believe how kind Izumi is and despite neglecting to help Izumi in the past when she was being bullied.
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You begin to feel uneasy by this instant clinginess to Pooh by Izumi and she even follows her to her only club which is the biology club where she is the only member. Izumi envy's the love Pooh has for her class fish and mysteriously the fish dies. Izumi says it was a accident but who can really be sure? Was this a malicious attatck as Pooh formed an attachment to a fish, no a male fish?

At a shopping trip Izumi treats Pooh to some mascara which Pooh refutes as it was stolen and she makes advances on her. This left the audience confused, what was it Izumi wanted from Pooh? Or was she securing Pooh's loyalty by doing pleasurable things as a form or bribery. Nothing is clear and the plot thickens when Izumi see's Pooh has a bird as a pet, a male bird, Izumi demands to borrow Chuta the bird and Pooh is alarmed and at first refuses but is emotionally blackmailed into agreeing. The next day Izumi makes a joke abou the bento she has made Pooh saying it used to Chirp and immediately Pooh believes she is eating her pet Chuta. At this point you would think Pooh would end the friendship but somehow Izumi talks her way out of it. Mean while there is a lot of emphasis towards the missing classmate and the bullying at school.

One thing leads to another and things suddenly move fast paced, Izumi invites her to her flat, different from her house, their is a horrific stench coming from one of the rooms. They are also joined by another guest, one their their school teachers who Izumi explains is giving her test questions in exchange for sex. Things start to make more sense, perhaps the bully at school was horrible but she wasn't the one who dissapeared the other girl, Izumi so tramatised from the bullying has snapped and done one terrible thing after another...to a point of no return. The end result is only bloodshed.
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Written and directed by Ryohei Watanabe he focuses on inner torment inside human beings and how innocence can be polluted and turned into manipulation and selfish gain. We see the change physically manifest in Izumi through her eyes becoming blood shot and the mirrors smashing as she puts on her 'facade' aka the stolen makeup.

This film explores bullying as a real phsycological experience which is shown as more harmful than physical fighting. Similar to the film Confessions this film really looks at taboo subjects and exposes the Japanese education systems flaws. No one see's the bullying nor goes to investigate the disappearance. There is a sense of negligence.

Overall the film was slow paced which built up to a swift conclusion, every detail mattered so you really had to focus on the film. It didn't feel long at all, the animal torture aspect is shown to be an outlet for students in a few films I have seen so far which is perfectly disturbing signs of a psychopath. Even though it was low budget and you only see a small cast set in a school, it is perfectly directed. Pooh has many opportunities to seek help but feels trapped in an open world. A great physiological thriller to be appreciated , you will enjoy this if you liked the Audition.

Showed at Brick Lane Japanese Film Festival with permission of Third Window Films. Available to buy online.
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