01 – Hello there! I am very happy to interview one of my favorite vocalists of all time. I have been waiting for this opportunity for years and I just can’t believe that I’m interviewing you. I know that you don’t appreciate very long interviews, so I’ll ask fewer questions than usual. This is not necessary for many people, but, as I’d like to interview musicians to also promote them to new listeners, please, introduce you to our readers/ listeners.
Hi there! Thanks for your interview. I am very happy too. I am going to answer your questions as clear as possible. Let me introduce myself. I am EIZO Sakamoto, began my career as a singer with debut of ANTHEM in 1985. ANIMETAL in 1996, JAM Project in 2000, solo in 2000, and started singing in Latin America with ANIME FRIENDS 2004 inSao PauloBrazil. I have been shouting for almost 30 years. Sing heavily, happily, sexily. That has always been my motto.
02 – Your last releases, as far as I know, are Anthem’s Burning Oath (2012) and 哀旋士’s Heartstrings in 2013 (not counting compilations or DVDs). How was the response from the fans when it comes to these albums? Were you satisfied with the finished work? And do you plan any new release for us in 2014 or 2015?
Since there are many huge fans awaiting my album and I make it with all my strength and all my heart, the response from the fans was very good. They responded best especially to the album of AISENSHI, because a lot of people were longing the original style of ANIMETAL. I am proud of my works. Once I finished making an album, I can’t stop thinking about the next one right away.
The 6th album of mine Heavenly Days was out in March 2014. I will work on Spanish version of the album.
03 – Eizo, you are a very respected vocalist in Japan with fans around many foreign countries. I’d like to know when you started/ decided to sing professionally and, if you took singing classes, I mean, if you had any formal training when it comes to singing. Do you have a vocal routine that to keep your voice in shape and the tonal quality you possess? Do you have any advices to give for a young vocalist/ singer that might be reading this interview?
I have never thought to be a professional singer. However I imagined how do I feel like if I become professional. When I was an university student, I take an audition to test my ability and passed somehow. Since then I am in a professional world.
When I was in high school, I was always practicing to sing and to shout like Ian Gillan, Rob Halford, Klaus Meine and so on. They made impacts on my shouting rock style. I have never taken singing classes. Playing in a band since high school years, was kind of my training. It is difficult to keep voice well. Sometimes go hoarse, or fall into a slump. It is important to sing a lot and analyze your voice to know more. Don’t be nervous about your vocal condition. I suggest you to do practical training because even in a bad condition you must sing as good as possible. And getting a good sleep as well.
04 – In a way connected to the previous question, when it comes to touring, you have played in many countries as well as have enjoyed success also outside Japan. How do you feel when you get to know that people from far away countries, that almost all them don’t understand Japanese (and still learn the lyrics by heart), but love your music so much, are so eager to attend one of your shows?
I was moved deeply to see people far from Japan loves my music when I sang in Brazil 2004 for the first time. I have been singing on stage for a long time, but never had such excitement ever. I am still excited about having concerts overseas. I keep trying to sing in many countries to see friends in all over the world!!
05 – Eizo, you have joined many bands, have experienced successful musical career, you are recognized in Japan and overseas as a great vocalist for many years, I mean, what motivates you on to continue? Do you feel like you’ve reached the goals you have set for your professional life?
Since I always want to have new experiences, I try different things. The shows overseas excite me, also singing solo on acoustic guitar excites me as well. Recording songs of my musical style, writing lyrics, creating songs would be fun, too. The secret of my motivations come from those enjoyable and fresh challenges. With self-belief, challenging spirit and hunger for joy of music, there are no goals for me.
06 – One question that I always ask musicians that I interview and I’ll ask you as well. How do you feel when you get to know your music has actually helped people to go through a rough time or that, at least, they forget about the troubles for a while? Have fans talked to you about this? I ask you because whenever I’m down, I listen to your music and I feel happy, it helps me to forget about troubles.
It means a lot to me. From my point of view, I don’t create music to help someone. I just concentrate all I have into my works faithfully. If my music could make people feel happy as a result, I recognize I must do my best always. It gives me more energy.
07 – This is another question that I like to know the band member’s opinions: what is your view on illegal downloads? Nowadays many of the labels fully stream the new albums before the release date, but still, the numbers of sales are decreasing. What’s your opinion on that?
I have never thought about it. Illegal downloads will never affect my performances as long as I create good music and shows. Times are changing, but I only keep creating music of Eizo Sakamoto, and performing the best.
08 – When you’re at home, Eizo, after a tour, working on your music or whatever other duties you have, what do you prefer to do to relax? I mean, do you prefer to relax at home or to go have some fun out with friends? People always like to know a few things about the man behind the music, that’s the reason for this question.
I am fickle and do things at my own pace. I spent day off as my fancy dictates. Going for a drive, taking a train, hanging out at home, cleaning up my room, composing, playing the guitar, watching foreign commercial message at YouTube, and so on. Of course I like to go out for a meal with friends. I usually prefer to spend my holiday at home.
09 – A few more questions you regarding your musical and movie tastes. What have you been listening lately? And what kind of music/ bands/ musicians are you interested outside the metal world? Do you enjoy cinema? I think that Japan have one of the best movie industries of the world, with so many amazing movies and directors.
I hardly watch cinemas. I have not been interested in movies since I was a child. Because my life is more exciting. I enjoy myself objectively. I am bored with long movie and music. I still love my boyhood music like ABBA, Bay City Rollers and pop music in the 1970’s. I listen to a Mexican song called Adoro by Armando Manzanero to practice Spanish lately.
10 – Eizo, we’ve reached the end of this interview. I’d like to thank you very much for taking your time to answer it as well as Masashi Harrison Hoshina for helping arranging it. Do you have any last words for our readers/ listeners?
Thanks for reading this interview. I never imagined to send this kind of message to the fans abroad when I became professional 30 years ago. How happy I am!! Maybe I could be here because of friends’ support. I am going to keep doing what I have been doing, so please keep backing me up. I will brush up my performance to share great experiences with you. Thank you!!
Again, without the help of Harrison Masashi Hoshina, this would never be possible, so, thank you Harrison and Eizo!April 14, 2014