Over the coming weeks, Already Heard will be highlighting a variety of bands set to play the Slam Dunk Festival later this month.
If you have ever witnessed Crossfaith live, then you’ll know they constantly bring their a-game, and then some. Their brand of electronica-infused metalcore is full of adrenaline as the Osaka, Japan quintet set out to steal the show.
Fresh off their outstanding run supporting Bury Tomorrow, Crossfaith are already coming back to the UK as they’re set to play the Slam Dunk Festival for the second time. Having destroyed the festival two years ago, they’re now making the jump to the Jägermeister stage where you’d expect them to bring a frantic, party vibe to the festival.
As they continue work on their fifth full-length, we talked to vocalist Kenta Koie about what we can expect from the record, UK festivals, and more.
AH: You recently finished a tour supporting Bury Tomorrow. How was it?
Kenta: That tour was so much fun! We’ve been friends with Bury Tomorrow for a long time, and we are from the same generation, so touring with them is always interesting.
AH: We see you’ve been in the studio in Tokyo. How is the new material coming along?
Kenta: We just finished tracking for a new release, and this time we worked with Drew Fulk (producer – Motionless In White, Crown the Empire, We Came as Romans, The Amity Affliction, Blessthefall). Working with him was awesome; he brought his partner ‘KJ’, who is also talented. Drew really loves to make music, and he listens to so many different types of music, which is awesome! And it will be released this summer.
AH: The band has always mixed electronica with metalcore. Is the new material a continuation of that?
Kenta: Our music style has been evolving. We always want to try new things, if not then making music would be very boring. This time, we wanted to work with guest musicians for some songs. We tracked six songs so far, and each song is totally different. Our heavy music is getting heavier and this time Teru (Tamano – programming / keyboards) used so many analog synthesizers, so our sounds are getting thicker. Now we are waiting for first mix. I can’t wait to hear those songs!
AH: You’re going to be touring Eastern Europe soon supporting Enter Shikari. They’re currently celebrating the tenth anniversary of ‘Take to the Skies’. What are your memories of that album and how has it had an impact on Crossfaith?
Kenta: The first song I heard was ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’. At that point I had never heard that kind of music and they are definitely a pioneer [of it]. I still remember when I bought that album, it blew my mind.
Crossfaith and Enter Shikari have simillar vibes but there’s so many differences as well, and that’s why I love them. They are still playing the songs from that album, which is awesome because their old songs are still fresh. I think that’s why their fans always love them.
AH: You’re set to make your second visit to the Slam Dunk Festival at the end of May. What do you remember from your debut there back in 2015?
Kenta: I feel different vibes from Slam Dunk than the other festivals. Slam Dunk is the festival which is specifically designed for young people, which is awesome. We don’t have that kind of festival in Japan.
AH: You’re no strangers to the UK festival scene. What is the attraction about UK festivals that makes you keep coming back?
Kenta: Everything about UK festivals is attractive to me because upcoming artists don’t often get the chance to play big Japanese festivals. Here there is a lot of variety in terms of the artists, so I wouldn’t ever get bored here. And the audience is crazier here I think, but I feel people from the UK are more in touch with the culture of music.
AH: This year you’re on the main stage alongside the likes of Shikari, Don Broco, Beartooth and Deaf Havana. Are you prepared to make the jump to a bigger stage?
Kenta: Hell yes! We want to be seen by more people and I’m so excited to play the main stage. This year’s line-up is super-strong but I have confidence that we can rock the people!
AH: What can festival-goers expect from Crossfaith at Slam Dunk?
Kenta: Huge mosh pits. A wall of death. And special collaborations…
AH: What bands are you excited to see over the Slam Dunk weekend?
Kenta: Enter Shikari, Beartooth and Madina Lake! I loved Madina Lake when I was a high school student and I’ve never seen them live, so I’m so excited to see them!
Crossfaith will be playing at 2:30pm on the Jägermeister Stage at Slam Dunk Festival on all three dates.
Slam Dunk Festival 2017 takes place on the following dates:
Sat 27 The NEC, Birmingham
Sun 28 City Centre, Leeds (SOLD OUT)
Mon 29 Forum, Hatfield (SOLD OUT)
Tickets can be purchased here.