THE SIXTH LIE was originally formed by the members Reiji and Ray. By June 2015 the line-up was finalized with Arata on vocals, Reiji on guitars and programming, Hiroto on tri-bass and bass, and Ray on drums.
Their first music video release Wake Up Your Fire demonstrated their futuristic sound. Directed and edited by Ray, this music video went on to gain the band high reputation within the industry. After the release of their debut self-titled mini-album The Sixth Lie in May 2015, and their EP Integral in September 2016, they continued their rolling success by securing themselves an opening slot at Knotfest 2016—the Japanese rock festival created by the legendary band Slipknot. At the beginning of 2017, the band released their second EP Differential followed in June by their latest single Go On.
THE SIXTH LIE has achieved great success, yet many of you may be unaware of who they are. So let’s get you acquainted! JROCK NEWS had the perfect opportunity at HYPER JAPAN 2017 to sit down with THE SIXTH LIE and get to know what lead these young musicians to capture the attention of Japan’s music industry.
HYPER JAPAN is your first time performing outside of Japan. How did you feel about the audience’s response to your performance?
Arata: Japanese people tend to be really shy, but over here people are so welcoming and really enthusiastic. We had a great response from the audience which made us feel even more energetic!
Reiji: The cheer from the audience was even 10 times as loud! [laugh]
Can you explain the meaning behind the band’s name, and its relation to your musical performance?
Ray: There’s a quote from the famous French composer Claude-Achille Debussy “Art is the most beautiful of all lies”. Inspired by his words, we wanted to create music that can be enjoyed beyond your five senses—with your sixth sense. That is the origin of our band name. We also make videos ourselves that we play in the background during live performances to stimulate the audiences’ senses even more.
How did the band meet and form?
Ray: Myself as the drummer, and Reiji on guitar, we were writing music together at the beginning—we are the original and core members. We tried to look for additional members on the internet and first found Arata, our vocalist. Then lastly, Hiroto through twitter when searching for “bass” and “model”. His name came up at the top of the search result and we naturally chose him purely for his great look [laugh]. Most important!
Hiroto’s role in the band is bass and model, but you make him wear a mask. Is he too handsome to show his face?
Reiji: It’s not much about the concept, it’s just that he has such a youthful baby face. We were afraid people in Japan might not take him seriously if they see him looking so young.
Ray: Why did we even choose him for his looks then? [laugh]
The mask actually does fit the concept though, since you describe yourselves as “Future rock band” that combines virtual and physical. Could you explain more about your concept and how that reflects in your music?
Ray: If you look at the lyrics it may sound like at first we’re talking about the future or some fantasy but it actually does have some link to our reality, a sort of double sided meaning in the lyrics.
When writing music, what is the main process and where does your inspiration for your music and lyrics come from?
Ray: I write the lyrics and Reiji puts a melody to it. To get inspiration, I like to go into art exhibitions and pick a painting and think about what the painter was thinking while painting it.
Reiji: I’m always looking out for good music, even when I’m shopping. If I hear anything I like, I go home straight away and pick up my guitar and start humming to it. Once I have succeeded in doing that, I then start breaking it down and shaping it to the taste of music I like.
In regards to your international ambitions, is the use of English within your songs a way for you to gain international recognition?
Reiji: We feel like there is a difference in taste between the Japanese audience and the audience abroad, perhaps we can pitch our music differently to the domestic and international audience. We are also thinking of doing a Japanese version and an English version of our music and uploading it to our YouTube.
On your YouTube channel you regularly cover songs by western musicians, what is the reason for covering these songs?
Arata: We love western music and because of that I want them to listen to our music as well. The reason for doing the cover songs may also be that it is an easy way in for people to listen to our music.
Reiji: When we do cover songs we usually do our own arrangements, but in order to do that we have to break it down and then reconstruct the music from the original. And through doing that process we learn so much, that’s another reason why we do covers.
You have released two albums, and your single “Go On” was released in June, what is the next step in your career?
Ray: We’re casually talking about perhaps choosing a concept or story, and then we can start writing a new album. But at this time we’re just working on one thing at a time, that idea is still in the early stages. This year we have plenty of gigs to go through, so we’re going to go through those gigs and see what kind of reaction we get, and then think about our next step.
Reiji: In the future we want to work with games or animes.
Is there any particular genre of anime or game you want to write music for?
Reiji: One idea is a sci-fi type of game! We can produce an album with lyrics that we hope can be linked with a game through a story.
Ray: Hiroto used to be a professional gamer, perhaps using that as well. Whether we write the music for the game first, or we wait for a game to come along first before writing the music—we haven’t decided.
Oh, Hiroto used a be a pro-gamer? That’s interesting. What games in specific did you use to play back then?
Hiroto: I used to play League of Legends professionally. I went abroad for tournaments and such. During the time I was a professional it became just work for me, I had to shift my life around gaming completely, it was no longer fun for me. Also the team I played with made changes to their concept, and at the time we lived together, that was too much for me and thus I decided to stop gaming.
We’re glad you found another path to follow, music! Are there any achievements that you want to accomplish with this band?
Hiroto: I love Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I even started playing bass because of them. It would be great that we become so good to the point that they recognize us and then invite us as support on their tour.
Arata: Of course we’d like to be famous and big in Japan, maybe then do some arena tour! Since we were influenced by lots of foreign artists, it would be good if we become big internationally and get to do international tours, that would be great!
Reiji: The gig at HYPER JAPAN is our first time we performed abroad and we have had a great response, for now I’m thinking perhaps being more active abroad. We have always talked about being more active internationally, perhaps we should do more things abroad, then go back to Japan after we’ve become big?
Ray: Today in the sound check Hiroto was playing the Super Mario theme song and everybody loved it! If in the future that our music can become so familiar to the point that if other bands were to casually play our music and everybody would recognize it!
Can you give some advice to people who want to break into the Japanese music industry?
Arata: It’s not easy, but have ambitions. It sounds noble but it’s very important. Practice and follow through to find the music that is for the people.
Reiji: Specifically for the Japanese musicians they should listen to more music from abroad and not just Japanese music. So that even international bands could be listening to our music, and then we could share and grow together.
Ray: Listening to a variety of genres of music will help you to widen your music taste.
What do you do in your spare time outside your role of playing in a band?
Reiji: I just play games.
Arata: I just go for a walk in Shibuya or Harajuku.
Hiroto: I play games.
Ray: I either play a game or study for university.
Do you have a message for all the new fans that you have made this weekend at HYPER JAPAN?
Ray: If you can tweet about us, or post on Instagram and Facebook about us, that would be brilliant and really helpful. [laugh]
Reiji: We’re very happy and grateful that we got so much response and a great cheer from the audience.
We would like to say a big thank you to THE SIXTH LIE and HYPER JAPAN for offering this opportunity, and taking their time to talk with us!
Please check out THE SIXTH LIE’s most recent release with their digital single Go On.