Japanese alternative rock band ROA from Tokyo are the first performers announced for HYPER JAPAN, held in Olympia, London this year. This Shamisen hardcore band marries the traditional Japanese Tsugaru shamisen and Western guitars to produce a beautiful baby with the essence of both worlds. This unconventionally large seven-man line-up consists of:
Guitarist Shu and Tono (殿)
Shamisen players Moroboshimann and Sakamoto “Mani” Shinjirou (坂本”マニ”真二郎)
There are a couple of bands who use a similar recipe for traditional Japanese instruments with rock music, including WaggakiBand, Kagrra, and Onmyo-Za, but ROA definitely leans into more western metal-core, both vocally and melodically. The vocals from Masatomo has an interesting Kurume dialect that spoken in the southern part of Fukuoka prefecture which has an unusual taste when placed within ROA, giving it a distinct tone.
Have a listen to Ooparts which came out in February as well as their most popular track JAIRO.M below and see what you think:
They have a special message for HYPER JAPAN attendees which has been amazingly dubbed in English. They seem like a lot of fun, so check it out: