There is this unforgiving aggressiveness prevalent not only in RAZOR’s music but also in their live performances, playing a massive part in the band’s identity. That continues to be the case even with the new drummer NIKKY joining the band for the second album, Okite.
You may know NIKKY as the excellent drummer previously in ALSDEAD and AIIS. The same talent and expertise displayed in the past have been carried over as we saw in his first public contribution, the beautiful but violent music video Ashita Moshi Boku ga Doko ka de Kuchite.
With that, we interviewed RAZOR to find out how NIKKY has integrated into the band, the ideas behind Okite, and Ashita Moshi Boku ga Doko ka de Kuchite, as well as how they explored new avenues while keeping their originality in check.
RAZOR is currently in its fourth year of activity with an intense and aggressive discography that continues to grow. How have these last few years been for the band?
Ryoga: A lot has happened, but we kept going and worked like crazy. Before we realized it, four years had passed.
Tsurugi: These four years have been pretty busy, particularly the number of shows we have done is amazing.
Kouryu: If I had to describe them with one word only, I would say these four years were tumultuous!
What would you say is RAZOR’s greatest strength right now?
Ryoga: Now and forever: our love for music.
Tsurugi: “Aggressiveness” is obviously one of our biggest strengths, but I would say the melody is our strongest trait.
Kouryu: The fact that each of us can reveal and express our potential on stage!
What is the story behind meeting drummer NIKKY and asking him to join the band?
Ryoga: We knew about NIKKY from his previous band. “That guy is freaking good”, that’s what we thought. But he’s not just good at drums—he also has a beautiful heart.
Tsurugi: NIKKY has known Kouryu and our former drummer Tetsuya for a long time now. We thought his playstyle was amazingly good, so we asked him to come to a practice session at the studio. We later invited him to join us.
Kouryu: He has always been a friend of mine, as well as a drummer that I particularly like. I thought that NIKKY would be a good fit for RAZOR, so I talked about it with the other members and they approved!
NIKKY, can you tell us about your experience with the band so far? How does it feel?
NIKKY: I’ve been able to work on albums and livestreams together with everyone, but rather than an intent to create an entirely new sound, I want to treat RAZOR’s previous works with respect and just add my own touch to it.
Tell us about your latest album Okite (掟), what is the concept behind it? What did you focus on this time?
Ryoga: The concept of this album was “facing the challenge of exploring a new direction”. We wanted to look for new possibilities.
Tsurugi: We wanted to preserve RAZOR’s uniqueness until now while adding many new features. The songs of the first half of the album perfectly symbolize what Okite is.
Kouryu: Okite is made from common sense, but we did our best to not be stuck in that common sense and lose sight of who we were originally while trying to create something good. We made it with this state of mind.
How would you say Okite differs from anything RAZOR has produced thus far?
Ryoga: We put much more emphasis on melodies and lyrics than before.
Tsurugi: The atmosphere of these new tunes are a bit different than before.
Why did you choose the third song Ashita Moshi Boku ga Doko ka de Kuchite (明日もし僕がどこかで朽ちて) as the main song for Okite?
Ryoga: Because it was the very first song of the album composed, and also because it’s filled with power.
Tsurugi: We composed it with our vision of what is coming “next” in mind, a beautiful melody inside violence. Ashita Moshi Boku ga Doko ka de Kuchite was made to be the lead song.
Kouryu: We made that song the pillar of the album when we created it. We built outwards from there to create Okite.
How did the new band visuals tie in with the music? How is it able to strengthen the message that you deliver with your music?
Ryoga: We simply enjoyed the excitement of the moment as we pleased. We want to have fun through our music and our visuals.
Tsurugi: I think it would be nice if our listeners find their own way to interpret that.
Kouryu: Since NIKKY had just joined, we wanted to express the fact that RAZOR was embarking on something new, so we chose the concept of pirates.
Was there anything new you discovered while working on the album Okite, something that allowed the band to evolve?
Ryoga: Even if I don’t scream as much as before, RAZOR’s identity remained intact.
Tsurugi: No matter if they are big or small, there are always new discoveries. Not only the songs, because we also learn what works well with our sound, and what doesn’t—which will have a valuable influence on our next work.
Kouryu: I reaffirmed a lot of new ideas that sprung up from each member of the band.
NIKKY: This album was the first project I’ve been invited to work on since I joined the band and it simply made me think that this band is really cool, as expected.
We’ve seen you perform live in the past and your energy on stage is just amazing! When composing music, do you consider how the song will be performed live? If yes, does that greatly change the way the song is composed? If no, why?
Ryoga: I compose songs while thinking about the result once on stage. Because having fun during shows is what makes me personally happy.
Tsurugi: I do think for a short while about how songs would sound during live shows. However, there are many songs I created without thinking about it at all. Giving birth to a good song is the very best of course, but then I think about the way to express it to make it even better.
Kouryu: I usually think about nothing particular when I stand on the stage.
NIKKY: Because we aren’t able to perform with an audience right now, I’m still not sure exactly how it will be in the future but I’m looking forward to it.
What are the members doing to pass the time during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown?
Ryoga: Acoustic guitar practice.
Tsurugi: I am composing new songs. I also watch anime or cook.
Kouryu: I am really into [the game] Apex Legends.
NIKKY: Working out, walking, studying music, drinking alcohol at home.
Please leave a message to your overseas fans.
Ryoga: Let’s meet, no matter how. Also, please don’t take your eyes off RAZOR.
Tsurugi: Thank you for always showing your support. Please keep watching us in the future as well.
Kouryu: I can’t wait for the day we’ll meet!
NIKKY: [In English] Hello, I’m NIKKY!! I will take you to the new world of RAZOR! Please follow me!!!
We want to take this opportunity to thank RAZOR for their interesting answers and send our thanks to Chaotic Harmony for making this interview possible.
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