UNSHIN
 

The following interview took place at AlCon in Leicester...


Please introduce yourselves and your positions in the band.

Henry - cool, ummm shall i go first i'm the least important..? I'm the bass player in the band (Megumi "Your name!") Henry Redhead by the way! I'm the bassist.

Megumi - Megumi Miyoshi, I'm the lead vocalist and the Koto.

Yupo Chen - I'm Yupo Chen, I play the guitar and the keyboard... I play whats left over!

Sing - I'm Sing, I'm mainly the pianist or the keyboardist.

Mike - I'm Mike Cowler, I play the drums.

Tobee - I'm Tobee Paik, I'm the lead guitarist... and I like breaking strings.

 

You've recently released your debut album, "Waltz for Broken Dolls", how does it feel having finally accomplished that and having your first full length album out on sale?

Megumi - it feels good! We've been working on it for over four years, or something close to that, so it's been a long time creating this album. It feels good to finally have this final product and to see it as a CD.

Henry - When we first got it shipped to us and we opened the packet, we got designers in and we had this image of how we wanted it to be and you get the CD out and you think "Is it going to be okay?" and then you open it and slowly as we went through it, we were really happy with it. It was just nice to have that finished product.

 

How was the concept of the album put together?

Megumi - (points to Henry) "You do that"

Henry - Well basically Meg first came to the studio with the first track for release, which is the first one with vocals on it on the album, and her writing style is very very close and intimate.

She captures the atmosphere of the track very well and then we literally just created music to those lyrics without having a specific style to it or anything; we literally just felt the atmosphere of what she was writing about and then just wrote music to it.

After the third track or so, we then started to see a picture forming almost and it was just a bit of a different idea, lets try to actually do that and not hold steady to any specific genre of music, lets just create music to the lyrcis and then just see how it comes about.

It all seemed to fall into place, it was just the last area of the album that was really difficult because Meg had to write lyrics specifically for an area of the story, so she was quite in a niche of what she had to write... it took a while and it was quite difficult.

 

Which of the tracks is your personal favourite and why?

Henry - I have a real lot of love for the track "Forgotten Sky"... I dont want to say because I produced it or because a lot of it was written by me because that isn't why! The reason is with that track specifically, the image of what that track wanted to become, came so well being inspired by Shibuya junction and the idea that everybody's rushing and running to meet their next job in life but they're forgetting about the sky. They're forgetting the simple and lovely things in life and the way that that story is captured by the music, to me, I just love it.

Megumi - I think I personally like "Memories and Tears" but... I'm personally into Jrock and Jpop and the feeling of this song, because it has koto in it, the guitars, it's emotional, it's got that very edgy feeling to it... so that's my favourite.

(KW - "That's interesting, so on a Jrock and Jpop level what bands or music do you listen to Megumi?")

Meg - I listen to Shiina Ringo. Her band especially are really good but I like her solo work as well! They're quite original and I still haven't heard anything quite like what they do... yet...

 

Coming from different parts of the world, namely Asia and here in the UK, the diversity brings different elements to your music, but what gave you the decision on bringing a Japanese focus to your music?

Henry - I think actually the influence for our music is, the album especially, because Meg is the lead singer and because she writes the lyrcis, that's where the Japanese comes from really.

The fact that Koto is a really nice instrument and the fact that Meg plays this is a lovely element to put into it, for example the intro track that is played to the animation at the beginning, before we come onstage, is called 'distorted Koto' and the idea of that is something that... I think it hasn't been done... it probably has been done actually! However that kind of element of having the Japanese instrumental side of it, along with the whole musical arrangement side of it, really is kind of allsorts.

 

Who are your musical inspirations?

Megumi - I would say mine is Shiina Ringo mainly  because of the way the melody works... yes she would be mine.

Henry - for me... things like Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd... I'm the old one! I'm the one who likes the older stuff and everyone goes "what... who's that?" so yeah... that sort of area.

Tobee - guitar hero! (laughs) It was things that I listened to at the beginning of my guitar playing, mostly metal based, and then I went on to things like Jeff Beck, and I think solo wise... like lead stuff... comes from Jeff Beck

Yupo - a lot of Japanese pop... and K-pop

Sing - Influence wise I think Stevie Wonder mostly, but I can't really think of anyone else

Mike - I can't think of anyone I like... (input from the rest of Unshin) Ah yes! I like White Denim... and then I like Justin Timberlake as well, and Beyonce... she's good live!

 

How has your UK tour been so far? Have their been any places that have stood out for you?

Meg - I personally enjoyed Ayacon very much, we had a whole weekend there, we had a table and then we had the gig, but we enjoyed the whole convention as well. I enjoyed the whole weekend really but I do enjoy all of them we go to.

 

What would you say your main goal is now with regards to Unshin's futures?

Henry - Our album is Japanese so we would love to get to Japan one day, but I think to also get into Europe as well, perhaps the conventions over there. We have this album out of the way so we can actually also start to now make new music... or think about the next album.

 

What do you think your reception would be over in Japan?

I think it would go down quite well as we are a Japanese band but with many other musical influences, also our mix of nationalities. I think as a whole, people would be quite interested over there.

 

Please give a final message for your fans and readers.

We would really like to thank all our fans and friends new and old that have supported us, your support means the world to us x.