Spark (Czech Republic)

1.You were formed in 1992 in Tokyo. How do you remember your beginnings?

Well, I joined this band in 97 and was in another band when Yusuke our guitarist founded DEFILED in 92. Yusuke made this band to create original Brutal Death Metal and keeping it over a decade now.

2.Some people call Tokyo as big crazy city. What do you think about it? How difficult is to live there?

Yes, Tokyo is pretty big and crazy, I also think. Many strange crimes are occurred almost every day and they are basically caused by the fact that we have too many people here, in my opinion. Over 12 million people are living in Tokyo, a limited land, and itfs too many as you obviously see!! And living here isc yes, pretty difficult. Prices are anyhow high and we must work so hard to pay a rent for a quite small roomc But itfs exciting living here simultaneously and we are somehow influenced from our belongings. Our songs are complicated, crazy and impatient, and itfs just like living here in Tokyo!

3.Were you influenced by any foreign bands when you started the band?

Recently we avoid intentionally getting influenced by other bands because we wanna be original, that is to say gOne and Onlyh, but yes, when we started playing together we were influenced by great foreign pioneers like SLAYER, POSSESSED, KREATOR, EXODUS, DESTRUCTION and many more.

4.You're pretty known from your technically skilled style of playing. Especially the work of your bass player is unbelievable. Did he study his instrument anywhere? And what about other members?

Yes, Norihisa, our bassist had formal education at a musical school and Yuichi the drummer too. They learned many music styles, especially fusion jazz, and are very well trained actually. Norihisa is into Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten, for your reference. Yusuke the guitarist loves to listen to classic music of itfs most avant-garde way like Stravinski or Schenberg and that has influence much on his song writing, as you may find. I received no musical education though once I was a high-pitched screamer like Halford or Tate before joining DEFILEDc whether you believe it or not!

5.When you started to play did you have a clear idea what kind of death metal style you would like to represent? I mean if you were more into American style or some European (for example Swedish)?

We had no distinction and just respected the pioneers. Well, we thought Death Metal as a progressed form of Thrash Metal then and the inspirations were mainly from e80s Thrash Metal bands like the ones I mentioned before.

6.In 1999 you recorded your first full length album "Erupted Wrath" at American firm Nightfall/Terrorizer Records. How did you come into contact with this firm?

When we toured the states for three weeks with Incantation in f98, maybe it was at the show in Chicago, we met Don Decker, who is running that label, and get signed with him later. Hefs also doing a terrible Brutal Death band called ANAL BLAST and you should check it out too.

7.It was your first cooperation with Brian Griffin (ex BROKEN HOPE) and Jim Morris. How do you remember these guys? What do you think about them?

All guys we have worked with are great and I really think we are so lucky!! We appreciate Brian very much. It was first time for us to work abroad and we were a little bit nervous then. But he was so kind and did relieve our tension very well. Hefs a great producer in every aspect, we really think. And yes, Jim is always cool too. We love to work with him.

8.At the same year you appeared as a first Japanese band in Milwaukee Metalfest and New Jersey Metal Meltdown. You had to be very proud. How did it happen? How was the reaction of fans look like? What do you remember about this event?

Don Decker is also picking out the bands for those fest and we were lucky here too. Yeah, it was so great to play as the first Japanese band and we actually got great reaction there. We played just after SADUS at the Milwaukee, and had much fun of course.

9.How difficult, you think, is for Japanese band to play there? Weren't other Japanese bands a bit jealous?

I donft know if other bands in Japan got jealous or not but the fact that we played at the fests brought us great publicity without doubt. Well, I heard some Japanese bands also played there later and itfs cool, I think.

10.In 2001 you released another album "Ugliness Revealed" which was very good accepted by fans but there also was some rumour that your music was becoming a bit chaotic for the listeners. What's your opinion about it?

Ummm, I donft think "Ugliness Revealed" was " too" chaotic for our fansc the essence of the band will never changec though itfs true that the songs in that album were a little more complicated than "Erupted Wrath" ones. Actually we conducted many musical experiments in "Ugliness Revealed" and that took us to further dimension as musicians, I think. Anyway, if you think "Ugliness Revealed" was a bit too chaotic and feels hard to get accustomed to, listen to "Divination" definitely!! You can find many fast-forward songs in the album!!

11.Since 2002 you are at Season Of Mist label. How did you get there?

We sent our demos to some labels world widely after "Ugliness Revealed" album, and Season of Mist gave us the best offer. They promised their best promotion on our new album and we are really expecting that.

12.Now you've recorded new album "Divination". I have to ask you why did you again choose Jim Morris and his studio? What is so special on this guy and studio?

They, the Morris brothers, are really nice guys moreover are great engineers of course and itfs hard to find a person like themc very kind and so professional at the same time. And the studio is very comfortable for us. When doing the intricate works in a studio, narrow space you know, itfs very important if we can relax and Morrisound is also perfect on this point.

13.Didn't you think to use another producer? Aren't you afraid that you'll sound the same all time and all your record? Maybe it's time to change...

Well, the producer of "Divination" is not Jim but our selves, DEFILED!! As the producer, we donft feel any necessity of changing the engineers this time. The songs are different from the ones in the previous album, and the drummer was changed too. You can easily find the difference among the albums if you listen to them all. The most important thing here to make the sound fresh is not changing the engineer but progress of the band itself, I think.

14.As I can see in your 13th song "Eciov Erazzib" you have got a big sense of humour. What else can we expect?

Frankly, we put the song just because to gain the insufficiency of the time but itfs cool to know someone say itfs humorous or cool! Tell anybody that itfs a Japanese incantation or something though it in fact is just a reversed sentence taken from a song in the album, though I donft remember which song itfs from, ha.

15.You played a lot of concerts with various bands like CANNIBAL CORPSE, etc. Which of these do you remember most and why?

The one we played in Tampa with MONSTROSITY and ANGEL CORPSE in f97 was most memorable for me. It was our first time to play in the states and felt nervous ultimately! Many friends like the guys from MORBID ANGEL, DIABOLIC and so on were there and Corpsegrinder from CANNIBAL CORPSE introduced us to the audience. Our performances were no good at all at the night, but I canft forget including that!!

16.Most of European especially German speed and power metal bands are very popular in your country. Where do you see the reason of it? How much are for example death metal bands popular here? I think that there's a big difference...

Yes, it's quite different. Basically Japanese fans seem to love melodious ones and German Metal is very kind of that. But I think recently everyonefs coming to have its own sense of values here and the situation will change. We have strong fans here actually and that numbers are increasing, though our music has almost no melodies, you know.

17.How does look like nowadays Japanese metal scene?

Itfs not so big but just growing now, I think. Fans are true to the band and support us very well. Moreover some new good bands were born recently and hopefully the scene will be magnified soon.

18.And of course I have to ask you if you aren't afraid of a new world disease called SARS. There a huge number of sick people in China, Hong Kong, etc. How do you see this problem? Does it mean the end of touring, and so on for a while?

Of course wefre so afraid of that fuckinf disease though fortunately no case is reported here in Japan so far. Just hope new vaccine will be developed soonc

19.What's your nearest plans?

Now wefre just in the middle of the tour in Japan and it will last until next month. And we, DEFILED and Season of Mist are trying to get good tours in Europe and the states now. Hope we can announce good news soon.

20.Do you have any message for the readers from the Czech Republic?

We played three or four shows in your country in 2000, when we toured Europe with Slovakiaf s DEMENTOR, so some of you must have seen us then!! And we once toured in Japan with KRABATHOR and it went great too... Well, I love your country itfs very beautiful and people are so kind. Prague is one of the most beautiful cities wefve ever been!! Thanks for your support. Listen to our new "Divination" album and hope to see you again on the road! Stay Brutal!!!!!

Interviewer : Robert"Bob"Zelenka / Spark zine
Interviewee : Hideki Fujimoto / DEFILED Vocalist

2003 May 14