Hey, people! How many Russian bands can you name that ever made albums together with foreign musicians? Well, you can always say that, for example, after the USSR split you can consider Ukraine or Georgia foreign countries. Just kidding! But seriously - I personally only remember when a Russian progressive band contacted Arjen Anthony Lucassen and they worked on a song together. This time we have the band called Golden Age and they managed to collaborate with none other but… Kenji Siratori, a cult artist from Japan. How do you think it's possible due to language barrier and whatever? Read on! Hello, Siratori-san!

Kenji Siratori: Hello! How do you like Japan? Completely different from what I expected but literally amazing and extremely welcoming! I love it.

Kenji Siratori: Great to hear that! OK, how could it happen that you decided to collaborate with Golden Age, a rock band from Russia?

Kenji Siratori: Well, I wasn't really aiming to work with some particular Russian band. What I did was that I made some samples of my work and send them over to various bands. You see, I know English well enough so that wasn't really a problem for me to communicate with people outside Japan via e-mails. Among the bands I sent those proposals to the Russian guys from Golden Age. How was the music recorded and how was it attached to your vocals?

Kenji Siratori: I think it's all a matter of the digital technology. I recorded my parts here in Japan and the band recorded music in Russia. The whole thing became possible thanks to the Internet. Isn't it quite typical these days that many albums are recorded this way?

Kenji Siratori: I think it's great! We live extremely far away from each other and, for instance, if we wanted to meet we would have to coordinate schedules and pay for traveling, hotels, and whatever. And thanks to the Internet and e-mail we can do it separately without any outside pressure. And I should say that the final result is amazing!

Kenji Siratori: Thank you! Siratori-san, it's OK for me to hear a Japanese person speaking since I know the language. But what about people who have no idea what that language is? Wouldn't it be impossible for them to understand what you say?

Kenji Siratori: Well, they can always check out my website and read all that I say in understandable English. (laughs) Can you say where you get your inspirations from?

Kenji Siratori: Mostly from life and various events that happen to me. What about that mask you're wearing on the photo inside the CD? Is that your design?

Kenji Siratori: Yes, totally mine. I thought it would be a nice idea to wear it. Can you say that Golden Age might somehow fit into the Japanese music scene?

Kenji Siratori: To tell you the truth, I don't really know. They have to come over and play some shows in order to let people know who they are and what they do. I think they have a chance of fitting into the infamous Japanese music style of Visual Kei. (Interviewer's note: Visual Kei is an exclusive Japanese music style of music. Musically it's simple rock or hard rock with minor punk influences but visually it's a paradise of fashion and shocking outfit. Well, shocking for people not living in Japan since even the Japanese daily fashion is as shocking as can imagine in your wildest dreams.) Can we hope for more albums with Golden Age?

Kenji Siratori: Definitely. If they are interested in it and if the album sells good enough for the Russian market - I'm all for that. What's the possibility of live shows together?

Kenji Siratori: It's hard to say sitting here in Japan. It really depends on sales and promotion. You can personally see that the Japanese market is overflowed with Visual Kei bands and it might not be easy for an unknown band to take over. OK, what are the chances for working with bands from, say, America or Germany?

Kenji Siratori: No problem. I'm always open for new adventures and offers. Siratori-san, thank you for the interview and sorry that it's been that short!

Kenji Siratori: No problem! Thank you and have a good time in Japan!

Dead Ripper

(May, 2008)
(The interview was done on the phone in a hotel in Tokyo, Japan)

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