Loudness Minoru Niihara-Took me 10 years to recover from the shock of being fired from the band in the 80's

December 22, 2017

 Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice recently spoke to Loudness singer Minoru Niihara (with a Japanese translator), the interview is conducted in both English and Japanese.

Minoru Niihara Talked about the bands new album Rise to Glory, how he was let go from Loudness in the 80's and the bands return

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When asked about the musical direction of their New Album 'Rise to Glory' compared to their last Album

"The musical direction of the new album is more about the vocal melodies of the songs. For the last album the band approached a heavier sound, whereas this album it's much more vocal oriented and melodic."

When asked if he wrote all the English lyrics himself on the album
"I had three co-writers for the album and initially I would  write lyrics in Japanese and then would turn those into English lyrics with the three co-writers,"

When asked about the bonus CD that will accompany the new album
"It was a co-idea with the record company and the band. The band re-recorded songs from the first three albums, the band was curious to know how the music would sound if they re-recorded the songs, it was a bit of a challenge and also the band wanted a younger generation of fans who weren't born when those albums came out  to listen to the earlier tracks."

When asked the challenges  in the 1980's in singing and recording in English and not knowing how to speak the language
"I nearly became paranoid when the band toured America or Europe for the first time but I realized that being a rock musician you don't really need to be able to speak the language and I had an American girlfriend, so I caught onto the English language very early on. "

"I wrote the original lyrics so I knew what I was singing on the albums. Singing in English would take a long time because there are pronunciations in the English language which are not existent in the Japanese language. So it took a long time but the people around me  were very patient so everything worked out ok. I would have a guide vocal sung by English speaking singers and I would study them and managed to handle the English vocals." 

When asked about how he felt like when he was fired from the band and replaced by American singer Michael Vescera during the recording of Soldier of Fortune.
"At the start of  making the album of Soldier of Fortune 1989 I was told that the band would be recruiting a new vocalist so I was sacked from the band and hurt. I feel that one of the reason was that the prior album Hurricane Eyes did not sell as many as the band expected, so the band needed a new kick in the butt. It was a huge shock for him and I wept and I needed ten years to recover from the shock."

I feel that Soldier of Fortune is a good album, it's a very high quality album from a listeners point of view. I almost feels sorry for  Michael Vescera because he gets compared with me. Mike did a good job 

When asked about how the band reunited later on 
The reunion started from a phone call from Akira Takasaki  and the idea was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Loudness with a reunion of the original line-up. The original reunion was suppose to be one year since the tour and the shows were so well received they decided to continue

When asked if Loudness will tour in the USA and Canada
"The band was not allowed entry into the USA this year but keep your fingers crossed and if  the visa are cleared they are many offers from many festivals."

LOUDNESS will release their new album, "Rise To Glory", on January 26, 2018 via earMUSIC (world excluding Japan). The follow-up to 2014's "The Sun Will Rise Again"

 

"Rise To Glory" track listing:

01. Soul On Fire
02. I'm Still Alive 
03. Go For Broke 
04. Until I See The Light
05. The Voice 
06. Massive Tornado 
07. Kama Sutra (instrumental) 
08. No Limits 
09. Bad Loser 
10. Rise To Glory 
11. Rain 
12. Who And For Whom

 

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