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Crossfaith: Drunken Physics

Osaka’s hard partying, electro tinged metal mob Crossfaith originally came together in 2006, but it wasn’t until the release of their Zion EP earlier this year that the masses really started to take notice. Like a heavier and more groove-laden hybrid of Enter Shikari and The Devil Wears Prada, the Japanese five-piece have been winning over fans and critics alike with their energetic and highly infectious live show, where frontman (and, quite possibly, the single most gracious human being currently walking the earth) Kenta Koie puts his band of Jäger-chugging merry men through their paces. Recently returning from a sold out UK support run with Halfcut label mates While She Sleeps, Koie is positively beaming at just how far his fledgling outfit has come in the last 12 months.

“Every single show in the UK was amazing and it seems like the fans were more and more excited to see us each time,” beams Koie. “I can’t wait to get back!”

While Koie admits he was confident Zion would do well in his homeland, the EP’s positive reception in the UK, Europe and here in Australia has come as something of a welcome surprise to the Crossfaith team. With the band’s initial goals well and truly eclipsed – “We would have been happy just to tour around Japan” – the opportunity to travel the world with his friends is reward enough, a sentiment that’s largely at odds with the career-minded, make-a-buck approach employed by so many of Crossfaith’s contemporaries.

“We’ve played in so many different countries this year already and getting to go to Australia in 2013 is like a dream. I couldn’t be more stoked and we’re beyond grateful for this chance,” he enthuses.

Largely credited as popularising the contemporary metalcore sound in Japan, it was Koie’s decision to sing entirely in English that has further assisted the band’s growth outside of their native region and in turn, encouraged similar artists from the US to start touring the area more frequently. That willingness to challenge his own vocal limitations coupled with Crossfaith’s exposure to world-class heavy acts is largely responsible for shaping the group’s airtight stage show. Well, that and one other time-honoured, rock’n’roll tradition…

“Most people think we’re pretty crazy live and I think we’ve done a great job in putting that energy onto our CD as well, but really, it’s because we drink a lot before shows and get ourselves psyched up,” laughs Koie. “We love bringing that energy and fun to the stage and singing in English has made it much easier for us to connect with our fans. Even though it’s incredibly hard for me to do it I’m happy to put in the work because it helps us as a band. It’s weird though because at home in Japan no one can understand what I’m saying!”

Although Zion is still a relatively new discovery for Australian audiences, the members of Crossfaith have already commenced writing for the EP’s follow up, where they will once again team up with famed US producer Machine (The Amity Affliction, Four Year Strong, House VS Hurricane) at his New Jersey-based studio. Between the band’s knack for penning a tune and Machine’s deft touch behind the boards, it would appear as though 2013 is shaping up to be the biggest year on the Crossfaith calendar to date, which is good in theory, but Koie and his cohorts need to survive their planned Australian bender first.

“Oh my god we love to drink, seriously, just get us as much Jägermeister as possible when we’re out for Soundwave. We want to drink with as many awesome Australians as we can before we have to leave!”

Zion is out now on Halfcut/Shock.

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