Nov 20, 2014

Aggroknuckle interview

Regards!First could you tell us something about Aggroknuckle's history?What were the main reasons and inspirations to start a band,how would you describe your sound and what are the main topics of your lyrics?

Aggroknuckle  was formed in 1993, by the members of Cannons,our former band.
Then the first singer quit the band and we accepted Kitty as the new singer. 
First we started as a 4-piece band. Now we have 5 members (Kitty (vo), Yoshinari (G), Kensei (B), Masuda (Ds), and Yutaka (G)).
In our  earlier era we also played  songs from Cannons, but soon we changed our fact, AK played under the name of Cannons for a very short period.
Buy we changed the style of our music, so we also decided to change our name.
I wanted to make music that is simple, but strong,heavy and metallic,that goad people to fight.
We thought our music would be like that,so we changed our name to  Aggroknuckle, with the idea.
We emphasize that we can express heavy sounds without too much metalizing or down tunings, when we make songs.
About the lyrics, the most is about "our way of lives" like how are we when we face troubles or difficulties in our lives.
Sometimes we are asked  why we sing in English,and thats because the sound we make is better with English lyrics. That's all.

Could you name some of your favourite bands,both from Japan and worldwide,and which new bands from Japan would you recommend to the readers?Do any of the AK members also play in any other band?

The Japanese band that influenced us the most is Gruesome.And we can also mention Crikey Crew, The Hawks, Strong Crowd, 鐵槌(Tettsui / Sledgehammer), 桜花(Ouka), Shuffle, Cracker Jacks, etc.
Then we would recommend bands such as Rouge Trooper and Natural Born Masters which are also in this scene for a long time.
From foreign bands, we like Skrewdriver, Bound For Glory, Brutal Attack, No Remorse, Bully Boys, Last Resort, Condemned 84, KONKWISTA 88, Doc Evil, Blood Red Eagle, Troll Front, Legitime Violence, Offensive Weapon, Nessuna Resa, Feher Torveny, Bandiera De Combate, Brassic, Kill Baby Kill, Battle Cry, etc. It is not enough room here to write it all.
From  Asian bands, we listen to Samchung and 血盟(Ketsumei) from South Korea.
Anyway, Masuda, our drummer, plays in THE HAWKS too.         
How often do you play gigs and which were some of your favourite? Do you have any plans for any foreign concerts,maybe in Europe or USA?Tell us also with which skinheads from other countries do you  have the best contacts?

We usually play once or twice in a month. We play in the club mainly in Nagoya, our hometown, but also all over Japan, like Tokyo and Osaka.
And we remember the Japan tour (Nagoya and Tokyo) of BFG in 2013, organized by us, YS28.
It was the amazing experience that we will treasure for the rest of our lives.
And we also have a plan to play in New York and Montreal in summer of 2015,which is now being arranged.
A friend we have the most contact with is Jason Hue from the US.
BFG's Japan tour would not come true without his help.
He is our benefactor and our important crew who no one can be like.

When and why did you decide to became skinheads and what does being a skinhead means to you?

It was 23 years ago, I was 19 when I became a skinhead.
It was because I listened to the record of Skrewdriver.
It is very natural for me to be a skinhead.
That is, it is my life itself.

Can you tell us something about the Samurai Skinhead Spirit movement? When did the first skins appeare in Japan,which were some of the first bands,magazines and labels and who are some of the most active bands and promoters today? Is there a part of Japan that has the strongest scene? These days it seems that most of the bands are playing under the banner of Yellowside 28, can you tell us more about this organisation?

SSS was the movement caused by mainly
鐵槌(Tettsui/Sledgehammer) from Tokyo.
At that time, we joined in SSS as CANNONS and AK.
The skinhead movement,that we could say was the "first", is Japanese Movement a.k.a. JM by mainly Cracker Jacks from Osaka, in late 80s.
There were some similar bands, but JM were the first bands that stimulate us and has special value for us.
And the policy of  YS28 is "to broadcast from the side of Japanese".
For a very long time, Japanese skinheads were mostly unknown to Western countries.
We YS28 think that we deliver our ideas through our music.
You, and a few other japanese bands,also play Skrewdriver covers and it seems that the whole SSS scene is quite influenced by Skrewdriver.Did the japanese skins back in the days have any contacts with Ian Stuart,who also gave his support to the japanese skins in some of the old BH magazines,and how big was the influence of him and his music on the japanesse movement?

We think the influence from ISD is very big in Japan.
We YS28 are also strongly influenced from him in the music and the idea.
In 90s, one of the SSS had contacted with ISD. He actually went to England and met and talked with him.
Ian accept him who came from the far east, and they talked much.
He told us that is a treasure for him.

Last year you released a split cd with a legendary American RAC band Bound for glory,and also organized a BFG tour in Japan,please tell us more about this. How did you make contact with BFG  and decide to release a cd together? Were the gigs you had together a big sucess and was there a lot of people attending? Which  of the moments from this tour do you specially remember and which are some of the best memories you have? Tell us also what does this kind of a cooperation between east and west means to you and what would you say to the people that have problems with this kind of comradeship between Japanese and White nationalists?

The gigs were held in two places, Nagoya and Tokyo, and both of them were very successful.
BFG stayed in Japan for six days and we talked much. They themselves, the attitude towards music they have, the understanding of our country, Japanese culture and Japanese  etc. is very important for us.
They played their best songs through all ages,and not only us but also the rest of Japanese skinheads were knocked out.
When we planned their Japan tour, I had contacted with Ed through an American friend who we trust very much.
We mailed with him for about a year so we got to knew well each other.
By mailing with Ed directly, you know, we could know him as a person,which it is hard to know through only by reading interviews.
Not only music he make, his personality is also great, and although it was only one year  I could learn many things.
We could make friendship over our skin color.
I am not racist,so I do not discriminate. But I think we need to distinguish.
Of course both of you and  us have culture, tradition, and history that both of us can be proud of.
It is important to understand and respect each other. To think everything in "our" common sense is dangerous. So we think to distinguish is needed and it is not discrimination.
We are also proud of our skin color and our culture and history as you are.
We understood and respect each other after talking with them about those of our ideas above and their ideas, and many other things.We have realize the tour and split CD.
We Japanese think manners are important.We think it is the most important thing as a human being, before the races.If BFG were greedy band in money and status, they would not do that.
Actually we faced some opposites from both inside and outside of Japan, when we announced that we invited the band known as WP and made the split CD with them.
But we had no problem with BFG.
Because we do not mix our bloods. It was just 100% about our identities, of us and BFG.
We think we have the same idea in the deeper places as far as both of us are nationalists.
Of course I do not mean it is totally the same, it depends on our cultures or environments. So, as I said before, we need to distinguish in this case.
Communicating with respect, accepting the differences, and understanding is the way to have cogency.
It's not that we are all brothers and we should hold our hands with each other.
We Japanese have the ideas of Bushido, a policy of Samurai, and also the idea of the valiant fighting people,
It is our pride and ˝raison d'etre˝, and firm policy we can never give up.

You also have a split with Australian band Blood red eagle called ˝Aussie-Japanese friendship˝,tell us more about this. How did you make contacts with BRE and decide to record this cd together?

We got an offer from Doug of BRE, one of our definitive friends.
At first Doug and Witek (Hostile Class CEO) also tried to make split with all new songs both from BRE and AK, but I said them to put songs from our 1st album released in 2010, because it was distributed only in Japan.
The Doug and Witek accepted it and BRE also decided to put their rare tracks like previously unreleased songs, and we made the split CD.
Doug, Witek of Hostile Class, Jason who always helps us and Shaun from Canadian great band Section Saint Laurent are  very great people who gave us chance to deliver our music to foreign countries.
We cannot find enough words for them.

What do you think are the biggest differences between Japan and the Western countries,both within the movement and in general?

Regretfully the Japanese skinhead scene is much smaller than in Western countries.
But the idea in deeper places in our hearts is similar.

European nations today are facing many problems like mass immigration,low birth rate,bad economy,forced muliculturism on our people,unemploiment....can you tell us is Japan facing any simmilar problems and which are the biggest threats and problems for Japan today?

Yes, we also have similar problems.
Especially this long bad situation of economy is a big problem for us, and a threat to our bases of lives.
For example, our production system is depending on foreign countries too much.
Many companies moved their factories to foreign countries because of  cheap labor.
Great engineers from Japan moved to foreign companies because they could not work as they liked to.
Japanese companies take short views and workers' situation is getting worse.
We kept our high economic growth with the cooperation of employees and unions, but that has already started to becoming the thing of the past.
And there are many people who lost their pride because of masochistic view of history, that is also a problem.
We chose the right of collective self-defense and now we are getting back to "standard", but mass media still say it means military empiricism or that Japan will make war very soon. It is biased.
And people believe it blindly and there are many people who do it without question.

Today nationalists in Europe are being regulary persecuted from the state,concerts are being stopped,bands banned etc...Do you have similar problems with the goverment and the state in Japan?

No, we don't face that kind of persecution here in Japan.

Do you have anything like ANTIFA scum or sharps in Japan,and if so,do they cause any trouble?

Yes, there are some, as we say, left activists called ANTIFA.
And also there are people like red skins, but we cannot see the deep ideology in any of them.
They mostly walk and shout on the street, as we say "hate speech".
Sometimes they are broadcasted and those shameful activities are known to foreign countries, but it is not what we want. We do not want the people in the world to receive these figures. If you think deeply, you will easily know how much it is far from what we real Japanese are. 

The japanese ancient history is well known for its battles against foreign invasions,emperors,and of course the well known samurais, can you tell us wich events from your history are most important for you as japanese nationalists,and wich historical figures are most honoured?Also tell us about the samurai code and the way of the warrior and what does it mean for you?

First, as I mentioned above, we think the manners is important.
And we also respect the opposites who fought valiantly.
It is from not only Samurai, but also Japanese long tradition and culture. It symbolizes Japanese.
Be severe to ourselves, keep ourselves, fight against ourselves. It is very common and usual for us and it is from our former people's great idea.

In the great struggle of the world war two the japan was part of the axis,can you tell us how do you view the great battle of blood against gold,and what does the bravery of your soldiers that were the last to surrender and the sacrifice of kamikaze means to you ? Wich are some of the historical figures from that period of time that are the most honoured and regarded as heroes within your movement? How was the japanese involvment in WW II regarded by the japanesse people in general?

First of all, our forerunners stood up to stop invasions from other countries.
They colonize many Asian countries, and when they looked at Japan, we Japanese are not the tribe who chose to obey.
Our forerunners fought to the end for the coming generations (of course including us), not to be treated bad and looked down upon in the coming age. They tried though all of them are killed.
It was very significant terrible war, but they told us that we can never give up and showed us the way to live strong. We cannot change it.
Today, the way of their lives and attitude is an influence to us.

What are your future plans,when can we expect a new AK album,or are you planning on doing any new split cds?Tell us also can we expect any new distribution from AK soon?:)

We will release some split CDs with BDC from Brazil and Feher Torveny from Hungary.
We will record new songs at the end of this year, and it will be released in the next year.
And also we got many offers of tours and records.
We are very greatfull for that.
It is impossible to make all of them come true, but we try as much as possible.

Thank you for the interview!Any last words for the readers?

Thank you very much for the great interview.
I hope our music arrives to you over the seas and hope to see you here in Japan or there in your countries.
Hail the ˝Hail the New Dawn˝ zine and great Slovenia, and respect and thanks to nationalists who are fighting around the world from AK/YS28.
Thank you very much.