Having recently released their first official international album Bloody Bride (via UK label SETSUZOKU RECORDS) all-female metal band BRIDEAR seem set to conquer the world with their hard-hitting yet accessible sound. With a European tour imminent Peter Dennis decided it was time to catch up with the band.
AVO Magazine: Hello. Please introduce yourself. What do you do in the band?
KIMI: Hi, I’m KIMI, the vocalist. I like heavy metal, anime, and cats. BRIDEAR is a cool band based on rock and metal with a lot of J-POP mixed in!
HARU: I’m HARU! I’m on bass and perform the growling vocals!
MISAKI: Hello! I’m MISAKI. I play lead guitar!
AYUMI: I’m AYUMI! I’m the guitarist always on your right.
NATSUMI: I’m NATSUMI, the drummer.
AVO Magazine: 2021 is your 10th anniversary. Can you give me a brief history of BRIDEAR. How do you rate your progress over the past 10 years?
KIMI: 10 years ago, HARU and I formed BRIDEAR in our hometown of Fukuoka. We have since released a lot of music and toured all around Japan and overseas several times. It’s very difficult to rate. But I can say that it’s been a very good 10 years for me, because I’m working with this line-up now. We had a change of members a few years ago, and we became the current band 2 years ago. There were a lot of difficulties along the way, but we were able to overcome them thanks to the support of our fans, no exaggeration or anything! I would like to thank the current members, the fans, and the staff for their support.
HARU: When I formed BRIDEAR with KIMI, I never imagined the situation we are in now, being introduced in the international media like this. There have been many turning points in our career and each time I’ve broadened my horizons. The reason why we started to look overseas is because we received the voice of our overseas fans, and the story of BRIDEAR includes support from people all over the world who listen to our music.
AVO Magazine: Since your last release, Expose Your Emotions, you have a new drummer. Has this altered the band’s chemistry?
KIMI: The whole sound was tighter, and I think it took BRIDEAR up a few notches.
HARU: With the addition of NATSUMI, the range of arrangements for the songs has increased. We started to make more technical phrases throughout. She also strikes steadily in live performances, so reliable, which allows us to play to our hearts out with confidence.
MISAKI: Every time NATSUMI makes a new piece or tries a new challenge, she becomes more and more advanced in her technique. I am amazed. She is always keen to improve her drumming, which has a very positive effect on the atmosphere of the band!
AYUMI: NATSUMI’s love for BRIDEAR and its members in particular, as well as her drumming skills, is always evident. I feel that this makes the vibes in the band that much better!
AVO Magazine: Likewise, how did this line-up influence the writing of the new album Bloody Bride?
KIMI: The range of music that we can do has become much wider. However, the core of BRIDEAR is now felt more strongly than before.
HARU: Bloody Bride was created with a raw sound and delicate arrangements. We wouldn’t have thought of this concept if we didn’t have all the current members. It’s hard to find a band these days that makes an album with these kinds of arrangements and without any modifications of the recorded takes. This is the greatest album we’ve done and the most powerful line-up of the band.
MISAKI: I think the best thing about the current line-up is that we have a sound that can be widely accepted by both metal fans and non-metal fans. I feel that we will be able to show more and more people how good metal can be.
AYUMI: As was the case with the previous album, Expose Your Emotions, the compositional side of the album has been particularly renewed, which has broadened the range of expression. This album also contains NATSUMI’s first composed songs, which were arranged in a way that was a first for BRIDEAR.
NATSUMI: It’s a great piece of work that brings out the best of each member’s personality and ability!
AVO Magazine: I wonder did the global pandemic influence how you wrote and recorded Bloody Bride?
KIMI: It very much influenced the way we worked. We couldn’t play live, so I wrote lyrics that had a live feel to them, and lyrics that expressed my frustrations. We also didn’t have the chance to work together in the studio, so we had to be very careful.
HARU: Because we couldn’t see each other in person anymore, we had to work on the music more than ever. We exchanged a lot of data between the members, and the density of the performances and the music got better and better. In terms of composing, I think it shows my desire to play live. It’s very difficult to play live, but I compose with the idea of playing live.
MISAKI: The fact that I couldn’t play in a band or even live a normal life made me think a lot about the importance of music. I think it gave me a different perspective in terms of composing and recording than I had before. I painted with different colours, I think. As for the physical influence, we had less chance to work with each other compared to the last album, but we already knew each other very well after Expose Your Emotions, so the recording went relatively smoothly.
NATSUMI: It has been a difficult time for us to meet the members of the band and to write and record songs. When the album was finished, I was very impressed with the work and the respect I had for this band became even stronger.
AVO Magazine: I really like your video for the song Bloody Bride. Can you tell me about it?
KIMI: Thank you so much. I think we have been able to express our worldview directly because we have included footage cut with a model dressed as a “bloody bride”, which we’ve never been done before. I was very excited to shoot in a gorgeous western-style castle too.
HARU: Thank you! Bloody Bride is the story of a woman who is bewitched by a demon with a bewitching smile. In the music video, the woman is dancing in a pure white wedding dress, but when she realises, she is dancing in blood. The music video is a direct representation of the song.
MISAKI: Thank you so much. The contrast between the beautiful woman and her beautiful white dress and the horror and dark mood of the song is the best expression of the bewitching nature of the song.
AYUMI: The band footage was shot on a gorgeous set, like a palace, so everyone was excited as soon as they saw it. There is a behind-the-scenes video on our official YouTube, which you should definitely watch!
NATSUMI: I think the video has a great impact with the bloody bride dancing. In terms of the performance, I think it shows the true strength of the women in this band.
AVO Magazine: How involved are you in the presentation of the band (in the case of videos, album covers etc)?
KIMI: We are working with the help of a lot of staff. I’ve been able to concentrate on writing the songs while consulting with them along the way.
HARU: For me personally, I am deeply involved in the production of props. For example, I made the costumes for the bride in the music video Bloody Bride.
MISAKI: There are so many people who help us with the production and planning of the music and the shows, and I have a lot of input into that. I really appreciate it.
AVO Magazine: It seems like this is a golden age for Japanese female metal bands (Aldious, Mary’s Blood, LOVEBITES, BRIDEAR). Why?
KIMI: I think it has something to do with the idol subculture boom in Japan. Many of them are working in live music venues like us. Did the metal fans notice us at that time?
HARU: I think that what each band has built up because of continuing to take music seriously, even when it wasn’t getting much attention, is now being recognised overseas.
MISAKI: In my opinion, the number of women who like metal music in Japan has been increasing since about 10 years ago. As the number of women-only metal bands catches the attention of people overseas and becomes more and more well known, the number of women who admire metal music will increase and the female metal scene will become more and more exciting.
NATSUMI: There are very few female bands in Japan that play the metal genre. I think we are appreciated because we are always improving our technique and pursuing it.
AVO Magazine: In September/October you’ll tour Europe. How do you feel about that? What can people expect from a BRIDEAR show?
KIMI: We are grateful for the cooperation of our staff overseas to be able to do this tour now. We’re sure our fans are expecting an exciting time and a blast with us!
HARU: We are the first Japanese band to tour Europe after the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, we might be the first female band to tour Europe after the coronavirus pandemic. The strength of women, Japanese metal, and the new line-up of BRIDEAR will send a powerful message.
MISAKI: It’s been 3 years since BRIDEAR has toured Europe and in that time there have been some changes in the band. I’m sure our European fans are looking forward to hearing and seeing the new BRIDEAR for themselves. With that in mind, we will do our best to not let them down.
AYUMI: It’s been a long time, and this will be the first time we’re touring with the current members. I’m sure our fans are expecting to see the evolution as a band, so we’ll do our best to show them how cool we are!
NATSUMI: Covid has spread all over the world, and many people have lost a sense of joy and direction. We hope that we will give hope and inspiration as live music resumes.
AVO Magazine: Do you have a message for your European fans?
KIMI: We are so happy to finally be able to hold this tour after so many postponements. We are going to exceed the expectations of our fans who are waiting for us! Please look forward to it. We’re really looking forward to seeing you all! We’ll see you at the venue!
HARU: Thank you for everything! BRIDEAR has been influenced a lot by the messages of all our overseas fans. With the current line-up, we can finally go to Europe! Please come and see us live!
MISAKI: We’re looking forward to finally showing the Europeans what we can do with the current line-up! We hope you will come and see us! We’re looking forward to it!
AYUMI: This is the first time I’m going to see you all on tour. It’s going to be a hot and exciting show, so please follow us!
NATSUMI: It’s been a difficult time for everyone, but we hope that by going on tour in Europe, something will change for the better and everyone will feel better. We are looking forward to going on tour. We’ll be waiting for you!
More up-to-date information about the Into the Dark Forever European tour can be found on the website of ORION Live. Many thanks to ORION Live for this interview opportunity.
Do let us know where you will see BRIDEAR live during their European tour!