Broken By The Scream are an alternative idol group formed in 2016, with the current line-up consisting of Io Nodukidaira (野月平イオ), Tsubaki Nanaougi (七々扇ツバキ), Ayame Yabusame (流鏑馬アヤメ) and Kagura Uriin (雲林院カグラ). The concept of the group is to mix screaming vocals with J-Pop vocals, with a further clash in the instrumental that works to match both styles of vocals. To coincide with their third album RiSE into CHAOS, we were given a chance to interview them to find out more about them, so let’s dive straight into it.
AVO Magazine: Hello Broken By The Scream, would you like to introduce yourselves to the AVO Magazine readers?
AYAME: I am Ayame Yabusame, the leader of the band.
TSUBAKI: I am Tsubaki Nanaougi on clean vocals.
IO: I am Io Nodukidaira on death growl vocals.
KAGURA: I am Kagura Uriin on high-pitched screams.
AVO Magazine: Congratulations on your first major label album release, let’s jump straight into how you feel about reaching this step of your musical career?
AYAME: I feel like we’ve worked hard on each and every album, and I’ve had a chance to meet people through our live shows, so I don’t feel like I’m over-enthusiastic, but the number of people involved has increased, and I feel like we’re expanding in a different way than before.
AVO Magazine: Was there anything you did differently in preparing, and recording, for this album compared to your independent releases?
KAGURA: Nothing special has changed, but there have been many occasions when we’ve been recording at the label’s studio and I’ve felt that the environment has changed.
From left to right: IO, AYAME, TSUBAKI, and KAGURA
AVO Magazine: Your sound revolves around blending genres, are your main influences other artists who also blend genres, or do you draw on a range of artists (so J-pop artists, metalcore, etc) that you put together?
IO: Electro Sonar, who creates the band’s sound, is familiar with a lot of different genres of music, so he mixes elements of metalcore and Djent in a Broken By The Scream-like way. I haven’t heard who he is mainly influenced by recently, but at the beginning of our band formation, it seems that our theme was to play metal that swung to this era, like Dragonforce. I think it’s BBTS’ character to be Japanese or to have J-Pop qualities in it.
AVO Magazine: This might have a similar answer, but who is your dream artist you would like to tour with?
IO: There’s a lot! Like Motionless In White, and Betraying the Martyrs, who responded to us a bit on social media, Jinjer, who has a female scream vocalist that I really respect, Bring Me the Horizon, Electric Callboy(ex. Eskimo Callboy), Rise Of The North Star… and many more!
AVO Magazine: What excites you the most about being a musician, but also what isn’t as exciting as you expected?
TSUBAKI: Being excited with the audience at live concerts is the best thing about being a musician! It’s the moment when I feel happy to be playing music.
AYAME: Every recording session has its nervous moments, lol. Sometimes I can’t sing the way I want to. But when I get over that and receive the CDs, if they say, “That was great”, that makes me the happiest.
AVO Magazine: All of your album artworks are cool and really give a visual representation of your sound. Is it the same artist every time and how is it put together?
KAGURA: Our artwork are always done by Mizuki Yokota (mzk). We have wanted a consistent image when expressing our music since the first time we released our album, so we are happy to be able to work Mizuki until the time we release our music on a major label.
IO: We tell her the album title first. Then we all discuss on a rough image and tell Yokota-san about it. We ask her to expand our rough image and brush it up.
AVO Magazine: Broken By The Scream’s activities started around 6 years ago, which is already a pretty respectable amount of time for a band. How does it feel looking back over the time that you all have been a part of the group?
AYAME: It seems like it was a long time, but it was also a short time. (Laughs) I’ve been so desperate for so long, it feels like it’s been that long already.
KAGURA: There was a long period of time when we couldn’t perform due to the corona pandemic, so it’s actually only been three or four years. I feel like it’s only been three or four years.
IO: I’ve had lots of fun, but I feel like it’s not enough. I want more and more people to get to know us, and I really wish to go and meet lots of people as many as possible!
TSUBAKI: I joined BBTS this year, so I don’t have much history to look back on, but I want to make BBTS stronger and cooler.
AVO Magazine: It goes without saying the pandemic had a huge impact on the music industry. How did it affect your plans and how did you stay motivated?
AYAME: All the tours that had been scheduled, including the solo shows abroad, had to be cancelled. It was quite difficult for us. Of course it wasn’t just us, the staff must have had a hard time too. But I really think that we have been able to do our best so far because of the fans in Japan and overseas who responded to our little messages.
IO: I had a strong feeling that BBTS couldn’t end here. I thought that I definitely had to let people know more about us, and I’m really happy that we’re now able to do live shows again.
AVO Magazine: Outside of music, what are your hobbies?
IO: Watching movies, Walking whilstmoon viewing… (laughs)
KAGURA: I like walking too!
TSUBAKI: Going to gigs, collecting food miniatures, eating good food!
AYAME: It’s not a hobby but I have a cat at home! The cat is very cute and always comforts me when I’m home.
AVO Magazine: You’ve performed in some countries around the world already, are there any particular places you would like to play in the future?
IO: We’ve been to the USA, Taiwan and South Korea, but not Europe. I would like to go there. Of course I want to go to the Netherlands!
AVO Magazine: Now you’ve reached the major label stage, what is your next music goal you would like to reach?
AYAME: Of course releasing on a major label means a lot for us. However, no matter how we release it, if people don’t know about it, it’s totally meaningless, so I’d like to tour all over the world. I want to meet people from different countries and tell them how good Broken By The Scream is!
AVO Magazine: For readers unfamiliar with your work, what song from your discography would you recommend they listen to for them to get a feel for your sound?
AYAME: I think Kanjo Cross-Counter (感情クロスカウンター) is a work full of BBTS character.
IO: If you want to listen to brutal music, I recommend Mera Mera Señorita (メラメラセニョリータ).
KAGURA: For those who wants to feel Japanese vibe, how about ‘TOKYO RIDE’?
TSUBAKI: Setsuna Hoop (セツナフープ) is the first song I ever recorded, so you should listen to it!
AVO Magazine: Any messages for the readers of AVO Magazine?
AYAME: Thank you for reading our interview, whether you are new to us or have been supporting BBTS for a long time. Although we are far away from you, we hope that our songs will give you courage as you work hard every day. Please support Broken By The Scream from now on!
And that is it for the interview, thanks again to Broken By The Scream for their time and for answering our questions. You can listen to RiSE into CHAOS on Apple Music, Spotify, and other streaming platforms. But you can also get a physical CD at JPU Records (affiliate link)! A review of this album can be read here. Many thanks to Mayumi Kojima for making the interview possible.
We also received a small video message from the four, please take a look!
Broken By The Scream