The Summer heat was in full force outside London’s Olympia but inside HYPER JAPAN Festival, ROA turned the dial up a few notches further, bringing a whirlwind of energy, crowd invasions and their jaw dropping Shamisen skills!

Check out my interview below and view ROA’s HYPER JAPAN Festival live photo gallery above!

Q. How long have you been playing the Shamisen?

A. Moroboshimann: “20 years.”

A. 坂本”マニ”真二郎: “15 years.”

Q. Which traditional Japanese instruments would you like to include / work with in the future?

A. Masatomo: “Shakuhachi; not with a new member but collaborations would be more fun…or if someone in the band would want to learn a new instrument.”

Q. With seven band members on stage, can it be challenging to move around?

A. “We usually play smaller venues but because the stage was so big today, it was much easier to move around. When we play smaller venues, one of the Shamisen players goes down into the audience!”

Q. Which Western bands do you admire musically?

A. “Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, New Found Glory, Oasis, Iron Maiden! So many!”

Q. You recently released the MV for ‘Ushism’, what was the process like behind the scenes?

A. “It was a one day shoot, with the editing etc it took about a month to complete.”

Q. Did you find writing the lyrics / music for ‘RODIAC’ an easier process than writing your debut album: ‘OOPARTS’?

A. “The previous album had a bunch of songs which made it onto the album, with ‘RODIAC’, we had a concept which is the twelve animals of the zodiac. One of the longest aspects was the vocals and to get the actual lyrics for the songs. It was a longer process (for ‘ROADIAC’) because we had a theme for the album. We didn’t really think so much of it taking a long time, it was more about challenging ourselves to create something better than we had released previously. (‘RODIAC’) is better than anything we’ve ever made before!”

Q. Please share a message for your UK fans.

A. “We’ve made music that we think the British people will love. Please buy our CD and listen to it!”

Thanks to HYPER JAPAN Festival, Joshua Lassman for translating & ROA for this opportunity.