2019 will be a year to remember for D_Drive and fans alike! Not only are the band celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, 2019 also sees the ‘driving Rock’ quartet perform for the first time in the UK at Marshall’s inaugural music festival: ‘Marshall Live‘. Located at the recently renamed Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes & performing at The Devonshire Arms as part of the Camden Rocks Festival!

D_Drive have released three albums prior in Japan (‘Something To Drink’, ‘Accelerator’ and ‘R’) but the bands debut release via Marshall Records: ‘Maximum Impact’ is a compilation from those three albums available worldwide for the first time!

I spoke with D_Drive after their supercharged UK debut at Marshall Live to learn how Toshi added his own playing style to the D_Drive sound and more!

Q. Congratulations on the release of ‘Maximum Impact’ via Marshall Records! How does it feel now you can share your music with the world?

SEIJI: “The day before yesterday we saw the final product for the first time! We were really impressed and it finally felt like ‘this is real’!

YUKI: “We realised ‘we are signed to Marshall Records!’ after performing at Marshall Arena. It really is a dream come true!”

Q. Was it a difficult process selecting the final track listings for ‘Maximum Impact’?

SEIJI: “Our songs are very special and we consider them our ‘babies’. It was a very difficult job choosing ten tracks from our ‘children’. Marshall Records requested three tracks to be included, the other seven were selected by D_Drive. We chose the other songs like a live setlist, which is told like a story.”

Q. If D_Drive had their own music festival, which three headliners would you choose?

SEIJI: “Iron Maiden, METALLICA & Michael Schenker.”

TOSHI: “METALLICA, Megadeth & Anthrax!”

YUKI: “Steve Vai! Steve Vai, Steve Vai!”

Q. Who introduced you to the instruments you play today?

YUKI: “My father has been playing the guitar since he was a kid. He recommended to me to play the guitar when I was 17 years old and that’s when I started to play the guitar. I practice for a maximum of 10 hours per day but average about 5 – 6 hours a day.”

TOSHI: “The bassist on the TV programme I watched by chance, in that performance (Judy & Mary) the bassist was the brightest. I admired the bassist and wanted to learn!”

SEIJI: “When I was in junior high, there was a lottery to win a guitar and I won! I wasn’t interested in the guitar at the time – there were no teachers playing guitar. I taught myself and I had no friends that played instruments but I really wanted to have a band! I learnt not only to play guitar but also bass and drums. I taught my friends how to play these instruments by force and I formed my first band! I would practice for 8 hours a day and preferred playing guitar than eating meals!”

CHIIKO: “In junior high, I couldn’t play any instruments. I joined the brass band but because I couldn’t play, I was moved to percussion – which was easier to play and connected me to the drums.”

D_DRIVE performing at Marshall Live – © KAKKOII CLUB

Q. YUKI – While rehearsing for Marshall Live in the UK, you mentioned the voltage is different in the UK compared to Japan. Does this affect your guitars sound?

“There is a very big difference! The sound is well balanced [in the UK] in terms of the bass, middle and treble. I really prefer the sound here!”

Q. If you could have a special guest perform on your next album, who would you choose?

SEIJI: [points to me] we all laugh.

YUKI: “Steve Vai! It would be a great honour to have Steve perform on our next album!”

Q. TOSHI – You’ve been with D_Drive for just over a year. How did you add your own style to the D_Drive sound?

“I have been in many bands which played various types of music before joining D_Drive. I had many ‘drawers’ of music to choose from which can be utilised to create my D_Drive sound. I used to be in various bands as a support bassist but my desire was to join a stable band.”

View my live photo gallery of D_Drive performing at Marshall Live here.

‘Maximum Impact’ is out now via Marshall Records.

Thanks to D_Drive, Shigeyuki Ushizawa and Peter Capstick at Marshall Records for this opportunity.