Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: July 26th, 2005
Yoshihiro, welcome to RockEyez.com would you like to make any opening statements?
How do you do, I’m Yoshihiro Nitta - BLACK MASQUERADE guitarist from Japan. Thanks to Brian of Rock Eyez, I am glad to be able to speak greetings to all of you. It’s an honor to be introduced in Rockeyez.com. (I am very honored to be able to speak to Rockeyez.com)
Let’s get started on our interview and let the fans get to know more about yourself and the band. What was the first album you bought?
Domestic - Godiego/ “Our Decade”; Overseas - Queen/ “Jazz”.
What was the first concert you attended?
Domestic - Godiego / Overseas – Rainbow.
Did you collect anything as a young man?
What kind of kid were you in school?
I was full of curiosity.
What is the current CD you have in your player right now?
System of a Down "Twilighting".
What band sticks in your head today that you listened to in your younger years?
The Beatles and Queen.
What was your favorite group growing up?
Queen and Rainbow.
What was the first garage band you were in?
A hard rock band called Blood.
What was the first guitar you owned?
A Japanese brand Greco Stratocaster model.
Were you in any other bands that released material?
I was in STEEL Emblem. We released a compilation album called “Red Hot Burning Hell Vol. 2”
How hard is it to get a record deal in Japan?
It’s very difficult to get a record deal as a Japanese Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band because HR/HM is not generally popular in Japan.
How long has the band been together?
For four years as BLACK MASQUERADE.
How did the band form?
I was in the same band as our drummer and he was friends with our bass player and keyboard player. Our Vocalist played out live in a band and I played sometimes in his band. I came to play with them after I left a band that I fronted.
What was the date and venue of the very first show for BLACK MASQUERADE?
December 2001 at Brand New (in Osaka).
Your first demo came out in 2002 with three songs (“Skin and Bones,” “Another Place,” “Hero of the Darkness”) how was the recording of that demo different from the new CD in 2005 “Spread Your Wings”?
Yes, it was released in 2002 or 2003. The new CD is more professional.
The three songs that were on your demo in 2002 are on the new CD. Did you go back in the studio to remix them?
Yes, we did go back in the studio to re-record them.
How long did the new CD take to record?
About 5 months.
What is your favorite track on “Spread Your Wings”?
“The Guardian” and “Prisoner of Dark”
What is the most difficult song to play on the new CD?
“Reach For the Star.”
Were there any songs that were written that did not make the CD? If yes can you tell us their titles?
Yes, “Free Forever” and “Hell’s Gate” are a couple that didn’t make the CD.
What is the most memorable moment being in BLACK MASQUERADE?
The Yeung Nam Rock Festival in 2003 Korea. That show it was raining very hard all day. The Korean Metal Fans are very passionate and they are very kind. I had a good time!
What guitarist do you get comparisons to?
Your guitar playing is amazing. Did you take lessons?
Yes I took rock and jazz guitar lessons and musical theory.
How do you come up with your riffs on the guitar?
I try to imagine it in my head and then play it live.
Tell me your feelings about each member of the band.
Hideki Moriuchi: Drums - He likes to drink…a lot!
Kayo-Chan Ikeda: Keyboards - She is a good mother.
Yasutoshi Haitani Bo: Bass - He gives a great live performance.
Takashi Sakaguchi: Vocals - A very good singer with a great approach.
How did you feel the first time someone came up to you for an autograph?
I was very glad.
What guitar player do you admire?
There really has not been a Japanese band that has broken the US market since Loudness and EZO. Why do you think?
In my opinion, one of the important reasons is that English isn’t our native language and subdivision of a genre of bands became intense. The number of metal bands decreased as well. Timing is very important and of course I think that ability, personality, effort and luck are basically necessary in the end though it’s all difficult.
Your website is mainly all in Japanese; will that change so fans that only read English can read about the band?
Even if fans can’t read or understand Japanese they can still enjoy the site, I hope! In the future, I will try to change BLACK MASQUERADE website for overseas fans.
One of my favorite songs on The CD is “Another Place” can you tell us any experiences in the recording of this song?
“Another Place” had so many discussions about vocal melodies, I’m glad you liked it.
I really liked the DVD that came along with the new CD you sent. The DVD had the intro “Into the Sky” with the song “The Guardian” and “Prisoner of Dark”? You played in front a big crowd at a 2004 festival can you tell us anything about that show. What songs you did? How long did you play? Did you play with other bands? Your feelings?
We played 7 songs for about 50 minutes. I did other performances during the day also as I played with some other very cool Korean bands.
Do you have plans for a full length DVD?
Yes, I have plans in the future for a DVD.
If you had a chance to play with another guitarist who would that be?
Brian May of QUEEN.
Will BLACK MASQUERADE be playing any shows in the US?
If we have a chance to play in the U.S. I want to play.
If you were touring in the US what bands would you like to go out on tour with?
Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, or Iron Maiden. That would be too many to think about. (Smile) It has to be a band having passion and power for music.
Are there any songs written for a second CD yet?
Who came up with the bands logo?
What is your favorite guitar you own?
My Fender Stratocaster.
Do you have a day job?
Tell me what it would be like coming to see a BLACK MASQUERADE live show?
You would enjoy it because it’s loaded with excitement.
What does Yoshihiro Nitta have equipment wise?
Fender Stratocaster, Marshall amplifier, Ibanez tube screamer, Boss octave chorus, NS-2 TU-2 Rexer wireless system and a POD PRO.
What is it like being at a rehearsal session with BLACK MASQUERADE?
When we rehearse, each member has to have a good technical feel so when we perform it will carry over live.
What are your feelings about the Japanese music scene?
Generally overseas bands are more popular than Japanese bands in the HR/HM scene. Japanese pop and punk are very popular in the Japan music scene. I think that one of the important reasons is the Japanese lyrics.
Is there another Japanese band that you would recommend people to listen to?
What are your feelings about Japan?
When we like someone or something we have a tendency to like it or the person continuously. For example fans of a musician continuously like and support the musician even if he gets old.
It seems that most Japanese bands try to reach the US markets and on the other hand US bands try to reach the Japanese market. Why do you think that is the case?
I think there is admiration both ways because the Japanese bands want to be accepted in the U.S. and we admire the U.S. bands here as well. There are many people that think the home of rock is in Japan.
What are the plans for the future for BLACK MASQUERADE?
I’m going to make an album and DVD. I also want to play many gigs in a lot of different countries.
Do you read fan mail?
Of course! I read it. I always look forward to it.
Does BLACK MASQUERADE donate to any charities?
Tell me what a day in the life of Yoshihiro Nitta is like?
I’m very busy writing all the songs of BLACK MASQUERADE.
What are you hopes for the new CD?
Heavy sounding music that makes a good song to listen to.
I am going mention a few words. Tell me your feeling about each word.
Bandmate - Trust
Religion - Not interesting
War - Never
Contract - Cautiousness and Deliberation
Woman - Important existence
Image - Song writing
Ego - Despair
Family - Treasure
Fan - Family
Dislike - Swindler (A dishonest person)
Wish - Sympathy
Yoshihiro, Rock Eyez would like to thank you for the interview and letting fans of the world to get to know you and the band. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?
I’d like to express my hearty thanks to you from the bottom of heart. I will try my best to make the band become second to none in world. I will do my best exerting myself with enthusiasm to repay your constant support and concern. I thank you for your support toward BLACK MASQUERADE and I wish you great achievements in your life. I bless all of you, thank you very much!!!
Rock Eyez Review of "Spread Your Wings" by Black Masquerade.