You’ve got special metal vibes, impressive indeed! Your bio says the band has been reformed in 2016. Were you on hiatus before this?
Not really a hiatus. The band split up in 2013 after a few short years between 2010-2013. I didn’t think I’d ever do it again, but since 2016, I have been pushing it really hard as a solo project. We used to be a full band. I asked the old members if they wanted to reform, but they said, ‘no’. I asked them if they wanted to at least pretend to be in the band so I could reform Esprit D’Air again, and they were happy to do that! Haha, so yes, it’s just been me for the past five years with the help of a lot of live and session musicians and contributors. I could not have done it without them either. I was just anxious about starting it up again as a solo project, but I am warming up to it now and fans are really supportive of it.
Kai, you’re the producer and the composer of the project. Your musical inspirations are many, and your music diversity is countless. Do you think that it’s important for an artist to expand their performance trends?
Yes, of course. Especially in rock, since it is such an evolving genre of music. There isn’t a decade of rock music that sounds the same as the last, and I find that exciting. There are many rock artists that are comfortable writing music that artists have already done decades ago, and that is okay, but that does not really excite me. We should always be expanding our horizons with music. I listen to a lot of 80s rock and metal music. Sure, love the past, but it’s more exciting to create your own future.
Wow! Several awards despite that you sing in Japanese for English-speaking fans. Other artists prefer to sing in English to be easily reachable to everyone. How did you plan for such a courageous move?
Thank you. I am not sure. It just started this way, and I want to push for Japanese music in the West and be noticed for that rather than adapting to singing in English.
Usually, I am not amazed by lyric videos but the output of Glaciers is impressive indeed. Also, I noticed there are many who collaborated in this. Was the communication a bit challenging, especially with each one living in a different country?
Do you mean the subtitles? I reached out to my patrons, friends and fans from these countries and they helped translate my lyrics to their home country’s language. It was not too difficult to organize. They were very happy to do it, and I am really grateful for them. It is really nice to have our music accessible to people who do not understand Japanese. The special thanks are due to all the patrons for their support too. Without them, this project would be impossible to fund on my own.
When I read about the song, I noticed there’s a choir containing 66 voices sung by Kai. WOW! How did you manage to do this?
I couldn’t get a real (Japanese) choir together, so I recorded all the voices myself in different timbres, octaves, and intervals to produce this polyphonic sound. I am pleased with the result.
Tell me, is ‘Glaciers’ part of an upcoming album?
Yes, it is a part of my second album, Oceans, that I am working on, which will include ‘Leviathan’, ‘Nebulae’, as well as ‘Glaciers’ too. I am looking forward to finishing it.
Although you’re doing a great mix, in your opinion, would the old styles be able to stand nowadays in front of the trendy electro and pop styles or there’s a good fusion in the market already?
Personally, I have never paid attention to electro or pop music. I mean, rock may not stand out in front of everybody, but that’s okay. I am not making Esprit D’Air music for everybody. I can see some bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Crossfaith create a good fusion of electronics and metal music.
Finally, tell me more about your plans in 2021 especially since the live scene isn’t active enough recently.
I am releasing new music every six weeks via Patreon, and I will do this for as long as I can. Our next single is our ‘Guiding Light (Reimagined)’ single. We hope to have shows resuming in 2022.