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Japanese metalcore act Crystal Lake formed in 2002, since then have gone on to release numerous singles, split albums, and albums including most recently "True North". Guitarist YD discusses said release and future plans.


1. Can you please introduce yourself, explaining what role you play in the band and why?

YD: My name is YD, playing the guitar and writing all songs.  And I also do all the works for Crystal Lake related to management such as bookings and design etc. It is our motto to do everything by ourselves, keep DIY spirit no matter how far we go.

2. Where did the idea come from for the band's namesake, Crystal Lake, does it reference an actual lake or does it not get into such detail as that.

YD: Obviously the movie "Friday the 13th" can be where it came from but also the game 'Romancing Saga' was another influence. We like adding some tastes of fantasy images.

3. How would you describe your particular music style and do you write your own music?

YD: Hard Core with a lot of passion and emotion structured with Japanese culture and varieties of music. We think it’s important to perform to express our passion with everything we got. I believe that we can only move your heart by letting our passion and emotion out free.

4. You signed on with Artery Recordings, releasing not one, but two albums, "The Sign" and follow-up release "True North", so how has the relationship been with Artery Recordings, are you pleased with what they have to offer?

YD: We are very thankful to Artery Recordings for loving a foreign band living so far from where they live and believe in what we do. We got an email from them asking us "Are you interested in US market?” We didn't know much about them and could not really believe that there is an American label interested in us back then. As we start making the last album "The Sign", our Japanese team told us how serious Artery Recordings is thinking about us so we signed to them and everything has been going really well together as a team. Can't thank enough how much they support us who has never been to US. Such a great label to work with.


 5. How would you say that "The Sign" and "True North" compare, differ, and are equal between one another?

YD: "The Sign" is an album made from our ideal and admiration for the predecessors and "True North" is the opposite. All the ideas and feelings are packed into each songs and collectively they became our new record "True North". We love both records since we did everything we could and we wanted to express at that point and they both represent who we are, what our identity is.

6. Why did you think that "Black And Blue" was a song to be suitable enough to be made as a single and turned video?

YD: "Black And Blue" is a very unique song we have ever made and it has more different aspects compared to other songs.  It was definitely something new we had to do to step up to next level. As we were writing this song, we had images and sights in our mind and we all new this song needs to be chosen for one of our music video and show what we really wanted to express this song as a piece of art. What's more, we wanted to choose the one no one would expect coming from a hardcore band.

7. What can be said about "True North" that has not already been said.

YD: I’ve been explaining about this record musically many times everywhere so I would rather like to explain about the artwork here."True North" stands for "the path we all should walk along and the place we head to". And that's what we have been doing as Crystal Lake and we have no regrets.  This is who we are. The theme is reflected well in the artwork and introducing Japanese culture in many ways. For example, cranes are often used as symbol of Japan and we chose the color of pink (we call this color "Sakura") which represent delicacy of Japanese.  And finally the circle.  It's the most famous symbol of Japan.  We spent a lot of time to choose what kind paper we use and details of the package and made this beautiful digipack.

8. If you had to pick one song off "True North" to introduce someone who has never heard your band before, which track would you pick for them to hear and why?

YD: This is hard one.  I guess everyone in the band has different answers but personally my favorite song is "Metro".  I love the way how the layers of this song are structured logically with brushed up melodious lead guitars.  This might be a view from a guitar player but from different point of view, "Omega" is a very strong song that has great melody and strength and it explains what Crystal Lake is about the best I think.

9. What does the next year hold for Crystal Lake, what can we expect to see as far as touring, shows, and in generally speaking sense.

YD: We would love to tour in as many countries as possible.  We really mean it.  And in Japan, we are planning to have the biggest show ever so keep your fingers crossed.

10. So many acts come from the Japanese music scene, how would you say that your band separates itself from all the rest and why?

YD: Basically our music is influenced by all the bands who were active in the 90's to 2016 and that's become our core. We have our own taste and comprehension for all kinds of music from an independent standpoint and that might be a point separates us from other bands.  We actually tour with not only metalcore bands but also punk/emo/hardcore /ska/metal/hip-hop artists as long as they are playing good music. It would be really cool if the way we play music as life style separates us from other bands as a result.

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