Sigh – Convention, I Defy TheeFriday, 29th March 2013
Blistering.com: Describe Dr. Mikanibal’s influence on the album. She seems to have had a profound effect on the band’s sound.
Mirai: She played alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and took care of half of the vocals, so I can say she played a big roll on the album. Some people seem to think that she’s just an eye candy for the band, but obviously she is not. Just listen to her saxophone solo on “Musica In Tempora Belli,” then you will easily see how musically talented she is.
Blistering.com: Why such the heavy use on brass instrumentation? Is this all a part of Sigh’s continued evolution?
Mirai: Because brass instruments are the best to let your adrenalin flow. As you see that they play a big role in the military music, they have the power to excite people like heavy metal does. So I wanted to mix two these elements to create real powerful music. Also the sound of brass instruments fits the themes of the album. Needless to say, the roaring trumpets help you picture the scenes of war in your head, and you often hear the scary trombone sound in horror movies. These instruments are really good to describe the hellish scenes.
Blistering.com: Were you at all worried that songs like “The Soul Grave” or “The Summer Funeral” would not work because of the conflicting brass/death metal sound?
Mirai: Yes, it was truly difficult to mix those songs. The brass sounds very powerful alone, but once mixed into the guitar, bass and drums, they kill each other. It took whole three months just to finish up the mixing, but in the end we finally managed to get the sound we wanted. The conflict between the instruments was all right, as it is an album describing hell. Like the cover artwork, we wanted a very dense and busy sound where so many things are going on at the same time, but it had been powerful and harsh.
Blistering.com: To that end, how far can you push your sound? The wackier, the better?
Mirai: Being wacky or weird has never been our purpose. If our music sounds wacky or weird, it’s just a result, not a purpose. We always have a vision of the world we’d like to describe with music first, then we choose the best means like a painter chooses the color on his palette. Sometimes it’s the piano that describes the world we want the best. Sometimes it’s the distorted noisy guitar sound. Alto Saxophone can describe something that the heavy metal guitar cannot and vice versa. I was taking the classical piano lesson for 20 years when I was younger, so classical music is a huge musical background for me along with heavy metal. I also sometimes compose music for TV shows, video games etc., so my musical palette has lots of colors. So I just choose the best way out of it. That’s it. Pushing the boundaries is nothing but a result.
Blistering.com: The band has expanded into a five-piece, which is different than your traditional trio set up. How is the band functioning nowadays?
Mirai: The biggest difference should be the stage appearance. When we were three-piece, it wasn’t easy to reproduce the songs live, but with Dr. Mikannibal things are much easier. She can handle saxophones and I can concentrate on keyboards when she does vocals.
Blistering.com: Sigh has always been well-respected amongst critics and peers alike. Judging from the amount of guest-work you do, does this give you a sense of importance/vindication?
Mirai: The goal to achieve in our head is to make music accessible and artistic at the same time. Being accessible is easy. So is being artistic. But achieving them both at the same time is not. Thus, we do not want to end up in being a critic’s favorite. But anyway, cooperating with other bands is always very interesting, I mean both my appearance on other bands and other musicians’ appearances on our albums.
Blistering.com: North America has also been a focus for the band of late. Will this trend continue with the new album?
Mirai: As we’re on the US label and Dr. Mikannibal is currently located there, too, North America will stay our main field of activity, but of course also we’d like to break into the European scene. We will play at a few European festivals including Brutal Assault 2010 in Czech Republic in August.
Blistering.com: Finally, what’s in store for 2010?
Mirai: Our eighth album Scenes from Hell will be out on Jan. 19th via The End Records. Also the Infidel Art triple gatefold LP and Ghastly Funeral Theatre LP will be out via The Crypt, they may be out within 2009. Also The Crypt is planning to release Scorn Defeat, Hail Horror Hail and Eastern Force of Evil Liveon vinyl in 2010. Other than that, we’ll do some tours and festival appearances to support the new album. Then we’ll need to charge ourselves to get us ready for the next album.
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