BURN WOUND are a brand new metalcore band formed in Tokyo in the middle of the hectic pandemic of 2020.
But who exactly are yu-to, Yuma, Яin and wataru? And why have they decided such a difficult time to form and promote their band? Because given the year we’ve all been through 2020 didn’t seem like the most ideal moment to start a band. No -or very limited- live shows made sure there wasn’t any exposure from that sector, and with so many artists moving their business over to streaming sites like YouTube and TwitCasting, do you even have a chance if you try to launch yourself into that mix? To be honest, if you told me right now you’ve never heard of these guys before, I wouldn’t be surprised.
But for me that’s all the more reason to ask them some questions to get a better idea of who they are, what their ideas are, and how they are looking at the future. So, without further ado…
BURN WOUND is still a new band and I’m pretty sure that most people reading this interview have never heard of you guys before. So can you please introduce yourselves and the band in your own words?
yu-to: Thank you for this interview! I’m yu-to, the vocalist and lyricist of BURN WOUND. BURN WOUND was formed in May of 2020. We play the metalcore music arranged sound in different music backgrounds.
Yuma: I’m Yuma. I’m in charge of the guitar and songwriting. I like blues music!
Яin: I’m the bassist. I started playing the multi-string bass because of the influence KoЯn and Dream Theater have on me. I play metal and jazz-fusion music as a musician.
wataru: I’m the drummer of BURN WOUND, wataru.
Some of you met each other through an online recruitment website, which is a way I definitely don’t hear every day. Can you tell me a little more about this?
Яin: wataru and myself met each other on that online site. There was another member as well, and at the same time we got together with yu-to. Based on my interests I made a copy of the metal band first and matched it during the rehearsal.
yu-to: After that there was a member change for the position of guitarist, and that’s when Yuma joined us. Yuma was already acquainted with Яin, but currently we also have a support guitarist, TOMO (you can find him on Twitter as @tomtheredbeard). So right now it’s five people working together.
Yuma was brought in by Яin after the position of guitarist became available, but Yuma has a completely different background in music! What makes Yuma the perfect guitarist for BURN WOUND?
Яin: His faithful guitar play and unobtrusive musicality were very attractive. I think he has a very good sense of composition and aspirations.
wataru: As a composer I think my strength is the ability to incorporate a wide range of genres into music. Not just metal. Above all that Yuma has a personality that I really wanted to work with.
Starting a band in the middle of a pandemic
Nobody expected 2020 to be as difficult of a year as it turned out to be. And yet you guys decided to start a band with no or very limited options to perform live. Wouldn’t it have been better to wait a little for the world to “open up” a little more before officially starting activities as BURN WOUND?
Yuma: To be honest, I was under the condition of the coronavirus. But I thought this was the time, so I started. The situation doesn’t change even if I were to wait, so I thought this was a necessary step for the band to move forward.
yu-to: We’ve heard very often that we have started our activities during this very difficult time. However, I learned that there are many things that can be expressed and activities that are possible despite this situation.
Since you didn’t have the option of live shows to promote your sound to your audience you took the digital route instead. Do you feel like you have reached the audience you targeted? And if you look back at 2020, is there anything you would have done differently with the knowledge you have now?
Yuma: It may have reached some audience, but I feel that it’s not there yet. I feel like the movements we’ve made throughout 2020 have progressed smoothly and I don’t have any regrets whatsoever. The movement for the future is important.
yu-to: I would like to be featured in more “various” playlists. I think there are still many ways for people to get to know BURN WOUND’s music both in Japan and overseas. Personally, I would like to release more cover songs too.
The genre you’ve chosen for your music as a group is metalcore, but what made you decide on this genre exactly? Was it a common preference among all members, a majority, or a different reason?
Яin: Metalcore is the genre that successfully adopts the elements of each member’s favorite artists and puts it together as a complete system.
yu-to: I like this genre, so I definitely wanted to be in a metalcore band. (lol)
Yuma: As a challenge, I wanted to play in a metalcore band.
While BURN WOUND is the first band for all members, you’ve all been active in different parts of the music industry for years already. Please tell me a little bit about your connection with music, and why you have decided to become a member of a band?
yu-to: I was interested in music already, but I only started doing vocals about three years ago. I used to work in other bands but I wasn’t able to do it energetically. At that time Hiro, the vocalist of NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST, taught me vocals.
Yuma: I was in a band that was in a completely different genre, but there was a blank for me. Next to playing the guitar, I also repair them. The performance may be useful for the repair work, and on the contrary the repair might be useful for the performance as well. I’m pretty much involved with the guitar at all times now. (lol)
wataru: I started playing drums when I was 16 years old, and it was a little late. Since I started playing the drums I have been active in various bands while also attending music school. However, none of these bands were successful for various reasons. I always feel like it’s very difficult to get all the members on the same page in a band.
Яin: I’m involved in various forms of music in various fields and genres. I started playing musical instruments when I was a kid.
Since you’re still a pretty young band there isn’t that much music out there that we can enjoy, but on your YouTube channel you’ve done various covers of artists like Slipknot and NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST. Given the situation in the world right now it’s very difficult to get noticed on a platform as big as YouTube, but cover songs definitely help in a positive way. Are you planning on doing more cover songs in the future? And if yes, what would you like to cover?
Яin: I don’t have a clear plan at the moment, but I would like to cover each artist I like. Covers also lead to improvements in technology and motivation.
Yuma: I would like to arrange pop music with BURN WOUND. (lol)
yu-to: Personally I want to do a lot of cover songs. I want to cover artists in the metalcore and deathcore genres. Not just from Japan, but also artists from overseas.
wataru: I want to release more cover songs in 2021. I want to challenge myself regardless of the genre.
Speaking of different genres, Yuma has already announced loud and clear that he is a big fan of blues music. And yet you’re playing in a metalcore band right now. What made you decide to join BURN WOUND not just as a guitarist, but also as the main composer? Isn’t it very difficult for you to combine your love for a completely different genre with the interests of the other members?
Yuma: As I mentioned earlier already, joining BURN WOUND was a challenge. I listened to metalcore a little originally, but it wasn’t my preferred style of playing. I do think this is a deep and fun genre when you do decide to try it. I’m strongly influenced by the works of Zakk Wylde and John Mayer, but that’s small in the songs. (lol)
Especially the guitar solo of the song isn’t fast. It’s strongly influenced by their guitar solos. I think that playing with intense choking and vibrato while making the guitar cry will resonate with people. I dare to play this kind of play with metalcore, which is a very technical genre, and I am particular about listening to it.
Cover songs, original works and live performances
The latest original song by BURN WOUND was released in August of last year already, but let’s talk a little bit about “Until You Surrender” anyway. Can you tell me a little bit about the song, like your ideas as you were composing it and when you compare it with “Liquid” and “Chain of Command” that came before it, which song is your personal favorite?
Yuma: “Until You Surrender” was born because I couldn’t go out due to the coronavirus and had a lot of stress. Anyway, I made the song while thinking about hitting stress. My personal favorite of the three is “Liquid”, because it’s fun to play. (lol)
wataru: I like “Until You Surrender” because it’s the easiest to play. Momentum songs are my favorite. I would like to put it on the set for the 1.2th song at the live. The drums for this song have been arranged so they are easy to hear and won’t kill the momentum.
yu-to: I also like “Until You Surrender”. This is because it’s a song that’s packed with various vocal works.
BURN WOUND is also a part of the lineup for the 110th edition of OHH!!FEST at Shinjuku ANTIKNOCK. This event was originally going to place at late January of 2021, but due to the state of emergency being declared in Japan it was rescheduled for a different date. I know you’ve played cover songs at live performances before, but what about this performance? When the event is going to take place, will you play your own songs exclusively, or can the audience look forward to a cover song as well?
yu-to: You’re right. Many of the live performances that were scheduled have been rescheduled due to the state of emergency. Among which this one. But we are starting live activities little by little. During this live performance we’ll only play our original songs, so no cover ones. I also have songs that I haven’t made public yet.
The future is uncertain for everyone even now. But what are your plans for the future? You’ve already said that you would like to release an EP and perform live on a regular basis, but what about the future after that? Do you want to travel to other countries to perform your music as well for example?
Яin: Because of the genre we’re in we will continue to work while also having a focus on countries other than Japan. We want to increase the number of people who listen to our music in various countries, perform both in Japan and overseas, and increase the number of people who come visit our shows.
Yuma: My current goal is to get more people to know about this band. I want to go abroad if I can too!
yu-to: I’m also studying English conversation. (lol) After that, BURN WOUND wants to exterminate the coronavirus. (lol)
Looking at a bigger, worldwide picture
As you already know, Arlequin Magazine is based in Europe. So I always try to find ways for fellow overseas fans to get access to new music and support the artists while doing so. So you can imagine my next question is “how can overseas fans find and support your works right now”?
yu-to: First of all, I would like for you all to listen to our songs through streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. If you like it, please let us know too! I also want to open a webshop in the future, and if possible I’d like to improve our overseas distribution too.
Яin: Someday we’ll reach the limit of what we can do with our own strength through the usage of social network services for the people who aren’t near us distance wise. But we’re also considering tie-ups. We want to expand Arlequin Magazine. Let’s do our best to reach each other’s heights!
We’ve said this before, but you’ve started a band under some very difficult circumstances. Starting and promoting a band in 2020 has not been easy, and we can only hope that from 2021 onwards it will become easier again. After this experience, do you have any advice for people who are hoping to start their own project?
yu-to: The first thing to do is to spend time on the activity even though you don’t know what the future looks like. We still have to do our best, so I don’t know if this will be good advice or not. (lol)
Yuma: Rather give us some advice… (lol)
Яin: It’s all about building a relationship based on trust with the members and creating an environment where they can share their suggestions, but also their concerns.
I’m afraid I’m all out of questions for now, which means we’ve reached the end of the interview this time. So, let’s finish this properly: is there anything you would like to share with everyone reading this interview?
yu-to: Thank you for reading this interview! Please make sure to check out our songs. We’ve already uploaded three original songs on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music and so on. Please remember the band name “BURN WOUND”!
Like mentioned earlier BURN WOUND don’t exactly have the greatest start due to the lack of live performances. But that didn’t stop the guys from thinking outside of the box and coming up with different ideas to promote their works through the wonderful world of the internet. You can get quite a good feel for their music through their YouTube channel thanks to their original songs “Liquid” and “Chain of Command”, but their latest release -even though it was released in August of last year- right now is “Until You Surrender”, for which you can find the visualizer here:
The guys said it themselves already, but their main form of getting their music out right now is the digital route. You can find their music on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, DEEZER and TIDAL. This is also the easiest way to support their work, since there are no physical copies of their work or any other merchandise available at this time. Like yu-to already mentioned himself: they would like to open a webshop in the future, but right now it’s still a little early for that.
Support the band by listening to their works
Even though the band only has three singles at the moment of writing, you can listen to every single one of them through streaming services. If you click the album covers below, you will be taken to a page where you can select your streaming platform of choice to listen to their works.
Follow BURN WOUND
雪 (Yuki) is the owner and driving force behind both Arlequin Magazine and Arlequin Photography.
She started in 2009 as a photographer with Arlequin Photography, but due to a growing interest in journalism, translation and behind-the-scenes work in general the project burst out of it's seams in 2021 and expanded through the addition of Arlequin Magazine.
雪 (Yuki) is a native Dutch speaker and maintains both the English and Dutch sections of both Magazine and Photography with original content, translations and photography as well as all the behind-the-scenes work for both websites.
She speaks Dutch, English, Japanese and German.