Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Metal Advisor Interviews S.L.U.R


Unfortunately for the majority of metalheads, Japanese metal stays relatively unknown to the outside world, save a few select groups, and as you would expect, S.L.U.R is no exception to the rule. The band is composed of a mere two members: Tappi, who takes on axe-wielding duties, and Avenger, who fills in the bottom of the mix with her clanky bass lines. The duo hit the ground running earlier this year with the release of their first EP, Invisible Sun, and are poised to make a splash throughout Japan as they begin to spread their name by playing live shows. Let's find out more.

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All right, I always begin interviews in a similar fashion--and for good reason! Can you give us some background on S.L.U.R? Did you two meet through a shared passion for metal?

Yes, we met through a shared passion for metal. We noticed that our favorite musicians are very alike, so we were able to head in the same direction of heavy metal music. We basically formed together to realize an ideal metal music.

What drew you to heavy metal?

Tappi - Beautiful melodies, gorgeous performances, and the feeling of emotion from musicians' hearts. That's what grabs me about the music.

Avenger - An elevated, high feeling, tremendous level of skill, and being a leader in every part. And because metal puts together fieriness and heaviness.

S.L.U.R ready to take on the metal world.
Sadly, I'm not fortunate enough to be able to understand much Japanese, but I love the language all the same. Is there any hidden meaning behind your song titles? "On the Motor Bike" seems like it falls in line with what classic artists use as subject matter for their music.

Yes, you are right. "On the Motor Bike" is conscious of Deep Purple's "Highway Star." "Highway Star" is a song about a car, but "On the Motor Bike" is a song about a motor bike, which makes our track like a bike version of Deep Purple's song. We don't really have any other hidden meaning behind song titles. This is the first and only one so far.

What's the story behind S.L.U.R.'s name? I've been very curious about that since I discovered your music through Metal-Archives.

The official name of S.L.U.R is Seventh Link & Ultimate Ray. Seventh is used in various countries' myths, and it is our lucky number. Link expresses the bond of our companions who help us, and ray is taken from Gamma Ray because we love them. We were born into the metal scene with the ultimate ray.

Does S.L.U.R play any live shows?

Absolutely. We will play a show on May 20, 2012 in Tokyo. We want to play several times in Tokyo this year.

Your mini album was released on the first of this year. What are your plans for new material? I'm actually quite eager to see what you two come up with next. I'd be lying if I told you I only listened to your album once... I think I've lost count!

Please do not hurry! We are planning on releasing a music video soon, and we will play live shows, as we hope to gain new fans. We also are planning to release new songs while playing live.

Who does vocals for S.L.U.R? Because I don't have a physical copy of your record, I'm always left wondering who handled vocal duties.

Ryu5150 does vocals on Invisible Sun. He is somewhat popular in Japan, but remains a guest to our music. He may sing on our new songs or he may not because we're not quite sure of what's going to happen next, but we will continue to release new albums with guest vocals.

Avenger (Bass)
I know your website goes into some slight detail about it, but who are your favorite bands and who influenced you most?

Tappi - Favorite bands: Gamma Ray, Helloween, Dark Moor, Dragonforce, Dream Theater, Rhapsody, Sonata Arctica, Steve Vai, Whitesnake.... The list goes on and on!

Favorite Players: Gary Moore!

Avenger - Favorite bands: Gamma Ray, Sex Machineguns, Magic Kingdom, Blind Guardian, Helloween, Arch Enemy, Testament, Riot, Onmyo-Za, Savage Circus, Impellitteri, Megadeth, and Turisas. 

Favorite Players: Nikki Sixx, Anchang, and Seiji Kameda.




How long have you two played your instruments? There are some pretty impressive guitar and bass solos on your mini album. 

Thank you for the compliments on our playing! We have been playing guitar and bass together for 6 years, but we played together in other bands before S.L.U.R.

Is the Japanese public responsive to metal? I typically don't hear much of anything about Japanese metal bands here in the United States except for Loudness, Sigh, Versailles, and a handful of others. Usually I have to actively seek out metal from Japan if I want to find out more about it.


It is regrettable because heavy metal music is not popular in Japan, but there are many heavy metal bands here in our country. And there are many metalheads like us. We always think and hope that many people in the world take an interest in Japanese heavy metal music. The internet can spread information to the world, so we will continue to convey our music through it.

Tappi (Guitar)
Let's do some quick fire questions now:
What is your favorite - 

Album?

Tappi - Gamma Ray's Heading for Tomorrow

Avenger  - Gamma Ray's Powerplant, Blind Guardian's Imaginations from the Other Side, Arch Enemy's Doomsday Machine, and Magic Kingdom's Metallic Tragedy.

Absolute [favorite] band?

Tappi - Gamma Ray

Avenger - The same as listed in my influences and many more!

Food?

Tappi - Sweet desserts 

Avenger Japanese foods and powered green tea dessert.

Movie?

Tappi - There's Something About Mary

Avenger -  I do not have a favorite movie.

Hobby (besides music!)? 

Tappi - Body building

Avenger - Video games, comics, reading, fashion, and art.

Anything else you would like to tell us metalheads?

Thank you for reading this interview, and we are looking forward to seeing you! We will take appropriate action to spread our music from Japan, as well as stay connected through heavy metal! Keep enjoying music!

The cover art of the band's first EP entitled Invisible Sun.

As for myself, I'm very excited to see who S.L.U.R pick to sing for their next release, in addition to looking forward to their music video and reports on their live performance. Sometimes I wish metal bands could come together in one area instead of being spread out across the world--it would certainly be easier to see them live. But I suppose that's the beauty of the music. Metal is an international phenomenon that knows no bounds.

S.L.U.R is:
Tappi - Guitars
Avenger - Bass

Find them here:
Official - http://slur.ehoh.net/en/index.html
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/slur.jp
Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/slur_jp
Myspace - http://jp.myspace.com/slur_jp
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/SLURJP

-TMA

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