Interview: Minoru Niihara of Loudness Talks First Ever Australian Tour

By Jonathan Matthews

Check our Interview with singer Minoru Niihara of the awesome Japanese metal group LOUDNESS who are coming to Australia this week of May for what is somewhat surprisingly the bands first ever time performing over here in their career spanning over 38 years, LOUDNESS have over those years toured the world over with the likes of giant world renowned rock acts such as the notorious Motley Crue and having even performed in packed out arena shows opening for Aussie rock legends AC/DC.

SR. Great to have you here for a chat. You must be really excited to get over to Australia.

Finally, our dream has come true, it took us 38 years. We’re excited to get there!

SR. I can’t believe you’ve not been here already!

No one invited us! I don’t know why, I want to know! What happened! *laughs*

SR.I wanted to ask you if there are any Australian artists that you’re a fan of at the moment?

I am a big fan of Jimmy Barnes, I love his voice I think he is one of the greatest singers from Australia.

SR. Are you gonna have much time in Australia while you’re over here or just the same old fly in fly out to the next show routine?

That’s unfortunately gonna be the way, we don’t have any sight-seeing time, we have a very tight schedule but maybe in the future some other time, we’ll sightsee and have some great foods over there you know, but I was there in Melbourne in 1995 or 1996, I was recording for some other band, that was for one month and a half, I was there, and it was in a studio in a mountain, so you could sing and record while the kangaroos and stuff hop by through a glass window somewhere in Melbourne at the time…

SR. What was the band you were working with then?

The band was called SLY, which consisted of the drummer from Loudness, as well as myself, and the guitar player from Earthshaker, the 3 of us formed the band together back in 1995, we did everything in Japan alone and we toured only there, but in 1998 we broke up, so it was short lived.

SR. What happened with that did, you just decide to pursue Loudness and stick to the one band?

In 2001 Alkira called me up to reunite it with the original guys from Loudness, and it was the 28th anniversary for Loudness so he wanted to do something special, he called me up and I agreed with him so we reunited LOUDNESS in 2001 before then I was doing my solo project and I followed a bunch of bands but nothing else really happened up until the 1990s.

SR. Are you doing any of your solo stuff these days?

No. Well, Just for having fun doing I’m doing my side project I’m singer in what do you say acoustic instruments sometimes, I’m singing with rhythm and blues, stuff like that. I’m doing every kind of music if I have the time but most of the time I’m too busy to do anything other than LOUDNESS stuff.

SR. It makes sense, that’s pretty cool that you play around with a bit of everything; love to hear the acoustic a bit different than the metal you guys usually play…

I always grew up with Japanese folk and blues songs, when I was 15 16 years old I was into those kind of Japanese blues music tracks now I started to sing that kind of music these days.

SR. Tell us a bit about the show you will be putting on?

In ten days we will be playing in Australia we will be playing many songs from our previous 3 albums  such as LIGHTNING STRIKES, and those other well-known 80s albums and also we are gonna play some songs from our most recent album as well, so it will be like less 2 hours maybe 1 hr 45 shows, your gonna have a great time, you’re gonna love it!

SR. You mentioned of the last record, will there be any brand new songs that have never been heard from anyone before?

Ah that’s a good question, well in this Australia tour were not gonna play any new songs at all but maybe next Australia tour we will.

SR. Do you see yourselves coming back over here in the next couple of years?

Hope so, we will be back there but we have to play great show in Australia for upcoming show so you know we cannot wait we are so excited to be there!

SR. Tell us a bit about theatrics on stage will there be any crazy light shows…

No we cannot afford it, we are going to bring our guitars and drumsticks and microphones and stuff like that, were going to use local instruments you know, so maybe some other time.

SR. On that note did you have a particular microphone that you prefer using?

I’m endorsed by Audio Technica I’m using Audio Technica 6100 that’s what I’m using it’s a great microphone for vocals.

SR. Well yeah what would you like to say to your fans in Australia who are looking forward to seeing you

Our very first time to play in Australia our dream has come true finally, you’re going to have a great time and let’s go crazy, thank you so much!

Don’t miss out on LOUDNESS playing just 3 shows and performing for their first time ever across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane which is this week!