Last New Year's Eve I caught up with an exotic 3-piece called Forgotten Lotus, a band that has only begun making a name for itself particularly in the eclectic Japanese rock and punk scenes. After covering songs by Gazette, the group released a single titled "Shibire" and has been working on a Forgotten Lotus CD that's scheduled for release later in 2010. Here's what the trio had to say:
Okay, now to start things off, please introduce yourselves. Who are Forgotten Lotus?
Yari: I'm the vocal and producer.
Yami: I am Yami. I'm the lead guitarist.
Tai: I'm Tai, bass player.
Yari: And we are a j-rock inspired band from Portugal, (re)-born in 2009. We use music to send out messages that usually pass by this numb society we live in.
PUNK GLOBE: Can you tell me how the band was formed?
Tai: The idea came from Yari, about 3 years ago, but she couldn't find people with the same ideas about music.
Yari: I wanted to let people know about j-rock in Portugal and enjoy myself while doing it.
Tai: Then I came along. And so did other members, only it wasn't a fixed line-up.
Yari: My nightmare began. lol
Yami: And then, out of nowhere, I got an invitation on my you-tube channel, so I decided to be part of this project.
Yari: And that makes up the most recent line-up!
PUNK GLOBE: What particular bands or artists influenced your sound?
Yari: For me it had to be the GazettE, Rentrer en Soi and 12012.
Yami: In terms of J-Rock my biggest influences were Dir en grey, Nightmare, the GazettE and X-Japan.
Tai: Definitely the GazettE and ScReW
So far you released a single in 2009. Will there be a debut album somtime in 2010?
Yari: Not exactly a full album... but a mini-album is scheduled for next summer. We hope you enjoy it. It will be quite different since we're trying new and more dynamic stuff!
PUNK GLOBE: Alot of your 'friends' on your myspace page seem to include alot of male-fronted visual kei rock bands from Japan. Why does it seem rare for women to gain such audiences as singers or players?
Yari: First of all this seems to be a male-dominated world. And many of them tend to label women as being the cute, "monthly humor-altered"
creatures that cannot handle the metal-rock scene. If you look around you'll see that the only women that do prevail have strong personalities.
For example, as a producer you can't act has a "girly-girl" because otherwise you won't be respected.
Tai: There's also a socio-cultural pressure that seems to influence the public. This idea that women should be playing calmer, sweeter music and man the agressive kind, seems to still prevail. It's almost like bringing old stereotypes in to a new context.
PUNK GLOBE: Did you ever get to meet the members of Gazette?
Tai: We wanted to...but Saga-san (their manager) wouldn't let us! Lol! This was when we went to see their first performance in London.
Yari: Ruki seemed to think I was thirsty so he threw water over me!!! And all I wanted to say was "thanks for your performance"!... Well, I did get Ruki's broken rose at the end of the show.
Yami: I was never that lucky.
Yari: Anyway, we would love to meet them someday just to thank all their work and inspiration.
PUNK GLOBE: How do you think audiences in Europe or the U.S. will react to you? Do you consider yourselves to be a goth or psychedelic rock band?
Tai: First of all I hope they do react!
Yami: The main issue always seems to be the language. I think that that should never be "an obstacle to good music" but people tend to be sort of xenophobic towards japanese music. But nowadays I think that there is a good amount of people starting to enjoy j-music. So I hope we get a good response from the public in general.
Yari: I don't think we can be labeled that easily because we are different people with different influences and personalities. So far we have been labeled has doom metal, dark wave... but we don't really care, we just go with the flow.
Is there anything else you want to say to our Punk Globe readers?
Yami: "Language shall never be an obstacle to good music".
Tai: Try to hear first, judge latter. Sometimes we get good surprises.
Yari: Thank you for the time you took reading our nonsense (smile)
Hope someday you can see us live, and that you enjoyed this interview as we did.