We recently got a chance to do a Skype interview with the Japanese band [ALEXANDROS] as they prepare to go on their first US tour very soon. You may have heard the JRock band in a few pieces of media recently such as Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the anime Bleach and a trailer for the Yakuza spin-off, Project Judge.
The band crafted the themes for both projects and we were curious about the process of creating theme songs, some of their favorite themes, amongst other things including why they’re finally coming to the US for their first tour. You can check out the full interview below as well as their American tour dates!
Since Project Judge is a spin-off of the Yakuza series, were you guys fans of the series before doing a song for it?
“I played the first one but since then, haven’t played it.”
Was there something that drew you to this game then?
“Yeah, absolutely! The content is so huge that whether you’ve played it or not, we all know about the content. It’s the most famous game in Japan now.”
When making a theme song for something like Bleach or Project Judge, do you have a lot of creative freedom or do they have some requirements for you guys?
“Oh, freedom. They say ‘I know you guys are going to make good songs, so I’ll let you guys handle it.’ We were super free.”
Is there a collaborative process to that or do you guys do your own thing and present it when you’re finished?
“When we made our demo, we sent it over to Japan. When we made the Bleach song and Project Judge, we were in the States so we sent them our demo. They said ‘Yeah, it’s cool.’ [laughs]
They didn’t give you guys any notes or anything?
“They said, for example, they might use this intro for this battle scene. They might want it a little bit faster but they never said change this lyric or I don’t like this riff, they never said.”
How do you hone in on a specific sound? Obviously, Project Judge and Bleach are very different, are there specific sounds you guys try to find for those two?
“Well Bleach, because it was a movie, I wanted a strong riff. For example, for Mission: Impossible, they had this kind of… [begins to hum Mission: Impossible theme] everybody can sing along! You can sing along to the chorus or melody but I think it’s important for the movie to put some sort of icon on the riff. I needed a very strong riff that anyone could sing. While I was in Brooklyn, I was playing this acoustic guitar over and over and I came up with [begins to hum Bleach theme].”
Do you guys have a theme for a movie or game that you guys really love?
“Do you know the game Final Fight? When Mike Haggard is getting the phone call from the bad guy, there’s this theme… [hums song from the intro of Final Fight] and it just stuck in my brain for like 30 years. When we’re in the studio, I’d always play it.”
That’s the sign of a good theme song!
“Well, except it’s not a theme song.”
But it’s a memorable song.
Do you guys play a lot of games together?
“We used to while we were on the tour bus, like Monster Hunter. Do they have Monster Hunter?”
GameZone: Yeah, we have Monster Hunter. It’s pretty big here too.
Are there any other big franchises you guys would like to do music for?
“Ah… well, GTA! [laughs] We could do anything! Call of Duty, Dead Rising.”
You guys are preparing to come to the US for your first tour after being around for over a decade, why now?
“Well, we had a lot to do here in Japan! Finally, we had this chance to go to the US. There was no real specific reason why we couldn’t go to the US for a tour, we wanted to go but, ya know.”
[ALEXANDROS] are excited to get their tour underway next week and hope to see their fans out there. We’ll leave the Project Judge and Bleach themes below along with their tour dates.
[ALEXANDROS] USA TOUR 2018
10/22 – Washington D.C. @ U Street Music Hall – smarturl.it/Ustreethall
10/23 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre – smarturl.it/Gramercytheatre
Project Judge is expected to launch exclusively on PlayStation 4 next year in the United States but will hit Asian markets on December 13th, 2018.