DYGL is a 4-piece Japanese indie rock band based out of Tokyo. Their new album, Say Goodbye To Memory Den, will more than likely be your go to album of this summer. The group consists of frontman Nobuki Akiyama, Kohei Kamoto on drums, Yosuke Shimonaka on guitar, and Yotaro Kachi on bass. With their British rock influences and cool vibes, you’ll be shocked you haven’t heard of them yet. I was lucky enough to get ahold of the guys on Skype for an interview.
Would you want to start by introducing your band?
Akiyama: We are Dayglo, living in Tokyo. Three of us are from Tokyo and the other guys are from Yokohama, but basically we’re from Tokyo. We were all in the same university, in the same type of club, like a music club, and we started the band 5 years ago there, with a different name. We changed the name two or three times, and now we’re Dayglo.
You guys said you changed your name a few times, what made you stick with Dayglo?
Akiyama: There isn’t anything really special to it. We’re just comfortable with it. At first, when we started to use the name Dayglo, we thought we’d change it again, but the name surprisingly spread to friends and family, everyone recognized us as Dayglo so we couldn’t change it really.
Yosuke Shimonaka: We’re now comfortable with it.
So you were just stuck with it then, how funny! What would you say are some of your guys favorite musicians or musical influences? Because I absolutely love your sound.
Akiyama: Thank you very much! Each one of us has our own influences and tastes in music. To me, I was really into UK rock stuff, like The Strokes and The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, like from 2003 to 2009 or something. That era had a huge impact on me. After I was really into music, I started digging more into older stuff like 90’s Brit Pop, Alternative, 80s, and 70s, everything.
All the good stuff. So you guys finally released your full studio length album. How does it feel?
Akiyama: Yeah, finally! We finished recording around the end of last year. The album was already done, but we have to wait 3 or 4 months until the release date, so we’re just happy that it’s finally out. Really happy.
So what would you say your favorite song off the album is? Either to play live, or record, or something like that.
Akiyama: My favorite is “Take It Away”. I made the song, and I feel like I could compose it as it should be, and every time I play it, it’s happy, either in front of audiences or to myself. Every time it sounds just exactly how it should.
What would you say your creative process is as a band? How does a song move from just an idea in your head into a finalized recorded piece?
Akiyama: Like the writing process? When I write songs, I always want them to be timeless and classic. A song should be a stand alone thing. It should be a good song when played by anyone, not just by us. It’s hard to explain, but every time I make a song I make it just by using a guitar and chords and the melodies.
Shimonaka: Basically, he writes all the songs, every part like the guitar, drums, bass. I’m the guitarist, so I write some guitar parts for songs, but basically he writes all the parts and lyrics.
So you guys are touring this album soon. How do you feel about that? You guys excited about it?
Akiyama: Yeah, we’re really really excited about it! We did a small tour in Japan already, but this kind of huge whole Japan and Asia tour is something we haven’t experienced before, so we’re really excited about that. I’m excited to learn more about continental Asian cultures and see the people there, and we want to know some music there! We don’t have much information about Korean and Chinese music scenes in terms of Indie rock music. We’re keen to check it out.
It’s gonna be so much fun honestly. So when whoever is reading this goes off to listen to your album Say Goodbye To Memory Den, what do you want them to feel?
Akiyama: I feel like the album itself is a really energetic album, but the lyrics itself are a little ambiguous. Sometimes it’s a little bit sad, sometimes it’s happy, other times it’s misery or pleasure. I was trying to compile every type of feeling in each song. If anyone listens to this album by themselves, I want them to read the lyrics and relate themselves. It’s really up to them to determine how the music makes them feel.
What do you guys want to do moving forward with this group? Is DYGL something you want to make international?
Akiyama: Yeah! We’re all really into American Indie rock music and like classic 70’s, 60’s stuff, as well as a lot of British and European rock scenes. We’re really excited to tour around Japan and Asia but we really want to go to Europe and America for touring, hopefully this year or early next year.
We’re hoping to see you guys here! Do you guys have anything else you wanna say to our readers?
Akiyama: Yeah! When I first started playing music in junior-high, the Indie Rock music scene wasn’t really anything. It’s hard to sing in English in Japan, because no one understands it, and it’s even harder to go overseas to places like America and Britain to spread the music. But after I started, I found out that if the music is good, the people who love music won’t care who I am. We’re just four Japanese guys doing music in Tokyo out of small venues, but if the music itself is good, people really don’t care. This kind of stuff can happen anywhere, honestly.
Exactly, I’m glad I found you guys. Well thank you for taking time out of your day to talk to us! I really appreciate it!
Akiyama: Yeah, thank you so much for talking with us, we were so excited for this interview!
Say Goodbye to Memory Den was released April 19, 2017