By Carl Begai
A little over a year ago, Japan’s low-key neo-classical outfit Area51 released their third album, Goddess. By no means was it a runaway success, but that was never the goal. The album solidified the existence of Area51 outside of their native Japan, making some valuable inroads into the Western market even though the band supposedly had the odds stacked against them. Guitarist Yoichiro Ishino and vocalist Kate Cain – the partnership that defines the band – have every intention of using the exposure as leverage when it comes time to release a new record, and they look at Goddess as being a success story on several levels.
“You’re right, we have much more international responses compared to the last album,” says Ishino. “We’re very happy about this because we’ve always considered the world as our big target, ever since we started working on Goddess. There’s always room for improvement, but positive feedback from our fans gives us great confidence.”
Area51 owes its growing international popularity – however small for the moment – to the digital age. They issued two exclusive online singles before Goddess’ official release, and Ishino is an active presence on Twitter, keeping the buzz going as best he can. Given the opportunity, however, he would gladly sign with a European or North American label to really push things forward.
“Of course, we are always looking for foreign record labels, especially since we have great feedback from listeners in Europe. We actually tried pretty seriously with Goddess, but with every label we speak with, things don’t work out because all of our songs are in Japanese. That doesn’t mean we have given up; there are many ways to reach out with the internet, and we won’t stop approaching labels in the future.” Continue Reading