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“Charged Pacific Rim Crust Punk of War!” – Interview with Nagasaki Sunrise

Charged Pacific Rim Crust Punk of War“, this is the label by which Nagasaki Sunrise present and describe their music. To know more about what they mean by this concept, you just have to read the interview I recently managed to do with them. Also, if you like British heavy metal and the sounds of Japanese hardcore/crust punk from Death Side and the “burning spirits” scene, Nagasaki Sunrise and their new album “Distalgia” are the best band you could come across!

Like any self-respecting interview, we start with some biographical notes. Tell us about yourselves, when was Nagasaki Sunrise born, how did you choose the name and above all why did you decide to start this band?

Hey! First of all, thank you for the interview and your interest in talking to us! Nagasaki Sunrise was born in 2020, during the difficult months of quarantine and self-isolation. The project idea came from Iron Fist, who had some songs up his sleeve from a home recording session in 2015.

In late 2019 the project was coming to life, quickly becoming a full on band. Speedfaias joined for bass duty and Wartank was pounding the drums of deliverance. Gasolizna joined shortly after, recording vocals for the demo songs on “Turn on the power”.

Our main influence is drawn from the“Burning Spirits” aesthetic, borrowing our inspiration from the larger than life Japanese Hardcore bands from the 80’s that play a major role in our sound, imagery and vocabulary. NAGASAKI SUNRISE represents the paradoxical nature of the human race and its primal urge to wage war, focusing on WWII and particularly on the events leading to the atomic bombings of Japan.

If I’m not too misinformed about you, it seems to me that you mostly come from the heavy metal scene in which you are very active with various bands. What do you think are the main differences between the metal scene and the hardcore punk scene?

We actually have a foot in each scene, being active in both “worlds”, since we consider it being the same. We all started playing punk as teenagers, each one in his hometown. At the moment all members of the band are also involved in other bands (metal and punk oriented), such as Midnight Priest, Vürmo, Roädscüm, Carnage, amongst others.  We all like metal and punk, as well as their subgenres. But regarding the differences, here in Portugal, they’re only noticeable in the big cities, where we kinda of have a venue for punk, and a venue for metal. But both “tribes”, ourselves included of course, attend gigs in both places, as for us, the D.I.Y. spirit and support between bands and communities is crucial to keep the underground scene alive!

Listening to “Turn on the Power”, your first EP, your heavy metal background is immediately clear as well as a sincere passion and influence of certain Japanese d-beat/hardcore à la Death Side. And which are the bands that you think have influenced you the most?

The heavy metal background is surely there, mainly on the guitar leads and sound. The influencing bands question is always a tricky one, since there’s a huge amount of bands that influence us in a way or another. It makes it difficult to leave some bands out, but if i need to choose, i would say Death Side, Discharge, Motörhead, Inepsy, G.I.S.M. and R.U.G., Anti-Cimex, Venom, and so on. Mainly the Burning Spirits/Japanese Raw Punk, the British D-Beat/Rock’n’roll/N.W.O.B.H.M, and the Scandinavian Hardcore sounds.

“Charged pacific rim crust punk of war” is the label you use to define yourselves, your music and your imagery. Would you like to elaborate on this concept?

This term was chosen due to the lyrics, the sound, and the aesthetics of the band.  Since we weren’t able to label the band with a specific sound or genre definition. 

We like the diversity of elements that materializes our vision of punk and metal, which has more of a crossover feeling to it. It can be epic and gnarly, it has solos with d-beat, it’s meant to be chaotic while still displaying a melodic touch, but it is most of all a tribute to the “fallen heroes” of WWII and beyond.

Soon (11 September) your first full-length entitled “Distalgia” will be released, would you like to tell us something about it? What will be the differences with the previous Ep? What is the meaning of the title?

Yes, the album came out on September 11, and it’s already available on all streaming platforms. It will be out on CD in the end of September, and on vinyl in the end of October, released by Monolith Records.   

We are really happy with the end result, and stoked to play live! The recording process was smooth, working with our good friend Kiko “Gloves of Metal” Silva, who also mixed the album. 

It was mastered by Jack Control at the Enormous Door Mastering, and we couldn’t ask for a better outcome. Raw and damp, made to be listened loud as fuck! 

We think that there’s an evolution in the sound from the “Turn on the Power” demo. Not different sounding, but trimmed and polished to its best. We had more time to work on the songs, the lyrics, and the production, paying more attention to the details, and working on them till we were happy. In the end, that sets the difference between a demo and a full length album. 

The name of the album comes from the third track, it is an homage to all the bands that shaped the punk sound, inspiring others to keep on doing it. It’s a junction between the Dis-sound and Nostalgia.

Lyrically, “Turn on the Power” focused on the Pacific Rim battles of the second world war. Where does the idea of talking about certain historical themes come from within your proposal? Will the new album still be inspired by the events that affected the Pacific Rim during the second world war or did you deal with other issues?

Actually, when we came out with the “Charged Pacific Rim Crust Punk of War” thing, we had more in our minds the lyrics of the album than the ones of the Demo. The sound is there, sure. But we wrote it in the process of writing the album, so it was a lot more connected with the last one.  The lyrics of the demo are more related to being loud and playing raw. It also has war themed lyrics, like Napalm in the Morning, but the Pacific Rim war tales are a lot more present in the album. We see the Turn on the Power lyrics as an overture for what we want to do in the future. 

As for the idea of talking about certain historical themes, I can tell you that we are huge BOLT THROWER  fans, and that should be enough! Ahah. We want to talk about War, and the atrocities that transpired during the Pacific Rim battles and other wars, but in a more historical perspective. We’re not doing or writing about anything new, but we want to do it in a different way.

You come from Portugal, a land unfortunately that appears too little often on the maps of world metal and punk. What can you tell us about the Portuguese hardcore/crust and metal scene? Which are the bands with which you have more relationships and that you consider more valid?

Yes, unfortunately that’s true. I think that being a small country and geographically in the end of Europe doesn’t help. It’s really difficult to play outside of Portugal and for bands to come here to play, since we don’t have physical borders with no country apart from spain. Fortunately, this is changing a bit, and we’re starting to have more touring bands coming, and more bands going out (at least before the pandemic). It’s a small scene, but cohesive, at least in the D.I.Y. metalpunk underground scene. And there’s a lot of awesome bands in Portugal as well! To name a few, DOKUGA, BAS ROTTEN, ALCOHOLOCAUST, VAI-TE FODER, BATTLESCARS, DESKARGA ETILIKA, CREPUSCULO MALDITO, PARIA, SCATTERBRAINIAC, KAZÄN, SANGUE XUNGA, SYSTEMIK VIOLENCE, VENENO CALIFORNIA, RAVENSIRE, VECTIS, ESTADO DE SITIO, IRONSWORD, LYZZARD, WANDERER, FILII NIGRANTIUM INFERNALIUM, ARCHAIC TOMB, FREEDOOM, SCUM LIQUOR, BACKALLEY LOBOTOMY, NARCOMANCER, MARTELO NEGRO, CORRUPTED HUMAN BEHAVIOR.

Both on the first Ep and on the tracklist of the next “Distalgia” you can notice the choice to use the Japanese language for some titles of your songs. Is it only a choice of imagery and style or is it a way to pay homage to that “burning spirits” Japanese hardcore/crust that appears as one of your main influences?

It’s definitely an homage to those bands. They are the major influence in the NAGASAKI SUNRISE aesthetic and sound.

Dear Nagasaki Sunrise we have come to the end of this interview, I leave this space at your disposal to write whatever comes to your mind!

Thank you for reading this, and supporting the band! We hope to go out and play live everywhere we can as soon as possible! Keep the D.I.Y metalpunk scene raw, loud and underground!!