EXCLUSIVE: Within Destruction on "ANIMETAL" and Why More People Should Be Into Cute Anime

 EXCLUSIVE: Within Destruction on
In keeping with our celebration of metal and anime here on Crunchyroll News, it's time to turn our attention to another band that's been influenced by the medium of anime in their creative process: Within Destruction. The Slovenia rockers sat down with me to chat about their latest single, "ANIMETAL," and how their inspirations from anime have come to life. And what better way to do that than by premiering the music video for the song, right now, exclusively on Crunchyroll News? Check out the full interview below, where drummer Luka Vezzosi, vocalist Rok Rupnik, and guitarist Howie Fang break down their anime origins, but not before checking out the music video for "ANIMETAL" right here: Can you tell me a little about your anime journey? How it started and where you are now? Did different members of the band have different pathways into anime? Luka: Everything started for me when I was about 8 years old and first saw Dragon Ball Z and Pokémon on national TV. Currently, I am enjoying One Piece and the original Dragon Ball . The last movie I saw was The Boy and the Heron and it was amazing! Rok: The first anime I ever saw was Pokémon , but as a kid I didn’t really know that this was an “anime”, it was just another cartoon for me at that time. It wasn’t until high school when I first watched Death Note that I finally understood what “anime” was, and I was hooked ever since. Right now, I just finished watching the final season of Attack on Titan , which was the perfect timing since we’re on tour with SiM. I practically had them playing “The Rumbling” opening OST live for every episode I watched [laughs]. Did you get into music around the same time as you got into anime? Were they separate interests for you or does one inform the other? Luka: I think I got into music a few years after getting into anime with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video games and MTV. I also had a cool neighbor who introduced me to Limp Bizkit and Slipknot for the first time. For me, both interests were separate for a very long time. Rok: I never really thought about that before, but I actually did get into both music and anime right around when I was starting my high school years. At first, they were both separate interests for me. What was the creative process behind fully blending anime and metal on the new song and album? Is there a story to the album that was inspired by any anime titles in particular? Has this been something the band has always wanted to do? Rok: In terms of lyrics, I always try to find a section of the song that gives me the overall vibe of what I want to write about. For “ANIMETAL” it was the middle electronic section. I imagined anime characters going crazy at a rave party while the whole world was coming to an end [laughs]. The album itself is not a concept one, however there are bits and references spread throughout the track list. For example, the song “ANIMETAL” was artistically inspired by Gundam , and one of the other tracks was inspired by the Vocaloid idol Hatsune Miku. We left plenty of easter eggs throughout the album, but we won’t say much more. We’ll leave that to the listeners to discover and interpret on their own. We’ve always wanted to do the blending of our music and we feel like “ANIMETAL” is the perfect mixture of not only metal and anime but also Japanese pop culture in general. Howie: In terms of the writing process, we just wanted something that sounded like it could be the soundtrack to an epic battle scene or an action-packed intro to an episode. Do you see a lot of anime fans at your shows? Has it led to any fun fan interactions? Luka: People ask me a lot about my tattoos since I have quite a few anime/gaming inspired ones. It happened a few times that fans also had a tattoo from the same anime/same character and it was also located on the same body part which is really wild. Rok: Yes, there was definitely a huge shift. We see a lot of new fans who are also anime fans and also old fans who didn’t know we were into anime, so we are able to connect with them on a whole different level. Regarding funny interactions, from time to time fans will ask us to take photos with them doing the Dragon Ball fusion dance pose [laughs]. Howie: We get A LOT of anime fans. Rightfully so since our aesthetic is so tied into the whole anime culture and look. It’s always fun to talk to fans, compare our favorite anime, and have discussions about it. What do you think it is about heavy music that draws anime fans to it? Luka: I believe certain people get into heavy music the same way they get into more action-packed anime. They love the intensity, suspense, and sometimes brutality of both music and anime. A lot of our fans who also watch anime usually watch very similar stuff—be it Berserk , Hellsing Ultimate , Attack on Titan , Chainsaw Man , and so on. Rok: I think anime exposes viewers to a vast variety of music genres via anime openings and OSTs, and a lot of popular anime leans towards extremely catchy heavy rocky/metal-based openings. Combine that with the emotional attachment of the show’s story and it creates a strong sentimental bond between the viewers and the song/music. Who are some of your musical inspirations? Did any anime openings, endings or OSTs have a lasting impact on you or change your approach to songwriting? Have you learned new techniques from anime music that you’ve brought to this new single and album? Luka: I mostly listen to early '00s nu metal, K-pop, and J-pop. Unfortunately, the anime openings I really love are still a bit too far away from where we currently stand in the music genre world. Maybe that changes in a few years, and we start playing J-pop, [laughs]. OSTs on the heavier side like Chainsaw Man ’s “ KICK BACK ” definitely helped us to expand our songwriting process. For example—where high intensity parts should be placed for better pacing, where four-on-the-floor drum beats fit, which scales are complementary with another, and so on. Rok: I’d say our own music inspires me. The way I approach writing lyrics and vocals is by listening to instrumental tracks recorded by Howie (guitars & clean vocals) and Luka (drums) and I write whatever the music makes me feel like. I could write a whole essay on how and how many anime OSTs have emotionally moved me, but to keep it concise, I’ll just name a few off the top of my head: “the WOLD” ( Death Note ) “Unravel” ( Tokyo Ghoul ) “Gurenge” ( Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba ) “Sadness and Sorrow” ( Naruto ) “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” ( Neon Genesis Evangelion ) In terms of new techniques, I would say the main thing I’ve learned is that I can write more light-hearted lyrics and make them fun or funny. Everything doesn’t have to be so serious all the time. Howie: I would say “Unravel” by TK from Ling tosite sigure from Tokyo Ghoul and “The Rumbling” by SiM have been quite influential to our music. Both those songs take the listeners on a journey and really encapsulate the energy and mood brought on by their respective shows. Although we didn’t have a specific anime or picture to write for, we generally were shooting for something that had its ups and downs while capitalizing on epic moments. If any of your songs could be used in an anime, which song would you want and what type of show would it be? Luka: Well, obviously “ANIMETAL” for now, [laughs]. I can see the song fitting 86 EIGHTY SIX or something similar. There will be plenty of other songs released this year which would fit different types of anime. We tried to cover a very wide spectrum of genres when we were working on the album. Rok: Honestly, any song, with the variety on our new album I think we could cover everything from hardcore action to the softest rom-com and everything in between [laughs]. If you could have one anime character join your band, who would it be and why? Luka: Julius Novachrono from Black Clover . He would be our driver, and with his ability to speed up time, driving after the shows wouldn’t be so long and boring anymore [laughs]. Rok: Kaede (aka Lucy, Nyu) from Elfen Lied . I think she would fit our band perfectly because we’re pretty much laid-back and calm when we’re not performing, but on stage, we like to go wild, and I feel like her “split personality” would be a perfect fit… minus the massacre [laughs]. Have you encountered many other anime fans in other bands? Or would you say it’s more of a rarity in your area of the music world? Luka: There are definitely a lot of anime fans in other bands we know/toured with. There are also bands who revolve almost entirely around certain anime universes as well, which is really amazing since you get to somehow experience the anime/manga from a unique musical standpoint. The only slightly disappointing thing is that most other band members are interested in the same (type of) anime, which is usually dark. We need more people who are interested in kawaii stuff! Rok: On average, I feel like there’s always at least one person in the band who’s the token “geek” member, and that usually means they’re also into anime. I’d say it’s pretty common to find anime fans within hard rock/metal bands. Is there anything you’d like to plug or say to the Crunchyroll audience out there who may not be familiar with your music? Rok: If you’re giving our music a listen for the very first time, I would highly motivate you to do so in context by watching our music and/or lyrics videos to get a full “SUGOI” experience. Within Destruction were recently announced as part of this year’s Summer Slaughter lineup! You can catch them on one of these dates: 7/12 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Monarch 7/13 Pittsburgh, PA – Mountain View Amphitheatre 7/14 to be announced on May 20th 7/15 Norfolk, VA – The NorVa 7/17 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works 7/20 Lexington, KY – Manchester Music Hall (no Veil Of Maya/Brand Of Sacrifice/Gideon) 7/22 Fort Wayne, IN – Piere’s 7/23 Sauget, IL – Pops 7/25 Houston, TX – Warehouse Live 7/26 Dallas, TX – South Side Music Hall 7/27 Austin, TX – The Far Out Lounge 7/28 San Antonio – TX – Aztec Theater 7/30 Phoenix, AZ – The Marquee 7/31 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern 8/01 Riverside, CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium 8/03 Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall 8/05 Chicago, IL – House Of Blues 8/06 Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Complex 8/09 Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom 8/10 Reading, PA – Reverb Get tickets to see Within Destruction on tour here.

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