21 Blades
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21 Blades


Band Rock Alternative


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"21 Blades" "Out Of The Circles" "One Out Of Two"
The CDs are purchasable on the website http://www.21blades.com



21 Blades is not your typical run-of-the-mill Japanese band. Imagine going to see Kabuki and actually understanding the dialogue. Perhaps we would see more Westerners queuing for tickets then - but don't hold your breath waiting for this dream to come true. Not so with 21 Blades however. This band, though distinctly Japanese, sings all its lyrics in English - a real godsend for the curious Westerner seeking some Eastern enlightenment.

Meet Toru - founder, leader and band guru. If you saw him on the street you wouldn't blink twice. There's nothing about his persona that sets him apart from the rest of the crowd. But the man has Karma, and so does his music.

Toru doesn't consider himself a rebel, but his music certainly wouldn't be considered mainstream either. For a Japanese artist to write and sing all his songs in English would be like ordering a Big Mac at a sushi shop - you just don't do it. So perhaps he thinks of himself as an outsider. Not at all,-"says the young artist. And I wouldn't order a Big Mac at a sushi shop either,"he laughs amicably. I'm very much in touch with my Japanese roots. I just feel strongly about what I do."

In Japan, a Japanese musician who sings only in English is a rare breed indeed. Toru's decision to write his songs in English was not born out of a desire to be different. He simply sees English as a tool that enables him to share his Japanese emotions with the West - something he has found useful in tearing down cultural misconceptions. "I've run across so many Westerners who think we Japanese are different. So when I sing in English they realize we're not so different after all,"he says. Sounds reasonable enough, at least to this Westerner; which is why it puzzles me that more Japanese bands don't do the same thing. But, then, maybe I'm dreaming again, which is okay - so long as I'm not holding my breath.

21 Blades is a four- member band formed in 2003. The band's members besides lead singer Toru are: bassist Anikey: an experienced rock bassist who has played for several big names in the Japanese music biz as a tour musician. Anikey is not only a great bass player, but also makes an great impression on stage; drummer Maki: an amazing drummer joined the band in Jul 2005. Her drumming puts a perfect groove into the band. ;The new guitarist Yoshi: a talented guitar player joined the band in Sep 2006. The band has released three CDs by self-produce and been playing on the U.S.military bases, many clubs, live houses, and large outdoor gigs, earning many loyal fans that come to listen to them when they play. The Japanese are ready for 21 Blades. Their time is now. 21 Blades is also looking for any opportunity to play outside of Japan, aiming to be an international and intercultural rock act.