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Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012
Fact welcomes a new face to the fold
Special to The Japan Times
In September, Fact will embark on a monthlong Japan trek in support of their fourth full-length effort, January's "Burundanga." The gigs will be the Chiba posthardcore act's first domestic concerts since performing last December at the popular annual Countdown Japan yearend music festival. They will also be Fact's first local shows with their newest member, British guitarist Adam Graham.
Graham previously played in the Tokyo metal/hardcore band Versus the Night. He became acquainted with the Fact crew after his old group and Fact were paired up on a number of concert bills. They bonded during a wild night that included everyone finding an ... um, creative (and not recommended) use for wasabi.
"I first met the guys in Fact like eight or nine years ago," says Graham. "One time Versus the Night and Fact played together in Yokosuka and someone dared someone else to snort a line of wasabi and then we all did it together. We became pretty tight from that point on."
Graham is no stranger to the Japanese music industry. He used to run Pachinko Records, an imprint operating under Universal Music Japan that specializes in indie acts from abroad. For the past three years he has also been helping Fact out whenever possible by managing the group's overseas tours, working as an interpreter during recording sessions, and translating lyrics.
He accompanied Fact last fall when they recorded "Burundanga" in Orlando, Florida. It was there that Fact invited him to be a part of the band.
"I had been helping them in the studio in Japan with lyrics and melodies," says Graham. "Then during the 'Burundanga' sessions in the United States, (guitarist) Kazuki and (bassist) Tomohiro said I should join the group. I didn't even really need to give it a second thought. It just felt like a really natural thing for me to do.
"Actually, before that they'd been jokingly saying I should join for ages. But this time they were more serious about it, and so I figured if they were serious — well then so was I."
Graham began practicing with Fact from late January and was officially announced as their sixth member in early summer. Although he didn't play guitar on "Burundanga," he did contribute backing vocals to the disc.
Like 2010's "In the Blink of an Eye," with "Burundanga" Fact continue to branch out from their hardcore roots by incorporating metal, pop-punk, and electro-rock into their sound to create a catchy collection of hard hitting, melodic cuts.
"There's a lot of really interesting rhythmical stuff and odd time signatures on 'Burundanga,' " says Graham. "It's an album that people will get an awful lot out of on repeated listens because beyond the immediate vocal and guitar hooks there is so much going on."
After spending much of the winter and spring practicing and tweaking song arrangements with his new band mates, this summer Graham toured the United States and performed at South Korea's Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival with Fact. And on Sept. 1, the sextet will appear at Taiwan's Rock in Taichung festival, too.
Their American jaunt had Fact playing 17 shows in a three-week span. Among the dates was a stop at a supposed haunted club that proved to be kind of a surreal experience.
"In Milwaukee we played a place where (serial killer) Jeffrey Dahmer was said to have met one of his victims," says Graham. "The venue's basement has a chair in the corner and it's said that if anyone moves the chair it always returns to where it was originally. When the American band Thrice played there they apparently kicked the chair over and the power went off in the venue and they couldn't play.
"Someone from a band we were touring with sat in the chair. Later that night, the transformer outside our hotel got hit by lightning and burst into flames, and the power was out all night. I'm still not sure if that was funny or weird or whatever."
For their upcoming concerts, Graham says that with three guitarists now on board, show-goers can expect Fact's songs to be more powerful and intricate. He's excited about the cross-country tour, but is uncertain of the welcome he'll receive.
"I'm not sure if people are stoked to have me in the band, but I really hope they are," says Graham. "I guess some fans might know of me already because I've done guest vocals a few times at various live shows, especially on the song 'Backstabber,' so I'm not a complete unknown."
And although he speaks Japanese very well, if he finds himself in a bind on the road he has one option that no one else in Fact can use.
"Perhaps I'll pretend I can't speak Japanese at all," he jokes.
Fact's 20-concert Japan tour starts at Darwin in Sendai on Sep 6 (6:30 p.m.; ¥3,200 in advance;  714-6107) and finishes at Zepp Tokyo on Oct 5 (6:30 p.m.; ¥3,200 in advance;  3599-0710). For more information, visit www.factjapan.com.