MUSIC FEATURE: Behind The Noise – One Eye Closed
Japanese quartet One Eye Closed aren’t ones to pigeonhole themselves, blending rock, metal and pop with Vocaloid, hip-hop and jazz to create their own unique sound. Latest single Squall, which features guest vocals from AJ Rebollo of ISSUES, is what they describe as their “best mixture of western and eastern music elements,” and was written at a time when the band were trying to find themselves. We caught up with vocalist REI to discuss the writing process of Squall, its theme and stories from behind the scenes.
Can you give us your quick elevator pitch on this track? Why does this one standout for you?
This song represents the best version of One Eye Closed so far, our best mixture of western and eastern music elements, with catchy melodies with raw instrumentals. We also have AJ Rebollo of ISSUES to help us out on the track.
How did you tackle the writing process for the song? Was there anything unique about this track compared to your usual/previous approach?
Much like our usual process, we started off with none, our guitarist, writing the instrumental track and passing it onto me to write and add the vocals. From then, we’d pass it to Yasu to write basslines and Kay to write the drums. With the pandemic still keeping people distanced here in Japan, at the point of writing Squall, each member has become comfortable with writing individually. Because we’re working individually, we could really polish up and improve ourselves in the roles we play in the band, helping us reach new potentials and grounds. Additionally, it was a dream come true for us to have worked with two musicians who we highly respect: AJ Rebollo (ISSUES) to feature on the song and Ryo Trackmaker (girugamesh) to mix/master the track.
Can you tell us how the song’s theme came about?
The whole process began with none passing me the demo track and mentioning that he envisioned a snowstorm when writing the song. I gave it a listen and imagined walking against strong winds through a snowstorm, striving until the journey ends. This led me into a deep reflection on our journey as a band. At that point, our band was going through a phase where we were trying to find ourselves. We were getting a lot of opportunities that were going nowhere due to the global pandemic. We also have met a lot of great bands that provided us with guidance, but we still found ourselves unable to fit in with surrounding scenes perfectly. Though both excitement and disappointment struck us, giving up wasn’t in me. I wanted to write lyrics that were a reminder for the band of our dreams and our own efforts, so we picked ourselves up and kept writing. We kept doing what we wanted to do, and we even went back to why we started the band. We wanted to reflect all this into the entirety of the song, for our fans to also keep moving forward together with us.
Tell us about the video, do the themes of the single transfer to the video?
In this video, we wanted to convey imagery of being in the middle of nowhere, feeling trapped out in the cold. Though stranded, we still continue to strive and fight to make our art. Additionally, we wanted to relay a message of support through hard times. Though we went through phases of struggle as a band, we wanted to show gratitude by including our friends (the crew and the featured model) who’ve been by our side into this video.
Do you have any behind the scenes stories from the video shoot?
There’s a lot, but you can see all of that on a ‘Behind the Scenes’ video uploaded on our official YouTube Channel!
Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
Amidst the pandemic, musicians who rely on live shows have been struggling lately, so please support not only us, but all the smaller bands that you love by purchasing music, merchandise, and following and interacting on social media!
One Eye Closed‘s latest single Squall is out now via JPU Records, available to stream or purchase HERE.