Dark edge to band's lively music

The band, (from left) DJ Love, Satoshi Fukase, Saori Fujisaki and Shininchi Nakajima, are working on their first English-language album.
The band, (from left) DJ Love, Satoshi Fukase, Saori Fujisaki and Shininchi Nakajima, are working on their first English-language album.PHOTO: LUSHINGTON ENTERTAINMENTS

While their indie-pop music might be upbeat, Japanese band Sekai No Owari's roots are the exact opposite.

Their name means "the end of the world" in Japanese and refers to frontman Satoshi Fukase's history with psychological problems.

In an e-mail interview ahead of their first show in Singapore at The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, on Sunday, the 31-year-old singer explains their name.

"It's named after the unforgettable moment when I thought my world was ending. That was the reason I decided to start making music with the friends who supported me when I was at my lowest. The end became my beginning. The word itself has a negative connotation, but it has a positive meaning."

Fukase and pianist Saori Fujisaki have been friends since kindergarten and they met band leader and guitarist Shininchi Nakajima, also known as Nakajin, in primary school.

  • BOOK IT / SEKAI NO OWARI – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

  • WHERE: The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway

    WHEN: Sunday, 7pm

    ADMISSION: $118 (standard) and$168 (VIP) from Apactix (www.apactix.com/events/detail/sekai-no-owari); $148 at the door

The trio started making music while in high school and the final Sekai No Owari line-up was solidified when they met DJ Love, who always wears a clown mask and has never revealed his real name.

The band played their first gig in Club Earth, a live music venue they set up themselves in Tokyo, and released their eponymous debut demo themselves in 2009.

Word spread quickly about the band's eclectic music, which spanned genres such as rock, EDM, jazz and classical, as well as the elaborate, carnivalesque atmosphere at their live shows.

While their debut album, Earth (2010), peaked at No. 15 on the Japanese charts, their third and most recent album, Tree (2015), went to No. 1.

They are also making a name as one of Japan's top live acts. In 2015, they sold out at Japan's biggest venue, the 70,000-capacity Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, for two nights.

Having worked with acts such as American pop act Owl City and Dutch EDM DJ Nicky Romero, the band have set their sights on the international music market and are working on their debut Englishlanguage album.

Nakajin, 31, says: "Since English isn't our first language, we often have difficulties making this English album, but we have a lot of fun working on it. I hope it legitimately conveys our message and that many people will enjoy it."

The band were last in Singapore in 2015 to do a recording session for music streaming service Spotify and are excited to return for a concert, which they say will be tailored to their fans here.

Fujisaki, 30, says: "People have different tastes in music in different countries and of course each country has its own culture. For that reason, people have various perspectives on music. We do try to take that into consideration when planning a stage for different countries to best entertain them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2017, with the headline 'Dark edge to band's lively music'. Print Edition | Subscribe