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1.Hello guys ! Ajia no Tengoku is sending you the best regards .There are people that haven’t heard yet about I Promise Once . Please introduce yourselves.

George:
Hey everyone ,we are I Promised Once from Tokyo, Japan!
We have three members from Germany. This includes me also (Flo on Vocals/Synthesizer and Nils on Guitar) and three members from Japan (Kunio on Guitar, Joe on Bass and Sho on Drums).
Our music is a combination of Metalcore and EDM.
We are currently based in Tokyo, but we did our first Europe Tour this June. On this tour, we couldn’t play in Romania, so our next goal is to play in your country ASAP!!!

2.Your band was founded in 2014. But you made your debut in Europe recently through the tour you have organized . The unique combination between the heavy metal and EDM it really was an impact for the European audience and they took a like on you quickly. What’s IPO ‘s goal ? What suprises are you preparing for everyone out there ?

Joe:
Our goal as I Promised Once is to be able to say to our fans, family and friends that this is the band that we founded and that we can talk about the experience from our first tour ,like it was a long time ago when we were still rookies.
Therefore ,we need to fight even harder to become famous around the globe!
We are already planning ahead to get to our fans in Europe as quick as possible. On our last tour we often thought „If we had this kind of track” or „If we could use this kind of style” and this is the kind of thinking we embedded in our new tracks.
We can show you a more grown up version of IPO.
And, of course we are ready to drink a lot of European beer again!

3.On August 6 , you announced that Sho from Unsraw became your new support drummer. Since you already are working with Sho , will there be any collaboration with the band Unsraw in the near future ?

George:
Yes, Sho is our new support drummer and he is awesome! I was very impressed by his skills when he played in Unsraw and this opportunity to play with him in the same band is an honor. He especially pushed I Promised Once live skills to next level!
I can’t say anything yet, but there might be a possibility.

4.In the same month you welcomed Sho to the band , it was the 2nd anniversary of your debut single “ Broken Dreams”. Is “ Broken Dreams “ inspired from your daily life experience ? Could this be a promise made yourselves , a reason to work harder for your dreams?

Flo:
Broken Dreams is very special to us because it was the first song we wrote as a band and it contains everybody’s inspiration. It is inspired from every band member’s experience, the good and bad times we have as a person and as a musician. We believe you should follow your dreams. Always ignore the people who tell you not to pursue your dreams. Almost everything has already been done, but it hasn’t been done by you, and that’s all that matters!

5.The story behind of your first encounter is a nice one . Do you believe in destiny ? Do you think the fact all of you knew each other or got to meet at that time is a coincidence ? Or could it be the destiny ‘s hand ?

Nils:
Since meeting George in my childhood years to the very rare combination of people we have going on right now (2 1/2 Germans all living in Tokyo and in a band together!) I believe to a certain point that we were blessed to have the opportunity to meet each other.
There are many factors that impacted how we all got together that only happened because of random chance, so maybe it was our fate to be stuck in this band together haha.
Also, looking back at our short history as a band, but having been able to perform already at two of the biggest festivals in Japan I feel like we can achieve anything as long as we believe in each other.
I also believe we have the big responsibility to show the world how exciting bands from Japan can be!

6.According to your concept the past influences to some extent our actions in the present . What advice would you give to someone who ‘s still lost in the past , but is struggling to achieve a goal in the present ?

Kunio:
I think mostly depends on the strength to keep moving forward.
Don’t run away from your past and keep progressing towards your goal!
Every day is a change to
re-invent yourself and achieve something new ,so it is important never to give up.
Sometimes ,of course ,you will hit a wall when it seems like nothing is going right, but the only way to overcome this is to keep trying. No one knows what the future will bring ,but you can do your part every day to define
the outcome. We try to keep this mind set in the band as well.

7.April brought to the fans a 2nd mini-album entitled “ DUST TO DUST ” .What ‘s the theme of the album ? Tell us more about it .

George:
After releasing our 1st Mini-Album “New Blood”, we decided to show our fans the darker and heavier side of I Promised Once. Moreover, we also wanted to evolve our sound, so we added a lot of classical instruments like Violin, Piano etc.
These two points are biggest difference from “New Blood” and we are quite happy about the feedback.

8.Which was the hardest ever decision you had to take ?

Joe :
Long time ago when I had no money, I had two chose between buying a bass string or buying food for 2 weeks and that was hard.
Then I chose the food over the strings and played a 4 string bass because 5-string bass strings are so expensive.

ipo2

9.What things do you think are part of an artist’s responsibility ?

Sho:
To top the CD quality. It’s not necessary to attend to a gig, if the band plays exactly or beyond cd level. A concert is something different full of energy. We are currently evolving as a band, so please keep supporting us!

10.What do you guys know about our country ? If you ‘ll someday visit Romania , what things would you like to try out mostly ?

Kunio:
I think Romania is famous for their hot springs? I love to go there a lot (typical Japanese…). So ,if I have a chance I would love to check them out in a foreign country. Also, I really like old architecture .So, I want
to visit Dracula’s castle.

11.On October 14th, you announced the release of your 3rd EP “The Awakening” through Jackman Records. Please tell us something about the EP. Would it be something different from your current style ?

Joe:
The world against us
This is a IPO style metal song. Especially the guitar solo in the intro adds some extra spice to the track. It features the sad and rotten things that happen on earth.

White Nights
This track ,we wrote on the bus during our EU tour! While the tour was of course also quite exhausting, this track features the fun parts of the tour. We’d really like to thank all our oversea fans for their support during the tour with this song.

Drown with me
This track, we wrote it after we played at Countdown Japan and Makuhari Messe last year, with the idea/image of a song which could suite Arena levels. Quiet parts as well as head banging parts, vocals and strings. This kind of track we didn’t have so far.

Winter is coming
So far ,we often created an electro track as base, but for this new song we let the instruments speak.

Realization
This track is treated the same as Broken Dreams. It was selected by Jackman Records to be put on this EP!

Broken Dreams
Our first single and track we wrote! This track ,we play it 100% at our live performances because it represents us. Due to the remix and remaster the tracks sound different in an interesting way!

12.What do you guys do to relax after the gigs ?

Sho:

Grab a beer and sleep!

13.As fans of the metal /rock , which was the first artist /band you guys have seen live ?

George:
Iron Maiden in Essen, Germany.

Sho:
Slipknot in Tokyo, Japan

Nils:
I saw Slayer, Slipknot & Hatebreed perform together in my home town! It was a super sick show which I still remember vividly.

Flo:
The first live act I saw was a school band at a school event in my home town I guess. The first big concert I went to was Rock am Ring and there I saw several of my favorit bands at that time such as Linkin Park etc.

Kunio:
My first show was Linkin Park in Tokyo!

Joe:
Papa Roach.

14.Who’s musical work left a mark on you ?

George:
L’Arc-en-Ciel “Heart” because this was the first J-Rock Album I’ve bought.

Sho:
Pantera/Far beyond driven
This album was sold in japan under the title 【脳殺】(kill the brain) and the album is full of heavy riffs which killed my brain xD If I wouldn’t have listened this album, I think I wouldn’t have played drums in this way and I ‘d not have chosen this genre.

Nils:
These questions are always super hard because I have trouble to pick favorites!
My top 3 albums that have influenced me would probably be:

1. The Black Dahlia Murder – Unhallowed (they opened up my eyes to heavier styles of metal)
2. In Flames – Colony (guitar melodies)
3. Papa Roach – lovehatetragedy (catchy choruses!)

Flo:
I listened to many different Genres in my teenager years, bands that definitely influenced me are Linking Park, Muse, Limp Bizkit. But I am also a big fan of Jamiroquai.

Kunio:
The reason I started to play the electric guitar was cuz of hide, when I first bought his CD I tried to
re-arrange his songs to see if it was possible to make them even cooler.
Additionally, I listed to a lot of BGM of console games which gave me a lot of inspiration for songs.

Joe:
The album „Music” by 311 left a mark on me. I still listen to this album and this was the trigger of starting music.

15.What ‘s your message for Ajia no Tengoku and our readers ?

Kunio:
I Promised Once is looking forward to new challenges! We want to explore new parts of the world with our music. Also, we want to reach out to people who don’t know our music yet and show what we are all about with our live performance! If you could check us out it would be amazing. With your support we will be able to do many great things from now on and we are looking forward to the opportunity to showcase our
skills in the heavy metal scene.

*Our thanks to the guys from IPO and their manager for making this interview happen*

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