Ryotaro Aoki

For Ryotaro Aoki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

What's in a name? Just ask Cairophenomenons

Feb 26, 2017

What's in a name? Just ask Cairophenomenons

When a band changes its name, it sometimes signifies a switch in artistic direction. For indie band Cairophenomenons — previously known as Cairo — the decision was far more practical, even if the new moniker is a bit of a mouthful. “Our band didn’t ...

Review: Yoshiki at Tokyo International Forum

Dec 9, 2016

Review: Yoshiki at Tokyo International Forum

Despite being billed as a solo tour, X Japan’s Yoshiki Hayashi’s “Yoshiki Classical” tour is undoubtedly deeply rooted in the lore of one of the biggest rock acts of the country. The concert at Tokyo International Forum on Dec. 6 was packed with tear-jearkers, ...

Tokyo Comic Con calls on Hollywood's big guns for star power

Dec 1, 2016

Tokyo Comic Con calls on Hollywood's big guns for star power

As we sit down for an interview, Tokyo Comic Convention Committee Chairman Mitsuaki Munegumi casually points to a glass case in the center of the room. “There’s actually a real ‘Star Wars’ lightsaber in there,” he says, and reaches over. He pulls out a ...

Ogre You Asshole flirts with tension on latest album

Nov 20, 2016

Ogre You Asshole flirts with tension on latest album

The members of Ogre You Asshole are bracing for something. At least, that’s what the title of their seventh album, “Handoru o Hanasu Mae Ni” (“Before Letting Go of the Handle”) suggests. (The album’s official English title is the less tense “Everythingsomethingnothing.”) “It’s not ...

Crypt City turns into the alt-rock supergroup we didn't see coming

Oct 9, 2016

Crypt City turns into the alt-rock supergroup we didn't see coming

Despite what his mammoth bass guitar sound may suggest, rock band Crypt City bassist Kentaro Nakao is comically self-deprecating at times. “This sounds terrible, but I have no commercial ambitions for this band,” he says with a laugh. His band’s new album, “Chant,” will ...

Bo Ningen: 'We're Japanese, but a London band'

Jul 10, 2016

Bo Ningen: 'We're Japanese, but a London band'

Though seasoned music festival veterans overseas, the four members of British rock band Bo Ningen had never been to a Japanese event until Fuji Rock in 2013. “It was really fun compared to festivals in other countries,” says singer and bassist Taigen Kawabe. “It’s ...

Muddy Apes' style of rock knows no borders

Jul 3, 2016

Muddy Apes' style of rock knows no borders

When looking at the pedigree of rock quartet Muddy Apes, it’s hard not to mention the term “supergroup.” After all, the band’s members — which consist of bassist Taka Hirose of British rock act Feeder, guitarist Kiyonobu “Inoran” Inoue of Japanese arena-rock band Luna ...