Kenta Koie and Crossfaith earn some rock cred overseas

by Shawn Despres

Special To The Japan Times

In February, Osaka electro-infused metalcore act Crossfaith toured Britain with Limp Bizkit. Sharing stages and hanging out with the 1990s rap-metal act and its celebrity frontman Fred Durst reinforced the importance of not letting success go to their heads.

“That was the biggest tour we’ve done in the U.K. so far,” says vocalist Kenta Koie. “It was one of the best moments of my life.

“Limp Bizkit have been my heroes since I was young. I thought Fred Durst was going to be a dickhead — I mean he’s f-cking huge. He’s f-cked with Britney Spears! He’s definitely a rock star. But he was the nicest guy.”

That tour was sponsored by Kerrang!, the world’s top-selling music weekly. Crossfaith must have made an impression during the jaunt as May saw them snag a nomination for “Best International Newcomer” at the Kerrang! Awards. This spring, the quintet also received nominations for Alternative Press’ AP Music Award for “Best International Band” and Metal Hammer’s “Breakthrough” prize at the publication’s Golden God Awards, further solidifying Crossfaith’s reputation as Asia’s fastest-rising group in the global hard-rock and metal music scene.

“We were really surprised by the nominations,” says Koie. “We were the only Asian band that was nominated for the awards so it’s a big honor. We definitely have Asian pride. We’re happy to be able to represent Asian hard music worldwide.”

Crossfaith will be touring Europe this month. They’ll have time off around their June 13 appearance at England’s massive Download Festival so they’ll be attending the London ceremonies for the Kerrang! Awards (June 12) and the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards (June 16). Do they have any celebration plans if they walk away with trophies?

“We’re going to have a big party,” says Koie. “I’m sure we’ll be running around everywhere shouting ‘We won! We won!’”

Along with the awards nods, Koie’s profile was recently boosted with his inclusion in “Kerrang!’s 50 Greatest Rockstars in the World Today.” It was his second time to make the list. Last year he was ranked No. 46. This year he climbed to No. 41.

“It’s hard to explain how amazing it feels to be included with words,” Koie says. “I’m not sure why they chose me. They mentioned that I’m a polite guy, but that onstage I’m like a beast.”

Next year Koie wants the No. 1 spot — but he’ll have to unseat current No. 1, Lemmy from Motorhead. How does he intend to make this happen?

“Rock stars have lots of sex, drugs, money and alcohol. I’m not that kind of person — but I’ll try my best!” he says with a laugh.

Local fans will be able to gauge Koie’s rock-star abilities when Crossfaith tour Japan in September.