Japanese rock band AIRFLIP on their musical influences

From the powerful entry of guitars to the rapid crescendo of drums, there’s nothing more exciting than the classic sound of early 2000s pop-punk. It’s pretty hard to find these days, so we thank our lucky stars for bands like AIRFLIP.

Influenced by iconic bands like Blink-182 and New found glorythe Japanese rock band takes us back to the days of overgrown bangs and teenage angst.

Since the group’s inception, there have been several changes in its composition. Today, AIRFLIP includes Satoshi (singing), Gucci (guitar), fujimon (bass), and Masunori (drums), who don’t even know how the band was born.

“I joined the group after the previous singer left the group and soon the other original members left the group one by one, then the current members joined. So now we are a brand new AIRFLIP. We don’t know not even when AIRFLIP started or how long AIRFLIP has been running,” says Satoshi.

Breathing new life into the name AIRFLIP, the group has become one of the most promising bands in J-rock, having toured Japan and amassed a fanbase that spans the globe. More recently, the ‘Sense’ the hitmakers released their latest album RED, their best album to date.

As they currently tour stages across the country, moving train caught up with vocalist Satoshi to talk about their musical influences, their return to the stage, and how RED has come to.

Hi Satoshi! What kept the band busy these days?

It’s our new tour! We just released our new album RED and the release tour continues until the end of this March. Besides that, I personally do photography and video and manage almost all of AIRFLIP’s current creations. So yes, I am very busy.

Having been together for over a decade, what is the group dynamic between the members?

Our musical roots are similar to each other; we’re all influenced by American West Coast pop-punk music like Sum 41, Blink-182, new found glory, and zebra head. Musical coherence in the group is important.

What are the band’s biggest musical influences and inspirations? How would you say they impact the type of music the band makes?

New glory found! We often try to imitate the chord progression and musical composition of their songs.

What do you hope your listeners take away from your music?

It’s typical but I think it’s hope, courage and fun because our songs have a lot of positive lyrics.

Many bands in Japan make music in a mixture of Japanese and English, tell us about the band’s decision to write songs primarily in English.

In fact, it depends. I usually write the lyrics after everything is confirmed. So when I found that the melody of the song seemed to fit Japanese more than English, I wrote the lyrics in Japanese and vice versa.

The Japanese music scene is extremely diverse. What do you think of the current scene and what role do you hope to play for Japanese rock music?

It’s very diverse but J-pop music has always been at the top of the Japanese music scene. And we hope that our music will bring some changes to it. But our main goal is just to make our fans enjoy and get relief from their daily stress and problems with our live shows.

The band recently released ‘RED’, tell us about the album and the story it tells.

We think RED is just our masterpiece! All songs are sick and each is capable of being the main track.
With the last two albums we brought in a music producer for the recording and did the album together but we did it alone this time so we put the album together with just what we think is sick. We are so satisfied with RED.

You are currently on tour for the album, what do you like the most about being on stage?

Just play our new songs and see how listeners react. It’s so much fun! And we like to figure out how we make the live show fire up to the max with these new songs.

Share with us some of your most memorable live performances over the years.

Our first live show after the world has changed, a live show in the COVID-19 pandemic: face mask, socially distanced audience, no cheering, no diving and mosh.

It was so different from what we expected but I remember being so happy on stage because we had been waiting for it for a year. Since almost all concerts were canceled and our former drummer left the band in 2020, we stopped AIRFLIP for a year. This is the worst year for us.

Where do you see AIRFLIP in the next few years?

Actually, I don’t know because the world has changed so fast and so has the Japanese music scene. But I can say that we could continue with other new albums and tours, since we have already overcome the worst moment.

What’s the best part of being in AIRFLIP?
Good friends! We are so blessed and lucky to have a lot of good musician friends and we met them because we do AIRFLIP.

Share with us what we can expect from the group this year.
We will finish the RED release tour at the end of this March and another project will be announced there. I can’t give the details yet, but it should be fun and exciting for you, so keep your eyes on us!

Listen to the AIRFLIP masterpiece, RED here.

Corina C. Butler