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Interviews : “You can feel the flow of the heavy metal masterpiece” – An interview with Nozomu Wakai (Destinia)

By on September 8, 2018

Nozomu Wakai – Destinia

Japanese guitar sensation Nozomu Wakai isn’t reinventing the heavy metal wheel so much as re-imagining it.

Enlisting current Rainbow vocalist, Ronnie Romero, was more than just a shrewd move by Wakai. Romero is a phenomenal vocalist and it is a tribute to Wakai that his written material is worthy of the fellow who sings for possibly the greatest guitar innovator heavy metal has ever known, Ritchie Blackmore (ex-Deep Purple, Rainbow).

The opportunity to chat to Wakai wasn’t available, so quotes in the feature are taken from answers to questions issued via email.

“I am really happy that you can feel the flow of the heavy metal masterpiece in my album Metal Souls, it’s as you said, I really like the riff work of Judas Priest, and they are one of the bands that influenced my music style. Destinia is not (a) band (that) features a guitarist, Nozomu Wakai. Although the guitar occupies an important position in the band, I believe it’s not the most important one. The song(s) itself, and also like a chemical reaction happens between the members playing the songs are important. Destinia is for all the musicians that played in.”

Having had a few listens to Metal Souls (’18) by the Apple Music listed Nozomu Wakai’s Desitina, the album’s narrative felt close to Judas Priest’s magnificent Painkiller (’90), Wakai clearly agrees.

Given the recording, the line-up features Romero and current Whitesnake/ former Ozzy Osbourne percussionist Tommy Aldridge. It felt appropriate to ask if the percussionist had the opportunity to share any stories from the Bark at the Moon (’83) era. Of interest to Australian readers is that one of our own, bassist extraordinaire Bob Daisley, wrote and recorded on the album.

“I haven’t yet heard about his work with Mr Bob Daisley from Tommy. I will ask him when he comes to Tokyo for the rehearsal of Destinia show! I am already excited that I will be able to hear the stories about the legendary works they have created. By the way, when recording the drum fill for the “Metal Souls” intro, I said… Tommy ‘I like Ozzy Osbourne’s live performance in 1983-84. I want to deliver your fill that has such strong impact like “Over the Mountain” to all metalheads’”

It might surprise the reader who is only now getting introduced to Wakai’s work that many fans from the antipodes have already found Destinia.

“Through social media, I am receiving many beautiful comments and feedback. This is so fortunate! I am happy that Metal Souls is being released in Australia too, thanks also to Golden Robot Records, for which I am very grateful too! At the moment, only the show in Japan (21st January 2019) is confirmed and Australia is not that far from Japan, so I definitely would love to tour Australia. If anybody wants to make an offer, get in touch with me! That way, I will fly to Australia to deliver my passionate shows like a rock star revived from the 80’s!”

You read that correctly! Nozomu Wakai is a serious musician capable of attracting the very best musicians to his projects. Hopefully, an enterprising agent will book Destinia as a touring concern, as this is an opportunity to watch one of the very best guitar and vocal combinations in heavy metal!

Metal Souls is out now through Golden Robot Records in Australia.

About

Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith