Introducing: Japanese rock band AIRFLIP on their musical influences and creating their "masterpiece" album 'RED'

Introducing: Japanese rock band AIRFLIP on their musical influences and creating their "masterpiece" album 'RED'

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

Influenced by iconic bands like Blink-182 and New Found Glory, the Japanese rock band take us right back to the time of overgrown bangs and teenage angst. 

Since the band's inception, there have been several changes to its lineup. Today, AIRFLIP comprises Satoshi (vocals), Gucci (guitar), Fujimon (bass), and Masunori (drums), all of whom don't even know how the band came to be. 


"I joined the band after the previous vocalist left the band and soon the other original members left the band one by one and then, the current members joined. So, now we are a totally new AIRFLIP. We don't know even when AIRFLIP started or how long AIRFLIP's been running," explains Satoshi. 

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Breeding new life to the AIRFLIP name, the band has become one of J-rock's most promising acts, having toured all around Japan and amassed a fanbase that spans the entire world. Most recently, the 'Meaning' hitmakers released their latest album RED, their best record yet. 

While they're currently rocking on stages across the country, Bandwagon caught up with vocalist Satoshi to talk about their musical influences, their return to the live stage, and how RED came to be.

Hi Satoshi! What’s been keeping the band busy these days?

It's our new tour! We have just released our new album RED and the release tour is ongoing until the end of this March. Besides that, I do photography and videography personally and I manage almost all the current AIRFLIP's creativities. So yeah, I'm very busy.

Having been together for over a decade, what’s the group dynamic between the members like?

Our music roots are similar to each other; we are all influenced by American West Coast pop-punk music such as Sum 41, Blink-182, New Found Glory, and Zebrahead. The musicality consistency in the band is important.

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

New Found Glory! 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.

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

Actually, it depends. I usually write the lyric after everything is confirmed. So, when I found the melody of the song seemed to match with Japanese more than English, I would write the lyric in Japanese and vice versa.

Japan’s music scene is immensely diverse. How do you feel about the current scene and what role do you hope to play for Japanese rock music?

It's very diverse but J-pop music has been always the top in the Japanese music scene. And we hope our music to make some changes in it. But our top purpose is just to make our fans enjoy and be relieved from their daily stress and trouble with our live shows.

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

We think RED is just our masterpiece! All the songs are sick and each is capable of being the lead track.
With the past two albums, we invited a music producer for the recording and made the album together but we did it alone this time so we composed the album with just what we think it's sick. We're so satisfied with RED.

You’re currently on tour for the album, what do you enjoy most about being on stage?

Just playing our new songs and seeing how the listeners react. It's so fun! And we enjoy finding how we make the live show maximumly blaze up with those new songs.

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

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

It was so different from what we had been looking forward but I remember that I was so pleased on the stage because we had waited for it for a year. Since almost all live shows were canceled and our previous drummer left the band in 2020, we stopped AIRFLIP for a year. It's the worst year for us.

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Where do you see AIRFLIP in the next few years?

Actually, I don't know because the world changed so fast and so did the Japanese music scene. But I can tell that we could keep going with some another new albums and tours, since we have already overcome the worst time.

What’s the best part about being in AIRFLIP?
Good friends! We're so lucky and fortunate we have a lot of good music friends and we met them because we are doing AIRFLIP.

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Share with us what we can expect from the band this year.
We will finish the RED release tour at the end of this March and another project will be announced there. I cannot tell the detail yet but it should be fun and exiting for you, so please keep your eyes on us!

Listen to AIRFLIP's masterpiece, RED here.