Saturday, May 26, 2012

Interview with Jon Underdown of fade


Ten days before the release of fade's new album, 「天〜TEN」we had the pleasure of talking with frontman JON to discuss the bands history, their recent performance in the US, and... being a Jedi master!


Thank you for taking time from your schedule to answer our questions! To begin, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

-What up?!  My name’s Jon and I’m the vocalist in fade.  Originally from Seattle, WA and now a 12 year citizen of Tokyo, JPN.

When did you first become interested in music as a career path?

-With my first band that I played with here in Tokyo – WEAVE.  Things with them had broken up and about a year and a half had passed.  I was actually thinking of leaving Japan when rui brought the band’s demo to where I was bartending in Shibuya.  Listening to the CD and shortly after going into the studio with the guys for the first time was when I really got serious about it though.

Could you please share with us the story of how the “California Roll of Rock” came to be?

-Culturally, fade’s make-up is a totally interesting mesh of east and west.  Kansei, noriyuki, and rui all grew up in NYC and Tokyo, I grew up in Seattle and now Tokyo for 12 years, and 5°has lived in Japan his entire life.

One of the things that we’ve always been trying to do is express that totally cosmically random mix of our lives in Japan and the States up until now.  For us it’s not a combination – it’s a fusion of the two.

We also know that things coming out of the east need to be localized to fit the palate of people in the west – a perfect example of that is MAKIZUSHI.  Westerners weren’t into the traditional style of rolled sushi, the chef knew how to tweak it so that people loved it, and this gave birth to the California roll.

We feel like it’s a symbol that represents what we’re about to people outside of Japan.

For anyone who is new to fade, what song would you recommend to truly get a feel for what the band is all about?

 -Rather than just a single song, I would have to tell them to check out this little playlist:

  • One Reason

  • Ever Free (ALBUM)


  • From the Heart

  • In the end (ALBUM)

  • So Far Gone

  • Kings of Dawn

  • Beautiful (ALBUM)

And which songs would you recommend that you feel truly highlights everyone’s individual roles in the band?

 -I think this playlist shows everybody’s strong points.

fade’s new album「天〜TEN」releases on June 6th, what was the general concept for this album?

-To make an album that fucking ROCKED but had pop sensibility.

How will this new album compare to fade’s previous releases, is there anything different that fans will take note of?

-It’s my honest to god favorite one that we have written together yet!!

fade has performed in many locations - Japan, South Korea, and Canada - but how was it to finally have your first performance in the US last March?

-It was an amazing experience for fade – kind of like a home coming in a way.  It was my first show there since I was in college, for rui, noriyuki, and kansei I think it was their first show since high school – and in New York to boot.

People traveled from all over the North East, a few people rolled up from Venezuela and Brazil to catch the show.  That was an amazing feeling!

We also had a blast touring with RIZE!  We’re actually trying to put together another “East meets West” tour in North America again sometime this autumn.  Check out our HP and facebook page for updates!

Tell us more about fade’s live performances – what’s the number one reason why fans should definitely see you perform live?

-Our Energy.  You will feel better after having ROCKED OUT at a fade show.

With you also being a member of YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz, do you have any special routines to help maintain your voice?

-The most important thing is to be a Jedi master of the breath.

Was that your first experience with being one of two vocalists – was it a challenge to pair your voice with someone else’s?

-It was a very different style for me, so I really had the opportunity to broaden my horizons as a singer and front man.

YFC’s first album was released in three versions, two of which have very intriguing covers! – Who came up with the concept for those covers?

-G did.

Two unique bands with their own unique sound – do you feel you have a unique persona/stage presence for each band?

 - I feel like I’m two totally different people.

In up to five words, could you please describe what music means to you?

-What keeps me going.

What do you and the members of fade hope for the most in your future as a band?

-Right now our goal is to have people all over the world get to know fade through our new album 天〜TEN and eventually be able to go and play for them on tour.

Lastly, are there any closing messages you would like to share with our readers?

- Thanks for taking the time to read this interview! Give our music a try!  Stay true to yourself!


 Order your copy of 「天〜TEN」now!

Limited Edition // Regular Edition

Find out more about Jon on Twitter and his Official Blog

To keep up with fade's activities, visit the following links;

fade's Official HP // Facebook // Myspace // Mixi // Official Blog  // Ustream

Many thanks to Jon, fade's management, and everyone involved in making this interview possible!

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This interview with JON was conducted by Alicia R. Thomas (ARThomas)


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