RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN DUO HAILING ISHIMURA
Hiya lads, welcome to RGM. What made you decide to start the band?
Chris: Dom and I had met through our wives, Hannah and Kara, who had been best friends since Middle School. We both had a mutual interest in music, went to concerts together and starting jamming. We decided we wanted to do something more with it and Hailing Ishimura was born.
Dom: Pretty much exactly that!
Introduce us to the members and your musical history?
Chris: I’m Chris. I’ve been playing guitar for about 20 years. My dad instilled a love for music in me at a young age. He’d literally have me sit in the living room, listen to songs and then make me name the album, band and song. That all kind of culminated in what influenced my playing on our songs, so thanks Dad!
Dom: I’m the proud father of Hunter and Reese, and incredibly lucky husband of Kara! When I was about 12 I was super into the theater. That’s where I really started getting interested in entertaining people and was always drawn to the musical side of it. It was around that time that one of my uncles gave me a guitar, taught me a few chords and told me “Good luck!”.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Chris: We are super new so this is only our second interview. At this point ask me anything. We’re still in the we’ll say whatever stage.
Dom: I haven’t been asked anything enough yet. This is exciting and fresh for us! Plus my kids already think I’m hella famous, so bring it on!
We set up RGM USA to share music with America and the UK, good idea?
Chris: Love it. Music connects us all in a way that you can’t corrupt. It’s pure. With all of the shitty things going on in the world it’s nice to find a safe space in music.
Dom: Music and art in general usually transcend our imaginary borders and forced political ideologies. We are glad to be a part of a global community, and my only hope as an artist is to try to instill some sort of joy in someone else- no matter where they are.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Chris: I’m a History Teacher by day, so I kind of spend my time buried in fact, BUT someone explained to me how Snoop Dogg played the long game with Death Throw Records and I could see it.
Dom: I used to love conspiracy theories for fun but now we have all these political whackos over here messing things up and making people violent. So now I tend to stick to verifiable information, from multiple sources to form my best opinion of the facts.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Chris: An Original in the Box DragonZord from
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Got it signed by Jason David Frank too.
Dom: Another guitar……
What useless party trick do you have?
Chris: I can juggle?
Dom: Be invisible at parties, cause I’m a family man now haha!
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Chris: we haven’t yet played a live show as of yet. We formed in the pandemic and have been focusing more on the production of the album at this point.
Dom: We have big plans for live shows if we play our cards right! But like Chris said, this is still very new and we are just getting things rolling. Getting ears on songs is our goal right now, so we have an excuse to really dive into the epic experience we want to deliver!
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Chris: Dom is hilarious. Dude is funny. Check out his TikTok.
Dom: Chris is a walking comic book encyclopedia.
If you had to describe your band to an alien how would you describe it?
Chris: “Oh buddy, do I have just the thing for you? I wrote this with you in mind!” Space Rock. Think Devo meets Brand New.
Dom: Peace and love and rock and roll! Please don’t vaporize me, bro!
What makes you stand out as a band?
Chris: We’re unique. I think our sound speaks for itself and the way that we construct our songs cinematically while still remaining in the rock vein makes it incredibly unique. We set out for each song to tell a story and they accomplish that goal while giving the listener an experience through music.
Dom: I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just giving it my all until my ears are happy in hopes that it makes other people’s ears happy. Our production will steadily get better, as I’ve only been teaching myself to record at home for about a year now. Originality is hard to come by these days, so my goal is really to set a tone for the listeners imagination. Listening to the song is one thing, but listening to the song with the story in mind and letting yourself get carried away with it is what makes it exciting.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Chris: I live in the United States. Everything is pissing me off. Women’s rights are under assault and the number one cause of death in children is gun violence. Pretty much draw from a hat at this point.
Dom: I’m pissed off at how much anxiety I have for my children’s future because of politically driven hate and regressive policies, all in the name of capitalism and religion.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
Chris: ‘We Did It To Survive’ is our heaviest song to date and it is a banger. It mixes metal with post-rock with synthcore that helps create the story we’re trying to tell in our music. Our adventurers are at their most desperate. They have to make terrible decisions. What does that sound like? I think we nailed it.
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
Chris: When the idea for the album first came up, we immediately named all of the songs in a way that would tell a story. ‘We Did It To Survive’ was born of that brainstorm. We knew what happens even in the listener doesn’t yet, so we knew what tone we wanted to set. The song was written in that mindset.
Dom: With every track, I’m trying to convey a flow for the listener to progress through the scene. The pulsing synth upfront is like the ship’s engine, the music comes in and kinda represents the mood of our adventurers- each one kinda having its own rhythm and thoughts. Then as a clash happens in our story the music picks up and represents the chaos and unfortunate necessary violence that has to ensue. Then as it fades out you kinda go back to that droning hum of the ship as our survivors cope with the aftermath. Back to their thoughts.
What was the recording process like?
Chris: Dom and I break up duties, so he did the Lion share of the work on this track. I was privileged enough to go with him through the process and help guide him from taking to take as we hammered the track out. I’d give him ideas here and there that we could try to give the song live, but he took the wheel on this one and it’s incredible.
Dom: Awww shucks, Thanks, Chris! But there’s nothing glamorous about early independent home recording artists. A lot of late nights in the same basketball shorts, in a tiny room with a computer blowing hot air on you, haha!
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Chris: learning to play in time. I could write, but I couldn’t play in time. Dom finally said, “dude, you’ve gotta fix this.” So I did and let me tell you it’s stepped up my game.
Dom: We’re teaching ourselves everything in real time basically. From production to marketing… It’s all new for us. Chris is a teacher and I’m a cook. So making the jump to (hopeful) rockstars is quite the learning experience!
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
Chris: nothing. We try to get everything we can out of each track.
Dom: I think it’s great for the stage we’re at right now, in terms of ability. The album version could have more elements. We try to make our singles radio listen friendly, whereas the album may have a lot more ambiance and theatrics to it. Things that we felt make more sense in a “sit down and listen to the entire album in one sitting”, where a user would be more open to those things. With singles, we see it as more of a good 3 or 4-minute jam on a playlist to have on while you play a fun space game, go for a drive, or something of the like!
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Chris: we can’t reveal too much, but we will definitely be bringing out more singles so please please please stay tuned. Follow us on our social media accounts @hailingishimura literally everywhere. Thank you so much for your time…we can’t wait for y’all to hear what we have coming. We Are The Cavalry!
Dom: I just plan on working on music no matter what. Hopefully, I get to continue sharing it with the world and make a couple of people nod their f@#king heads.