THE BLUE PRISON: Interview with Keigo Yoshida

The Blue Prison - Alchemist

Guitarist Keigo Yoshida of instrumental progressive metal project The Blue Prison is set to release his new EP titled ‘Alchemist‘ on January 18, and he leads us through the creative process behind it in a new interview.

Define the mission of The Blue Prison.

The ultimate mission is being able to play music without stopping. Throughout my music carrier, I had to face moments with my bands splitting up, until The Blue Prison.

As of now, The Blue Prison is my solo project beside my other band, and whenever I have time, I’m creating something for this project.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming EP Alchemist and the themes it captures.

The biggest challenge of creating this EP was definitely having more lead guitar parts than on other records I’ve done in the past. It was not an easy process for me, having many lead parts, but I had a lot of fun creating those as much as I struggled in writing and practicing.

Throughout those processes, I used harmonic minor (and Harmonic minor perfect 5th below) scale way more than I expected, and actually that defined the “color” of this EP.

Is there any message you are trying to give with Alchemist

I wish I have something cool to say here but as The Blue Prison is an instrumental music project (without lyrics), there is no specific message on this record.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

I started to write guitar parts first and record them roughly. And then program drums, synths etc along to it. Once I finished programming drums, I re-recorded guitar and also recorded bass guitar in the end. 

Keigo Yoshida

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Yes, especially on the title track. I love creating rhythmically complex riffs, but at the same time I really wanted to give the song a groove and smooth changes among those riffs. Other songs are more focused on supporting the lead guitar, but on same purpose as above. I wrote rhythm sections carefully and let the songs flow. I didn’t try to be complicated or technical on purpose.

Describe the approach to recording the EP.

This time I recorded most of the songs at my home and that minimised my budget a lot. Also, it made possible to re-take all sections until I was 100% satisfied.

How long Alchemist was in the making?

I started writing in the summer of 2016, but I’ve been busy with my band so the actual time I spent on this EP was less than a year, I believe.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

No specific person, but many guitarists have taste of neo-classical sound, and they influenced my lead guitar plays. Guitarists such Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Jeff Loomis, and Jason Richardson.

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology in music is definitely helping me a lot to complete most of the works by myself, from writing to releasing the music, and then promoting it. Since The Blue Prison is a solo project currently, technology definitely works for me to reduce time and costs.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Yes. Playing/making music is a work of my live, and it gives me a motivation to continuously try to become a better person or achieve better life. But to other people my music could be just music. I’m hoping everyone to enjoy it. And it would be a huge honor to me if my music works as motivation for someone to start something or continue.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m pretty sure creating more records. Also, I’d like to start collaborating with many other musicians.

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