Being a big fan of a certain music group, do you ever find yourself mimicking their playing style or dancing style? Perhaps learning the dance choreography from Morning Musume or picking up the guitar so you can cover an X Japan song? I do. Being a big fan of L’Arc~en~Ciel, I picked up the guitar and try to learn a few of their songs. During my journey in learning how to play, I observed other people covering the songs themselves. Most of whom I follow either disappeared from YouTube or had their account shutdown, but there’s one particular cover guitarist that managed stick around. His name is Katt Aloys.
Now this post is not about him covering L’Arc~en~Ciel or other J-Rock songs, rather, this post is about Katt Aloys and how he strive to better himself in music through the influences of Japanese Rock. I personally have been following him for about 4 – 5 years now and seen him improve drastically every time he has a new cover video up. Throughout the years, he began experimenting with the bass guitar and percussion and has even covered songs with these instruments, either separately or combining all three in one video!
Katt Aloys currently has 86 subscribers but that’s because his first channel got shutdown. His previous channel had 500+ subscribers and more than 615,000 views!
I had the opportunity to interview Katt Aloys. Please check it out!
Where are you from?
I’m from Finland.
At what age did you picked up the guitar? What inspired you to do so?
Well, I chose my first guitar when I was 14, but I really fell in love with it and started playing only when I was nearly 15. I was looking live DVDs of my favorite artists, and just the fact of seeing the guitarists having so much fun playing their own songs on stage, made me wish to become myself a guitarist.
I’ve personally have been following you since your “hykentsuhiro” days, the username on YouTube you started off with. You have come a long way and improve drastically. Did you teach yourself or did you have a teacher? Any tips you would like to share on how to get better at playing the guitar?
Thank you, you’re certainly the last of this species haha.
So I started with Hykentsuhiro’s channel on August 2008, it was right after I started playing the guitar, so the result wasn’t really good haha, even now i don’t think the result is at his paroxysm but I guess that’s what makes it fun, cause in guitar you can’t regress, you can only stagnate or improve.
I had a teacher for maybe 1 and a half year when I began playing, after that i started working by myself and also working a lot by ear. I rarely use tabs, and I learn, play, and create by ear.
Well, I’m not really good at giving advices haha but I believe that to progress you have to work regularly and not try to go too fast depending of your actual level, part by part and progressively increasing the rate.
Have you gone through any sort of training to learn and play by ear? Or did you become natural as you got better at playing the guitar?
hmm… Actually I feel it came naturally, since there is no way to teach someone to learn by ear. I just started learning some easy songs in the beginning, as L’Arc-en-Ciel’s Revelation (which was my first cover), and rising up the level each time.
For the second question, I think that working by ear made me progress better and better quite fast since I play guitar 8 hours a day and I’m not reading a tab but I’m using my mind.
It has been like that for quite a few years, I feel more comfortable this way.
Out of all the covers you have done, which video do you feel you did the best on? Like if you were to tell someone who doesn’t know you to check your work out, which video would you show them?
That’s a hard question, there is so many, and there is so much time between each of them haha. Well I also take care about the visual, so for my best cover… I would say my cover of Driver’s High, I felt really good playing this song, since it was the first song from the band I wished to play. But there isn’t one special good cover, some have some crazy fast solos, and others a more simple one but with beautiful video texture, so it’s hard to tell. I’m pretty shure the best video is not yet online. Because it’s all about pushing the limits each time.
Even if my old channel was deleted by youtube, I keep covering and reposting more covers, but i was quite sad, nearly 650 000 views and 500 suscribers, but I love making covers, and I will keep doing it.
Which Jrock band is your BIGGEST influence?
My biggest J-Rock influence is L’Arc~en~Ciel, first japanese band I listened to.
Glad to hear L’Arc is your greatest influence! What’s your favorite album and song by them?
My favorite album is Awake. And my favorite song is Forbidden Lover.
Have you managed to see them this past World Tour 2012?
I saw them in Paris in 2008, and I also did in 2012.
Is “Blake Tales” a band you started?
I had a first band before that, we made L’Arc covers on stage. But it was only for pleasure. Blake Tales is a professional band I created after we broke up. Me and the singer/pianist of the band Kaz’, who’s japanese, started the band. We also create all the songs. I fired some members before, but we are now complete since the bassist of my old L’Arc cover band joined us recently (before that i used to record the bass).
Can we expect to hear some work from “Blake Tales” soon or do you have any out right now?
Wait for something new in July. We released 2 first songs in July 2011, we have been working really hard on our first songs, even if there is like 30 songs behind haha but we really care about the first impression, so you will certainly not be disappointed. After the end of the recording, I’ll be heading back to my studio to release a new single for my solo career before leaving to Seoul.
And your band’s original songs could be checked out on iTunes? Or where else?
All the released songs are available in many shops as iTunes, Amazon etc… It’s really easy to purchase them and all the newest informations and links are available on our facebook, youtube and myspace.
Since you mentioned “recording with the bass,” you play quite a few other instruments as well: Bass and Drum. Were they easy to pick up?
When I decided many ears ago to create my own songs, I used to tab the drums also, when a drummer friend saw what I created he told me that he will be able to play it when he will have 6 arms and 4 legs haha, so I decided to learn drums by myself, so as many other instruments like bass, piano and shamisen. It’s way more easier for creating to know each instrument since I know what i’m talking about. It was quite easy to pick up because I have always been in love with those instruments. Bass came naturally, maybe because I play guitar. But for drums, it wasn’t easy, but I worked hard haha. And my father was a drum fanatic haha.
Any interest in doing vocals?
I actually have a solo career in which I record all the instruments and sing. A single will be released in middle/end of July and I am actually recording the album.
Since you mentioned here and on some of your videos, you do quite a lot of traveling. Why is that? For vacation or for inspiration?
Some travels are for work, others for vacation, even if I don’t have that much time to take some holidays haha. But it’s always a good opportunity to get some new inspiration, it’s important to not stay confined. This is why I travel every year in South Korea and Finland to spend time with my local friends. It’s always really inspiring for me.
What is your take on fashion? Any particular style you are going for?
I think that there is still in some countries a massive problem about that, I see some people walking on the street, all dressed the same way, same shoes, same pants, same t-shirt brand. I think the way you dress tells a lot about you. And people should wear something more personnal. Not just what ads tell them to buy. But the most important is to stay yourself. We all are different and unique, so we should show it more often.
For my style, i’m just following my daily mood, it depends on that. But “casual rock” is good way to describe my actual style haha.
Here at KawaiiKakkoiiSugoi.com, we strive to find things that are cute and cool. What’s cute and cool to you?
Cute & Cool, everyone is cool in his way, I think being “cool” is not only about how you look, but mostly about how you act. But if the question was what I think IS cute and cool, i’ll say… playing guitar haha.
We are nearing the end of our interview, is there anything you would like to say to your viewers and our readers?
I’m trying to make more covers but my schedule is actually my worst ennemy haha, but I’m working really hard on some new stuff that I’m shure you’ll enjoy. I’ll be making more youtube videos this summer, so I hope you will look forward to it and also to the new releases coming out soon.
Well, thank you for sacrificing a few minutes of your life. Thank you KKS and Jason for the interview. Keep your eyes and ears open and have great holidays !!!
For more on Katt Aloys and his band “Blake Tales,” check out the following links! Be sure to like his page and subscribed to his YouTube page!