By Andrew Catania
When we all start mentioning our favorite guitarists/shredders, you see the normal names that represent the sphere of shredding. One guitarist who’s been at it for over forty years is Akira Takasaki from the Japanese metal band Loudness. I saw Loudness open for Motley Crue on the Theater Of Pain tour and I thought he blew Mick Mars off the stage. Anytime a Loudness video is played, everyone rocks out with the hooks and melodies that Akira brings to the songs. Even with lineup changes over the years, Loudness has rocked and still does to this day. They’re coming up on their 40th anniversary next year. Loudness just came back from an Asian tour and spoke with All That Shreds.
When did you start playing guitar?
AT: 11 years old.
Who are your influences?
AT: Eric Clapton, Richie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix.
How difficult was it to adjust to American audiences early on in your career that wasn’t used to Japanese metal bands?
AT: Of course, very nervous at first but take to the times on stage US its turn into confidence.
How have you evolved as a musician over the 40 years Loudness has been around?
AT: Passionate Fans all over the world, especially our home country, Japan, and 2nd home country US. They support us for such a long time, that’s why we kept playing for over 39 years. I guess our music is quite simple “ROCK,” people are easy to accept our music.
Do you improvise playing Loudness songs live?
AT: Yeah, I’m playing some time. Especially LOUDNESS 4th era was the most impressive, experimental & freedom stage.
What does your live rig consist of?
AT: Killer/KG-Prime (Electric Guitar), ESP/Random Star(Electric Guitar), Marshall/JMP-1(Pre Amp), Roger Mayer/RM6550(Power Amp), Old 70’s Marshall Cabinet w/Celestion Sidewinder unit. CAT’S FACTORY/AT222(Booster)
Who are your present endorsements?
AT: Killer, ESP, Marshall, FRIEDMAN, MXR, Jim Dunlop, Ernie Ball, many companies support me for a long time.
With all of the line-up changes Loudness has had over the years, how has the band kept its sound the same and remained so popular?
AT: It’s quite simple. Every era, great members focused on “ROCK,” and enjoy playing “ROCK” ourselves, That’s No Doubt!!
When should we expect a new Loudness record?
AT: Maybe the end of next year or early 2021, because our 40th anniversary year starts on November 25, 2020.
What are the band’s plans for 2020? Any US tour planned?
AT: Hopefully, somebody offers us a USA tour for our 40th anniversary.
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