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Well, you are Mr. Heavy Metal.
[Laughs] “Yeah, right. I forgot. So I took those thoughts into consideration, but I also thought that I wasn’t going to look back to what I’d done and try to re-create where I’d been before. I wanted to satisfy people’s wishes, but at the same time I knew I had to go somewhere new and do something I’d never done before. I think I brought all of those schools of thought together on the record. I kept my fans in mind, I thought about possible new fans, and I certainly made sure to please myself, too.”
What was the process of recording the album? Did you do it in your home studio?
“I did all my demos in my home studio, but I went to other studios to do the real tracking. The majority of the recording was done in LA. It was a real American vibe: I was surrounded by American people, which felt fresh for me, and I spoke English the whole time. That was very unusual, by the way – I pretty much speak Japanese all the time now.”
You’ve got some pretty cool guests on the record. Did everybody record with you live in the studio, or did some people send you their parts?
“We did it every possible way. Some people were with me in the same room; other people were working in other studios. We did this great thing where you can actually link studios together, kind of like Skype but with real-time, high-quality audio. You can virtually be in any studio in the world from anywhere, so that’s pretty cool. It’s no different from what people do when they’re in bands together. I even mixed the record that way: It was mixed in Sweden, but I was in LA. It’s a little like living a double life.”