'We fear the cold blackness that night represents, and at dawn we watch the shadows flee the light. Yet our pleasure is muted before life's final event, for we know that we face the eternal night. Our fragile lives are pulled by the strings of every impulse and desire. The cruel unknown may be the thing that puts a cold blade to the wire... Contemplate your own mortality. The curse that marks all humanity. You can never know your final moment. But worse, you can never avoid it. We all are born just to perish. To lose all that we truly cherish. A life turned to ashes... A life turned to ashes... -Invitation to Die from Hail Horror Hail

Ok, Mirai, let us start by asking you about the name SIGH, what does it mean to you and why was it chosen as the name of your band? The word "Sigh" gives you varied impressions such as sadness, anxiety, beauty, despair and so on and our music evokes these varied atmospheres too, so we thought "Sigh" fits the best to our monicker. Also we wanted a not so typical, easy-to-remember name, so we chose Sigh.

Your new release, Hail Horror Hail. Tell us abit about it... We wanted "HHH" to be a horror movie itself. We wanted to try the experimental techniques which are usual in the movies, I mean in the movies it's nothing unusual even if the scene jumps to another all of a sudden. Even if the music suddenly stops, nobody takes it strange as long as it's a movie. But what if we would do it on the album? What if the total jazz part would be inserted in metal music all of a sudden? Why do people feel such things strange on albums while they take it for granted in the movies? We thought that's just because people are not used to music like that. Images of the album are pure horror as the title says. Anyway I am sure it was too strange for many people as it sounds totally different from what you will expect from metal bands.

Many different instruments and sounds are used in Hail Horror Hail, was it hard for you to incorporate these together? Did you achieve the feel and mood you intended? Yes, it was not easy to incorporate them as even we ourselves was not able to expect what they would sound like before we finished mixing. We just wanted to create something scary and weird, something between metal and horror soundtrack and yes I am sure we achieved everything we intended. Though it's been almost a year since we recorded it, we are still quite content with the result of the album.

In what ways would you say the music of Sigh has changed since the beginning compared to now? Actually our musical intention has stayed the same since we formed Sigh. I remember we tried to put the horror soundtrack feelings when we recorded the first demo in 1990, but obviously we did not have enough knowledge on the instruments and the composition to express our feelings in music. Since then we studied and practiced hard and now we can write the songs as we like.

Is there a particular song you've written, old or new, that you are most proud of? If so, why? In contrast, what about a song you dislike the most, and why? I am proud of "12 Souls" on "HHH" because it is one of the perfect forms of mixture of metal and experimental music. I am sure there were no songs like that in the past and musically it turned out to be exactly what we wanted. I mean we succeeded to have the song the scary atmosphere. Also I am proud of "Shingontachikawa" on "Ghastly Funeral Theatre". The purpose to mix extreme metal and pop/rock is very well completed in my opinion. There are many songs I dislike especially on the first two albums. I will not pick up one song particularly because I see lots of points that could have been better in most of the songs on early albums.

Tell us some of the positive and negative experiences you've had in the metal scene? We've experienced lots of positive experiences. We were able to meet metal fans all over the world and also we became acquainted with early thrash metal bands we worship. Actually I do not come up with any negative experiences at all. Probably that's because I do not care about the things that much.

Originally, you were signed to Deathlike Silence. How did you go about getting signed? What were your experiences with Euronymous? At first we sent the advance tape for "Requiem for Fools" 7"EP and he happened to like it. At that time there was no other label than DSP who is interested in early thrash influenced stuff and we really liked Mayhem's stuff, so we immediately said "yes" to his offer. I should say Euronymous was one of those who started everything about today's black metal. I guess he was true to what he claimed, I mean he was not pretending to be evil, but he really believed in what he claimed. He was really innovative and I always adored his ideas he came up with.

How would you descibe the Japanese metal scene? Would you say its growing or declining? Is SIGH a fairly well known band in Japan? Although the scene itself is not big at all, there are some great bands worth worldwide recognition. Now besides us, Abigail, Sabbat, and Amduscias released CDs on the foreign label, so I guess the Japanese bands started to be accepted by the scene a bit better than a few years ago. The quantity of the bands is not increasing, but I guess the quality is getting higher. Yes, Sigh are a fairly well known here as we opened for Cradle of Filth last year and we were featured on a major metal mag here.

What is the general public's view on black metal? You mean in Japan? Here in Japan, normal people do not care about metal at all so they do not know of black metal. People will take you as weird if you wear long hair and leather jacket, but it is not an unusual thing all over the world, right?

Outside of music, what inspires you in life? Actually everything can be inspirational to me. Every little thing can more or less influence my life and it can be an inspiration to write songs. It's not easy to explain, but if you open your mind, you will get an inspiration from everyone you meet, every sound you hear, every scene you see.

Could you tell us one person of the past whom you personally respect, and why? As a musician, I respect a lot of composers. I respect Debussy, Satie, Schoenberg, Ives, John Cage etc., because they changed the way of music drastically.

What do you do in your spare time? Hobbies? Interests? I'm always doing something connected to Sigh in my spare time. I read books on music, write new songs, practice instruments, answer mail, answer interviews, go buy CDs and so on. Also I have to work to survive, so I do not have much time to do other things than music in spare time.

You've expressed in the past that it is harder being accepted in the scene because of where your from. Why would you say this is? That's probably because few people expect bands like us to be from Japan and also it is true that there weren't the Japanese bands who could attract the worldwide attention. Moreover it is not easy for the Japanese bands to tour Europe or the US, it can be a real big disadvantage to be accepted.

Tell us abit about the current religions of Japan. How would you say they differ from say... two hundred years ago? What are your feelings towards religion? Are you yourself religious? What do you think of Christianity? Most of the Japanese are atheist. We usually hold funeral rites according to Buddhism way, but it is nothing more than formal and it doesn't mean we are pious Buddhist. I guess people were a bit more pious (to Buddhism) 200 years ago. I myself am not religious at all. I hate any kind of organized religions as they just suck money from the weakling who cannot believe in themselves. Religions are for the weak-minded. Same for Chirstianity.

Most the people we interview, regardless of their location, seem to express negative views on the current world and a dissatisfaction with its governments, etc. Many feel the end of times is near. How do you feel about this topic? I do not care about the goverments at all. Politics is the last thing I am interested in though it might be the proof that the politics in Japan are not bad. I somehow feel the end of time is near too, but I do not know why. Now it is the end of the century or should I say the end of millenium, and this kind of feelings will spread in the end of every century. You can easily find lots of decadant arts created in the end of the 19th century. Also people more or less care about Nostradamus' prophecies for the next year...

The lyrical topics of SIGH deal alot with death. From this we could assume you ponder this topic. Do you believe in such idea's as the spirit? If so, ever thought about what might await after life ceases? No, I do not believe in the spirit or life after death. These things are nothing more than people's imagination to soothe their fear of death in my opinion. It is sad but death is the end of everything. There is no life after death or reincarnation. If there would be spirits, why hasn't anybody seen dinasours' spirits while many claim that they've seen human ghosts? I guess it sounds ridiculous but it is quite essential.

If you could choose the way which you will die, what would it be? I do not care how I die like I do not care how I live. But I hope it won't be "drowning", which must be too hard...

Back to the music, tell us about the touring you've done and possible tours in the future. We toured the UK and Ireland in 1995 with Primordial and Hecate Enthroned. It was a real nice experience for us to play abroad. Unfortunately we do not have any plans to tour abroad as Cacophonous has no ability to arrange a tour, but we will play one gig in New York with Hemlock and Deceased in August if things go well.

What are SIGH's goals in the future? We just want to keep releasing albums. Music is an art, and there always is a room to improve in art, so we have to keep progressing. Also it would be great we could tour much more often.

Any final thoughts ? Thank you very much for the interview, I really appreciate it. We have the Internet homepage so if you are interested in us, please check it out.



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