Today, we at Distrita wants to introduce you to Salty Dog. A Japanese group with a Norwegian singer.
So, here is our special interview with Inger, the brilliant singer in Salty Dog.
Here you get to know how she became part of the group and how she got to know all of the members in this amazing group from Japan. Enjoy!
Please tell us a bit about who you are?
My name is Inger, and a Norwegian girl currently living in Tokyo and touring Japan as the singer of my band, SALTY DOG. Besides writing lyrics I also write and draw my own comics. I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil and I just finished a degree in fine arts at Tokai University. I’m also a general geek about fashion, tea and horror movies.
How did you find Salty Dog or did they find you?
Actually I’m one of two founding members of SALTY DOG. Bass player Tomoya and I went to the same university in Chiba, and we got some friends together to make a band for the school festival. Since then the other members changed multiple times before finally settling down with the current line-up about two years ago.
When did you knew that you wanted to become a singer?
Quite recently actually. I was always going to be a comic artist and illustrator, and the band was something I was doing just for fun, but then the band really took off! I still want to do all of those other things as well, but at the moment I want to focus on becoming the best singer, lyricist and performer I can be. I just feel really lucky that I get to work with one of my passions.
How do you like yourself on the stage?
I think my performance has come a long way since I started out singing in a punk band in middle school in Norway. There are still things that I want to do better, but I’m having a great time and the audience is responding and having a great time, so we must be doing something right.
What brought you all the way from little Norway to Japan, to become an artist over there?
I came to Japan to study Japanese at first, with no ambitions of becoming an artist. To be honest I had a hard time in the beginning, but luckily I made friends in the hardcore and rock scene in Tokyo, where I felt a lot more at home than in the university environment. That gave me the motivation to come back to Japan and start a degree in art and continue working on the band activity.
How can you describe Salty Dog and what is the genre?
The most general description would be heavy rock and harcore mixed with electronica with catchy or sometimes softer melodies. We do try to maintain variety in our reportoir though. The music is composed by the guitarist and the bass player, and I write the lyrics. I’ve just started trying to write songs on my own too, but I think I still have a long way to go.
What are the songs mainly about?
I’m always trying to not be too literal when writing lyrics. Making hard experiences and sad memories into songs that I can share and enjoy with other people is kind of therapeutic for me, but I also hope that other people can enterpret and find themselves and their feelings in the lyrics, so maybe they can feel like they’re not alone when they’re having a hard time, that’s why I don’t want the songs to be too specific.
The audience can come to the shows and scream all their pain and frustration out and it turns to positive energy for the crowd and for the band.
I also write a lot about problems I see in the world. I try to encourage people to be aware of society around them and themselves too. I really think youth, maybe especially in Japan, need courage to take the world and steer it in the right directions for the future, rather than just falling into the exact same ways as older generations. Society can’t progress like that.
Do you have plans to perform outside of Japan?
We are about to take a new step with the band right now, so there will hopefully be new things coming, but so far nothing’s decided.
A big dream for me is to get to perform in other countries, especially in Norway.
How is Salty Dog doing in Japan and will you or have you performed outside of Japan?
We’re doing really good in the loud rock scene in Japan at the moment. Unfortunately our fan base outside of Japan is still small and fairly spread out. We want to come play for everyone, but unfortunately it’s hard to get the support we need until there’s a bigger demand.
How is it to be in and work with Japanese musicians compared to in Norway?
Well the only music I ever did in Norway was on an amatour level, so that’s all I know, but Japan definitely has a stronger culture around that. When I was singing in Norway the opportunities to play concerts were quite limited, and there was a lot of frustration about not getting proper sound checks and things like that. In Japan there are so many live houses that do events for bands on all levels, with proper schedules and professional equipment.
That being said, being an entertainer in Japan there’s a lot more preassure to put on a show and a character and try to be cool, right from the start. That can be exhausting at times.
Do you recommend others to become artist in Japan?
Japan has a great fan culture. People get really excited and they love to dance and have fun at concerts. If you win peoples hearts they show you so much love and support, it’s really touching.
But people should know that it’s not always fun and you won’t always get to do the things you want to do.
Japanese showbusiness also has some quite archaic rules and customs that are hard to understand when you come from a country where being genuine and open all the time is so highly valued.
It’s a lot of hard work on many levels, but if you’re a person who can adapt without losing yourself, it’s also really rewarding!
Any last words for your fans?
If you’re an overseas fan, first of all thank you so much! If you don’t read Japanese you can check out our English official twitter or our Facebook for news! If you’re in Japan, please don’t feel akward about contacting me if you want to come see our shows, and please tell all of your friends about SALTY DOG so we can come play for you guys!
Gallery from Salty Dog performances
And this was all. Distrita wishes you and everyone at Salty Dog a amazing roadmap ahead. All luck goes to all of you and everyone here at Distrita hopes to see you live someday for sure. Very interesting group and the music is really something.
Amazing Group like Salty Dog deserves attention. Hope you enjoyed this article and please to share and help us with spreading great articles and interviews like this.