coldrain: An Underrated Band You Should Listen To

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We love listening to music, and for the songs we really love, it wouldn't be a surprise to gain a deep interest not only with the music itself but also to the musicians behind it and the band's history and journey. If you have read my previous blog (Joined a Global Fan Project for coldrain!), this is a continuation blog which will tackle about the band itself.


(image source: yamada_mphoto via Instagram)

"coldrain" (beginning with a small letter "c") is a Japanese metal band from Nagoya, Japan. They began in 2007 and comprising of 5 members namely: Masato David Hayakawa (vocals), Katsuma Minatani (drums), Yokochi Ryo (guitar), Ryo Shimizu (bass), and Sugiyama Kazuya (guitar). The members were from two different bands and formed coldrain after their respective bands disbanded. These five original members of coldrain have remained to the band until this day.

They started by performing live and handing out demo discs after their performance. Until one day, they met someone affiliated to a major record label which helped the band to become professional musicians and go on tour.

coldrain currently has a total of 5 albums ("Final Destination", "The Enemy Inside", "The Revelation", "Vena", and "Fateless"), 3 EPs ("Nothing Lasts Forever", "Through Clarity", and "Until the End") and  8 singles ("Fiction", "8AM", "Vena II", "No Escape", "The Revelation", "The War Is On", "Words of the Youth", and "Gone"), and is signed to the label VAP, and Warner Music Japan. They had also worked with the label Hopeless Records.


■ Masato David Hayakawa

(image source: yamada_mphoto; posted by coldrain_official via Instagram)

Birthday: December 17, 1986
Twitter: @Masato_coldrain
Instagram: @masato_coldrain

Masato David Hayakawa or “Masato” is the vocalist of coldrain. He is half American and half Japanese (American mom and Japanese dad), making him proficient in English and Japanese language. Bands like Limp Bizkit, Korn, Slipknot, Incubus, Metallica, Linkin Park had made him interested in music with Brandon Boyd of Incubus and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park as his inspiration for singing. Before coldrain, he was on the band AVER.

In an interview with, he explained his three tattoos. First are two owls on opposite directions on his left arm with a key in between. His mother is not in favor of Masato getting inked so Masato had his mom’s favorite animal as his first tattoo. The two owls also represent his citizenship, Japanese and American. While the key on the middle represents that duality is the key. Still on his left arm is the second ink, a heart stabbed by a knife which represents their EP “Nothing Lasts Forever". It was special for him because Nothing Lasts Forever made the band popular. And the tattoo also reminds him to live each day like it's the last. Third is the logo of their album Vena on the right side of his neck. He mentioned that he plans to get more tattoos but it takes him so much time before deciding what image to have next. Today, he still have three tattoos.

Masato is also a director and designer for a clothing brand named OVER(ALL). The band also had collaborated with a bag brand called MAKAVELIC. Meanwhile, his favorite action figure is Wolverine.

When he returns to his home at Nagoya, his photos would mostly include his dogs. (Actually even while on tour, he would post photos of his dogs and tell on his caption how he misses them.) He has two tiny dogs, Oreo and Kuro, and a larger dog named Waffle whom he considers like a brother. He seemed to like dogs very much and calls Waffle Waffle Hayakawa. However, Waffle passed away in 2017 wherein Masato wrote a lengthy post for his beloved dog on Instagram.

■ Sugiyama Kazuya

(image source: yamada_mphoto; posted by coldrain_official via Instagram)

Birthday: April 3, 1982
Instagram: @sugi_coldrain

Sugiyama Kazuya or “Sugi” is coldrain’s guitarist. Before the band coldrain, he plays for the band called Wheel of Life. He usually stands on the left side of the stage and pretty easy to spot because of his green hair. He also has an awesome signature kick and spin move when performing.

Like Masato, he also owns a dog. A cute and tiny white dog whom he occasionally post photos of it on Instagram as well.

■ Ryo Shimizu

(image source: yamada_mphoto; posted by coldrain_official via Instagram)

Birthday: March 12
Twitter: @RxYxO_Bass
Instagram: @coldrain_rxyxo_bass

Ryo Shimizu or “RxYxO” is a former bandmate of Sugi on Wheel of Life. He does the vocals on his former band but went to play the bass guitar when he joined coldrain. Even so, he also do the backing vocals like Sugi. His trademark look is wearing a bonnet / hoodie / bull cap / handkerchief, and a checkered print clothing around his waist. He seems to have a liking on checkered prints.

He is quite the most active coldrain band member on Twitter, mostly liking cute and funny photos and videos of pets, and tweets of other female celebrities. (One of which is LiSA.)

Ryo seems to be friends with LiSA and never misses the opportunity to have photos with her whenever they perform on the same stage or day of a music festival.

During performance, he stands on the right side of the stage and also easy to spot because of his signature look. He always wear something on his head so his hairstyle is still a mystery to me.

■ Yokochi Ryo

(image source: yamada_mphoto; posted by coldrain_official via Instagram)

Yokochi Ryo or “Y.K.C.” (fans also call him "Yoko") is also a guitarist and a former member of the band Wheel of Life. He stands on the right side of the stage, beside RxYxO. He has the typical cool band member look so he was the last coldrain member I took notice of. Even though he doesn’t have that trademark look for fans to immediately remember him, he isn’t just a member and guitarist of the band. He is very special and has an important role in the band because he is the main composer of their songs. Meanwhile, Yoko is the only member with no Twitter and Instagram account so his life outside the stage is a bit of a mystery for fans.

■ Katsuma Minatani

(image source: yamada_mphoto; posted by coldrain_official via Instagram)

Birthday: March 18, 1987
Twitter: @katsuma_drums
Instagram: @katsuma_drums

Katsuma Minatani or “Katsuma” is coldrain’s drummer and a former member of AVER. When coldrain members were still on their first bands (AVER and Wheel of Life), Katsuma’s band heard Wheel of Life during a rehearsal play a Sevendust’s song and so Katsuma went up to RxYxO to ask if they’re a fan of Sevendust too. Since then, Katsuma was suggesting that they form a band together. (Probably the band we know now as coldrain.)

Last 2012, he went on a three-month break from the band due to health issues. During his absence, drummers from different bands like Crossfaith, Pay Money To My Pain, and BPM13GROOVE took turns to play the drums for coldrain’s shows.

Katsuma is the smallest member in the band and usually has that laid-back aura. He has the most entries on Instgram with a whopping over two thousand posts. Unlike the other two members who owns a dog, Katsuma owns a cat and adores it very much. On his Instagram account, he only has one story highlight. And guess what it contains? His cat, of course! About 1 out of 20 of his Instagram posts is a photo or video of his cat. He even teaches his cat to play the drums of their song Envy. (Video here!) Aside from his cat, Katsuma is also fond of Star Wars.

(Honestly, I could hardly find information about the band members so I took other information about them like their looks, pets, social media behavior. In this way, we also get to know the other side of them outside the stage.)


(image source: yamada_mphoto; posted by coldrain_official via Instagram)

Talking about coldrain’s popularity, I would say that they are a star in the making. They are already popular but not as big as other bands (like ONE OK ROCK). I believe this is due to their music genre wherein not everyone is expected to like it. People who are not into this kind of music would consider their music as noise and very loud, but there also other people who do appreciate their music. Metal genre is also not that big in Japan before, but it is slowly gaining recognition and interest over the years. With the incredible dedication of the Japanese fans to coldrain, more people knew them and they were able to do international tours and perform on music festivals around the world like Download, Rock am Ring, Rock im Ring, Vans Warped Tour, etc. In Japan, they are also popular performers on music festivals such as Rock in Japan, Rising Sun Rock Festival, Summer Sonic Festival, Lunatic Festival, Arabaki Rock Festival, Satanic Carnival, Dead Pop Festival, and more. Some of their songs were also used on anime like 8AM for Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger,We’re Not Alone for Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin, and Feed The Fire for King’s Game The Animation.

Among the artists they have collaborated with are Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach, Crossfaith, Pay Money To My Pain, ONE OK ROCK, and more. The band also belongs to the “Japanese Dream Team” namely, coldrain, Crossfaith, SiM, and ONE OK ROCK. They made a collaboration song entitled Skyfall. coldrain has also done shows with PVRIS recently and is now doing tours in Europe as a supporting act to Crown The Empire. Masato also did a collaboration with Crossfaith's cover or tribute on Linkin Park's song "Faint". Last September 29, they released a sneak peek of their latest song entitled "Revolution". The song will be used as a soundtrack for a Gundam game, "Kidou Senshi Gundam Extreme VS. 2."

The band honestly didn’t think they would make it in the music industry so they were genuinely thankful of their fans, especially the Japanese, who have first supported them. They are also thankful of the internet and Youtube for it helped them spread their music around the world even though Masato says that it steals money from them. (Probably referring to the illegal uploads.) On a positive side, the internet increased their publicity and gained more fans in return, who would most likely buy their songs and merchandise and attend their shows. (It’s not that bad I think, Masato.)


(image source: Hopeless Records via Youtube; screenshot by Katsanslimites)

Just how Masato low key disapproves of the internet because of losing profit due to illegal issues, I am very thankful for it because it led the way for me to discover coldrain. I can still remember when I first heard them. It was around April of 2017 when I was binge watching music videos on Youtube one night. If I remember, it began with watching Bring Me The Horizon's "Throne" until I saw coldrain's music video for the song "Gone" on the recommended videos at the right corner. The thumbnail looks cool so I clicked it. (Lol.) Honestly, I am already hearing their band name even before because of other artists I follow. I usually see their names on the artists line up on music festivals posted by other Japanese musicians.

(video source: Hopeless Records via Youtube)

I was surprised of how good their song "Gone" sounds and instantly liked Masato's voice as well. From then on, I searched more of their songs and music videos. Other songs that I immediately loved were Wrong, You Lie, The Story, Voiceless, Die Tomorrow, and No Escape. Later on, I came to like The Revelation, The War Is On, Fiction, To Be Alive, and Runaway.

Looking at them as a whole band, I think they have a great potential to make it big worldwide. It's disappointing for me that their music video for "Gone" was only a little over 3 million views. I think it deserves fifty to a hundred million. Their songs are in English, and the melody and rhythm of their songs are very awesome. Probably people shy away from them because of their heavy music but I hope they try to listen to the lyrics and they'll understand what are those heavy music and screams are for. It may sound cheesy, but their songs are what I turn to when my head's under a storm.

I believe they'll get on the mainstream level someday because they have all the ingredients to reach their goal. Just a little thing that I have to point out is their live performances. Since most of their songs have lots of screams and growls, it becomes noticeable how Masato feels tired from constant growling and screaming. Other members should also add bolder moves when performing. Even with those little things I notice, coldrain already does well on their lives, and their performance on their recent biggest solo show proves that.


(image source: yamada_mphoto via Instagram)

Their 5th album called Fateless was released last October 11, 2017. The album cover has a red rose surrounded by nails (formed into a letter "c") pointing to the flower.

The album contains 12 songs and all of it are great songs. I am not lying because I genuinely enjoy listening to the album. I think my favorites on this album are Colorblind, Feed The Fire, Envy, R.I.P., Aftermath, and A Decade in The Rain. The music videos for Envy and R.I.P. are also awesome. Their song "A Decade in The Rain" is a very beautiful song in my opinion because it talks about their journey and vision for their band.

(video source: coldrain via Youtube)

They began their Fateless tour in Japan last October 2017 and ended it big at Nippon Budokan last February 6, 2018. The Nippon Budokan was their biggest venue yet for a solo show. As this was their biggest venue to date, they made sure to make the stage production extra, as you can see on the video above. And as a fan waiting for their moment to have a show like that, I am very happy. I wish I was there to witness it and celebrate together with fellow fans. Friends and fellow musicians of the band went to watch them, some whom I know were LiSA and Taka. However, those who haven't witnessed it with their bare eyes shouldn't be sad because a Blu-ray/DVD version of the show (20180206 LIVE AT BUDOKAN) was released last September 26. It also includes a photo book which contains snaps from the show. (I wish I could have a copy of it someday.)


(image source: yamada_mphoto via Instagram)

It may have surprised you that I listen to a metal band. Well, I am surprised too! I don't actually listen to metal bands but coldrain is an exception. (Also Babymetal, by the way.)

Now that I have given you a background about coldrain, I shall now say, "Welcome to the Revelation!" (That's taken from their song, "The Revelation". ) If this is your first time to know of coldrain, then you should give this band a try. You will not be disappointed. That's a guarantee!

Interested in coldrain? Get more information by visiting their official website and official social media accounts! (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube)

You can also listen to their songs on Spotify and iTunes

Thanks for reading!

✧ Katsanslimites

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