The Download Tapes 2019: Lovebites

Japan is rapidly gaining a reputation for turning out great new music acts right across the spectrum. Lovebites are continuing that trend with their fresh take on traditional metal. In just three short years the five piece have gone from home grown potentials to a leading international force.  With their remarkable musicianship getting richly deserved plaudits Lovebites look well placed for a steady rise to the top. Gary Trueman chatted to bassist Miho and guitarist Midori about playing Download, why Japan is so modern and why they love using hair dryers in the UK

We know that your name is taken from a Halestorm song ‘Love Bites (And So Do I). Are you going to be able to take some time out to watch them play Download?

“Yes we are going to stay and watch Halestorm headline the second stage.  It will be packed for them and we are small but we will try to see as much as we can.”

Apart from Halestorm what other bands influence Lovebites’ music?

“We like Iron Maiden.  Steve Harris is Miho’s hero.”

You’re playing Download for the very first time.  How did the experience of playing at the legendary Donington Park go for you?

“It was such a huge crowd.  We were totally surprised at how many came to watch us.  We were all so hyped up. It was a great experience and it’s great to play to and win over new people.  We were honoured to be standing on the stage at Download Festival and so grateful to have so many come to watch us.”

Is Download Festival well known in Japan?

“Yes, very well known.  There is also a Download Japan now too.  Download UK is the original though.”

As a band you’re about three years old but you sound like you’ve been playing for much longer.  Before Lovebites how long had you been playing for and where?

“Before forming Lovebites we were all in other bands so we already had a lot of experience.  We got together and pooled our ideas and that os what makes Lovebites what it is now.”

You’ve been to the UK several times now.  What do you most notice that makes the UK different from Japan?

“When we come to the UK we see all the traditional buildings and the landscape.  In Japan because of the earthquakes we don’t have so many old buildings, so everything is very modern and new.  Coming here and seeing all the old buildings and all the history is amazing.  The climate too is so hot and humid so you can’t keep anything for a long time.  It’s not easy to keep old buildings in Japan.”

Download is known for its unpredictable weather.  So have you got any tips for surviving a festival either as a fan or as a band?

“ou should come to the festival in clothes you don’t mind getting wet or dirty. Don’t follow our example and where all white outfits haha. Come prepared and where boots too.”

Did you find it difficult keeping your outfits clean?

“Haha, yes very.”

What do you miss most when you’re touring and is there anything you miss about touring?

“We miss the food from home.  Soy sauce and sushi.  One thing we miss when we go back to Japan is the different voltage.  Here in the UK you have 220/240v and in Japan we have 110v.  So when we are drying our hair the power of your hairdryers is amazing.  You can get your hair dry so easily.  It makes such a difference.  We need that in Japan.”

Review and live image by Gary Trueman