Instrumental artists face the ever-present challenge of captivating listeners without the presence of vocals. In the case of Japanese rockers D_Drive, they fill that void and nurture the intrigue with harmonized electric guitar leads, massive riffs and frequent face-melting guitar solos.
The quartet – composed of guitarists Yuki and Seiji, bass guitar player Toshi and drummer Chiiko – have just released Dynamotive, a record that contains both Sabbathian-style riffing and Satch-esque shredding in abundance.
One of the album’s highlights, I Remember the Town, showcases the group’s dynamic songwriting style, harnessing weighty mid-tempo guitar hooks and Maiden-esque harmonized leads to tell an instrumental story.
“I wanted to express my memories of my hometown but in a musical format, Seiji says. “It was the 1980s and I wanted to try and bring that sense of the retro into the music itself.”
And in this Guitar World-exclusive video premiere, Seiji and Yuki deliver a searing playthrough of the track in its entirety, illustrating its plethora of six-string lines in all their glory.
Gear-wise, both guitarists play ESP guitars through customized Marshall JVM410H guitar amps. Yuki wields an Edwards Flying V while Seiji dons a Floyd Rose-loaded Snapper.
Notably, neither guitarist uses any guitar pedals. “We like that organic sound of the Marshall amp so why try and change it?” Seiji reasons.
“In terms of the timings of the song we wanted to have an off-kilter feel to it,” he continues. “The way I play the riff is by using both upstrokes and downstrokes, not just the James Hetfield way of all downstrokes!
“The riff actually starts on the second beat, which I think really brings that feeling of an odd beat when the actual band comes in. I wanted to keep a feeling of spontaneity in the riff which I think we nailed.”
- D_Drive's latest album, Dynamotive (opens in new tab), is out now via Marshall Records.