Japanese rock band King Gnu impressed by Singapore Airlines food

Japanese rock band King Gnu impressed by Singapore Airlines food

Japanese rock band King Gnu impressed by Singapore Airlines food


SINGAPORE – Japanese rock band King Gnu may have sold out all seven shows on their four-city Asia tour in Singapore, Taipei, Shanghai and Seoul.


But the quartet – comprising Satoru Iguchi, Daiki Tsuneta, Kazuki Arai and Yu Seki – are still doubtful whether they can get their fans to go wild. 


It is, after all, their first time staging an overseas tour.


At an interview with The Straits Times a day prior to their show at The Star Theatre on April 10 – the second leg of their Asia tour after Taipei – bassist Arai, 31, says in Japanese: “Honestly, we’re a bit insecure about whether the crowd will be hyped up for us.”


This is King Gnu’s first trip to Singapore, and they admit they do not know much about the country and have no idea what sort of reaction they would receive. But they already have a good first impression.


“The in-flight meal I had on Singapore Airlines was really good,” drummer Seki, 31, says, while showing this reporter a photo of the seafood ban mian he had on the flight here.  


King Gnu are known for popular anime theme songs, in particular for the dark fantasy anime series Jujutsu Kaisen (2020 to present), which is adapted from a manga series of the same name.


They wrote and sang Ichizu and Sakayume, both of which serve as theme songs for the movie spin-off Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2021). They also created the song Specialz for the second season of Jujutsu Kaisen, which was released in 2023.


Specialz is included in their latest album The Greatest Unknown, which their Asia tour is named after.


King Gnu say they, too, are fans of Jujutsu Kaisen, and vocalist-keyboardist Iguchi, 30, got emotional while reading the manga.


“I have some of the individual manga volumes at home. And I cried when Satoru Gojo died,” he says.


Gojo is a major character and fan favourite in the manga series, whose death in a chapter published in 2023 was a controversial shock. But vocalist-guitarist Tsuneta, the primary lyricist of the group, likes the series’ main antagonist – the one who kills Gojo.


The 31-year-old says: “I’d say my favourite character is Sukuna. He’s the big bad.”


While King Gnu are now one of the hottest Japanese bands, it took some time for them to find success.  


They formed in 2013 under the name Mrs Vinci. Their big break came in 2019 with the song Hakujitsu (which translates to Daylight), which has more than 478 million views on YouTube. They followed up with their album Ceremony, which was released in January 2020. It peaked on the Japanese Oricon albums chart and Billboard Japan albums chart, and was one of the 10 best-selling albums of that year worldwide.


But their popularity also coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, and their Japan tour for Ceremony was cancelled a week before it was due to start. 


Arai recalls: “Ceremony went on sale right before the pandemic shut things down, so in a way, the timing helped in that it hit the shelves when people could still go out and buy CDs.


“If it were released during the height of the pandemic, we don’t know whether it would have sold as well. So, we consider ourselves very blessed.”


Lee, J. (2024, April 10). Japanese rock band King Gnu impressed by Singapore Airlines food. The Straits Times. https://www.straitstimes.com/life/entertainment/japanese-rock-band-king-gnu-impressed-by-singapore-airlines-food

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