It’s a ‘FACT’ — ‘Senses’ won’t ‘Fail’ at Mr. Small’s concert

By Azia Squire

Senses Fail, with FACT

Mr. Small’s

Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m.

Tickets $17

Call 866-468-3401 or… Senses Fail, with FACT

Mr. Small’s

Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m.

Tickets $17

Call 866-468-3401 or visit

Ten years ago, the band FACT formed. But each member was making music long before that.

All five members were friends, but they played in different bands until they realized the chemistry they had together.

Loud, aggressive and exploding with colorful guitar riffs, the five-piece hardcore band named Anthrax and Stray Cats as musical influences and said it hoped to tour with bands Blakfish and Skindred one day.

Though FACT stays true to its metal-esque roots, its self-titled U.S. debut sounds catchier and more cohesive.

“Recorded music is great because you can actually focus on the music and listen to the very small details that you may not hear in a live performance,” drummer Eiji Matsumoto said in an e-mail, with the help of translator Taeko Saito. “Live is great because of the atmosphere, energy and volume.”

Along with its vigor and aggression, FACT’s live show is a theatrical surprise for concertgoers, who show up unaware that the guys wear Japanese kabuki theater-inspired masks.

“We wanted to figure out what is the best way to engage the interest of the mass audience,” singer and guitarist Tashiro Takahiro said. “By having something visual as an image, we believed that it would impact the audience, regardless of genre.”

The band said it’s a great way to stay connected to its Japanese culture and simultaneously focus on the music.

The One More Brick Tour is FACT’s first U.S. tour, and it’s opening for post-hardcore band Senses Fail. The headliner veterans will show it the American ropes.

Senses Fail is no stranger to the world of rock ’n’ roll and claimed some well-known modern bands, including Jimmy Eat World, Saves the Day and Thursday, as influences.

Because it’s on an independent label, it retains control over the musical development of its albums and has had songs featured on numerous movie soundtracks, including “Underworld: Evolution” and “Punisher: War Zone.”

Still riding the wave from the success of last year’s Life Is Not a Waiting Room, lead singer Buddy Nielsen said Senses Fail’s music evolves with each album, and the next one will be different too — from the orchestration to the songwriting.

“The guitar player comes up with [the] basic song structure,” and lyrics and song melodies are added later, Nielsen said.

It’s no surprise that Nielsen writes from personal experiences.

With music so powerful and lyrically complex, fans might wonder how long it takes Nielsen to disconnect from a song that associates with upsetting periods in his life.

Once he records a song, he said, it’s no longer his song. It means something to his fans, and while performing on stage, Senses Fail focuses on presenting a good show.

Because the band has played and written together for so long, performing live unfolds like a dance, and each member can anticipate the next move of his fellow band member, Nielsen said.

A Senses Fail show might be a dance, but Nielsen said FACT is pretty aggressive on stage and that it’s impossible not to watch the theatrical Japanese band command its instruments with such precision and explosive energy.

But will FACT’s first experience playing for mostly American audiences slow it down? Matsumoto thinks not.

“I don’t think there’s much of a difference in audience themselves,” he said, noting that FACT hasn’t made a name for itself in the United States yet and that not knowing who a band is can affect the audience’s excitement for its performance.

But FACT said it’s gotten tons of positive feedback from fans after shows.

“In Japan, not many people come up after the show to say something like that,” Matsumoto said. “Still, Japanese audiences [have been] super-fun to play [for], especially after the album release.”

With a new album and a spot on the One More Brick Tour with Senses Fail, FACT is definitely keeping busy these days.

But only time will tell if it will ever reveal the musicians behind the masks.

Check out the Senses Fail music video for “Family Tradition”