Game Music Live – Falcom jdkBAND

jdkBAND trio

As part of our series on Japanese game music bands, allow me to introduce Falcom jdkBAND. Known for their work on the Ys and The Legend of Heroes series, the band has had several incarnations over the years, with perhaps the largest fan following out of all the bands at the Japan Game Music Festival.
If you’d like to see Falcom jdkBAND perform in the West, let them know in the comments section below!

Please introduce yourselves.

We’re a band that specialises in doing live arranged versions of Japan Falcom tracks.

The very first iteration was the J.D.K. Band that formed for the first time in 1990. Then, in August, 2008 our member line-up changed, and the new jdkBAND was formed.

We’re an 8-person band that includes 2 women, and at that time it was still rare for a rock band to do things like include a violin. As a band, we’re always experimenting with new things.

jdkBAND jump

How did you meet?

Our members come from various parts of the game industry, but also all sorts of other places as well. At the beginning our line-up was fluid, but the current line-up has been playing together since the ‘Xmas Live in YOKOHAMA BAY HALL‘ concert back in 2011.

What was your first project together?

Our on-stage debut together was at the Ys 20th Anniversary Concert on the 9th of September, 2007 in Osaka.

jdkBAND Guitar, Keytar, Violin

Why is game music important to you?

Toshiharu Okajima: These are just my individual impressions, but I listened to game music from a young age. So that had a huge impact on me growing up. This might be an exaggeration, but I don’t think it’s going too far to say that game music is like a part of life. To that extent, game music is an irreplaceable and extremely important thing to me.

What’s the difference between game music and other forms of music?

Making the experience while someone is playing the game that much more intense, I think, is the main role of game music.

In a given scene, the experience can change dramatically depending on the music and sound effects. There’s a lot of places that take advantage of synergy to make the experience even better, and so I feel music is an extremely important. I feel like maybe that’s the appeal and the thing that’s different from other genres.

jdkBAND Bassist

What’s your favourite part of performing live?

Being able to feel a strong sense of unity with the audience is the most fun thing; that’s the real thrill of performing live.

Would you like to perform live overseas if you had the chance?

Yes! We’d definitely like everyone overseas to hear our music live. If we had the chance then we would definitely want to try.

jdkBAND Stage & Crowd

Japan Game Music Festival 2013 Setlist
MIGHTY OBSTACLE (Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim)
Cry for me, cry for you (The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Third Chapter)
Inevitable Struggle (The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Zero)
OVER DRIVE (Ys I & II Chronicles)
Will of Silver, Wings of Gold (The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter)

Visit Falcom jdkBAND’s official site!

Thanks to John Rozewicki for translating and Inagaki-san for photos and organising the interview.


One response to “Game Music Live – Falcom jdkBAND”

  1. Marcus Kemp avatar
    Marcus Kemp

    I would so love to see the jdk Band live in the UK one day 🙂 They should do a show at one of the MCM Expo’s in London as that is a great big anime & manga convention so having a band from the birthplace of those two very things would be awesome 🙂

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