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In Words: Hemoptysis

- Masaki Murashita - September 2010 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Hemoptysis

Masaki Murashita - September, 19th 2010 (by email)

You might haven't heard of Hemoptysis yet, but this surely will change soon. The band from Tempe (Arizona) has only an EP out so far, but still achieved more then some so-called established bands have. When I got the chance to talk to guitarist Masaki Murashita even before their debut album is out, I didn't waste time, coz it wouldn't surprise me if soon everybody wants to talk to them....

You started the band with Travis in 2007. As many other bands you've been through line-up changes, do you think you found the perfect line-up now?

I believe so. Musically, having a new lead guitarist like Ryan Miller makes our sound tighter and heavier because of his death metal influence. He is an amazing guitarist and a great guy. We get a long with him well and he is just a perfect fit with us both musically and personally. He is also in a band called Lunatics Vision, so check them out!

In the beginning HemoptysisHemoptysis had a singer. Now you are the singer and that happened somehow incidentally. How long did it take til you get used to be the singer?

I honestly didn't want to become a singer and it took me a while to get used to singing and playing guitar at the same time. It took me a few shows until I got comfortable doing it, but I'm enjoying it now.

It's not that common to use a medical term as a band name. Please tell us how it came you named the band Hemoptysis! And why do you call your sound Desert Core?

We had a hard time picking our name and we wanted something that was one word, unique and not taken. Travis' wife is a pharmacist that specializes in infectious diseases and she gave him several disgusting terms that dealt with fecal matter. Needless to say, we weren't interested in those, but then she said 'Hemoptysis' it sounded cool and it means 'coughing up blood', so we went with it.

We are made up of a diverse group of musicians that have created a unique sound not heard since the birth of Thrash Metal decades ago. We think the desolate Arizona desert landscape we live in with it's unrelenting heat has some effect on our mood. If you're already pissed off, this make you more pissed off and feeling hopeless. That's where the name is from.

In 2008 you recorded a 5-track EP called Who Needs A Shepherd? - you did this on your own. How happy you are with the EP now? Looking back, would you have done something differently?

We aren't 100% happy for many reasons, but if we didn't have that EP, we wouldn't have gotten this much attention and exposure, so it happened for a reason. We learned a lot of things through that recording and the results we got afterwards. We hope to be able to re-record Who Needs A Shepherd with Ryan Miller as our lead guitarist and release it in the future.

You re-recorded Shadow Of Death for a single / video clip. How did it feel to know that Ryan Greene and George Marino will lay hands on it?

They did phenomenal job. The production is top notch and we are all happy with it. They made it clear why they are the best of the best! It was an honor to work with people that have worked on some of our favorite albums by other artists!

How did produce the video clip? And how did Chris Cannella become part of it?

We wanted to make the video's story based on the song's lyrics. We worked with Big Shot Studios in Phoenix and we spent two days to shoot it in separate locations. We had been planning the video shoot for months when we had to part ways with our previous lead guitarist. Two months out from the video shoot we decided to use Chris Cannella in the music video so that we could move ahead as planned. Chris Cannella was an Artist Relations Representative of Jackson Guitars back then, (now he is a product manager of EVH) and we thought having Chris on the video would showcase our talent. Chris is a great guy and he is a killer guitar player and I have much respect for him. About five days or so before the video shoot we gained Ryan Miller as our new lead guitarist, but we had already worked out all the details with Cannella for the video and he had been looking forward to it so we stuck with Cannella for the video shoot. Besides, Miller didn't have a single practice with us by the time of the video and he didn't have time to learn any of our songs, let alone Shadow Of Death. Miller was at the video shoot watching the whole thing with Lunatic's Vision singer, Richard Digillo.

You are already working on your full-length debut. Can you tell us something about it? Or is it too early for details?

We are currently waiting for the mix. I am super excited about it and it has been our first dream since Travis and I started this band to record a full-length album with someone as amazing as Ryan Greene, so I can't express with the words how excited we are. We will give you more details about the full length when it's ready. All I can say at this moment is it's sounding huge!

The album will be produced by Ryan Greene. How is it to work with him?

He is very talented and easy guy to work with. I was his assistant before and I'm actually working for him as an Artist Relations Representative in his new studio, Validus Recording, in North Hollywood, CA. He always has unique ideas and tries to make bands sound distinct and unique. He is the real deal.

So far Hemoptysis is a kind of DIY band, will you release the album on your own and license it? Or will you sign a deal these days?

We'll see what happens. We are not one of those bands signing contracts that won't benefit us. We will make the best move for us at the time, but we are currently a do it yourself band.

You are 'metal band of the year' again at L.A./Phoenix Music Awards. Is it for unsigned bands? Or also signed ones? How does it feel to be awarded 2 years in a row?

I think it's for both signed and unsigned bands. I feel really good about getting awards for two consecutive years. It's one of the mile stones for us and what we've done.

At the moment you play some shows, but mainly in Arizona where you live. You do organize it yourself, right? Are you looking for a booker who gets you shows all over the US?

We definitely want to have a booker to help us book shows worldwide. It is a pain to book all the shows ourselves in other states. In this recession, it is getting harder and harder to tour because venues and promoters don't pay enough to tour unless you are big name bands. We do our best to promote our shows, but it takes team work to make the shows the best possible, so everybody needs to communicate and work together.

What else is on your schedule? Anything I forgot to ask? Anything you want to add?

Touring. We are going out on a week-long tour now for States in the South and North West. We hope to get to play in Germany and other European countries and many other places in the world soon. Please spread the word about us and help us make it happen. Check out our updates on or

Also, a iPhone / iPad / iPod touch app is now available for free, so download it on the apple app store and get some exclusive offers from us! Thank you for your support and we hope to see you soon.

I have to thank Masaki for finding time to answer my questions just before going on tour, especially as the band is doing all the work to bring them on the road and not waiting for someone doing the job for them. If they are someone in your area, don't consider going to see them, just go!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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