Drummer / Singer / Arranger / Artist
– Why didn’t you join those successful bands?
Because they didn’t rock hard enough. I’ve waited for decades for this!
Koji Maya is a drummer from the early era of Japanese heavy metal.
He was drumming in a band called “Black Hole”, the band that would eventually be called “Anthem”, one of the biggest heavy metal bands in Japan.
There he was playing with Naoto Shibata (Anthem bassist) and other legendary players.
His name is written in “Anthem History” on one of their fansites. But according to Koji, they were already playing with Hiroya Fukuda (Anthem guitarist) occasionally in their Black Hole days.
After “Black Hole” disbanded, he parted ways with Naoto Shibata and joined “Tokyo X-Ray” where he played together with notable players such as Rio and Toshiya Matsukawa (a.k.a.RAN). Those songs from “Tokyo X-Ray” would later be recorded on RAN’s solo album, infamously sung by Koshi Inaba of B’z.
This means Koji has experience playing both with “Japanese Eddie Van Halen” (Hiroya Fukuda of Anthem) and “Japanese Randy Rhoads” (Toshiya Matsukawa of Blizard).
(Do you know how Tone felt when he learned about that?)
Koji is a hard rock drummer who loves American Rock such as KISS and Grund Funk Railroad.
But he learned drumming from Motohiko Hino (Jazz drummer) and Eiichi Miyanaga (from Okinawan rock band “Murasaki”). So he has a skill set much broader than just heavy metal.
It was a great fit for Imari Tones’ music style that requires both powerful heavy metal beats and dancing grooves.
You can only guess the reasons why Koji didn’t get the success his former bandmates enjoyed. If you hear his story you can suppose it was because he didn’t like the reckless lifestyle of rock musicians that was common back in the day.
But the bigger reason probably was in his strong artistic nature.
Playing in southpaw style, his drumming has a strong character. Also he does not hesitate to sing lead whenever possible.
His artistic desire that’s not limited to a drummer roll and his endless passion for entertainment. Japanese Heavy Metal world was too small for him to achieve those things.
Fast forward to the 21st century, year 2018.
In a world where genre walls, nation borders, lines between major and indie all brought down, Koji met Tone, the last rebel of Japanese Metal. Ironically, playing “Christian Metal” was totally “heretic” in Japanese metal scene.
But these two teamed up to inherit the legacy of Japanese heavy metal. Lost legacy since 1980’s.
With Imari Tones, Koji’s talent and skill will be demonstrated in full swing.
The unknown legend of Japanese heavy metal, his story has not ended yet.
Koji’s favorite artists and drummers:
Michael Jackson, KISS, Grand Funk Railroad,
Lenny White, Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd, Eric Singer, etc
The gear Koji is using:
TAMA Iron Cobra Twin Pedal (left handed model)