Japan's Miyavi says Nashville infuses his latest CD

Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:42am EDT
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By Edward Baran

LONDON (Reuters) - Japanese pop star Miyavi, who appeared in Angelina Jolie's prison-camp drama "Unbroken", says that much of his latest album was recorded in Nashville, and the country music capital's spirit has permeated his work.

"I feel the vibes -- to me that's a spiritual spot," Miyavi, whose birth name is Takamasa Ishihara, told Reuters before going on stage at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on Sunday night for a concert promoting the release of his new CD, "The Others".

"Every time I go to Nashville, I always pray, in just the normal streets, (with) cars passing by," Miyavi added.

"I look like a kind of weird strange Asian guy praying on the street, but for me I felt the vibes. And that experience in Nashville is so precious to me."

Although his main career is in music, Miyavi may be better known outside his native country for his role as a brutal prison guard in the Jolie-directed film based on the true story of the Australian airman and Olympic sprinter Louis Zamperini, held captive during World War Two.

The movie contains scenes in which his seemingly psychotic character repeatedly beats and abuses those under his charge -- but Miyavi said he wanted to act more, enjoyed playing the bad guy and could even see himself as a Bond villain.

"I enjoyed to hear that people hated me in the film. That's a compliment," he said when asked if he could see himself as a possible nemesis for 007.

Known as the "Samurai guitarist" for his slapping style without using a guitar pick, the 34-year-old has played more than 250 shows across 30 countries including America, Asia and Australia.   Continued...

Actress Angelina Jolie and cast member Miyavi pose in front of Sydney Harbor Bridge after a news conference for new film "Unbroken", November 18, 2014.  REUTERS/Patrick Riviere