Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 60: Akira Tominaga

Akira Tominaga is the drummer for the Japanese thrash metal band United. The band, named after a song on Judas Priest’s “British Steel” album, was formed in 1981. Akira took over the drum stool in 2004. In addition to releasing its own albums and touring extensively, United has acted as the backing band for former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno for some shows in Japan. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson checked in with Akira to find out about the five albums that changed his life.

Megadeth “Rust in Peace” (1990)

“I bought this album after reading magazine reviews as there was no internet when I was a student. Nick Menza is a drummer who has been an influence on me. The melodies and song compositions on this album changed how I looked at things at the time. It was shocking and I felt that my brain, still developing, was constantly shaken.”

Motörhead “Bastards” (1993)

“It’s impossible to ignore the impact of this legendary band on me when I grew up. Lemmy’s performance on this album which includes the fantastic song ‘Burner’! Mikkey Dee’s drumming! Playing drums in both a dynamic and delicate way is a lifelong theme for me. When I heard that Tony Dolan, The Demolition Man of Venom Inc, also started a band because of Motörhead, I felt very empathetic.”

Mötley Crüe “Shout at the Devil” (1983)

“This album changed and broadened my perspective on music as I had previously known only domestic music. The band I started playing music with was a tribute band to the Japanese rock band ZIGGY. I was completely absorbed and addicted to ZIGGY, which is reminiscent of Mötley Crüe. As a result, I found Mötley Crüe. I was longing for Mötley Crüe too and switched my drum sticks to a Tommy Lee model.”

Rage “Extended Power” (1991) EP

“It’s no exaggeration to say that this album has shocked me the most. As a teenager, I couldn’t think of a ballad-style song with double bass drums. I was shocked. It made me realise that music is free, and I feel respect again when I write this sentence. Even now, creating original songs is important to me.”

Show-Ya “Ways” (1986)

“Show-Ya is Japanese female metal band with a drummer that played double bass drums. I was shocked by the powerful sound coming into my ears without being aware that it was a woman playing.”