Having relocated to the UK in 2012, legendary Japanese guitarist TOMOYASU HOTEI has since been fully engaged with a busy routine of live performances and projects, including his new album Strangers, which is due for release this October.

HOTEI has previously enjoyed a long music career which spans over 30 years, including popular Japanese rock outfit BOØWY. One of his best known songs ‘Battle Without Honour or Humanity’, also featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill.

J-pop enthusiasts will, of course, more closely associate Hotei with Momoiro Clover Z as he wrote and produced their 2012 single ‘Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimi-tachi Yo’.

But now comes new album Strangers and an opportunity for Hotei to collaborate with a whole new range of talents. Along for the ride on vocal duties are Richard Z Cruspe (Rammstein, Emigrate), Matt Tuck (Bullet For my Valentine) and Iggy Pop, whose distinctive rasp leads ‘How The Cookie Crumbles’ (originally released as a single in June this year). “In creating this song” comments Hotei, “I knew that it needed a vocalist with a strong personality to fully bring it to life, and without a doubt, Iggy was just the man for this”. The result is a percussive widescreen rock number that is a perfect vehicle for Iggy’s trademark vocals.

But Hotei’s move to the UK, with its rich history and association with music, has provided the musician with fresh foundations: “British rock has always been a great source of inspiration to me and now living in London with a fresh start, Strangers allows me to take a step out of this new and relatively anonymous space to introduce myself. A stranger to many, remembering the days when I was young and just starting out, playing gigs to a room of only 20 people, I want to connect with people individually and let them understand me through my music”.

Strangers also features a variety of other collaborators on writing and production duties, including Youth (Pink Floyd, Verve), Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Paolo Nutini) and Stephen Lipson (Jeff Beck, Batman soundtrack).

Hotei has also enjoyed live performances in London with sold-out shows at the Roundhouse and Shepherd’s Bush Empire previously. Earlier this year he performed a special showcase of material from Strangers at The Lexington and he has a new live date scheduled for 21st October at the Islington Assembly Hall.

Strangers is released through Spinefarm Records on 16th October.

Hotei performs at the Islington Assembly Hall on 21st October. Tickets: