Tag : visual-kei

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WeZ Live Report Shinjuku Ruido K4 11/24/2015

wez



Members: 

Vo. Shogo

Ba. Monyo

Gu. Shiki

Dr. Yuki*

*Has since departed in 2016


24th November 2015

Shinjuku RUIDO K4

WeZ presents. [0-QUEST] Tokyo ver. vol.1

Reira

http://weare0.jp/pc/index.html



Line-up:


Akashijia

PEAK HOLD

wonder [age] plus+

SHIVA

WeZ


On 24th November at Shinjuku RUIDO K4, WeZ held the second live of their sponsored event tour. Joined by bands from all walks of Visual Kei, and from all across Japan, Tokyo fans were in for an exciting event.



WeZ

Like a parade, WeZ’s opening track danced into to darkness of the livehouse, accompanied by the clapping beat of their fans. The lights began, a riot of colours; a raucous, glitzy opening true to WeZ’s Music Theme Park concept. The bright music guttered, faltered, and was broken by an elfin laugh. The rainbow lights turned to red and the members of WeZ began to appear onstage. Monyo, Yuki and Shiki assumed positions, smiling out to the fans who had gathered to see them. Then Shogo burst onto the scene and the first song began – the upbeat, danceable Zannen x Love.

Monyo embraced the enthusiasm of the audience for this vibrant song and danced across stage as the fans moved into a round of oritatami headbanging. WeZ’s playful Theme Park Concept came to life as the audience looked up at the members as one and, to Shogo’s lyrics, all gestured ‘nandeyanen?‘ in time, laughing. Zealous clapping to Zannen x Love’s spirited beat ensued as the lights flashed in classic carnival colours and the members smiled at their fans. Shogo danced on the central box as he invited the audience to ‘boogie boogie all night’, and the fans took up the challenge as the guitar and bass played their quick refrains and the drums resounded brightly out. Monyo skipped to Yuki and played together with the drummer as Shogo joined in with the crowd’s clapping.

Then, as the song ended, the unashamedly elated atmosphere of Zannen x Love was splintered by the harder, intense SoulBullet. From the glittering, open gates of the Theme Park, we had moved into roller coaster territory. Fans and Shiki alike moved into hard headbanging, and the lights became fast and furious, losing some of their brighter colours. Shogo stepped up to his box and told the crowd to show him their heart. The drums, the guitar, the bass, the fans were suddenly furious, focused; Monyo and Shiki played with heads down, stances low, pictures of pure intensity. Yuki drummed harder, head bowed, strikes solid, no longer grinning out to the crowd. Shogo drew himself up, flashing confidence, as he told the crowd it was Game Over and shot at them with a finger gun. Even his voice changed, from higher and brighter, to lower and rougher as SoulBullet‘s heartfelt lyrics rolled over the crowd. At the peak of the song, the fans began to oritatami in time to Shogo’s repeated plea for them to wake up his soul bullet, and ended on a single, hard, long note that rang out like the resounding notes from the muzzle of a gun. The song, however, was not yet over, and continued to build with Yuki’s fervor as he drummed out an intense pace alongside the guitar and bass, matched by the furi of the fans.

Once the intense Soul Bullet had wound down, Shogo began the night’s MC. He thanked all the bands and fans for coming, and talked a little about each performer they had seen tonight. He interacted with the fans of other bands, encouraging them to have as much fun as WeZ fans and playfully challenged them to try WeZ’s furi. With a final thank-you, the short MC was over and WeZ returned to upbeat and bouncy with Toki no Memory.

The lights were red and fast as the fans bounced on the spot in time with the upbeat music, spinning their fingers to the beat. Monyo joined them, skipping across the stage towards Shiki who relentlessly played out the complex chords, before returning to his spot to spin in a quick circle. Then Shogo changed the pace by demanding that the crowd headbang and the intensity of the song began to rise. Monyo drew closer and closer to Shiki, imploring him to go and play, but Shiki sent him away with a laugh as he continued to play the intense, fast notes. Yuki joined him, playing with his heart, lifting each drumstick high before bringing it down upon the drums. As the intensity changed, so did the lights, moving from whirling colour into bright white, flashing once before turning red in a steady rhythm. Monyo directed the crowds as they began to headbang, with Shiki stepping up to join them as he played. The song then changed into a call and resound by Shogo and the track as the fans clapped in time. The other members gathered behind him, around Yuki, to play as a group, showing a firm friendship and solidarity as Shogo riled the crowd from the front.

Suddenly, the song ended, and the lights went dark. Shogo let loose with a feral growl and the song Doku ~ Bo Naru Chikyuu no Sakebigoe~ began. The music continued to build as Shogo called for the crowd to shout back at him, fire for fire. Yuki began each beat by lifting his drumsticks high before every strike and Shiki joined him, stepping up onto the box to lift his guitar in salute. Suddenly the pace of the some changed from heavier to light and fast, and the fans matched it, beginning a round of 2-step foot furi. Once more the beat changed into a steady, swinging rhythm and the fans too changed into circular headbanging. Monyo and Shiki sunk lower into their stances and Shogo directed the fans. There was a brief interlude where the song became lighter, the lights matching it by glittering in a host of rainbow colours, and the fans burst into a round of elegant sensu furi. Shogo leapt off his box to interact with the crowd as the song wound to a close.

In another change of pace, the jazzy Koakuma Furu Furu began and the whole livehouse moved as one, stepping to the beat in a show of friendship as Shogo asked them, ‘Hey, humans! Can you hear the voices of the demons?’ The song shifted pace with the catchy chorus ‘la la lala la’, and the fans responded, reaching up to the sky and back in time, enjoying the dance as the parade lights sparkled out like the blinking eyes of imps. Just like the demons in the lyrics, the beat swept the fans into the dance, as Shogo sang that they wouldn’t be able to return back to their own world. Shiki and Monyo exuded WeZ’s classic playfulness as they jumped across the stage at each other in time to the music. Yuki laughed as Shiki lost his bottle and leapt backwards at the last minute. Then, the playfulness was put briefly on hold as the solos began and each member showcased their talent. Shogo stepped onto the box, his ringmaster showmanship back in place as he gestured with a flourish at Shiki on his right. Shiki held a brief guitar solo, to be followed by Shogo pointing left at Monyo to cue the bass solo. Then, Shogo threw his head back, arms wide and Yuki’s drums pealed out across the venue. A brief interlude occurred where Shogo leant out to interact with the fans before crouching on his box and welcoming everyone to the demon’s world before letting loose an eerie ringing laugh. The song began to end and Shogo told the crowd it was over yet, but to give it their all for the last.

The lights became a bright, sunny yellow as WeZ began their marching song RING!DONG! The fans moved in a flurry of 2-step, bouncing to the beat as Yuki picked up his pace. Monyo and Shiki joined in the dancing, kicking and stepping to the beat. Swiftly, the mosh began, with all members and the fans running right as Shogo still sang, and then everyone sprinted left, to return to their places to march on the spot. Shogo encouraged the fans to keep on walking down their chosen path as everyone stomped in time to the beat. The spirited song entered its final stages as everyone ran right, jumped, and returned. Then at Shogo’s direction, everyone ran left, jumped and returned in a repeating cycle. Fans met the challenge, jumping as high as they could in elation. As the final drums ended, Shogo implored the crowds to bring their friends next time and to keep having lots of fun, as Monyo and Yuki played as a pair behind him. Shiki was still at the microphone, laughing and shouting for the fans to ‘Jump! Jump!’. The song went into its final enthusiastic 2-step as it ended.

Shogo left stage after hinting at an encore, as the drums, bass and guitar ended with a finale. One by one they took a bow and left the stage. They had barely finished leaving and the fans started a call for an encore, and it wasn’t long before WeZ answered. Shogo thanked everyone for coming and coaxed everyone closer to the stage for the final song, a WeZ favourite, Baby Bird.

The lights flashed like rainbows and Shogo turned his back, marching in place as the upbeat, glittering song so classic to WeZ sounded out. With a call of 1! 2! 1, 2, 3! he leapt from his box and the encore truly began. The fans joined him, all jumping as one body on the spot, only to land and make hearts with their hands. As Shogo crouched on his box to sing out to the crowd, Monyo skipped mischievously over to fold the wings on Shogo’s headpiece down over the vocalist’s eyes. Shogo fought him off, and Monyo returned to his spot, leaning heavily out onto the bars. In a revenge attack, Shiki snuck over and nudged Monyo in the back, trying to topple him over the bars. Monyo recovered and shook his head mockingly at Shiki. Yuki surveyed the fans and the members, his smile obvious even from the back. The brightness of the song changed, and Yuki moved to a fast beat of cymbals as the crowds responded, punching the air. After a round of jumping, Shogo had a brief solo where the fans stayed still to heart him with their hands. That brief interlude didn’t last, and it wasn’t long before the jumping began again. Shiki was beaming out at the crowds and started as Shogo loomed up from his right, directing the guitarist to the microphone. Shiki complied, laughing, and he encouraged the fans to jump. Everyone responded and the mood of the night was definitely elated, even though it was winding down and soon time to return home.

Shogo ended the night by reminding the fans of the March Oneman concert in Osaka, and thanking them all for coming. Shiki, Yuki and Monyo all waved their goodbyes as Shogo ended the night by leaning out over the bars and high-fiving members of the crowd before him. WeZ all took a bow and the lights plunged the stage into darkness. This musical theme park was now closed for the night, but still the echoes of their music and the smiles on their fans’ faces lingered, a lasting memory of the night.



WeZ’s Oneman will be held in Osaka on 24th March! Don’t miss it!



Glossary


Live: Concert

Oritatami: Headbanging where you fold from the waist

Nandeyanen: Japanese slang from Osaka meaning ‘What the hell are you doing?’

Furi: Choreographed movements that the fans do to the music

Sensu: Means ‘hand fan’ in Japanese. This furi is where fans cross their hands in front of them before elegantly spreading their arms, looking like an unfolding fan.

2-step foot furi: This is a furi mainly found in Osaka, where you hop on one foot whilst moving the other foot and then swap, creating a bouncing movement, sometimes accompanied by moving arms as if running.

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11/24/2015 WeZ Interview at Shinjuku K4

Music Theme Park WeZ


Shinjuku K4

11/24/2015

Interviewer: Reira

http://weare0.jp/pc/index.html


On 24th November, WeZ kindly invited us to their release event live ‘WeZ presents. [0-QUEST] Tokyo ver. Vol.1’ and took an interview with us. These firm friends plough onwards on their adventure with an admirable optimism, unbent and unbroken by the challenges they face, because they face them all together. Let’s hear what they have to say on the topics of WeZ, theme parks, and what friendship means to them.



wez


Members


Vo. Shogo

Ba. Monyo

Gu. Shiki

Dr. Yuki*

*Departed in 2016


How did you come to form WeZ?

Shogo: At first it was Shiki and I. We were friends at the same university, and I knew that Shiki was already in bands himself, so I wanted to try being a vocalist. Shiki invited me to a session and I gave it a try. Monyo is Shiki’s older brother, and had also been in bands, so he joined us. Finding a drummer though… that was hard. We searched and searched and couldn’t find anyone, so we tried posting on notice boards and things like that. Eventually we found a drummer who we thought might work on the Nico Nico website where you can upload videos and it just so turned out that the drummer that piqued our interest was at the same university as us. It was Yuki. We contacted him, and met up in the university cafeteria for a meeting about starting a band. He said yes, and that was how WeZ began.

 

Why Visual Kei?

Monyo: I think it was because Visual Kei has a lot of unique appeal. It’s not just about expressing music via music, you can also express yourself through your appearance. So that’s why we decided to give it a go.

Shiki: I respected a lot of artists that came from Visual Kei originally as well – like X Japan, or Miyavi.

 

Where did WeZ’s name come from?

Shogo: WeZ stands for ‘We are Zero’. The number zero doesn’t fade, isn’t forgotten and doesn’t change. Things change all the time, like fashion and music, but the number 0 is a constant.

Monyo: It’s the basis for everything

Shogo: 0 isn’t positive, it isn’t negative, it just remains. It persists, like WeZ.

 

What’s WeZ’s concept?

Shogo: ‘Music Theme Park’. When we thought about how we wanted to turn out, we realised there’s a lot of genres in music and we just wanted to create something that was like a family. Family doesn’t have a genre – they just are. But in this time where WeZ exists, there are many different genres out there, like jazz, rock, pop, SKA, and we want to try as many as we can.

Shiki: Metal?

Shogo: Metal! –laughs- that would be different! WeZ’s music is like a theme park with lots of different attractions to enjoy. In a theme park, you don’t have just one attraction, you have many. You’ve got merry-go-rounds, roller coasters, haunted houses… We’re like that – one band with many genres you can enjoy. That’s what we decided we wanted to become. I guess that’s also the subtitle that WeZ has. We are Music Theme Park WeZ.

 

Where do you get your inspiration for your costumes?

Shogo: I always design the costumes and make them by hand myself. This current ‘Love Quest’ costume is about adventure. It’s all about expressing that excitement. Right now I have a bat on my head, and it’s not that I’m the hero of the quest and it’s my comrade, but more like I’ve been bitten by the bat on my way through the adventure –laughs- WeZ also has that aspect of joking around in every concept too. For us, it’s not the goal that matters on an adventure, but the path to it. It’s taking that first step, heading out on that adventure that is the important thing, not the winning. That’s what we try to express through our characters.

 

When you make music, what order do you make your songs in? Do the lyrics chose the music or the music, the lyrics?

Shogo: First Shiki makes the sound, and then I choose the image to match it. After we have a sound and an outline of a concept, I write the lyrics and then we work a melody around them. It’s whatever fits that we go with. Also Japanese has some very slight, wonderful nuances that makes writing lyrics really fun. So usually our melodies are worked around the lyrics, but sometimes we have songs that start with the melody and the lyrics follow. Either way, our original plan always slowly changes to fit whatever we’re creating. Also, Japanese intonation is really important for the melody and nuance of what we’re trying to convey, and it’s really hard for anyone to pick out the lyrics at a live concert, so if you could listen to the music whilst reading the lyrics to see exactly what we mean, I’d be really happy.  

 

 

So let’s talk a little about your newest release ‘Love QUEST’. What themes do these songs have?

Shogo: Each song has a very different theme. RING!DONG! is the start of an adventure, the moment where you gather your friends and step out onto a quest together. Kyomei BRAND NEW WORLD is when the excitement begins to build, the moving onwards to glory.  ‘Let’s go! Let’s move forward!’

Soul∞Bullet is a fight. I guess it’s our equivalent of background music during a fight when you’re playing a game. There are always enemies when you go on an adventure, and for this song, the enemy is one’s self. It’s the theme music for a battle and it’s about overcoming your own enemy.

Shinjidai DON’T STOP THE MUSIC is all about friends. It has a samba rhythm for the drums, right?

Yuki: Yeah, it’s pretty samba.

Shogo: Kind of… don don tsu dan, don don tsu dan… -laughs- Shiki actually wrote the lyrics to this one.

Shiki: You can’t go on an adventure alone, and you always need people there. This song is about those friends who are there helping you on your quest. It’s also about picking people up when they’re in trouble, so rallying together as friends.

Shogo: It’s also about finding a new era, and entering it. If we had a quest as WeZ, it would be that we are trying to continue on as a band with our music, and we always help each other, so that’s why it has the title DON’T STOP THE MUSIC.

Last on the release is Orenji Ashita no Monogatari. It was written imagining dusk, or nightfall when the sun sets. For most Visual bands, this time of day is seen as sad or lonely, but to me, it’s not that, and I wanted to express that feeling. Sunset means that tomorrow is coming, that there will be light again. It’s a positive note meaning let’s head on to tomorrow, together. We can always carry on. As each sun fades, it just connects to another dawn. It also has the underlying meaning that every day is new, with new challenges.

 

What WeZ song do you want everyone to listen to?

Shogo: Right now, when taking into account our present situation, we’re all about continuing on down our chosen path, so I’d like everyone to listen to RING!DONG! because it expresses what we are feeling at this very moment. But the song also has the underlying theme that it’s ok to pause for a moment on your way, which is a very optimistic outlook. It’s probably the song that has the lyrics closest to what I’m feeling right now.

Monyo:  I would like people to listen to anything and everything, really. I just want people to be energetic and happy and just want people, including all the overseas fans, to listen to us and embrace that. But if I had to choose, I would choose Baby Bird, because it says that you should live as fully as possible and it’s a song that, when we play it live, the audience really responds and gets into it for us. It’s a really really fun song, and that’s what WeZ is all about, so I guess you could say that it’s our concept piece.

Yuki: I would say Zannen x Love because I like the refrain of this song ‘nandeyanen’ (NB: ‘What the hell?’) and also it has many terms in there that the whole world will recognise, even though nandeyanen is mainly just an Osaka phrase. Also all the fans call out to us during this song, so there’s a real sense of community.

Shiki: It’s kind of exclaiming ‘nandeyanen’ about Japanese culture sometimes. –laughs-Sushi, tempura…

Yuki: I think that everyone can listen to and enjoy this song.

Shiki: I really like RING!DONG! And Kaito Zero. Our theme is music theme park but our lyrics still have meaning. In these songs, I feel the characters are like something out of Pooh’s Hunni Hunt or the Haunted Mansion at Disney – there’s a lot of appeal in them and it’s just one of our facets.

 

What has been the most memorable live for you so far?

Yuki: It would have to be our first Oneman live at Live House D. WeZ was the first band that I’d been in that has always had original songs so it was astounding that we were able to hold a oneman live within 2 months of our formation. I wasn’t nervous at all and because it was a oneman we had a lot of time on stage, so it was really fun!

Shiki: It has to be the live we did 2 years ago at our university’s school fair in Kyoto. Visual Kei is really different, and most people had never heard of it, so the live felt really different to when we do lives in livehouses full of people who know Visual Kei. The fact that people stopped by to watch really left an impression on me. Also it was in Kyoto, which is a place I really love, so it was wonderful to be able to perform there.

Shogo: My August Birthday Oneman at Shibuya Rex, because the fans really enjoyed it. Oh and the 2man live we did in Osaka with the idol, Mao Ikemoto. That live was really out of our comfort zone as a Visual Kei band, but it was a huge success and the idol’s fans really got into the furi for us. We passed into new territory with that live, which was really interesting. To see both band-girls (NB: Visual Kei fans) and Otaku (NB: Idol fans) interacting together at a live was amazing. It was a new step for Japanese music. It’s really a stand-out attraction in our Music Theme Park concept.

Monyo: This isn’t WeZ, per se, but our first live as Zero before we came WeZ really left an impression on me. We had next to no fans, and rather than being disheartened, it really inspired me to keep on trying. For me, it’s not about how many fans we have or how successful we are, it’s the fact that we are willing to keep on walking, to keep on trying that is the most important thing to me.

 

 

So let’s talk a little about yourselves. What have you become interested in recently?

Monyo: If it’s Japanese culture we’re talking about, I’ve really got into anime recently. I go to Akihabara a lot and buy goods or new anime, and I tend to watch a lot before going to sleep. My recommendation would be ‘Love Live!’. I guess it’s not been a recent development though…

Yuki: Driving. I’ve got my own car, so I often drive around a lot. I even do it when we’re in Tokyo because I like to see the city and new things. I love cars. Actually, I guess you could just say I love machinery and apparatus. It’s why I’m a drummer. –laughs-

Shiki: I’ve got nothing… I don’t know… my hobby was music, but now it’s my job… Maybe making songs is something I’ve been into lately? But that’s still music. I guess I’ve only got music.

Shogo: It’s all he does! –laughs-

Shiki: Oh! I’m looking forward to the release of Monster Hunter Cross! That’s not music!

Shogo: …phone apps? Maybe not… Anime?… but Monyo said that…

Yuki: Sushi.

Shogo: You know I can’t eat sushi.

Yuki: -laughs-

Shogo: To be honest, I just really love performing at lives. 2 years have passed since I’ve become a vocalist and it’s my everything. For a vocal, it’s not just singing, you have to be the frontman too. You have to have as much fun as you can on stage to make it felt, and it’s fun trying to be the best vocal performing at the venue on the day. That’s what I always aspire to do, and I’ve going to keep on trying and moving forward towards our oneman in March to deliver the best performance I can… but if you want an answer that isn’t music… phone apps.

 

What does the word ‘music’ mean to you?

Yuki: It’s something I put my heart into. Music has really taught me a lot. If everyone continues together, anything is possible. Also these members, they have taught me so much and I’m really grateful. They decorate my day-to-day and really bring it to life.

Monyo: It means ‘friendship’, ‘comrades’. Yes, it’s a job, but I wanted to do music as a job forever, and you physically can’t do music alone. You need friends, comrades, people around you. The members, the staff, the make-up artists, the fans… none of this would be possible without them. As soon as you start music, your number of friends skyrocket, and there’s no meaning in music if there are no people. People need to be there to hear the music you make.

Shogo: It’s moving onwards in the direction you want to go in. It’s not just a hobby for us. It’s a job, and it’s a product, and it’s life. It’s fun so I wanted to do it as a job, but I soon came to realise that it wasn’t just a job, it was my calling. When it came to me looking for jobs, I had a discussion with a friend about what I should do, and we both decided that I just couldn’t do a normal job as a normal salary worker, so I braved it and took the step to make music my career. It’s my life’s work.

Shiki: It’s being together with music and continuing on with each other. Music is something that joins people. No matter who you are, it touches you. Music brings everyone together. Everyone here has met thanks to music. I met an idol, I’ve met other bands, I’ve done so many things all thanks to music. It’s a way of communication as well as expression. With music, you don’t even need language – you can express anything.

 

Where would you like to travel abroad?

Shiki: The Louvre Art Museum in France. Because…well, you know the Mona Lisa? How big is it?! Like you see photos and people taking photos and it seems pretty big, but I want to know for myself. I want to find out just how big it is in person.

Shogo: I’d go to Singapore, because they really like Visual Kei there and I’d like to go and visit them.

Yuki: I’d go back to England. I went there for a homestay when I was about 14 and the scenery was so different and so beautiful that I want to go back. My homestay was in Stratford where Shakespeare wrote his plays when he was alive, and I’d love to revisit it again as an adult.

Monyo: -English- I love Japan… -Japanese- Maybe England? Oh, or Italy! As you can see, I really like pasta, pizza, gratin, basil… so I want to go there and try the real stuff! I’ve also always loved soccer since I was in elementary school, and have always played it, so I want to see Italian soccer. That’s why I would like to go to England as well. The Premier League is so good!

 

 

Finally, do you have a message for all your foreign fans?

Monyo: We’ll get there bit by bit! –laughs-

Shogo: -English- please wait. I will go soon!

-all-: Music is a medium without borders and it can spread like wildfire. We want everyone to experience our Music Theme park concept, so, just like a travelling carnival, we’ll get to you one day and, when we do, please come and enjoy yourselves! Wait for us!

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Devil Kitty Interview 12/14/2015

Devil Kitty

12/14/2015 

Rockstar Records Presents. Daigekitotsu at Shinjuku BLAZE

Interviewer: Reira

http://rockstar-records.jp/devilkitty/


Devil Kitty are an upcoming heavy rock band with their roots in heavy metal. With their erotic lyrics and addictive rock, any live they hold will provide a way to let it all go and get lost in their furious choreography. Let’s hear what they have to say~


IMG_1184


Devil Kitty are (L>R): 

Vo: Yuuga

Gu: Kazuto

Ba. Ruchi

Dr. Majyu



How did you come to join Devil Kitty? Why Visual Kei?

Yuuga: Devil Kitty just sort of… happened. We were hit by inspiration and, bam. Devil Kitty. It just turned out that way.
Ruchi: Yeah, we just sort of drifted together and formed a band.
Kazuto: As for VK, my friend was into VK and did bands. So I decided one day to go and see a live, and thought that I wanted to give being in a band a go. At first I wasn’t really into VK at all.
Majyu: I really love X Japan. When I saw their videos, I really wanted to give VK a try.
Yuuga: It has to be the Gazette for me. I liked their stuff.

 

Where does the name ‘Devil Kitty’ come from, and what is your concept?
Yuuga: They’re one and the same really. ‘Scary but cute’. That’s pretty much the whole thinking behind Devil Kitty. Cats are cute. So we became ‘Devil Kitty’.

 

What are the main themes behind Devil Kitty’s songs? When you play, what motivates your performance?
Yuuga: Erotica. Dirty jokes.
Ruchi: We all put our own emotion into our performance. That’s what we try to express. It’s everything within that we are getting out. That’s how I see it. It’s just a form of expression.
Majyu: It’s about our current problems that we face and a way of overcoming them.
Ruchi: We give form to that idea. Most of the time our instinct rules the way we perform.

 

Who heads the making of Devil Kitty’s songs?
Yuuga: Kazuto and I are the central part of the song-making process. I find the band sound within the music and make the melody from that.
Kazuto: Our roots are metal, and I think that if you listen to us, you’ll be able to clearly see that origin.
Yuuga: I write the lyrics. Most of the time they’re kind of erotic, with some jokes in there. It’s all instinct, like Ruchi said.
Next year you will be releasing another single ‘Black Market Gang I’. What inspiration and themes were behind this single?
Ruchi: It’s about desperate efforts.
Yuuga: Mainly it’s about people that die and the power behind that. It’ll be a very violent, energetic song during lives that will get the whole venue moving. Think headbanging.
Kazuto: The sound itself once again has its roots in heavy metal. It’s slightly scary at first, I guess, but you can grow used to it as you get to know us as a band.
Ruchi: It’s a raging song. In VK it’s a genre called abare – violence. [NB: Heavy metal or rock with a lot of headbanging as its main choreography]. It’s about going mad, crazy within the livehouse. Just let it all go. It also really helps that we have the Number 1 guitarist right here to help us bring about that atmosphere!
Kazuto: -laughs-

 

What has been the most impressionable live so far as Devil Kitty?
Yuuga: It has to be the October oneman at Ikebukuro Edge. Since it was a oneman, we had a long time in which to play a lot of songs. It was really fun and everyone really threw themselves into it for us.
Majyu: From that live, we could really see what direction Devil Kitty was headed in. We knew what we were about to become.
Ruchi: Yeah, we really came to understand what our goal was as a band and kind of what direction we were going in.
Kazuto: When we were on tour, we also had some great moments when we were travelling in the car to different venues. The conversations we had were great.
Ruchi: Just being together and doing things as a group is really fun too!

 

 

So let’s talk a little about yourselves.
What have you become interested in recently?
Majyu: I really like visiting Roppongi. It’s a great place.
Kazuto: Games! I think it’s probably popular abroad as well, but I really like Monster Hunter. The new one came out recently so I’ve been really into that.
Yuuga: I’ve got into playing poker recently.
Ruchi: I like watching Western movies. I’ll watch nearly anything but I really like Stephen King.

 

What does ‘music’ mean to you?
Yuuga: Just like the kanji, ‘sound’ and ‘fun’.
Ruchi: Yeah, just having fun. I think that’s what everyone here believes.
Kazuto: The guitar teaches me a lot. Also, when I produce sound as a artist, people can see what I am playing and hear it, and just have fun. That’s all I want to give. Also, that’s why music is written using the characters for ‘sound’ and ‘fun’ in Japanese. I want to continue to uphold that.
Ruchi: It’s my own self. It’s proof of my existence, my validation.
Majyu: Music teaches me the things that I don’t know.
Where would you like to go abroad?
Kazuto: I want to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower.
Yuuga: I want to go to Greece to see all the buildings and temples. Don’t you think they’re cool?
Ruchi: I want to go to see Times Square in America. I think that if I can see that even once, that my whole world view will be changed for the better.
Majyu: I want to go back to London because I forgot to go and see Big Ben when I went last time…

 

Have you got a message for all your foreign fans?
Kazuto: Thankyou for the future you’ve given us.
Majyu: I know it’s difficult for you to see us live, but I would be really happy if you could come and see our performance!
Ruchi: In this world, people have lots of different hobbies, but for the people reading this, music is the one thing that ties us all together, no matter where we are. Please listen to us and support us!
Yuuga: Visual Kei is like Japan’s bonus gift to the world. Please continue to think kindly of Japan and listen to our music!

 

What plans do you have for the future?
Yuuga: We’re thinking of more and more things to try and become bigger and better!
Ruchi: We really want to go abroad to do a live show.
Majyu: Definitely! Please contact us if you’re interested in us coming abroad! Don’t hesitate to call us to your country!



 

Future plans


[BLACK MARKET GANG I] RELEASE FREE TOUR

   [ROCKSTAR SUMMIT 2016」 
1/06 Sendai spaceZero
1/20 HOLIDAY OSAKA
1/21 HOLIDAY NEXT NAGOYA
1/26 高田馬場AREA
 「BLACK MARKET GANG Ⅰ」Instore Events 
■ 1/06 little HEARTS.Sendai
■ 1/09 little HEARTS.Shinjuku
■ 1/20 Like an Edison Osaka
■ 1/2    Like an Edison Nagoya
■ 1/26 Takadanobaba ZEAL LINK
■ 1/27 Like an Edison Tokyo

 

  • 3/26  SAPPORO sound Lab mole
  • 3/27 Otaru GOLD STONE

 


Check them out!

http://rockstar-records.jp/devilkitty/


 

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Shape Shifter 12/14/2015

Shape Shifter

12/14/2015

Rockstar Records Presents. Daigekitotsu at Shinjuku BLAZE

Interviewer: Reira

http://www.shape-shifter.jp/


Shape Shifter have their roots in old Visual Kei and a strong visual theme of the ‘Demon World’. Let their powerful guitar riffs and magical lyrics ensnare you and see what their world has to offer~


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Shape Shifter are (L>R):

Gu. Takuya Igarashi

Ba. Jin Hojyo

Vo. Z (‘Zeta’)

Dr. Majyuri Aki

Gu. Tomoka Igarashi



 

How did Shape Shifter form?

Z: Actually, Tomoka called me to make a band. We just talked a little and decided that it would be a good idea to try one together.
Tomoka: It was almost just an impulsive decision where we decided to give it a try. We all knew each other from before Shapeshifter, so the idea just built from there. We just wanted to perform, pure and simple. We all think very similarly and we have the same view on the world, so that’s how everyone kind of gathered in the very first place.
Takuya: I was Z’s drinking buddy. –laughs- He kinda invited me one day.
Z: I spirited you away, you mean! –laughs-
Takuya: I guess you really did!

 

What is Shape Shifter’s concept?
Z: The demon world. It’s the leader of that world, Z, and the residents coming to the surface in the human world.

 

What is the origin of Shape Shifter’s name?
Takuya: It’s a Yokai.  (NB: Japanese word meaning ‘Japanese folklore monster’)
Z: How Japanese! –laughs- It’s a monster.
Takuya: It’s a monster that eats humans and then assumes their form. So, in that way, the demon becomes a human. That’s the kind of concept we were heading for.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from for your songs?
Takuya: I compose a lot of the songs, so for me, inspiration comes at any time really. When I’m walking, when I decide to sleep, when I’m sitting. Inspiration just comes to me all of a sudden. Everything is within my head, so there’s no set time or place for that inspiration to come. It often comes when I’m sleeping though.
Jin: From taking a bath!
Z: I write all the lyrics and most of the time they come from my personal experiences. I’ve had a lot of different experiences in my life, and that’s what I tend to write about because they’re personal to me. Usually the lyrics themselves depend on the melody the band members produce for me. The song already possesses a melody and I just affix words to it.

 

You have your first release ‘Raimei’ going into second press,  and shortly you we be releasing a second single, ‘Kanjoame’ on 24th February 2016. Could you tell us a little about the concept and ideas behind them?
Z: ‘Raimei’ is the title of the CD, not one of the songs. We wanted to take people’s innermost hearts, and give them power. It’s not a song name used as a title because we wanted it to be unique to create our band image and for greater impact. ‘Kanjoame’ is actually one of the song names from the 3-song single.
Tomoka: ‘Kanjoame’ has a very nostalgic feeling to it, asking for forgiveness. Even so, we kept it to a very pop atmosphere to offset the meaning. We made this whole song as a team, together, so it is the essence of Shape Shifter.
Takuya: The coupling song is a big variation to the other songs, called ‘Kawaki no Tobira’. We made it as a live song to get people moving during the concerts, so I really recommend it.
Tomoka: When we made it, we weren’t really thinking about making a song that would raise the roof at a concert, but it just kinda turned out that way. It was very different from our aim, which is to say that we didn’t really have an aim at all but it turned out really different from what I really expected. To be fair, we rarely have an aim. When we make songs it’s all about working together as a team and just seeing what happens. The image we had when we made this song was to get everyone clapping, and to see the whole live house do it.
Takuya: Yeah, for the coupling song we just wanted everyone moving.
Tomoka: We haven’t performed ‘Kanjoame’ as of yet, so we waiting to see how that will turn out in the flesh.
Takuya: On stage, the songs from ‘Raimei’ are our main songs we perform right now.

 

What song resounds the most with you within Shape Shifter’s current repertoire?
Takuya: The song that resounds the most with me is ‘Yami Saku Hane’ since ‘Raimei’ was the symbol of me fully becoming part of this band. It was the first song I made as part of Shape Shifter
Tomoka: For me it’s ‘Kanjoame’, because it’s just a great song.
Jin: ‘Raimei’’s ‘Doukei’. This was the first song I made with Shape Shifter, so it’s important to me.
Majyuri: It’s also ‘Doukei’ for me. I love performing it live, especially the high point of the song because of how meaningful it is. When you hear it with the lyrics, I can’t help but get emotional and I become consumed by them. It’s the whole package –  music as a tool to convey emotion.
Z: I can’t decide between the songs. Since all the lyrics are written from all of my experiences up until now, I can’t choose just one because they all have very different and special meanings to me. I love them all.

 

Let’s talk a little about yourselves. What have you become interested in recently?
Z: Cooking! I no longer have a TV in my house, so I’ve become terribly free and found myself at a loose end. When I realized that I thought that I wanted to try cooking. Now I’ll spend 1, maybe 2 hours cooking a whole variation of things. There’s one thing that I like to try that I don’t think is used overseas so it might be quite difficult to explain… but, it’s the method of cooking beef sinews where you make it soft enough to eat. You can’t use the meat if it’s not soft, so it obviously takes a pretty long time to get it to an edible stage. That time that you give it comes from the heart, it’s something you have to put effort into. Your head empties of quite a lot of all the things that are bothering you, and it’s a really good method of stress relief! –laughs-
Majyuri: My hobby is currently travelling on Google Maps. I’ll bring up Google Maps on a really big TV, and just go for a wander. I like looking at the streets and cities in Street View so you can see what they’re actually like all around the world.
Takuya: Not drinking. –laughs- That’s all.
Tomoka: My new diet!
Z: What?
Tomoka: My new diet! Bio! I’m dieting to look after my health!
Jin: Training. I go jogging a lot to get fitter.

 

What does ‘music’ mean to you?
Jin: It’s my life.
Majyuri: Music is my way of life. It is everything.
Takuya: I live and breathe music.
Tomoka: Music links us with people we don’t know, it’s something that brings everyone together. Even if language is different, and you can’t convey your meaning, music will always do that for you.
Z: Music is my life and everything that I am.

 

Where do you want to travel abroad?
Takuya: Los Angeles because I love the metal music there.
Tomoka: Germany!!
Majyuri: St Petersburg in Russia because the town is really stunning.
Jin: I want to do a whole music tour around Europe.
Z: I’ve previously done a whole month tour in Europe and I would really like to go again. I really like the buildings, especially the fact that there are really old buildings that have become apartments. The frontage of the buildings are really wonderful. Also I love that fact that live houses look like theatres! There so much history in Europe. I love those kinds of places and want to go again.

 

Do you have a message for all your foreign fans?
Jin: We will come to you. We will see you again.
Majyuri: I really want you to see what we have to offer from Japan. We’d love to see you!
Takuya: To come and see you on tour, we’re going to try and become big really quickly!
Tomoka: To come close to you, we will try really hard! Please think kindly of us!
Z: We live in a really modern society these days. We all have internet and use computers and in that technological society, there are a lot more opportunities for Shapeshifter’s music to be heard or seen. The old music is fairly similar to now, and we have so much to offer in the way of music and live performance. If you could feel that even a little, and wait for us, we would be really happy. We want to make something where you can live, give you somewhere you belong. So, please, support us if you can.

 

Finally, what are some of Shape Shifter’s plans for the future?
Z: We have our two releases, ‘Raimei’ and ‘Kanjoame’. Also we have a 2-man tour with Synk;Yet. We’ve known each other a long time so we finally decided to do a tour together. They’re a cool band and I’m sure it’s going to become a fantastic event.
We also have a sponsored event at Ikebukuro EDGE , so we’d be glad if you could join us!

 


Future Plans


  • ‘Raimei’ Second Press on sale NOW!
  • ‘Kanjoame’ is released on 24th February 2016
  • Shape Shifter Sponsored Event at Ikebukuro EDGE ‘Ikebukuro Gekka Raimei’ on 18th February 2016
  • Synk;Yet 2-man on 15th March at Ebisu AIM, Tokyo

 

  • ROCK MAY CAN PRESENTS SHAPESHIFTER X THE EGOIST COUPLING TOUR ‘Hyakkiyagyo tour –Sono Ichi-‘
  • 2/28 Shizuoka Sunash
  • 2/29 Holiday Nagoya
  • 3/1 Shinsaibashi Paradigm, Osaka
  • 3/8 FINAL at Meguro Rock May Kan, Tokyo

 


Check them out! 

http://www.shape-shifter.jp/index.html


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Purple Stone 1st Tokyo Oneman ‘Shinjuku de Murasaki’ 2015.12.11

Purple Stone

2015.12.11 Purple Stone 2nd Oneman Live

‘Shinjuku de Murasaki’ @ Shinjuku Ruido K4

Reporter: Reira



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Purple Stone are:

Vo. keiya

Gu. and Programming. GAK

Ba. Fuma

[Support Drums: Spica]

11th December 2015 was the date of Purple Stone’s 1st Oneman Live in Tokyo. With their broad repertoire of music, ranging from ballads to heavy rock, electro to Japanese-style, what did they have in store for us?




 Set List

1. Kaiten Mokuba

2. Scar

3. Aoiyami

4. Light Blue

5. Hysteric Lady

6. Adrenaline BANG!

7. Esoragoto

8. Dokoka Tooku He

9. Paradise Dance

10. Amazuppai Mango

11. Forgery

12.  Blame -Live Edit Ver.-

Enc 1. Dark In[s]anity

Enc 2. Negai -Live Edit Ver.-



The venue was already awash with the purple glow of violet wristbands before the opening of Purple Stone’s 2nd Oneman as the fans distributed the bracelets to every single person present. Already you could feel the camaraderie of Purple Stone’s fans, promising an exciting night ahead.

Purple Stone’s new SE began, an oriental mix of gongs and guitar, and as the mist and red light began to burn. Suddenly the music paused and a voice declared ‘It’s showtime!’. Abruptly, the clapping began, as the fans waited for the band to appear on stage. Here and there, the bright LED rings glittered in the haze like fireflies, as the red lights turned to green strobes, psyching the crowd for the appearance of the band.

              Fuma was the first out in Purple Stone’s new Asian-style outfits, and he leapt onto the box to check out the venue. As their support drummer, Spica, took his position, Gak sauntered on, pausing briefly to greet the crowds with an upraised arm. Keiya left a little pause before striding out, to the calls of all of Purple Stone’s fans. He leapt onto the vocalist’s box as the fans lifted their arms, greeting him in the venue.


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‘Just like that day on the carousel, let’s ride it together smiling all the while’  


With little ado, the Japanese style music of Kaiten Mokuba resounded out and the fans immediately went into a round of furious headbanging. In one motion, they all paused as the music faded out to a quiet lull as Keiya’s voice alone rang out across the hall. He crouched on his box as Gak and Fuma played stolidly, only his eyes roaming, drinking in the view from the stage at the packed venue. The scarlet lights and band went unnaturally still, before, with a cry, the rainbow lights erupted and the fans began to jump to the increased pace of the high point of the song. Once more, the song became quieter, with Keiya’s strong voice encouraging the fans to forget time as Gak and Fuma mouthed the words with him, both playing passionately, stances low and solid. Suddenly the drums and bass upped their intensity until you could feel it in your bones and the fans reacted with synchronized oritatami. Gak then stepped forward for a brief guitar solo, Keiya spinning down from the vocalist’s box as the fans raised their arms for Purple Stone’s elegant guitarist. Keiya’s voice rejoined Gak’s guitar and Spica started drumming once more as the fans made hearts with their hands for Keiya and the song erupted into its final stage. Fuma played zealously, his scarlet extensions flashing like the strobes until the song wound down. Keiya paused upon his box to survey the Tokyo turnout as they went straight into a Purple Stone live classic, Scar.


‘I didn’t notice you, I saw nothing at all’


              ‘Saa, let’s go, Tokyo!’ Keiya called, his voice rougher as his channeled the rock beat of the drums and the more intense riffs of Scar. ‘Bring it!’ He drew himself up and threw an arm out to the crowd, commanding them to headbang. In a single motion, all fans obliged, giving it their all as Keiya ad-libbed a long, piercing note into the microphone. At once, all the members burst into a flurry of activity, a juxtaposition to the relatively calm Kaiten Mokuba. Fuma and Gak tossed their hair as the strobes pulsed to the heavier sound of Scar. After a round of punching the air, Gak directed the mosh with his guitar and Fuma mouthed the words under his breath, watching the crowds as they stopped and fell into a round of headbanging during a lull in Keiya’s lyrics. Gak’s fingers flew in a busy solo riff, before the red strobes broke through the atmosphere, sending the fans into a quick mosh. The enthusiastic crowds were only riled more as Keiya added in two impulsive adlibs, accompanied by Gak adding a slide of notes on his guitar. The crowd-pleasing song ended with Keiya shooting out into the crowd with his microphone and asking for their voices.


MC


             During the MC, Keiya thanked the audience for coming, explaining how important this first Tokyo oneman was important to them, one of their heart’s desires. He had been worried about how it would turn out, but thanks to the passion and love the audience were showing them, he was no longer afraid. He acknowledged that lots of different people had come to see them, perhaps even for the first time, and told the fans to involve everyone and make it a night to remember. Then, with little embellishment, he raised his voice and told the crowds ‘Let’s go! Let’s burn brightly tonight!’ and launched straight into the kira-kira Aoiyami.


‘We’ll break through this blue darkness’


              In a complete turnaround from Scar, Aoiyami offered some lightheartedness to the sincerity of Keiya’s MC, opening with a fast riff and flashing blue lights. The fans began to punch the air, Keiya joining them, their rings adding more glitz and glitter to the dark live house. Everyone quietened as Keiya sung gently about an empty night’s sky in which you couldn’t even see the moon, and then the music leapt back into play, Keiya singing about continuing to run on, putting his heart into the lyrics that highlight the drive of Purple Stone. Gak watched the crowd over one shoulder as he played, Keiya spinning off his box into a classic Keiya pose, mic held high, head tipped back, silhouetted by the lights. Every moment is a performance in Visual Kei, and Purple Stone do nothing but deliver. Keiya burst into a round of rap as Fuma leant over the bars, encouraging shouts from the crowds, beaming all the while. Then came an iconic image – the three members moving unconsciously to stand in line, all singing along to the track as they surveyed the floor, before Keiya knelt on his box, head bowed, starting a round of clapping with his hands over his head as Gak’s riff rang out. Then Keiya was on his feet with an imperious ‘Come!’, his arms thrown wide, inviting the fans to start oritatami with fervor. After a Gak solo and a high, long ad-lib by Keiya, the only sound left was the guitar, resounding out as Gak played furiously, until it, too died, to be replaced by Keiya quietly whispering ‘thank-you’ into the mic.


‘If I could get back your smile, that’s all I need’


              Next up was the coupling song to Aoiyami, Light Blue. Keiya gave a shout and the fans surged into a round of punching the air. Light Blue reclaimed the rock tone of the night, as the lights flashed quickly, blue and green in quick succession. Fuma tossed his extensions to the beat, the quiet charming intensity to the confident showmanship of Keiya and the glamour of Gak. Keiya knelt on his box, reaching out to the crowds as the drums pealed through the air, faster. Gak chased a series of notes up his guitar as Fuma smiled to the fans, his bass line reverberating through the floor. The blue lights silhouetted Keiya as he told the crowd ‘Let’s go!’ and the fans reacted with elegant sensu,  the green lights and bouncy beat providing a disconcertingly bright note to the drama that was about to follow by the way of Hysteric Lady.


‘We just dance!dance! Tonight’s dark moments fade in this world, doomsday’ 


              The lights fell dark, and a slow scarlet glow began to seep through the air as the interlude began, a steady roll of wave-like sounds, a tension that recalled nothing but the fluttering of unseen creatures in the dark, the pressure you feel before the jump scare in a horror movie. The lights undulated like the passing of shadows just out of sight, and the tension rose and rose, a tightening in the chest, reaching a peak before falling into the iconic synthesized opening of Hysteric Lady.

              Keiya immediately reacted with a deep growl, ‘Use your heads! Bring it on!’ and gestured out to the crowds, as Gak clapped to the beat above his head as the green strobes played, and the drums kicked in, sending the crowds into oritatami for the first stage of the melodic Hysteric Lady. Gak and Fuma shouted into the microphones with the chorus, providing the timing for the fans to jump into the air with the guitar and drums, as the strobes flashed through hundreds of colours, turning the livehouse into a nightclub. At the peak, Keiya held a long, long note before spinning down off of his box in one smooth motion to allow Fuma to draw closer to the front as he played, his fingers flying. All three once again showed their support for each other, swaying exactly in time with the beat, before riling the crowd with united shouts of ‘hey! Hey!’ before the oritatami began once more and Keiya praised the fans for their efforts. As the fans continued to headbang vehemently, Keiya held the final note of the song for a good five seconds or more, before murmuring ‘thank-you very much’ out to the audience as Gak finished up his riff to wind down for the next MC.


MC


              As they waited for Fuma’s tuning, Gak riled the crowd with some choice note slides, and the crowds responded, calling the members names until Keiya was ready to start the MC. He thanked them for coming again and passed the role to Fuma who mentioned how the weather had been poor since early morning, but it had finally brightened up in the afternoon, an omen for the night. They encouraged everyone to watch the new videos for the live choreography online before Keiya leapt back up onto his box, his gentle personality replaced by the confident showman and he let out a death shout, his voice rougher than in the songs, telling the crowd to let go of everything and just have fun.


‘Let’s give it everything we have right now, Adrenaline BANG!’


              The new Adrenaline Bang! was jazzy and upbeat, perfect for preventing the crowds from entering a comfortable lull after the MC. Everyone started to clap, and the lights began to blaze out red and yellow like a carnival. Keiya called for a mosh and the fans leapt into action, a single rolling wave of movement. Keiya directed the mosh from his box as the bass and guitar shook the floor. For this song, Keiya’s mellow voice changed pitch, projecting higher and faster. The headbanging began with Keiya’s call of ‘Bring it, Tokyo!’ before everyone made hearts with their hands in time to Spica’s drums. The cymbals pealed out in a unique rhythm, upbeat and jazzy, before the bass drum kicked in after the mosh, providing a juxtaposition to Keiya’s voice as the lights flashed red and yellow, broken by periods of darkness as the instruments fell silent for the briefest of moments in repetition to allow Keiya’s voice to soar undisturbed through the haze of the live house. Then Keiya paused, arms spread wide, looked the crowd in the eye and with a ‘3, 2, 1’ made the crowds burst into a flurry of headbanging. The headbanging paused for everyone to clap to the jazzy tune, Fuma stepping up to the bars to gaze out over the crowds, clapping over his head. Keiya asked the crowds if they had more and the dance tune returned full force. As it began to wind down, all of the members of Purple Stone were unable to stop smiling as they watched the fans react to the addictive beat of Adrenaline Bang!


MC


              Once more they paused for an MC in which Keiya gave a heartfelt speech about reflecting back upon the time he had been ill and away from Purple Stone nearly two years before. Originally, they’d always done lives with few fans in Tokyo and yet they’d managed to create something beautiful since then. He mentioned that Purple Stone had always felt different to him from the other bands he’d been in and that he was so grateful to all the fans that turned up to see them, old or new, close or far. He said that he only stood on stage to convey all his emotion and to deliver for the people that came to see them. When he had been ill, it had been a dark and scary time in his life, and the following song was an amalgamation of all those fears. To him, Esoragoto is Purple Stone’s most beautiful song, and he was glad that he could sing it again.


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‘Come closer, let me hear your voice. I am blinded by the distance, yet I have no choice’


             The darkness fell as the power ballad Esoragoto began, its emphasis on its lyrics and the raw emotion that drove its creation. The drums and the guitar created not a soft, flowing ballad, but a ballad with a whole heart-full of emotion and heartache behind it. Keiya prepared through the mist that drifted through the darkness of the livehouse, squaring his shoulders in preparation for the emotion that followed. At first, there was just the drums and his voice, drifting across the venue, before the guitar and bass burst in, as Keiya implored the listener not to leave him alone and that he couldn’t see an end to it all. At the high point of the song, he sprang onto his box for the first time, breaking his own stillness, and sang to the fans, ‘if a reason to live is necessary, then please let me have a reason’. He then paused, drawing himself up, hand on his heart, eyes closed as the instruments played their passion out across the venue. All members played with emotion. Spica’s drums were filled with the fury of fear, and Fuma played lower, his stance solid, anchoring himself against the pain in the lyrics. Gak played intensely, his arm swinging with every note, expressing the passion that Keiya was conveying with his lyrics. The lights themselves were also simple, leaving nothing but the music. Keiya rounded off the song, his last adlib soaring out across the motionless audience, as the lights rendered him a silhouette. The emotional ballad faded out into a thoughtful darkness, as Keiya’s quiet, whispered ‘thank-you’ dispersed with the mist.

 


If I become nameless, then I can no longer be hurt by you’


     After a pause, allowing the fans to rein in their emotions, the upbeat but melodic Dokoka Tooku he kicked in and Keiya invited the crowds to headbang as the white strobes shattered the darkness and somber aftereffect of the emotionally intense Esoragoto.. Keiya started to dance as the fans clapped to the fast beat, as if to reassure them the hard times were over and there was nothing but fun left. Gak played in a wide, relaxed stance, his body laidback. Fuma stood more casually, singing to the the track, before dropping into a lower stance and playing with vehemence, his whole body moving with the music. The words ‘I wanna get away…’ lingered in the air even as Keiya told the crowds ‘let’s go’ and joined them in a round of headbanging. He then leapt from his box to go and lean against Fuma who smiled back at him before Keiya spun away across stage to direct the choreography, left, right, and up with elegant arm motions. The instruments burst into a heavier tune as Keiya waited on the box for his rap, the drums vibrating through the air. Then a slower rendition of the chorus began, a welcome lull in the intense song, Keiya silhouetted by white lights, and the drums throbbed through your bones like a second heart. Then the headbanging began for the final stage of the song, and Keiya leaned on the bar above him, watching everyone become one body, drinking in the camaraderie of the fans. Fuma stood poised as a waiting cat on his right, watching with the same intensity as Gak pointed out to the audience on Keiya’s right, rounding off the song with the final notes of guitar.


‘I wanna dance!’


              Suddenly, music like a heart beating began to pulse through the live house. The strobes kicked in, whirling across the faces of the fans, once again promising a dance tune. Gak and Fuma paced forward to clap above their heads, leading the crowds as the electro beat matched the pulsating of the lights. It was upbeat, energetic, wholly enjoyable, the entire composition encouraging the fans to let go and dance; which Gak indulged in, throwing his arms up into the air, eyes flashing. Fuma leant out over the bars, still clapping, riling the fans with his proximity, joining them in their delight. Keiya leapt up onto his box and began to call ‘Oi, oi, oi, oi!’, and the fans responded likewise, their voices filling the venue. Keiya teased them with an ‘I can’t hear you!!’, convincing the audience to lean forward as they called back at him punching their air with their fists. Gak and Fuma joined Keiya in the shouts, waiting for the response of the crowds with brilliant smiles. Everyone jumped and danced as the disco began with Paradise Dance.

              The three band members unconsciously bunched together as the fans danced, then broke away calling for Tokyo to bring it all. ‘Let’s jump! Go, go, go!’ Keiya shouted and, in one beat, together with the drums, everyone started to jump in time, including the band themselves. Nothing gave the atmosphere of the live such a united front as this dance track as Keiya sang that he wanted to dance, and the crowd followed, giving into the allure of the strobe lighting and the infectious beat to abandon it all and enjoy. Then music had been amped up in volume so it filled every pore, until it suddenly cut to allow the strength of Keiya’s voice to be heard undisturbed, before returning full blast with the instruments. Gak and Fuma danced relentlessly to the beat, losing themselves to the music as much as the fans. The whole building moved with the dancing of the crowd and the jazz beat riled them into a round of clapping and the lights continued to whirl in dizzying patterns. The oritatami began once more when Keiya threw his arms wide in a silent command as the beat changed pace, standing up on his box like a king. He hit a high falsetto as the music paused. Gak took the silence as an opportunity to willow back, holding his guitar up in salute, bending nearly in half before snapping up dramatically with the drums booming back into action. Fuma couldn’t help but smile as he played, and Keiya continued to rile the crowds until the end, telling them to jump and jump.


’Bittersweet mango, I want to try and quench my thirst


             Without much of a lull, the jazzy dance tune of Paradise Dance ended, falling into the unique opening of Amazuppai Mango. The lights turned scarlet as the underlying bass was heard strongly through the other instruments. Keiya asked for the crowd to give him their voices and they burst into furious punching of the air. With the chorus, the sensu choreography began and Keiya leapt into the air, spinning down off of his box. Gak joined him in a quick whirl as Fuma set his legs, playing with intensity. The beat shifted to jumping before returning to the flashing orange lights of the chorus. During the oritatami, Keiya discarded his mic in favour of singing without one, and his powerful voice was still audible from the back of the venue, not missing a single note even under the strain of projecting so far. The fans sang back at him, and the song wound down into the final interval, singling another change of pace, this time for the heavy rock side of Purple Stone.


’(Shut up!!) You can’t take my soul away from me!’


The drums began to pound in a tribal rhythm, and Keiya riled the crowd with a call and response shouting match to pulsating red lights. Fuma beamed out as the fans responded wholeheartedly, their voices rebounding from the walls. He accepted the mic from Keiya and began his own call and response, laughing in between the shouts, his enjoyment tangible. Keiya bounded over to Gak after Fuma’s turn, and Gak took the mic, moving to the front to wait for eyes to turn to him. He roared out, his death voice raising the tension in the room as he slung his guitar on his back to free his arm for punching the air as punctuation. Then the headbanging began. Gak threw himself into it, as did Fuma, whilst Keiya hung onto the ceiling bar, watching the roiling sea before him. With a quiet ‘Can you do it?’, Keiya launched the heavy Forgery.

              The violence of the strobes matched the intensity of the fans punching the air as Keiya growled into the mic, before they returned to synchronized oritatami. Keiya crouched on his box as he called ‘You can’t take my soul away from me’, the furious, determined emotions behind this song pealing out through the heavy beat of the drums and the rage of the guitar and bass. Keiya and Gak were doubled over as they performed, so absorbed in the song were they, and Fuma’s stance was solid, braced like a sailor against a storm. Keiya’s voice went rougher as he hit a high note in the middle of the mist and glowing crimson lights. He began to shout about lies and death as the fans matched his intensity with their fists. In the final peak of the tension to this violent song, he reared back and let out a ringing, eerie laugh. Keiya fell silent, crouched almost invisible on his box as the headbanging lasted and lasted, the drums and guitar and bass building and building, the tension growing higher and higher, until Keiya hit one final note. Then he called for the final song, telling the audience to grab their towels for Purple Stone’s classic live song, Blame.


’I have just begun to realize that I can’t change anything. My blame.’


              The blue and yellow lights wove between the whirling of the audience’s towels as the more upbeat, lighthearted Blame began. The fans clapped before beginning oritatami during Keiya’s rap, Gak punching the sky as Keiya sang ‘hey! Hey!’. The busy activity of Blame only continues as the fans spun their towels at Keiya’s request and then turned to periods of jumping to Keiya’s lyrics. Keiya acknowledged the physical intensity of Blame by asking the audience if they could still keep going and to start a mosh. The audience responded beautifully, moshing to the swift strobe lights. Gak went to sit on the central box, leaving space for Keiya to climb up to the speakers to survey the audience from up high. Fuma leapt into the space vacated by Gak to direct the mosh with his bass and hands, playing the crowds like a puppeteer. Keiya praised the crowds on their mosh before the lights dimmed and the song slowed. ‘I feel, it’s wrong… woah-oh. My blame!’ Keiya’s final sentence rang out, the last note lasting and lasting until he launched into a heartfelt adlib as the crowds continued to spin their towels frantically to the beat of the drums and guitar. Keiya thanked the crowds as the lights fell into nothing but a steady glow.



              With a final ‘We were Purple Stone!’ the band filtered from the stage with little drama as the audience called and called. It had barely been silent for a handful of seconds before the nearly choreographed encore call went up.

              It was less than a minute before the band returned and they thanked the crowd, starting the beginning of a heartfelt MC. Each member held a brief MC, thanking the fans and enquiring after their welfare before Gak hit the high point of the night, declaring that he loved all their fans. Keiya piped up to say he also loved them and stared meaningfully at Fuma. Fuma laughed and shuffled, before admitting that he, too, loved each and every one of the fans. Keiya continued the MC, thanking everyone who came and saying it was thanks to their support that Purple Stone could play there today. They want to be bigger and better for everyone who supports them. If their fans are there than they can do it with the power leant to them. All they want is to help spread happiness and music together. He then asked if the fans would continue to support them continue to love them, before raising his voice in a crowd-riling shout to start the encore for real.


              ‘Let’s go, Tokyo!’


And Dark In[s]anity began. The drums and purple lights started as Keiya ontinued to talk, his voice encouraging the fans to keep going, to raise the roof until the very end. With renewed energy, the fans launched into punching the air, before Keiya began a call and respond. The pink and purple lights flashed to the upbeat song as the sensu began and Keiya called for the crowds to give them more. Fuma joined him, and everyone began to jump during the responses, before falling into wide and enthusiastic sensus. With an English ‘alright, let’s go’ Keiya began the round of oritatami as Gak and Fuma played with vigor, sunk low into their stances, feeling the music. Then in sync, all members began to jump in time with the fans, before Keiya thanked the crowds again and the lights went black, punctuated by bursts of red, heralding the very final song in Purple Stone’s Tokyo oneman.


              ‘Even if I am shaking, I will stand and fight, unashamed.’


They ended on Negai, one of their title songs as Purple Stone, a rock song with elements of a powerful melody and meaningful lyrics. The strobes kicked in with the guitar and everyone began to clap as the guitar fell silent for Keiya’s voice to weave with the bass and drums. It was quiet, intense, with an essence of tribal war drums, building the tension until the end. Then with an explosion of guitar, the song leapt into action, as Keiya sang for his wishes to guide him down the right path. Gak and Fuma began to jump with the fans, as Keiya leant far out over the bars. Then the lights went dark, broken only by the purple wrist lights and purple strobes. Fuma clapped as Gak continued to play, Keiya’s voice above it all thanking the crowd, telling them he loved them, before demanding that they scream. Everything returned in a rush of force, the wavering guitar, the war drums, the eternal bass, as Keiya waited, his arms wide as the fans finished up their oritatami. Keiya’s emotion was clear in his face and voice as he sang that he would show the crowds his soul, launching into the final round of jumping to the drums beat.


              Then there was nothing left but steady white lights and the upraised arms of the silent crowd showing their unwavering support for Purple Stone. With a final ‘We are Purple Stone. Thank-you’, Keiya waved goodbye, bowing his head with the emotion as Gak and Fuma moved in towards him, smiling out and waving towards the audience. The final guitars chords faded out into silence, signaling the end to an emotional, exciting first Tokyo oneman for Purple Stone. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the future.





Bonus!

At the end of the live Purple Stone kindly gave us some final words on their first Tokyo oneman:

Fuma: If I was to die right now, it wouldn’t matter. I wouldn’t care. It was amazing.

Gak: Talk about macabre. Does that even translate into English?

Fuma: I’m sure it does. But it’s a joke? –english- It’s a Japanese joke.

Keiya: I was worried about how it would turn out and I was really nervous before we went on. But it was… amazing. Everyone was out there supporting us, and they were all smiling and glittering so brightly. It was wonderful. Thank-you all so much.

Gak: Same here. It was an amazing, wonderful, fun oneman. I love you all.

Fuma: Gak loves everyone. –english- ‘I love you all, from Gak’.

Gak: At any rate, it’s true. I love you all. Thank-you.


Dictionary

Oritatami: headbanging where you bend from the waist

Kira kira: A type of Visual Kei where the melody is very light and ‘sparkling’. Pop-esque

Sensu: motions with the hands and arms that make a movement like the spreading of a Japanese sensu fan.

post image

The Raid. Interview 10/25/2015

the Raid.


女ルカリ集合


10/25/2015

Akasaka BLITZ

4th Anniversary Oneman

Interviewer: Reira



The Raid.

Vo. Sena

Gu. bo_ya

Gu. Yuuha

Ba. Iori

Dr. Kazhi


At their dramatic Halloween-themed Anniversary Event, the Raid. kindly took the time to have an interview with us! Let’s see what their most memorable event was and get the details on their new release Merukari


Could you tell us how you joined the Raid.?

Kazhi: I was probably the original member of the Raid.. I started to search for members on the internet, like on band recruitment forums, and found some other guys to do a band with. But everyone broke off, went different ways, new people joined and, before I knew it, we ended up with the members you see today.

Bo_ya: At first it was Kazhi, Iori and I that decided to form the Raid… Then we found Sena. I’d been friends with Iori from a previous band, but I ended up taking a break from music for 2 years before the Raid. started.

Iori: I knew Kazhi from when we were in different bands. Some things changed, other things happened, and we ended up with the 5 members you see today. Originally we had a different guitarist, and we continued playing as a 4 man band for a little after he left us. Then we finally found Yuuha. Yuuha was such an amazing guitarist that we wanted him to join us, so we decided to invite him into the Raid..

Yuuha: The Raid. is originally a Kansai band, and we met when I did a live with them with my previous band. We talked a little backstage and then, when my band split, I got a message from Sena inviting me to join the Raid..

Sena: We were all friends before the band, and wanted to try and make a go of music together. Originally I had an ordinary job as an ordinary member of society, but I made the difficult decision to quit and join a band full time.

 

Could you tell us a little about the Raid.’s concept?

Bo_ya: We don’t actually have a concept. We’re Kira-Kira, but even then not really Kira-Kira. As you can see by our new release Merukari, we have a different concept for each song, rather than as a band. We don’t stick to a specific genre, rather we jump around and do what we feel like at that time. This time we decided on a Japanese style song, and rolled with that theme. Sena decided on our costumes to match it, and I think he did a fantastic job.

Iori: We don’t have one. If we don’t have one, we can do absolutely anything.

Yuuha: We do anything we want to do. Actually, I really don’t like that word ‘concept’. Music is like food, right? You eat what you want when you feel like it. Oh, tonight I’ll have ramen. Maybe riceballs. In music I’ll do what I want when I like, that way there is absolutely no stress to it. It’s just plain, simple fun.

Kazhi: We totally steered away from the idea of a band concept. The very fact that we don’t have an overall concept is our weapon in this scene. It keeps us strong, fresh.

Sena: I think that we first started off as a digital, loud rock band and finally settled into what we are as the Raid. today. We don’t have one concept but many, and it’s always different so that the fans don’t get bored. Last time we had a Halloween concept. This time is a Japanese concept.
NB: kira-kira is a style of VK with upbeat songs usually involving almost ‘glittering’ melodies 

 

You have a new release due out 3rd February 2016 called ‘Merukari’. From what I can see it’s a very different style from the Raid.’s usual music. What kind of themes often appear in the Raid.’s songs and where do you get your inspiration from?

Bo_ya: Well Merukari is kind of sexual, with the old style of a Yoshiwara ballad. We have the same kind of theme running throughout the whole single, the old Edo, Japanese-style allure. When we first made this song, we started with a guitar melody that our amazing guitarists came up with for us and we built upon it. Usually songs are all the same in structure and style, so we wanted to change it up but having a very mature melody running all the way through and then switching abruptly to a brighter climax at the peak of the song. Ever since we first started the Raid., we’ve always wanted to make songs that are easy to listen to, and, since we don’t have a concept, it’s easy for us to change styles to do so. Merukari is a very modern concept of a Japanese style. However, today’s live has the concept of Halloween to go along with the theme of our previous release Yowamushi Monster. Tonight we’re going for the theme of ghosts and monsters, with a frightening atmosphere, like a haunted house.

Iori: The two guitarists always make the greatest melodies and songs for us. Sena does the lyrics and some melodies. As a bassist, I don’t really have a hand in it. I would like to maybe give it a go one day, but, right now, they do such a good job of it, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t! –laughs- As for our new song Merukari, we’ve never done a Japanese style of song before, so I really think you’ll be seeing a different side to the Raid. with this song.

Yuuha: We just do what is fun in this band. We try and put ourselves in the position of our fans and make what we think will make the live really fun and exciting for them. We do also try and think of what will be fun for us on stage too. I always try to think of thinks that will be easy for Sena to put lyrics and melodies to, and what will be easy to sing live. Actually, more than recorded music, I enjoy lives more, so I always put a lot of emphasis on them

Actually, I think the song where I’ve been hit with the most inspiration would be Yowamushi Monster. The famous notes ‘un papa un papa’ really inspired me to do something with them, and I wondered what it would sound like if it were a RAID song. Most of the time I’m inspired by colours or I see the songs I make as colours. I see myself as a brown colour, like autumn. And I often find inspiration in bright colours like blue, yellow, red and I want to express them as music.

I also take a lot of my inspiration from Bo_ya, especially this time when we were making Merukari.

Kazhi: We just go on our whims and don’t stick to themes. We haven’t done Japanese style yet, and thought it would be really good. You can see our ideas in our costumes this time around.

Sena: Bo_ya guides most of our songs. He makes sure I deliver the sound he wants with the lyrics and guides them to create a specific image. When we make the songs, he makes sure that the instruments are not lost to the vocal’s voice since both lyrics and melody are very important to us. I usually write what I want, but it is Bo_ya that gives the songs form.

As for my inspiration, lyrics usually just suddenly come to me in one instant. If I sit down and go ‘yeah! Today I’m going to write a song!’ I usually can’t do it. I write them down and then hand them to Bo_ya to see if they’ll fit any image he has. I really do like to include myself in the song though, my own thoughts and feelings.

Saying that, though, in Merukari I thought a lot about the women in the song. Merukari is about the women in the old eras of Japan that used to sell their bodies for money on the street, prostitutes. It’s actually got a really black theme this time around. When I wrote the song I was thinking that people usually can’t understand why women would be driven to such measures, and I wanted to explore those reasons. Maybe the women are lonely, maybe they have no money, maybe they can’t feed themselves. That’s what I was considering when I wrote the lyrics for Merukari.

 

What song would you like people to listen to in the Raid.’s repertoire?

Bo_ya: Definitely Merukari. It’s our new release and the quality of songs are always improving as we grow as a band. We’re constantly honing our techniques, constantly getting better, so please listen to our new release!

Iori: We have a lot of intense songs in the Raid., as well as a lot of more light-hearted songs that we always play during lives to bring about that live atmosphere. But on our releases you can see different sides to us, like melodic aspects, or ballads. We have a lot of good songs, so please try and listen to them all!

Yuuha: Ah, this is probably a pretty average thing to say but I want people to listen to our previous release, Yowamushi Monster, and our current release, Merukari. If I were to choose a different song… I would go for Snow Pledge. It’s very like the imperial Tencho era that I really adore, so that’s why I like it.

Kazhi: I would have to say that it would be Junketsu Piranha. When we had the chance to make that song, I thought that it would be really good for the Raid. to reflect the image that that song created. That’s how we want to be seen. It’s our title song as a band.

Sena: Definitely Junketsu Piranha, our 10th single. I really want people to listen to the title song for me, because it is also the title song of the Raid.. It’s quite an intense, upbeat song, but easy to listen to. We have a lot of easy to listen to songs in the Raid., and because our theme changes every time, you can get quite addicted. I also think the coupling songs on the single are easy to listen to and that, even if you have never listened to the Raid. before, you would like them. The melody is really important to us and I think we convey that very well in Junketsu Piranha. Saying that, we also place emphasis on the lyrics. I guess what I’m trying to say that is, even though Junketsu Piranha is our title song as the Raid., I think that all of our songs are really good and I can’t choose just one…Please listen to it all for me, including our new release!

 

Today is the Raid.’s 4th Year Anniversary Live at Akasaka BLITZ. How are you all feeling right now? Can you tell me what your most memorable live has been up until this point?

Bo_ya: I’m looking forward to it. BLITZ is a big deal for Visual Kei bands. It’s where most bands record their live DVDs and the fact that we can play in such a big venue that means a lot to many bands carries a certain kind of weight and meaning for me. I think that the live I remember the most would have to be when Yuuha joined us as a guitarist. I also really remember our recent live at Osaka Big Cat. It was a large venue and a fantastic experience for both us and our fans.

Iori: I’m not nervous at all even though this is our biggest venue so far. I just want to do a live like I would usually do and give everyone a great experience. Today’s live will probably the most memorable live ever. I think that my performance will be slightly different since it’s a big venue that we haven’t played, so I think I’ll be able to do things that I haven’t been able to do before. I want to surprise and amaze today. That’s the plan.

Yuuha: We always play at different livehouses and the venues we are playing at just keep getting bigger and bigger. As the venues get bigger, I think it gets more fun as more people begin to join in. Saying that, I just want to carry on as I always do giving it my all. Just because this is a bigger venue, doesn’t mean that the live itself changes. I still want to enjoy it and be as energetic as possible because if I’m not, it’s not fair on those fans that can never make it to Tokyo, or to these large lives, is it? If I’m different just depending on the venue, I’m not being very fair to all the people that come and see us elsewhere. So I’m going to give it everything like I do every time, and I hope you enjoy it.

Also, I know that sometimes in Visual Kei there can be a lot of discrimination against foreign fans because of the language barrier and so forth, so I really would like to apologise for that on the behalf of everyone.

I think the most memorable live for me was the Countdown Live we did at Shinjuku RenY in December. From our very entrance on stage it was a phenomenal live. It was also broadcast online live, and I remember that very vividly because I stacked it off stage at one point. I was just playing and then suddenly, BAM! I was not on the stage any more –laughs- I remember looking up and being like ‘huh?! How on earth did I get down here?!’ –laughs-

Kazhi: I’m truly grateful. Akasaka BLITZ will be our biggest live so far, with the greatest number of people in our 4 years as the Raid.. and I would just really like to thank everyone. It’s all thanks to the fans’ effort, and our staff, that we have got to this point. Thank-you. And the Raid. isn’t over yet! I want to show you more of the Raid. from here on out!

If we’re talking about the most memorable live for me up until this point, though, it would have to be when we played our Tsutaya O-West Oneman 2 years ago. We used to be an Osaka band, and for an Osaka band to play such a large Tokyo venue that is coveted by a lot of Tokyo bands, was absolutely unbelievable. We never thought that we could do something like that. It’s a really important venue for a lot of bands, so to do a Oneman there was an amazing experience.

Sena: I’ve played Akasaka BLITZ once before with an old band when we had a one-day revival. At that time, the vocal had unfortunately passed away, and I was support. There were so many emotions and so much turmoil on that day that I really couldn’t give it my all. It made me decide that I would play BLITZ again and I would give it everything I had. I wanted to return under my own power with my own band. Not only that, but BLITZ is a very important venue for all live bands. It’s a goal for everyone to play there at least once.

The most memorable live for me was when we first played Tsutaya O-West in Tokyo as well. The only other Kansai band to have played such a large venue in Tokyo is Royz, I believe, so it’s a real source of pride for me. Now that we mainly play Tokyo, we’ve become a little distant from some of those fans in Kansai, but we won’t forget their support. I’ll never be able to forget our O-West live.

 

What song or genre would you like to try in the future of the Raid.?

Bo_ya: We’ve done kira-kira and kote-kote songs, and I think that we have a lot of unique music in the RAID. We like to make songs for entertainment, so I’d like to make a song with both a really good hook and a really good melody – a hybrid song.

Yuuha: I love heavy metal and techno, so I really want to try a song like that for the fun of it.

Kazhi: I’d like to do something like Junketsu Piranha again, and I also enjoyed our Halloween theme this time around. I’m excited for when we can do more, and make something new.

Sena: Our songs are really different from when we first started the Raid., yet there are some people out there that have supported us from the very beginning. I’d like to produce a song in our old style for them, just to hear what they would think, and so they could see how much we have grown.

NB: kote-kote is a style of VK that is very dark, often with a very hard rock beat or metal elements.  

 

Let’s talk a little about yourselves. What have you become interested in recently?

Bo_ya: Skincare and body piercings. I like to keep my skin looking good and I’ve always had an obsession with piercings. My most recent piercing was one on my tongue. I have several there.

Iori: Ah, it would have to be iPhone apps. I really love playing soccer games on my phone. I’ve played soccer since I was in school, so I really enjoy it.

Yuuha: Ah… Bo_ya said what I was going to say… I took influence from him and started up a skin care regime. Other than that I’ve always been really into finding new music to listen to. There’s too many artists to list… let me have a look… I’m really into Periphery, Meshuggah, and Attack Attack! at the moment.

Kazhi: I adore ramen, but recently the members have influenced me and I’ve fallen in love with Tsukemen. Right now I can’t get enough of Niigata’s Assari ramen. If you get the chance, I’d go and try it. But I wouldn’t exactly call it a recommendation, because I love too many types of ramen to choose.

Sena: Recently I’ve become interested in suspense films. I love the reactions the build-up of suspense gives you. I search for good films on the internet and then go and watch them.

 

What does the word ‘music’ mean to you?

Bo_ya: I’ve never done a proper job really. I’ve always just been in bands, so it’s my life even though I’m only 25. Being in a band is really important to me because it isn’t just about myself, it’s about giving to others and making them happier. I want to give them emotions and some sort of deep impression. I want to emotionally move people.

Iori: I love it. I’m in a band because I love music. It’s only three words, but there is literally nothing more I can say. Only those words are necessary.

Yuuha: If there is music, whether I am sad or happy or excited, I can control those emotions. If I’m having a bad day, I can release that tension or I can raise my spirits depending on the song. If it’s a sad song, and I want to play it, I can also make myself feel sad. I always want to have stable emotions.

Kazhi: It’s my life. I’m the oldest in the Raid. and I’ve been in music for a long time. If I didn’t have music, I wouldn’t do anything. I don’t think I could. I have nothing else.

Sena: Music comes from my heart. I would stake my entire life on music.

 

What’s been your most important memory with the Raid.?

Bo_ya: Everything just keeps getting more and more important to me. Everything from now and up to now has been super important. This interview itself is also precious to me.

Iori: Our first oneman was very important to me. I had a band before the Raid., but we had never gotten big enough to do a oneman. For me, that was the start of my bandman life. To be able to do a oneman was the beginning for me.

Yuuha: I struggle to remember people who come to our lives for the first time even though I try. But if that person comes time and time again I start to remember their faces. Then if they go and see other bands, or they stop coming to see us, I recall them, and I feel kind of lonely. But that’s humanity. We change what we like constantly throughout our lives and if those people happen to find something else that they like, as long as they’re having fun, I don’t mind. But if people come to like the Raid. enough to repeatedly come and see us… well that memory stays with me.

Sena: Without a doubt it was when Yuuha joined the band.

Kazhi: Today’s one-coin oneman live. I can’t believe that we’ve made it far enough to be able to hold a oneman at Akasaka BLITZ that only costs one coin per person. (NB: 500\). I am very, very thankful, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to me. I’ve always wanted to aim for producing 3 singles in one year as well, and it has been thanks to all our fans and the people that support us that we’ve been able to do things like that. Thank-you all so much.

 

If you were to be part of a manga, anime or film, which would one you like to be part of?

Bo_ya: I’d be Dragon Ball Z’s Majin Buu, because he’s fat, like me. His belly sticks out. I don’t really like Dragon Ball though. So I might also think about being part of Hokuto no Ken and be the character Heart, because I’ve been told I look like him.

Iori: I really like Yankee manga, so I’d like to be part of CROWS. I really really enjoy those films.

Yuuha: I wouldn’t really want to be in one… but if I had to, I’d go to Doraemon’s world and steal his pocket so I could use it –laughs-

Kazhi: Dragon Ball. I love it. I love it so much, I can’t lose to anyone in how much I love it. I think that, although I’m the oldest, I’m the most childish in the Raid. Out of the members, I’m the one who likes anime the most, and I’ve always loved Dragon Ball. It’s always been there, and I’ve always loved it. I’ll never stop loving it.

Sena: I have no idea. Probably a comical anime? Or some sort of parody. It would have to be cute though, and have loads of jokes in it.

 

Where would you like to go abroad?

Bo_ya: I’ve never been abroad, so I’d like to do a live in China or Korea. Visual Kei bands often go out there to do lives so I’d like to try it. If it was for a holiday, I’d like to go somewhere with something good to eat. –laughs-

Iori: I’d go to Europe, specifically Italy. It’s really fashionable. I’ve never been abroad and only seen it on the TV and in photos, but the buildings and towns look beautiful. I really want to see it in person.

Yuuha: I’d go back to America. I’ve been once and visited Beverly Hills and LA. I really enjoyed it. There were loads of instruments in America, it was amazing. Japan imports nearly everything so to go to the Guitar Centre in America and be able to see all the instruments in their original country was really amazing. I was very impressed.

Kazhi: Italy. I want to try the pasta because it seems delicious. Or I’d go to Germany because I want to try proper German beer.

Sena: If it was with the Raid., I’d like to go to Germany. We always have a lot of foreign fans at our lives, and most of them are German. We’ll probably see some of them today. I’d also want to go to Taiwan, because we see a lot of Taiwanese fans too! All the foreign fans are always here in Japan for us, and I want to be able to go and see them in their own countries!

 

What message would you like to send to your foreign fans?

Bo_ya: We’re active in Japan so you can probably only see us on social networking and on our homepage, but if you can come to Japan to meet us, we really, really want to meet you. We also really do want to go abroad and see our overseas fans because they’re waiting for us and we want them to enjoy our music live.

Iori: Thank you for supporting us from such a faraway place. We want to be able to come and do a live for you, so we’re trying our hardest to get to that point.

Yuuha: Music isn’t tangible so there are no boundaries to it. If it’s good music, it’s good music. You don’t have to speak the same language to love or understand it. I don’t understand Western films, but I love them anyway. It’s the same with music. So please try and listen to us. This time we’ve gone for a Japanese style nuance in our release, so it may be difficult to understand it at first, but if you like Japan and Visual Kei, I’m sure it’ll pique your interest. Please check out the promotion video for Merukari.

Kazhi: The fact that we’re known abroad is absolutely amazing, and I’m really grateful for it. It’s unbelievable to me that our music affects people so far away. Please, keep supporting us! Thank you!

Sena: Whether you are just across one ocean, or in a far country, I’m so happy that you know of us. In a not-so-distant future, we want to become a big band and come abroad to do a live for you, so please, continue to think well of us until we can come!

 

 

 

 

Merukari is released on 3rd February 2016!

Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

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AWAKE Interview 2015/10

AWAKE


Interviewer: Reira

http://awake-web.com/

https://twitter.com/AWK_official_


awake


Members


L>R

Vo. Eru

Dr. Yuuki

Ba. Yahiro

Gu. Yukio

Gu. Naoto



Fast-friends AWAKE are just about to make a leap into the world of major bands in their own new adventure. Let’s see what their thoughts are on their first steps towards the future and just how much of their hearts they included in their final Indies Single ‘adventure 0’!


How did you come to start AWAKE?
Yukio: We had all done session bands together and were really good friends before we decided to make AWAKE. At first, it was me, Yuuki, Naoto, and eventually Eru that decided to form a band.
Eru: We’d all been in different bands that began to split up and move on. We had already been really good friends for nearly two years so we thought that it would be amazing if we could get together and make music. That friendship is important to us.

 

And Yahiro joined later?
Yahiro: I joined them about two years after their formation when their previous bassist unfortunately left. I played support for them for a while and eventually they invited me to stay with them as permanent member.

 

What is AWAKE’s concept?
Yuuki: I’ve always loved Harajuku’s image and that’s what I imagine most of the time I’m making AWAKE’s songs. I think it’s plain simple fun.
Naoto: We’re Gira-Gira Kei. Kira-Kira went through a stage a few years back where it spread really rapidly and we took the idea of Kira-Kira and made it our own.
Yuuki: It became something burning, and that something burns brightly.
Naoto: Our music is fairly varied though. We thought that if new genres appeared then Visual Kei would be able to spread as a genre and not die out.
Eru: To me, our concept is ‘Non-fiction’. This is not a made-up story, and we don’t force our emotions. What you see is real, our own story.

 

What kind of themes often appear in AWAKE’s songs and where do you draw inspiration from?
Yuuki: Usually our themes are just what we are feeling at the time or what we want to convey in that moment. We usually just make what we want to make and don’t particularly stick to any one theme. We’re kind of our own biggest fans so sometimes we just make what we think a fan would enjoy –laughs- We also really love songs aimed at making lives fun for all the people watching us. But, whatever we decide to do, we make sure that it is very much of AWAKE’s essence. We do what we can do, and we do what we want to do at the time.
I take a lot of inspiration from Harajuku but also from imagining what it would be like to play the song I’m working on at a major venue like Tokyo Dome.
Eru: When I’m writing lyrics, I’ll have moments where inspiration will just hit me out of the blue in a sudden wave and I’ll have to write it down. But there are also times when I go months without being able to think up a single lyric. Our songs can really take me anywhere from 3 days to a whole month to write, depending on how much inspiration hits me. Being around things that I love, or when I’m doing things I enjoy, is usually when I get it. I get a lot of inspiration from talking to Yuuki about the songs too, and quite frequently if I’m out walking. I’ll have to stop and take notes immediately. I’ll also get a lot  from films because they’re so visual and sometimes if I go for a drive. I used to stay in way too much, so recently I’ve been roaming more and have wanted to go to festivals and events to see if that helps. Oh! I also get a lot of inspiration if I’m out having fun with the members like at an amusement park or something! -laughs-

 

What song would you want people to listen to out of AWAKE’s repertoire?
Yuuki: -laughs- all of them? Oh… this is a really hard question…
Yukio: This is really difficult! –laughs- I would say ‘all of them’ too, but if I had to choose I would go for our new song ‘Story 0 ‘ on our last Indies Single ‘adventure 0 ‘.
Yahiro: All of them? Or… well actually I really like the song ‘Bye x Bye’. I may have, kind of, cried a little when we’ve performed it before.
All: -laughs-
Yahiro: But it’s a good song…!!
All: -laughs harder-
Naoto: Such a fan~ I would say that I would like everyone to listen to Gyara-Gyara Communication. We made this song at the time of our formation and for me, when I listen to it, it makes me think ‘yes. This is AWAKE’. I also think that even if someone who doesn’t know us were to listen to this song, they’d get an inkling of what we are about and feel really involved in our music.

 

Every time you stand on stage, what performance do you want to give? What kind of emotion do you try to convey?
Naoto: A hot live, passionate. One that gets everyone moving. In my heart, it’s that energy and that vibrancy that is the core of AWAKE.
Yukio: I never really think about what performance I’m going to give. I just…
Naoto: Just do what is natural.
Yukio: Yeah, it really depends on the day and how I’m feeling. At a live, I don’t have to worry aimlessly about the future, so I just lose myself in the moment and do.
Yahiro: Me too. I just do whatever feels right. At a live, you can forget all the bad things in life and all the suffering or stress you’re going through and just enjoy the music.
Yuuki: I think we all just perform how we want to every time, but we make sure that it’s the best experience possible and that everyone is happy. Our songs are a way of living and an expression of ourselves. We want to make it passionate, and show how we really feel. They’re our own story, and they help us to progress on to the future. ‘I want to live’. And that is the message every single song of ours says.
Eru: There is no thinking, it’s all in the moment. It’s from the heart with no lies. When I sing, I’m giving you a little piece of my heart.


 

awk666


 

On 16th September, your last Indies Single ‘adventure 0′ was released. It’s your final Indies single, so it must be precious to you all. What does this single mean to you? When you listen to it, what kind of scene do you imagine?
Naoto: ‘Story 0′ has the meaning of ‘let’s begin’. Lots and lots of different things happen in life, and things change for better or worse, but we just wanted to reassure everyone that we are going to keep on trying our hardest as AWAKE. We’re gonna burn bright, and we wanted to convey all our passion as a message in this single. From here on, our life begins.
As for the themes we included in this single, other than our passion, we just wanted to tell people to achieve their dreams, to go for it. Recently there have been a lot of bands splitting up and we want to reassure people that we want to avoid that. We put our hearts into this song.
Yukio: If you have a goal, something that you desperately want to achieve, you keep on plowing forwards towards it, but, inevitably there will come a time when you will hit a wall. Maybe several walls. When you hit them, you have to pause for a moment and sometimes you can’t continue. You have to wait and think ‘how can I overcome this?’ And when you reach a wall, it is very difficult to do anything by yourself. When I think about this song, it gives a way of recovery, and I can pick myself up and continue moving forward.
Eru: This single…it’s the dawn of our major debut. It involves a change of company, a change of scenery, it’s all a little unstable. But this single is a letter to those who waited for us. We addressed it to them about what we want to achieve. It took me only three days to write these lyrics because I was so inspired to say everything that I hadn’t said out loud until now. Even though I was the one who wrote this song, I still cry when I listen to it. -wry laughter-
And who wrote the melody?
Yuuki: I did. I write all of AWAKE’s songs. Then Eru usually puts the lyrics to them.

 

So, speaking honestly, what are you feeling about this move to being major?
Naoto: Oh, I’m really excited. I can’t wait to make music!
Yukio: I’m really looking forward to it. It’ll be fun! But… I really can’t imagine it right now. A major move is something that is there but not really touched in Visual Kei. I really want to start it quickly!
Yahiro: We will keep on walking and we will play Tokyo Dome.
Yuuki: We want to play Tokyo Dome. We want to try hard and travel the world, so we will try our best to achieve that.
Eru: I really want people to listen to us. If you’re having a hard time, whatever your job or status, let’s try hard together to overcome it

all. Even if you don’t particularly like our music, at least know that we are there for you.
Yuuki: Our last single is only really available in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka stores, as well as being sold at our goods tables at lives, but if you can somehow get hold of it and listen to it for us, we would be really happy. We’d like to spread further afield. We also have our ‘Best of’ Album, and you can hear some of the songs on YouTube. You probably won’t like all of them, and that’s understandable, but we would be really, really happy if you could come to like some even a little bit.


 

Thank-you. I can see that it has been quite an eventful time for you. Let’s take some time out and talk a little about yourselves.
What have you become interested in recently?
Yukio: I’ve become interested in quite a lot recently, but I’d have to say that I really like Belgian beer. I drink it a lot and have a ton of recommendations. It’s really, really delicious. Usually foreign alcohol is. I would recommend that you go and try some!
Yahiro: I really don’t know… probably…wearing hats. -laughter- -English- hats.
Yuuki: Oh… I have no idea… nothing? I really don’t know… I can’t think of anything…
Yahiro: Apps.
All: -laughter-
Yuuki: No…
Yahiro: Furi! [NB: ‘Furi’ is the semi-choreographed hand and body movements fans do at lives to the band’s songs]
All: -laughter-
Yuuki: That was way before! Ah… I don’t know… I guess it’s not recent but… Naoto.
All: -bursts into laughter-
Naoto: He cares about me. -laughs-
All: -laughter-
Naoto: Curry. There’s a place called Coco Ichi Curry House that is really good! It’s really good! I think that I go there at least 3 or 4 times a week. The cheese-in-hamburg dish is really, really delicious. If you ever come to Japan, please try it! You won’t regret it! [NB: Cheese-in-hamburg is a hamburger-like patty filled with melted cheese]
Eru: I’ve got back into going to lives as a fan. I’m not allowed to go to Indies lives but I adore VAMPS. Actually I just got back from their Halloween Party in Kobe and really wanted to stay for the rest of their performances… I really want to go and see more live music as a fan…
I’ve also been into running for about a year. If it isn’t raining I’ll always go out for a few hours because I really love that feeling you get when you go running.

 

What does the word ‘music’ mean to you?
Yukio: -instantly- If it was taken from me I would die.
All: -surprised laughter-
Yukio: That would be it. The end. No more.
Naoto: -laughs- Everything would be pointless.
Yukio: Music is like water. I need it to survive.
Yahiro: Music is my body, my blood. It’s me.
Yuuki: It consumes me, in the best possible way. It’s always been there for me since I was at a young age.
Naoto: It’s something that I won’t ever get bored of. Something I can’t get bored of.
Eru: It is all that it is now. I want to keep going on in this way without music wilting or dying within me. If I can live like that… then I am content.

 

What has been a very important memory for you since you joined AWAKE?
Yukio: Every single live is important to me.
Naoto: It would have to be the live at Alta-mae where we announced our major debut. That was unforgettable.
Eru: All my memories with AWAKE are important to me, and there are too many too choose from… I probably can’t recall even half of them. But actually, some of my most important memories are when we all rally together to help each other out if we’re troubled. There was a time when it snowed so much, I couldn’t get to Osaka but everyone helped me to figure out a way.
Oh! And every time we get together and celebrate a birthday! That always remains with me! We always throw great parties!
Yuuki: Oh, there are so many good memories. Before our formation, we used to go to Harajuku every day and just hang out, eat, see the sights. For me, other than lives, just spending every day with the members hanging out is a wonderful memory for me. Wherever, whenever. I just really enjoy spending time with them. From now on, I want to live more and experience more with them.

 

If you became another member for a day, who would you be and why?
All: -laughs-
Yuuki: Absolutely no-one! –laughs-
Naoto: I’d be Eru because he is really amazing. I can’t explain it well enough, but he’s just amazing.
Yuuki: I really don’t want to be anyone else! –laughs- if it were 2 weeks, I could fix some of their flaws, but that’s impossible to do in just one day! –laughs- I’d have to like… make them learn more formal Japanese or something… I don’t know… I guess if I had to choose, I’d choose Eru too.
Yahiro: No-one. I couldn’t do it. –laughs-
Yuuki: One day is impossible, right?!
Yukio: If we were abroad for a live, and I would definitely just want to me myself. I want that experience to be mine.
Eru: I’d be Yahiro. He’s pretty cool, and elite. He was the only one of us who was a university student. Oh. And he’s cute!

 

Where would you like to go abroad?
Yuuki: I want to go anywhere in Europe. I would travel all over, but I’d particularly like to go to Germany. It has a really new atmosphere to it. I’ve only seen it in textbooks and in photos though, so I want to experience that for myself.
Yukio: I’d totally go to America for the food. I want to buy everything. And I want to go to a proper American steak house and eat steak because they’re so huge.
Yuuki: I want to go to an American McDonald’s. –laughs-
Yukio: The portions are huge! I want to see that! And eat it!
Yahiro: I want to go to South America. I want to see the Bolivian salt lakes!
Yuuki: I also want to go anywhere with an ocean. I love seeing the sea.
Naoto: I want to go to London! It so fashionable and the buildings are really beautiful.
Eru: I want to go everywhere. I want to travel the world. Brazil, America, France, Canada… I want to see it all. My parents actually really love Canada and have been there a lot, so I’m really interested in going there myself. I’ve been abroad a few times, but I usually stay in Japan, and when I do go abroad it’s with my family and not the band. I really want to see the world with these guys. I’d like to see the whole of America. Especially Las Vegas and Times Square in New York. I also love places that have a lot of nature, like Australia.

 

Finally, do you have a message for all your foreign fans?
Yukio: If you get the chance, please come and meet us! We’ll be waiting and we’ll give you a huge welcome!
Yahiro: Even though we’re so far apart, music is something you can hear and listen to in any country. If you can, please try and listen to our music!
Yuuki: I think that AWAKE is a very rare band. We’re kinda different from a lot of bands. If you can come and see us at least once and listen to some of our songs live, you’ll really be able to see what we’re about… I think that’s a good thing.
Naoto: I know that there is usually a language barrier between us, but I think that if we work together, we can smash that wall and just have a fun concert together! If you a can, please come to Japan, eat curry and see AWAKE!
Eru: I really want to come and meet you, so please wait for me~! We have a lot of foreign fans, I think, especially in places like Australia and England. When we see them here in Japan, we’re always so happy, and it’s so lonely when they have to return home… please come and see us again!


 


Last Indies Single

[adventure 0]

awk666

2015.09.16 Release
AWK-666 ¥1080-

[2 songs]
1.Story 0
2.∞Star★Piratez


 

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BASH! Interview 2015/10/12

BASH!


2015/10/12

Let’s see what the bright and shining BASH! have in store for us today!
We talked about their new release ‘Pop Candy’, their concept and their personal preferences, so let’s hit it~!

Interviewer: Reira

http://bash-web.net/


bash


Members


Dr Taku

Vo Ayumu

Gu Taiga

Ba Ten


Could you tell us how you joined BASH!?

Ayumu: Well, Ten and I decided to start a band and we brought the others in on the idea. We’d all had other bands originally but when they broke up, we decided to start a new band together. It seemed like a really fun idea.

 

What is BASH!’s concept?
Ayumu: BASH! is a really unique concept that we’ve made our own. It’s always changing though. Our concept varies depending on we want to do but I guess we want to make it a little bit like an anime. We can take you to a different world, a different time, a different place every time you listen to us.

 

What about the concept of your current outfits?
Ayumu: They’re the costumes for our next release ‘Pop Candy’. We’re a Kirakira band [NB: Kirakira is a style of Visual Kei that is very upbeat, sparkly and has a pop theme] so our image is bright enough to reflect that. We wanted the costumes to be fresh and pretty.
Taiga: That’s why they’re white.

 

What kind of themes often occur in BASH!’s songs?
Ayumu: Our theme is also kind of about the days of your youth, or your school days. We like to talk about the past and how it becomes a new age or a new era. That’s what ‘Pop Candy’ tries to express – the idea of something new forming from ages gone.

 

Speaking of ‘Pop Candy’, could you give us a brief explanation of the song?
Taiga: I think it’s really easy to understand, and has a melody that’s pleasant to the ear. The songs in this release really show our development as a band.
Taku: Yeah, the drums are also really easy to listen to. The name of the song is reflected in the melody since it has a very ‘pop’ feel.
Ayumu: We stuck to our concept and wanted to explore the idea of bygone times, particularly someone’s school days. We wanted to look at the emotion felt about old times. When we wrote the lyrics, we wrote them about looking back and reminiscing.

 

When you perform, what memories or feelings do you aim to leave with you fans? What kind of performance do you want to give every time you stand up on that stage?
Taiga: We want to give them a good place, somewhere they feel like they belong.
Taku: I want to make everyone smile with my performance. When I’m on stage, I want to see everyone smiling more than anything.
Ayumu: Definitely a place where they belong, but I also want our performance to be something like a fashion show. I want to leave them with something as impressionable as that.

 

So let’s talk a little bit more about yourselves. What have you become interested in recently?
Taiga: We play darts! –gestures at Ten and Taku- all three of us! We’re working at getting Ayumu to come with us –laughs-
Ayumu: It’s really hard! But I really want to give it a go! I want to get as good as them!
Taiga: We’ll practice more!
Ayumu: For me, I’ve always been really interested in cars. I was interested in cars, 1i’m still interested in cars and I want to become more interested in cars –laughs-

 

What does the word ‘music’ mean to you?
Ayumu: If there was no music, I would not be here. It’s the meaning of my life.
Taiga: When we perform, even if it’s just one song, we have 3-4 minutes to change lives. We can change someone’s perspective, or their lives. For me music has that very meaning – the power to change.
Taku: For me music is healing. When I play on stage, I am whole again.
Ten: They’ve said everything it means to me, but I would also add that music is really really important. It is my very life.

 

If you could have several wishes granted, what would you wish for?
Taku: –points at Ayumu- cars.
All: –laughter-
Ayumu: Ok, cars. And I would want to play a live at a really huge venue that we’ve filled out with our fans.
Taiga: Yeah, I’d want the same thing! But also I want immortality. I don’t want to die. I want to keep going and playing forever.
Ayumu: Oh! I want Doraemon too. Like his pocket and his door to anywhere. How useful would that be!

 

Where would you like to go overseas?
Ayumu: I’d go to Bali. I really want to enjoy the atmosphere there and soak up the sun.
Taiga: I’d definitely go to France. I love the French culture and France itself. I don’t know when I can go, but I really would like to go at some point.
Taku: If it wasn’t somewhere on this Earth, I’d actually really like to go to the Walking Dead world…
Ayumu: Wait, what? Do you want to die? –laughs- do you just want to fight things?!
Taku: No! I think that world is really interesting! It’s really cool! You could test your survival skills!
Ten: I want to go to America and perform there. I think New York would be a really good place to go, because of all the night-life.

 

Do you have a message for all your foreign fans?
Ayumu: We’re a Japanese band active inside of Japan and so our melodies can be a little more Japanese-style. It’s very different from those melodies in the West, I think, so if you could come to like our style even just a little bit, I’d be very happy. If people start to like the Japanese style of melody, then we can spread music wider and faster. Please listen to our music loads!
Taiga: If you get the chance, please come and see us live.
Ten: We understand you’re very distant from Japan but music knows no boundaries and can reach you. Please listen to our music!
Taku: Please come and see us live! Let’s spread BASH! together!

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ViV Interview 2015/10/12

VIV

2015/ 10/12

Shinjuku K4

“Micha dame, mada dame, mou ii yo” Sponsored Event

Interviewer: Reira

http://vivofficial.com/



 

IMG_20150813_000238



Vo: HIROHIRO

Gu: Wataru

Ba: RayJi

Dr: Sayuki



The ‘New Genre’ of Visual Kei, ViV, invited us to send a MESSAGE to their foreign fans at the opening of their event tour ‘Micha dame, mada dame, mou ii yo’ held at Shinjuku Ruido K4 on 12th October 2015.


Could you tell me about ViV’s concept?

 

Wataru: ViV’s concept is ‘abare-utamono’. [NB: ‘abare’ is a style of Visual Kei where fans move a lot during the set, moshing or doing a series of hand movements known as ‘furi’. ‘uta-mono’ is another style of Visual Kei where emphasis is placed on the melody and lyrics of songs rather than the scope for energetic furi.] Sometimes when bands are all about the ‘abare’ movement, the melody kind of disappears and we didn’t want that to happen so we also make the melody really important. We make it so that you properly have to move, using body and head, from start to finish, yet there is still a proper melody running through the song.

 

What was the origin for the name ‘ViV’?

 

Wataru: It comes from the English word ‘Vivacious’, and from the Italian musical term ‘Vivace’. [NB: a lively genre of music] Both terms start with ‘Viv’ so we took that concept and made it our name because when you listen to our bright songs, we want that bright feeling to accompany it as well.

 

How did you come to join ViV?

 

HIROHIRO: Well, my previous band finished and so did RayJi’s, so at that’s how we met, and then RayJi brought Wataru in. Then, we previously had a different drummer but when he quit, we invited Sayuki to join us.

 

When you make your songs, what kind of themes or feelings do you aim to include?

 

Wataru: Well, it differs on the song but recently our songs have become quite heart-rending. If you look at our set-lists you can see that we have those kind of songs a lot recently and within those songs we can include a lot of different emotions. We also look on the fans as a source of information and try to make songs that express what they feel and make them move. So with this ‘abare-utamono’ concept, we can’t stick to just one theme and have a lot of different ideas. So depending on the mood at the time and our changing view on the world, the songs themselves change.

 

Do you make the lyrics or melody first?

 

Wataru: Usually we start with the melody, but there are also times we start with the lyrics. We place priority on the melody so usually the melody produces lyrics that fit, but sometimes we have lyrics that call up a certain melody.

 

What song do you want everyone to go and listen to?

 

HIROHIRO: In ViV’s songs, I want everyone to go and listen to ‘MESSAGE’. It’s our first dialogue with fans where we say ‘Micha dame, mada dame’ and the fans say ‘mou ii yo’. [‘don’t look, you still can’t look’ ‘enough already!’], so it has a very new feel to it.  We want to expand our world, so I want people to listen to it.

 

RayJi: ‘Barenai you ni Kiss shite’ [‘So we’re not discovered, kiss me’]. It’s got great bass within it and a great amount of tension to it. Together we the fans we can make a clamour and enjoy it as one. Please listen to it!

Sayuki: I also really like ‘Barenai you ni Kiss shite’ because I think it resounds a lot within the band-girl community and because we can really enjoy it together.

RayJi: I really do love that song.

HIROHIRO: Because of the bass?

Rayji: It’s actually quite hard!

 

Wataru: We have a very wide range of music and views on music, so from ballad to ‘abare’ music, but if it’s ballad music you like, I would recommend our 2nd single ‘Destiny’. If you listen to that, I think you can really understand ViV’s more ephemeral side, and I also want you to also listen to that more heart-broken side of us.

 

On 7th October you released a new single called ‘MESSAGE’. Could you give us a brief explanation of the songs?

 

HIROHIRO: Well, for the lyrics, Wataru wrote them and they became very busy songs. Even if you’re seeing ViV for the first time, I think you can really move to them.

 

Wataru: Personally for me, when I was writing the lyrics for MESSAGE, I had something I wanted to convey to fans. If you have something you want to change, you can do it gradually under your own power, but I didn’t write it as literally or straight as that. If you just look at the lyrics once, you wonder what kind of lyrics they are. For example, I wrote the lyrics ‘micha dame, mada dame, mou ii yo’ and when you look at them you go ‘huh? This isn’t a love song?’ so what on earth is this? So you have to think about it by yourself and pull what you want or feel from it. And that is exactly the kind of message I wanted to convey.

 

Thank-you very much. So let’s talk a little more about yourselves.

What have you become interested in recently?

 

Sayuki: Me first! As we head towards ViV’s big oneman live on 20th February 2016, I’ve started to do a twit-cast  live stream every day. So I guess I’ve become interested in that. I can speak with the fan’s every day and get closer to them.

 

RayJi: Recently I’ve been studying English and I use Instagram to help. On Instagram I’m trying hard to write all of my posts in English. I want to be able to expand my view of the world.

Wataru: And now say it all in English. Or say something in English.

RayJi: Uh… please follow me?

Wataru: That was Japanese! –laughter-

 

HIROHIRO: I’ve been posting cover videos of various artists on Twitter so, please, if you have the chance, come and watch me.

 

Wataru: This is an internet article right? For foreign fans? Well, if that’s the case, please, if you come to Japan, try IEKEI Ramen. There’s Tonkotsu-soup Ramen [NB: pork-bone broth ramen] and really delicious futomen noodles [NB: fat noodles]. It’s really the most delicious ramen in Japan. So if you come to Japan, please try and eat IEKEI Ramen. I recommend it.

 

What does the word ‘music’ mean to you?

Sayuki: Exactly the way it is written in kanji – ‘sound’ and ‘fun’. It’s making dreams real. Right now we can get CDs from the web or download music, but music is a concert thing. Fans and the band enjoy music together. So that’s what ‘music’ means to me.

 

Wataru: Music is a temporal art form. There’s a word in English –‘time-out’. In times where there weren’t CDs or downloads, there was only the expression of music through performance. Then as a performer if we decide to give 100% on stage, a lot of the time it looks like only 80% to the audience. So if we give 120%, the audience see it as a full 100%. And if we give them that full 100%, then they can really move and create a prefect live atmosphere and enjoy it as much as possible. You can probably enjoy CDs alone but we’re a live band so when you hear us in the flesh, you can really feel our way of life through the music we play. And that is what ‘music’ means to me.

 

HIROHIRO: Well, mine’s a little simpler but it’s a collection of hopes, dreams, myself and reality.

 

RayJi: I really like this word – a four compound kanji. Kenzen Ichijo. [NB: the idea of the fusion of the heart and practice to make perfection or enlightenment in swordplay] It was a way of life by Miyamoto Musashi. He was a swordsman but music carries the same kind of concepts. You have to practice the sounds as well as expressing your own self. Just one or the other is not good enough. Sound is something that is always around you and always being addressed. It’s in the plants, the earth, the sky, it’s everything the world is. Whether you lend you ear to that or not is very momentous. Sound, and music, is something that always exists alongside us.

 

All members: –laughter- that was deep!

 

Do you have anywhere you want to go overseas?

 

HIROHIRO: I’d like to go to England. Maybe London. And I want to  go to Singapore! Really, really want to go to Singapore. Definitely really want to go to Singapore because there are fans waiting for us!

 

Sayuki: I want to go to the Amazon. It’s not really a safe place so I want to go.

 

HIROHIRO: What? Then why would you go?

 

Sayuki: To see if I could survive.

 

HIROHIRO: Surely you can’t.

 

Sayuki: Well, actually, recently I’ve been into looking at survival things. Right now humans are really used to getting water and things really easily, but you can’t do that in the Amazon. There aren’t any umbrellas either so you have to protect yourself from the rain. I want to try going there once and experience that. What would I be like when I returned?

 

Wataru: You’re very cautious with your skin care regime, but you’ll fry to a crisp in the sun!

 

All: –laughter-

 

RayJi: I have loads of places I want to go. I want to see the world. I want to visit all of America’s states and go to Thailand, and Cambodia. I also want to go to the whole of Europe. But I still want to be in Japan. Yet I want to widen my world view, and show people my world, which is why I started Instagram. Even though I only have 66 followers.

Wataru: 66! –laughs- Out of all the people in Japan.

 

RayJi: I’d like it if people saw and wanted to come to Japan because of it. I really want to see the world though, especially Europe. The structures there are really cool. I want to play bass there. Maybe in England.

 

Wataru: I love the sky, and the stars. I love blue skies and bright weather but I really want to see the Aurora. It’s one of my dreams because I think that if I could see it before my eyes, it would open up my mind. No, really, I’m very moved by watching the stars and the sky. There was one specific time where I was really blown away. It was after a typhoon and the clouds had parted in the really crimson sky. And in this diamond-shaped opening, there was like a form like a dragon rushing across the sky. When I saw it I thought ‘woah! What the heck is that?!’. I’m really moved by things that happen in a single moment like that. So something like the Aurora is really special. It’s like being at a live, it’s the feeling and creation of something within that single second. I really want to experience seeing the Aurora just for that very feeling.

 

If you became a super hero, what power would you want?

 

Sayuki: I want to be able to get rid of poverty. The power to help the poor.

HIROHIRO: What? How? Like produce money from your hands and throw it at them?

Sayuki: Whatever works. Just anything to help them. If I could get rid of poverty, wouldn’t that be a good thing?

 

Wataru: I guess I’d be a hero that could save the world. For example, if a meteor was threatening the earth, I would jump for it and BAM! Save everyone. I would just patrol the earth, looking to save people. I think that would be amazing.

 

HIROHIRO: I want to become God.

All: –laughter – God?

HIROHIRO: I want to be able to decide how everything pans out.

Wataru: Like if you wanted to spill someone’s miso soup, you could spill it.

All: –laughter –

 

RayJi: I would become a really really tiny microorganism.

Wataru: Is that a power?

RayJi: Yeah, because I could go into the mouths of bad people and cause them to have a really bad cold.

Wataru: You’re so easy to please –laughs-

RayJi: But if I could do that… it’d be great. But! I love Doraemon so I also want his pocket. [NB: The character Doraemon can produce any number of useful items from his pocket].

Sayuki: A pocket like that would make people lazy.

RayJi: I only said it because I didn’t want to aim as high as God. Compared to that, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable.

 

Do you have a message for all your foreign fans?

Wataru: At the moment we live in an internet society, so it’s easy to touch many people. Most of the time we probably reach people entirely by accident but because we’re trying so hard to circulate our music online and keep a presence there, if you’re able to see any of it, I’m really happy. Until you can come meet us, as long as you listen to our songs and enjoy us, then I’m content. We really want to go abroad but we are a Japanese band. So if you ever get the chance to come and see us, I would be ecstatic.

 

HIROHIRO: Call us. Let us come abroad. I want to come abroad and see you, but, obviously, if you get the chance to come to Japan, I want you to see us. We want to come and see you but before we can do that, we need someone to call us to their country.

 

RayJi: Music has no borders. I don’t really even care if there are borders. If we have music, you’re always next to me in my heart. ‘Please wait’ is written there.

 

Sayuki: Visual Kei is part of Japanese culture. There’s lots of facets to Japanese culture, like anime, but the Visual Kei that people abroad think of is actually gradually changing. We’re not an old band, but even now Visual Kei is moving to a different place. So… please come with us. I think that you could call ViV a new genre of Visual Kei, and we want you to experience that change alongside us.

 

 

 

 

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Purple Stone Interview 2015/10/12

Purple Stone

12th October 2015

Interviewer: Reira

 


 

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Having come from a mainstream background, Purple Stone took Osaka by storm, aiming to heal the soul with their wide range of music from electro-rock to passionate ballads.

With a new release due in December 2015, let’s see what they have in store for us.


 


 

Ba. Fuma

Vo. Keiya

Gu. Gak

www.purplestone.jp


 

So could you tell us how you came to join Purple Stone?

Keiya: Before Visual Kei, we were in a mainstream band. After that band, we stayed together and thought about trying Visual Kei. Actually, Gak had the idea at first because he knew about the Visual Kei music scene, and we all developed an interest in it. We thought about it for a while and decided it would be amazing for us if we could give it a go.

What is Purple Stone’s concept?

Gak: It’s all about the music and we especially think that the melody is the most important aspect. We really put a lot of emphasis into the construction of our songs when we make our arrangements. So I guess you could say that that’s our concept – we’re all about music as a whole.

What’s the origin for the name ‘Purple Stone’?

Keiya: Well, ‘purple stone’ literally comes from ‘amethyst’. Long ago, amethysts were considered to be a protective stone and were said to take bad spots of energy and turn it into positive energy. For us, during a live, we want our songs to do the same thing. Certainly everyone is living their own lives and has their own moments of stress or worry, but at a live you can forget all those worries and just enjoy the music together. We want to take negative energy and turn it into positive energy through our performance. So that’s how we came up with the name ‘Purple Stone’.

What kind of themes appear often in Purple Stone’s songs?

Fuma: Our themes change a lot depending on how we feel at the time. We have sad songs, and we have songs that tell stories, but we do also try to think a lot about how all the songs will interact together at a live performance. We want to give a perfect set list so recently we’ve been thinking a lot about making songs that are simply fun to enjoy during a live concert. We’re currently working on increasing the number of songs that we have that can do that.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you’re making songs?

Keiya: We often make our songs together but…

Gak: It differs depending on the song.

Keiya: Yeah… we have lots of different areas of inspiration. Gak is usually the main source though.

Gak: I often take unheard of songs or songs I make myself and change them within me to produce new sounds and new music. What about you, Keiya?

Keiya:  Ah, for me it’s usually during my daily life that things come to me, most often when I’m relaxing. I like to record during those times, or write down my ideas.

Fuma: Sometimes I’ll just sit down and BAM!! I’ll record something. But actually a lot of the time ideas come to me when I’m in the bath, particularly melodies. Then we get together and make the songs. To be honest, I’m more likely to have something come to me when I relax, though.

What song would you want people to listen to within Purple Stone’s repertoire?

Keiya: We have the announcement of our new single today so I would like everyone to hear that new release. It’s coming out on 9th December 2015 and I think we’ve really put a different aspect of Purple Stone into that song. I really like the song that comes with it too, so I’d really like people to listen to it for me. But if you’re talking about the songs we have out now, I really like ‘Amazuppai Mango’.

Gak: For me, I really like our 3rd single as well; but, within our current songs, I really like the song ‘Blame’. We always play it at lives and I think it really helps our fans become one with us and our music.

Fuma: They’ve kind of said all of the songs I personally really like, but I also really enjoy our first live-house single ‘Scar’. When we play it live, everyone really gets into it with the head-banging, so I would really like people to come and experience that for real.

What kind of genre would you like try?

 Keiya: I really want to try something acoustic. We’ve never really done it, so it would be something different.

Gak: I really want to try and mix our band sound with hip-hop music. I really want to make something as unique as that.

Fuma: I also want to try something acoustic because we have so many more intense, upbeat songs. I’d also really like to try a ballad within the genre of J-Pop. I think that Keiya’s voice would lend itself very well to that kind of music, so I want to give it a go.

So let’s talk a little more about yourselves. What have you become interested in recently?

Gak: I haven’t really told the members this but…

Fuma: What? What have you done?

Gak: It’s really recent but I’ve taken up jogging.

Fuma: Wait, really? –laughs-

Gak: Yeah, in the middle of the night. Midnight jogging.

Keiya: Recently, I’ve really come to like Shojo Manga. Quite a lot of it.

Fuma: I’ve become obsessed with brown rice before it’s been processed. –laughs- It’s really, really good for your health.

What does the word ‘music’ mean to you?

Fuma: Music itself isn’t really living or not living, but it is the meaning of my life. –laughs- short but sweet.

Gak: To me it’s something people can share. –switches to English- share.

Fuma: -in English- yeah, share.

Keiya: It’s my whole self and my soul. It’s my chosen road.

Gak: Like Tao?

Keiya: Yeah, tao.

Gak: -english- the endless road.

All: -laughter-

If you were taken to a deserted island, what three things would you take with you?

Fuma: Only three?! Huh… And no-one lives there? A knife. A water bottle, because you need one of those… and… -english- cat.  [NB: Fuma owns a cat called Dora]

Gak: I’d take water.

Fuma: What?! Why? Couldn’t you find it?

Gak: I have absolutely zero confidence that I could find it myself, so I’d take water. And an acoustic guitar.

Fuma: You sound like you’re planning on enjoying this.

Gak: And finally… a voice recorder. I’d use it to record my final words. ‘I am dying’. At the very end, I’d sing my own requiem –

Fuma: Yourself? Are you planning suicide?

Gak: -and then when it’s found, it would be pretty dramatic.

Fuma: So even though you took water, which suggests the will to live, that isn’t really the case.

Keiya: I’d take some sort of light, a change of clothes, and one friend.

Fuma: Are you treating them like equipment?

Keiya: No, if I didn’t have a friend, I’d get really lonely and –

Gak: It’s for his mental health.

Keiya: Yeah, for emotional support.

Where would you like to go overseas?

Keiya: New York. I’ve been once before, but I didn’t really see all that much so I want to go again.

Gak: I want to go to Los Angeles. It’s metal. -makes metal sign-  For the rock.

Fuma: We’ve all decided on America. I’d go to Oregon Vortex, for many reasons.

Do you have a message for your foreign fans?

 Fuma: We’re active inside of Japan so you can only really hear us online on sites such as YouTube, but if you do get the chance to come to Japan, please don’t hesitate to come and see us live. We’d be really happy to see you. We can only give you our music through YouTube, but if you would listen to it all for us, if that’s all you can do, we would be really happy then as well.

Gak: We want our music as Purple Stone to start growing out there in the rest of the world so please, get our CDs and listen to them for us. Let’s spend a wonderful time together, even though we’re so far apart.

Keiya: In Purple Stone, our lyrics are also really important to us because Japanese has a lot of beautiful words, so if you could look at those lyrics in English, or translate them for us, I think it would be really fun. It’s difficult to do it but, if you really want to, don’t hesitate to translate them. Please.