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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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