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'DOGMA', a new album released by the GazettE, who had entered their 13th year. Their latest work which amplifies the heaviness of the band, and the 13th year of the GazettE.
There is no other work which deserves the word 'long-awaited'. 2 years after the release of 'BEAUTIFUL DEFORMITY', the GazettE finally came out with their new album, 'DOGMA'. The album, consisting of 14 never-before-released songs, is a heavier blend of the GazettE soundscape. With the release of the lyric video for 'OMINOUS' and trailer video of all the songs made by the members, the GazettE keep making new impacts. In this interview, the GazettE's two guitarists, Uruha and Aoi, who are making their first appearance at Vif, will talk about their latest album and their 13th year.
We want to release something which is worth the gap year (Aoi)
Q: You will finally release an album after 2 years. Did you decide to release it with this timing in advance?
Aoi: Last year, we just didn't make any new material, and since then we've had this vague plan of releasing something this year.
Uruha: The title 'DOGMA' was finalized between the end of last year until this year.
Q: For the GazettE, how important is an album?
Uruha: Personally, I think album is the centre of our activities. Even though it's just a part of our works, but it's the culmination of our band.
Aoi: And it's also difficult to start a tour with just a single (laughs). Even though I want us to release stuffs more frequently, we're not the kind of band who just follows fixed release pattern like "releasing around 3 singles, then followed by an album". As we aim for something deeper than that, we end up having this kind of release style. Even though our label and fans might say, "Won't you release something soon?", I can only say "Sorry".
Uruha: We can only do this because we're the GazettE, but at the same time we also have the pressure to release something because we're the GazettE.
Aoi: Well, I guess it's good to release our new work when people start to forget about our existence (laughs). But I think, this album is worth the long waiting time. Because we had a gap year last year, we wanted to release something which is worth it. For this album, we had more songs selections than usual, and we made enough songs to cover several singles and an album. We picked (the final songs) from the handful of songs and established the concept of the album.
Q: I have the impression that the title 'DOGMA' has deeper meaning than your previous titles.
Uruha: It's deep yet simple. For us, it's the kind of title that is easy to enter but when we delve deeper into it, it becomes more complicated and expansive. We had talk among ourselves as to what kind of approach we should take for 'DOGMA', and we thought we should draw out the heaviness that we have, and the excitement of the fans and their 'ritual-like' thing, so it's more of a complex heaviness.
Q: Did all of you interpret 'DOGMA' the same way?
Uruha: We didn't purposely talked about, "What do you think about DOGMA?", but when the title was decided, I thought about it by myself, and since the album art was also decided quite early, somehow I could get the concept. However, when we turned in into music, everyone's interpretation was different.
Aoi: The word itself was clear, but the meaning was vague. For this album, instead of talking about the meaning itself, it was easier for us to show each other the songs that we made and earned mutual understanding (of the concept). When we met to present our songs, usually the songs were already close to completion. We've been in this band for more than 10 years, and our musical skills are already on that level as well, so it's easier for us. For this album, we approached the title with different thoughts in mind so it might be difficult to make something with the keyword 'DOGMA'. When I think about it now, it's easier to create something from abstract concept since we can make anything out of it.
Uruha: It was the same for me. When I think about it now, it was a difficult theme. It's unusual for us to get mutual understanding through showing each other's songs. For this album we tried a different approach. Until now we rarely had (the situation) when we had different image of the title. That shows just how soft our previous album titles were.
Aoi: For this album, none of the songs I made for our first song selection got chosen. But I got my song chosen on the final selection.
Uruha: The songs which didn't make it to the album were all easy to make. That's because I thought, "I don't have to make it too 'DOGMA'ish". But when I presented them for song selection I thought, "maybe I should make it closer to other people's (concept of) 'DOGMA'", and after that I started composing more complex songs. And since then I thought I should condense them more.
Aoi: Now that I heard about this, it's better if we had a talk about it.
Uruha: Yeah (laughs). But it's not something we can understand through talking.
Aoi: Yeah... with all the subtle nuances.
Q: With music, instead of words... that's something only an artist could do.
Aoi: Could be. And for some reason, before the songs selection the members didn't want to show what they had made to each other. Maybe there was this feeling of not wanting to show unfinished stuffs, but until we had songs selection meeting nobody knew what the others had made. This is interesting, too.
Q: Was there any songs that surprised you during the songs selection?
Aoi: Lately I haven't made any crazy songs. I have only 1 or 2. On the contrary, I get strong impression that "the songs are similar". I could substitute some of them with my own songs.
Q: Aoi-san, you don't challenge yourself to make crazy songs?
Aoi: I don't! RUKI's songs are usually easy to understand and easy to get yourself familiar with, while normally mine and Uruha's can be categorised as strange. So maybe without realising it I've actually been making crazy songs.. Eh? Uruha? Is it shocking?
Uruha: No, you're right (laughs). Moreover, if there's no singing part in the demo, the hurdle would increase. For example, even if I'm thinking to make a typical the GazettE song, unless I borrow RUKI's singing voice, its 'the GazettE'-ness won't come out. Maybe in the song selection half of my songs didn't get through. Because it's not like we played the song and stopped it midway to say "This is the chorus" or "This is the B melody. We will have such and such kind of sound in this part", but rather, mostly we played it in one go and everyone went "?" and that's it.
Aoi: I understand.
Uruha: Even if I make a typical the GazettE song, if I only play the instrumental version, the others would end up having the impression that this song doesn't pack any punch. And (because of that) I would have this feeling of "having to put orchestra parts so it packs more punch" but then it would end up becoming a weird song (laughs). Well, even though it will be solved if only I could sing.
Q: Well then, next time Uruha-san and Aoi-san should also put some singing...
Uruha: Nah, there is this barrier called singing skill (laughs).
Aoi: That's right. If I could sing I would've become a vocalist already. Because presenting it to the other members means presenting to pros.
Uruha: And imagine how torturous it would be. I'm sure the other members would laugh, and they like to thoroughly tease about this kind of thing. I don't have that kind of courage. I'll end up crying.
Q: (laughs) But if you add the singing melody, there is a chance that your next album will be full of Uruha-san's and Aoi-san's songs.
Aoi: I see! Nah, that won't happen. We'd just be laughed at majorly and that's it.
Uruha: But, before Aoi-san brought a song with the singing melody once. I thought that if you do it just once you'll get used to it.
Aoi: Hmmm... it's important to keep doing things (once you start), but should I put my all in it?
Uruha: Well, there's a chance that you'll be experiencing some painful things (laughs).
For this album, we did it more rationally (Uruha)
Q: Did you try anything new in making this album?
Uruha: I mostly used the same guitars as our previous album. If anything, we just changed the way we recorded (the songs), now it's more digital.
Aoi: It's difficult, but in principle anyone can do it. Using digital equipments means that you don't need to go to a studio, but you'l need a good sense (of music). Until now I've also had the experience of recording my parts in analog way using microphone put on top of the cabinets, but for current the GazettE, recording it digitally is the closest to our image. Of course, it's not like that way is absolutely good for us, and maybe we'll change our method in the future. But for the current us, this is the best way.
Uruha: This method isn't that difficult but you'll need to be thorough with it. It's more reasonable in a lot of ways but also extremely 'evil', since it means rejecting the old way. But, we experienced both analog and digital recording, so we can decide which one is better (for us).
Q: Because you exist right in transition period (from analog to digital)
Aoi: Right. We recorded in analog, and we even recorded with tape.
Uruha: Since we were right in the middle of it, we aren't stubborn about it, like "I can't do this if it's not analog!!", and can be flexible in choosing what's good for us. Even though the GazettE are very consistent in terms of visual (looks), but we are quite flexible in terms of music. That way we could enjoy our music more. Our music won't be fun anymore if we're stiff about it.
Q: And perhaps that flexibility contributes to your originality and quality.
Uruha: Otherwise we won't even be thinking of releasing new materials. And we've also been given an environment where we can learn a lot, and that's why we can create various things.
Translated by Val. Original interview here.
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