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Q: How do you feel about the recording for this album, Aoi-san?
Aoi: I didn't use that many guitars. Since I use low tuning, I used ESP guitar and dragonfly guitar which is longer. Lately, to some extend I know which guitar to use for what kind of sound, so I don't use that many anymore.
Q: What about the sound?
Aoi: I did the recording normally, without changing major settings on my amps. I think the strength (when playing) really affects the sound. Even if Uruha and I make the same sound, the result will be different, and now I can make (my sound) different (from Uruha's). Even though our stereo image is quite similar, we have different nuances, so I hope you'll be able to tell the difference.
Q: Your guitar style are quite different. Did you (deliberately) change it?
Uruha: I don't have that much skill (to do such thing).
Aoi: Originally, it's like our interpretation of music are different. I'm a rough kind of person, and I don't think very deep. But when I listen to Uruha's guitar play, sometimes I think "So that's how he plays it", and I think that maybe his playing style is better for the GazettE.
Uruha: No, no. It's not like that (laughs).
Aoi: No no no, as expected of Uruha-sensei. Moreover, rather than picking the same rhythm, the Gazette puts a lot of emphasis on sound layering.
Uruha: He (Aoi) is the fussiest when it comes to sound layering. I'm not that care about sound layering that much that I say about it on interview (laughs). Aoi-san is very particular about sound layering, and he puts emotion in his guitar play. He really can express his emotions (through it). I think it's amazing to be able to put emotions on recording waveforms. On the other hand I'm more like a worker type, making the backing sounds. For backing sounds I'm just particular in making it so that it's recorded in hi-fi, but other than that, I just let other people do it.
Aoi: But it's true (laughs). Because he's always doing experimental things. He's fast when it comes to recording the backing sounds, but he often feels uneasy when it comes to solo and lead melody recording, so he takes a long time. It could be because he's away from his guitar for a long time, or trying different approaches in sound-making, but he can take hours just to record a few measures. His attention to details is unrivalled.
Uruha: Because of that, now I take along time to record solo parts. Before I could play smoothly. But because it's just as prominent as vocals, as years pass by I became more concerned about things like the noisy part (of the solo).
Aoi: So stiff
Uruha: Yeah, now I feel like making it stiff (laughs)
Q: It's interesting that the guitarists have very different personalities. Is there any must-listen part in this album?
Uruha: In this album we don't have anything like "You should listen to this". Because we put a lot of effort in making the delicate balance between the vocals and the heavy band sound. If there is a part which stands out, we would have cut it when we were arranging (the songs) already. And so, even though the guitar solos and obbligatos are quite prominent, it's important for the backing sounds to blend. I'd be extremely happy if you find that there's a good balance (between sounds in the album).
Aoi: We thought about each and every song and removed those that can be removed, and composed (the songs) while thinking about what kind of phrase we want to show on each part. And this is the result.
Uruha: There are a lot of songs which RUKI composed in this album. On demo stage it was plus minus zero, but during the arranging stage, we had this tendency of adding stuffs into it. And then during the pre-production again we removed some stuffs. Of course we added more than the original demo, but after we were done adding the arrangements we removed a lot of things.
Aoi: We left out quite a lot of things. I was like watching in tears as I watched (parts being removed from the arrangement). Like, even though we had this idea, even though we had that idea..
Uruha: (laughs). We made very little arrangement for RUKI's songs, as his vocals were the centre of the songs. But since we play instruments, we felt like adding some accents. Since RUKI listens to other member's arrangement with his vocals as focus, I guess if he says "This is okay' then it means that the music isn't disturbing the vocals, but if he makes comments here and there, then it means that it's disturbing the vocals. In a sense I was fighting with the vocals. That's why, during the song arranging, if I found a particularly noticeable sound, I would be like "Ah, he put this arrangement while avoiding RUKI's vocals well".
Our 13th year is really an 'OMINOUS YEAR' (Uruha)
Q: You released a lyric video for 'OMINOUS'. This is the first time the GazettE did something like this.
Aoi: It's because RUKI was like "Let's present our concept with a video of our image (for it)".
Uruha: I guess it's a request that only a vocalist can think of. I didn't even know it existed.
Q: The members didn't make an appearance in the video.
Uruha: That's right. But you can get immersed in the world of the lyric, like I did. Since you can see the image of the lyric (in the video), it's better in conveying the concept (of the song) than an MV.
Aoi: Eh.. so you mean we're destroying the image (of the song)?
Uruha: Ah... it's true that if the members are there, people would end up looking at the members so we might become a hindrance (laughs).
Q: In our interview for music clip compilation 'FILM BUG', Ruki said, "I tagged along with the director and gave instructions". What about this time?Aoi: He also did some video editing for this album. I think RUKI is a multi-talented person.
Aoi: (laughs) But lately he told us to do editing jobs as well.. And then he would give instructions when we did stuffs with our computers.
Uruha: Like, "You're not doing this?" (laughs)
Q: RUKI-san.. (laughs). I also heard about the MV in which you recruited 'headbang warriors'.
Aoi: That's right. A lot of people think that we shot a video for a song in the album (DOGMA), but.. I wonder. If we only shot it now the album won't be released (in time)!
Q: The last time you included audience in your video was in 'Hyena'.
Aoi: That's right. For 'Hyena', it was like we were separated from the audience with a fence. But this time, the audience were very near.
Uruha: This time we gave the directions.
Aoi: We are the directors. We didn't use a director, so had to shoot it while thinking of when to cut and all. We kept using our megaphones.
Uruha: Thanks to that I couldn't get a sleep. I'm really regretting it (laughs).
Q: The GazettE are more aggressive in their 13th year.
Uruha: On the contrary, I think we're being defensive. This is the result of our trying to protect ourselves.
Aoi: I'm sure we're being attacked from all side.
Uruha: Really, all I've been doing is stuffs on my PC. (if you see my daily life) you won't know what I do for a living. I want to go on tour as soon as possible! I want to play guitar!
Aoi: I think by the time this interview is up, the video for 'DOGMA' all songs trailer will be out already. That (video) was also made by the members. Do pay attention to it. I didn't sleep when I made it. We completely made it ourselves so it's even more indies than our indies time (laughs). But in the video, the images quite fit the songs so it'll be easy for the viewer to get into them. Even though I'm just flattering myself.
Uruha: Since we divided the songs to the 5 of us, and everyone had different image so it's interesting.
Aoi: And because of that, when I saw what the other members made, I was like "Mine is a bit dull.." and went back to redo it, so it was a never-ending work (laughs). I think, last year was really peaceful. This time I can't help but thinking but someone somewhere is planning something.. it's really an unlucky year
Q: Just like the lyric in 'DAWN', "takaku shiboru juusan no kaidan" (the 13th stair hoisted high).
Aoi: It's exactly like that. This year is the most difficult for all of us, including the staff.
Uruha: It'll get worse from now on. And there's a lot of things we have to decide. I hope we can make a good foundation for our next year. I hope we can concentrate only on our tour, but I've got a feeling that it won't be as easy as that. Our 13th year is really an ominous year (laughs).
Aoi: I wanted to make it a peaceful year, but looks like it will be impossible... Looks like it's going to be an unforgettable year (laughs).
Translated by Val.
Original interview here.
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