Q: 'DOGMA' took a long time to make. In that regard, was it easier for you to control your feelings as you expressed them?
RUKI: I wonder. I'm also a human, so it's natural to have ups and downs. So I guess, it's about how to link my down feelings to the album well... To be honest, it was difficult to keep controlling (my feelings).
Q: Some artists find that spending a lot of time on their works "will result in something that they can be satisfied with".
RUKI: With the GazettE, the more time we have, the longer it will take us to complete our work. On the contrary, when we don't have time we could keep our focus for a short period. But in return, our work will be more difficult (laughs bitterly). Compared to our other albums, 'DOGMA' took quite a long time. Even so, if we're asked "have you got time leeway this time?", we didn't really have it. Just like we spent a lot of time selecting the songs, we also went through a lot of process to arrange and bring the chosen songs to their final forms. That is important.
Q: Tell us about it.
RUKI: In 'DOGMA', among the songs that we gathered for this album, the most important thing was not that "this song is good so how about including it in the album", but rather whether the song was suitable for the theme 'DOGMA'. In order to really focus on that, all of us needed time to decide on each song's suitability.
When nothing came to mind, even if I forced myself to work on it, I don't think it would yield good results. So I decided that "I would not work on this until the things I want to express become clear".
Q: During the period when you were working on 'DOGMA', at the same time you held "saiteigi (redefinition) tour" with titles such as "NAMELESS LIBERTY DISORDER HEAVEN", "PULSE WRIGGLING TO DIMSCENE", and "GROAN OF VENOMOUS CELLS", in which you performed your past songs.
RUKI: That's right. Even though it took us a year to complete 'DOGMA', actually we kept alternating our work between 'saiteigi tour' and 'DOGMA making'. Other than that, we also appeared in music festivals, so it was like we made it while also doing the things we decided by ourselves. So, in reality we didn't really invest that much time towards the making of 'DOGMA'.
Q: Did the success of 'saiteigi tour' bring good feedbacks on the making of 'DOGMA'?
RUKI: I think so. By doing 'saiteigi', we came to truly understand "how the GazettE changed and progressed along the way (of our career)". After 'DIM', the GazettE has made experimental albums like 'TOXIC' and 'BEAUTIFUL DEFORMITY'. However, after 'BEAUTIFUL DEFORMITY' was released and we finished touring, I ran out of "the thing I want to express next".. or rather, I couldn't find one immediately. To say it in extreme, it was like "can the band end like this?" No new vision came to mind at all. Of course, "quitting" wasn't even a choice (laughs). In that period when nothing came to mind, even if I forced myself to work on it, I don't think it would yield good results. So I devided that "I would not work on this until the things I want to express become clear".
Q: And that resulted in 'saiteigi tour'.
RUKI: That's right. When it was decided that "we would reserve some time until we work on our next album" , we didn't want to be doing nothing. So, when we talked about "so what to do in the meantime?" it was obvious that the answer would be "giving live performances". We've had this feeling of "wanting to give a live performance in which we can really absorb our past songs" since earlier, and we were like "let's make it into something concrete this time", and that led us to hold 'saiteigi tour' in which we brought our past songs towards the centre, divided into 3 performances. In result, it gave influence to 'DOGMA' but that time, we didn't have this sense of "we should focus on our next work". But in the end, it became a good bridge (between BEAUTIFUL DEFORMITY and DOGMA).
In my case, I don't have this feeling of "turning my anger into violence", but rather "ending it by turning it into music"
Q: What kind of mood were you in when writing lyrics for the songs in 'DOGMA'?
RUKI: I don't have the kind of on/off switch regarding my feelings, so I just put the things I think about often through this filter called "RUKI from the GazettE" and wrote them. This existence called "RUKI from the GazettE" who is with me 365 days a year, is me on daily life. So it was like writing things that are very close to my roots, like I just projected things that I usually think and feel about (towards the lyrics).
Q: That means, even in your daily life you normally have dark feelings.
RUKI: That's what I think about all the time. I'm a human so I have impure thoughts and feelings. And I just wrote them down without leaving anything.
Q: Even so, wouldn't you be dragged into your dark feelings when expressing it?
RUKI: It's like spitting out poison. By writing down my dark thoughts, my feelings also got sorted. So in my case, I don't have this feeling of "turning my anger into violence", but rather "ending it by turning it into music".
Q: And that is your unique way to express yourself.
RUKI: I guess so. Of course, it's been like that since earlier as well, but it became more prominent in the making of 'DOGMA'.
Q: So the dark feelings including 'anger', which are there in 'DOGMA' will be spat out through the feelings of a lot of people.
RUKI: That's right.
Q: And that's why, (I think) it's very 'human-like'. I think, even if it's a 'negative energy', if it can have great power to move people's hearts, it will turn into a 'positive energy'. That kind of feeling.
RUKI: We also think so. For example, when you're feeling down or gloomy, you wouldn't feel like listening to music. But, if you know about the existence of someone who think of even darker things, then you'd think "(my situation) is still better". It's similar to what I want to project in the lyrics.
Normally, I think I have a strong mentality. But in lyrics the weak part of me comes out naturally... Usually I don't put this (my thoughts) into words, or try to push it to other people. But the things that I usually think about just flow naturally in the lyrics. As simple as that.
Q: So your lyrics are your everyday feelings.
RUKI: That's right. Especially in 'DOGMA', my feelings are very clear. But I think, maybe I write these lyrics so that I can preserve most of my feelings.
Translated by Val.