Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A9 Rock and Read 60 Show Interview (Part 4 of 4)

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

To say it specifically, I want us to perform at Budokan again. Maybe I've grown some balls (laughs). 

Q: Nah, you don't need that kind of publicity stunt. By the way, both your costumes and lyric (for Phoenix) have this 'Japanese' feel to them. I think this is one aspect that the band had originally. So you went back to your roots in this regard as well, I guess?
Show: We also had that kind of thing in mind.... Well, mostly we had the image of the 'Japanese culture' that the people abroad would have, something like that. Like for example, in 'Phoenix' MV, there is a projection mapping playing in the background throughout. Even though in the beginning it might be difficult to understand, it's something like a 'Japanesque thing' that a Japanese would find cool. It's quite psychedelic and avant-garde. I think, that in itself is cool, but from the point of view of foreigners, they don't even know whether it's even Japanesque. But instead of that... somehow, there's something that I can't forget. When we first went for a live performance in Indonesia, the enthusiasm was really amazing. Someone told me, "Even though we kept appealing for our local promotors that we want to see Japanese artists, since Japanese artists don't come much, they lean towards Western artists who have lighter footwork more". They said, "That's why, for us who like Japanese culture, it's a sad thing. Do appeal for Japanese culture more assertively." And that's why, as a Japanese act we feel that we should make more effort to make people think that "Japan is wonderful". As Japanese citizens. And inside of me, there is something like "The kind of Japanese culture that might be a bit misunderstood in New York", and somehow it has become my new definition of blending of Japanese and Western styles. I think New York and Paris are at the forefront for fashion and art, so I wanted to make a concept where there, people would think "Oh, Japanese culture is interesting". Although, if I say this to a New Yorker, I might get laughed at (laughs).

Q: Listening to your talk made me convinced that it's the case. Regarding both your concept and the crowd funding system, your activities abroad had created a certain impact on you.
Show: I think so.

Q: It was the opportunity where you could feel directly that a lot of people were waiting for you. Moreover, you're also looking for hints, like the outlook of your activities there. 
Show: In the beginning we didn't realise it at all. But, when we went there by ourselves and felt it, there were things that we grasped from it. And made a big impact.

Q: In a way, it's a worldwide restart.
Show: I think so. It's just like things can spread quickly through Youtube or social medias. And of course, while we include other countries in our field of vision, we don't want to neglect people who come to our performances here, so we also have to strengthen our foundation here.... But I think, we should always have a broad field of vision.

Q: In your interviews here, until now you had said things like "I want to be needed by someone", or "I'd rather love than be loved". But when you felt the enthusiasm and love from the people whom, without your knowing had been supporting you and liking your for a long time, and you could feel that you have mutual want for each other. I feel that it has become a strength for the band, and that the same thing is also happening within the band. Like, you have the kind of relationship where you need each other.
Show: I think so. I think that's how it is.

Q: And now we've come to the crucial part. You will have a new start with your live performance on August 23rd at Toyosu Pit. I think it's good that the venue for your restart is somewhere you haven't performed before.
Show: Yeah. It will be exactly one year since your 10th anniversary live performance at Conifer Forest, and that feeling is also included there. Anyway, that day last year was really something. The rain stopped once we finished with rehearsal. And I was like, "As expected, my everyday behaviour is good" (TN: I don't know but I think he makes some relation between his doing good things and his luck with weather). But when the SE started, it suddenly rained heavily (laughs). We were really unlucky.

Q: It's good that you have a roof this time (laughs). What kind of performance will it be?
Show: I don't know how much all of us grasp this feeling, but before the restart in August, each of us had been doing individual activities.. and we kind of made each other jealous (laughs). Of course, as you had said earlier, we're in this level where we want each other. Like, the other day I went to Hiroto's live performance, and there I also saw TOKIE-san and Sasabuchi-san on stage, and I was like, "He (Hiroto) is also the type to win people's favour". And when I saw it, I thought, "Damn you" (laughs). And because he also performed some Alice Nine song, I was also like "I want to sing it" (laughs). It's like, I want give a live performance soon, do let me do it soon. And of course, I think among the fans there are people who think, "Of course solo projects like DIAWOLF are also good, but I want to see the 5 of you soon!" (laughs). And so, in that way we keep the fans excited. And as a part of the flow of Japanese artists being received abroad, I now have the confidence to work hard even more. Even though it's presumptuous to lump people together and say "This is the time for our generation's band", when I realised, the bands who had great influence on my youth had reached a point where they slow down, and I also got the sense of impending danger that the Visual scene itself would quiet down. Although we have wonderful seniors, as expected, we shouldn't just view them as outsiders, but we also feel the responsibility to actively hype up the scene. And in such condition, I was really shocked that bands like ViVID and THE KIDDIE disbanded. Both of them were among the younger generation, and to be honest I felt like, "You're disbanding before us?" Either way, it's a sad thing.

Q: I can sympathise with you. But your big-name seniors had already carved an unwavering path, and the bands which are a bit older than you had already built their own territories. And when you think of it, you feel that the bands of your generation still haven't left any major thing behind, I guess?
Show: I think so. I won't say "It sounds presumptuous", but if we don't leave anything behind, on the contrary it would be rude to the seniors who had given us influences, and it would also be bad for the generation after us. Even though there are also many good bands among the younger generation.

Q: So you have to give proof of your existence. I'm sure you feel that way.
Show: Yes. And because of that, our live performance in August is a very important thing for us. But it doesn't feel like a single live performance, but rather it feels like 'first day of a tour'. We want to give a lot of live performances, and we also want to tour Asia..

Q: And in any case, in your head you've already had plans for the next 2 years, haven't you?
Show: Right. That's why, I'm like, "Let me do them soon!" (laughs). I have a lot of things like, I want to express something in this way, or I want to do an artwork with this motif. 

Q: You have 2 years worth of stuffs planned ahead. By the way, how do you think Alice Nine would be 2 years from now?
Show: First of all, I want to make everyone excited. But I can only say abstract stuffs. To say it specifically, for example I want us to perform at Budokan again. I hope we can stand at Budokan's stage again in 2 years... we need to have a resolution to burn out if we can't do it.

Q: I don't want to hear you say "We're burnt out" on interview with us 2 years from now (laughs).
Show: Hahaha! But, if we can still get cover page even after we're burnt out, that in itself is an amazing thing (laughs).

Q: You can even turn something like this into a joke now, I can feel strength from the current you, Show-san. Had it been 2 years ago, before you say something firm, you would've said "It might sound strange, but.." Now you no longer say things like that. I feel I can understand the difference from that time.
Show: Maybe I've grown some balls in these 2 years (laughs).

Q: In any case, you're also a wolf now.
Show: Fufufu. Indeed. 

Translated by Val. Original interview scans from 幻想.

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