While we made songs for 'DOGMA', at the same time we went on 'saiteigi tour'. Through repetition of that cycle, the nuance of the songs also gradually changed, and it was a major thing.
Q: Last year, while reflecting on yourselves you went on 'saiteigi tour'. And at the same time, you were also doing preparations for 'DOGMA'.
Uruha: While we made songs for 'DOGMA', at the same time we went on 'saiteigi tour'. Through repetition of that cycle, the nuance of the songs also gradually changed, and it was a major thing.
Uruha: The keyword 'DOGMA' had already been there since first songs selection stage, but at that time it was still unclear as to "What kind of thing will it be?". In order to have a clear vision of it, we had a couple of songs selection, and everyone of us gradually made a concrete image of it. At the same time, by going on 'saiteigi tour', we were able to reflect on "What do we need now?" and we could organise the things that our fans want from the GazettE.
Q: At that time, did you think about linking the making of 'DOGMA' with the 'saiteigi tour'?
Uruha: We considered 'DOGMA' a separate thing from 'saiteigi tour', so we did them separately. But I think we felt something like "Somehow the two influenced each other".
In order to fully showcase Visual Kei, I think "an absolute presence" is needed.
Q: Uruha-san, what kind of impression did you get when you first heard the word 'DOGMA'?
Uruha: Although the word 'DOGMA' has the meaning of 'religious teaching', underneath it there is also the nuance of 'pulling something strongly'. And that kind of strength is something that our band needs, and we think the word really fits the thing that we're looking for. And with the word 'DOGMA', the vague image that we had until then suddenly became clear. And actually, just by the word 'DOGMA', we can convey the whole picture clearly.
Q: As the central theme became clear, you then turned it into a concrete thing by delving deep into it.
Uruha: Something like that.
Q: Because it's ideal for band to set up a clear idea first then have the people involved with the band to get into it.
Uruha: Maybe it's a wish to "be a person like that", I guess? Or rather, it has come to "it has to be that kind of presence".
This is just my thought, but lately in Visual Kei people show their inner self too much, and now there are only few people who are mysterious, or rather have an aura that draw people to them. Maybe it's because people don't look for that kind of presence now. But to me, in order to fully showcase Visual Kei, I think "an absolute presence" is needed.
Q: In a way, a charisma.
Uruha: Right. Whether the GazettE would be able to reach that is a different matter, but I guess, "It's our priority to aim for that".
Q: There are a lot of people influenced by the GazettE's charisma aren't there?
Uruha: Actually we don't feel like that at all. And that's why're aiming to have that kind of presence.
Q: It's difficult to define what charisma is. But as you're able to get so many people to come to your live performances, I think there are people who view the GazettE or RUKI-san as symbol of Visual Kei.
Uruha: Even if there are people who think that way, we know that it's not something permanent. Fame and support are brittle things that might crumble anytime. And that's why we want to build a solid foundation so that ours won't crumble. And as a result, maybe that wish was also incorporated in 'DOGMA'.
Q: It's difficult to get that kind of confidence.
Uruha: If someone asks, "Are you relieved that there were so many people coming to watch your Budokan performance in March?" then the answer is no. Even if we see our past selves or other bands objectively, the answer will still be the same. Any band will have their ups and downs. And that's why we cannot let our guards down.
Q: I can understand that. But the GazettE's case, you have to keep a high standard even while having ups and downs.
Uruha: That's something that we don't understand. We don't feel as if we're keeping a certain level, or rather, that feeling itself sounds weird.
Q: Do you have a strong feeling that since the GazettE has been around for a long time, you have to challenge a lot of things?
Uruha: We don't feel that we have to challenge new things, but we have a sense of duty to make some influence on others. Just as we started this band because we got influence from bands that are more senior, I think we also have this sense of duty to make some influence on the younger bands. But it's difficult to influence others just by being there. We have to keep creating things which will attract people. And that's why we took a long time in making this album. Making half-baked stuffs is the worst.
In order to turn 'DOGMA' into concrete songs with persuasive power, we definitely needed time.
Q: I guess you had a lot of songs selection to create 'DOGMA'
Uruha: Usually we have 1-2 songs selection stage, but this time I think we had 5-6.
Q: That's just how much you wanted to turn 'DOGMA' into something concrete.
Uruha: In order to turn 'DOGMA' into concrete songs with persuasive power, we definitely needed time. And that way, we didn't proceed unless we were already satisfied with things.
Q: In a way, (having) that kind of environment is quite a luxury.
Uruha: You're right (laughs). But we might not be allowed to do this again. But this time, we needed the long period. And since 'DOGMA' is the completed form of it, maybe we won't be able to make something like this again ever.
In reality, if someone asks, "Given similar conditions, will you be able to make something like this again?" then it would be difficult. We're already doing preparations for our next release. And we're doing it with a quite tight schedule. But that's the reality, and that's the normal environment. So maybe 'DOGMA' is a rare thing that can only be completed with accumulation of various factors... we definitely needed that long period and timing.
Translated by Val.