Sunday, 28 March 2010

Neo Genesis - Volume 44 - Personal Interview


AOI



Aoi, armed with a black guitar and a cool bearing, capturing fans’ attentions. Carrying within him the awareness of being somewhat different as a guitarist, in playing style as well as countenance, from Uruha. We got to talk about a variety of topics, ranging from the threshold to embark upon the path of music, to a self-analysis of his present style, which have shaped the personality of Aoi, the guitarist.


----When was the first time you held a guitar?
“Wasn’t it, around the 1st year of Middle School? It was around the 6th year of Elementary School, I think. My elder brother was in a band at the time, so guitar and all were there at home.Well, if you ask me what the first time was…… Well, my brother was a High School student, and I guess I wanted to fit in with the elders doing things like holding meetings. That was how I started, I suppose.”

----More in order to fit in with the elders’ group than actually wanting to play the guitar (laughs).
“Hm. It must’ve been painfully annoying for my brother, to be tailed around by a kid that way (laughs).  He used to have stuff like lyrics of bands like Jun Sky Walkers pasted on his walls. I wasn’t into those kind of bands at all so I didn’t understand much. I think it was somewhat unexpected even for my brother. Basically, my brother used to be playing metal in his room. I have memories of playing the gut guitar he passed on to me after I kept pestering him with “Teach me guitar~”. I wanted to play the Intro of the X-JAPAN song ‘Kurenai’, you see. And, ever since I started with the guitar, me and a classmate of mine would practise together, to gain some sort of dexterity. It was merely a twin-guitar band, with the two of us.”

----The songs of which band did you practise?
“We’d practise stuff like Metallica.”

----I see. Your brother influenced (your interest in) hard-rock bands, didn’t he?
“That’s right. Though I used the guitar my brother gave me in the beginning, it broke or something, and then I eventually did buy one myself. I kept saving the money I received as New Year’s Gift, and starting from 6th year of Elementary School, I used to help with the newspaper distribution. Saving this way, I owned a guitar worth around 10 thousand Yen, when I was still a Middle School student.”

----That’s admirable!! To have been earning for whatever you wanted ever since you were a kid.
“That’s because things were never bought for me. I bought even my Baseball gloves myself. So it was the same for the guitar too, and even when I bought the Marshall (famous makers of Amplifiers for use with Guitar and Bass), I announced it rather normally, at home.”

----(laughs) You must have made your family mad. Normal houses don’t have soundproofing facilities, do they?
“(laughs) I didn’t care, whatever it was. I used to make a lot of noise.”

----Do you still remember what your first guitar looked like?
“I do. I remember very well! My real first guitar was from the guitar makers ‘Aria Pro’, sort of a beginners’ set, and it came along with a small amplifier. Wasn’t it for something around 5 thousand? It was purple, and like sunset, its colour would keep getting darker. My first guitar was quite exciting, wasn’t it? (laughs) But it was cool.”

----Compared to what you use now, it was definitely exciting (laughs). It’s mostly black now, isn’t it?
“Ah, that’s right. After 2 guitars, the colour has been black all through. Black, I love it. I don’t know why I bought a purple one in the beginning, if I think about it now (laughs).”

----Taking into account your look, and the sound, what are your opinions about the guitars at present?
“How do I say it…… I dislike things being, sort of, banal, you know. I thought a lot about this guitar too (Aoi’s Model guitar displayed on the laptop by a staff), though it was my first guitar model.”

----Aah. The shape is very unique, isn’t it? It has these sharp carvings in it.
“Yes. I worked a lot at the bits and pieces of these lines with the Illustrator (a graphics software for laptops)…… I even thought about the shape of the head (the extreme end connected to the neck of a guitar) for the first guitar myself. Even I worked hard…… (laughs).”

----Right, so what are your opinions about sound? Were you to do a self-analysis of your playing..
“Aah…… About that…… I, in the past, couldn’t even cut, you know, around the time I was a Middle School student. As if, the guitar was just all about the twang and jangle of a power chord (Power Chord : Chord with a characteristically strong sound created by pressing the strings with just 2 or even 1 finger). That’s why, I faced a lot of hardships. Even with the GazettE songs, in the beginning.”

----That’s because songs by the GazettE require subtle sounds, don’t they? Especially now.
“Right. It was so difficult. I used to be all “I don’t understand your songs at all……” in the beginning (laughs). What for, you know…… I think Uruha and all are quite different in this aspect. That’s because Uruha, in particular, pays minute attention. I just see what roughly works the best…… (laughs). And then, it’s a “It’ll get better later!” sort of thing.”

----(laughs) That isn’t how everybody works, you know. But, still, in the methods of creating sounds, do you think you’re a different type than Uruha?
“We’re different! We do test out the many guitars that are there…… And definitely, there are those not-so-important lines too, in relation to musical performances. But, there’s this thing…… I’m the sort who goes “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could bring out my emotions well?” Though this might just be about Lives in particular, I do feel that it’s important to have fun, even if one is creating a lot…… Getting too strict and rigid about the how and what of every little sound caught by the mikes is not something I’m too fond of. I somehow can’t get used to it.”

----So according to you, to be able to convey a song as well as possible, it is essential to have a method which carries some emotion with it, the necessary skills notwithstanding; to have the ability to express oneself in a performance, one way or the other.
“Hm. I feel it’s alright even if I don’t play some essential part (laughs). But I don’t like going overboard with creating music. Though I work hard at the pre-production and the recording operations at the studio, the Lives in particular are a different matter. In the end, if I don’t play it that way, if I don’t end up raising my guitar a bit, then it’s not nice for me (laughs). You know, because if you aren’t putting any energy into it, the strap will sag.”

----Well then, what could be the reasons for the strap still sagging……?
“Doesn’t it look good (laughs). I can’t get myself to think that raising it too much makes for a good posture. Although it’s obviously quite difficult to play with the strap hanging too low…… the GazettE’s songs are difficult! Especially the recent ones. With my taste in music having developed over time, I can’t bring in much variety even in places where I used to be able to play rather vigourously in the past. Actually, I’ve been raising and lowering the strap by small bits each year.”

----(laughs) Doesn’t the height of the guitar bring about any remarkable changes? There are fans who percieve those things, you know.
“I don’t think I know (laughs). The eyes of a strap are just like one of the senses, if you look at it that way. I’m thinking of pulling it up another eye for this tour. It’s not even 5 centimetres, I don’t think it’ll get noticed at all!”



Ducky's Notes:
1. I'm sorry about any errors in the translation. If someone notices any, do let me know. I'd appreciate it a lot.
2. I'll try to translate and put up Uruha's part as soon as possible. I'm sorry about the delay :(
3. Credit for the scans goes to [rawkstarr23 and gazette_daily, at LJ]. Thanks a lot~

12 comments:

  1. Thank for translating!! This made me soo happy~
    LOL, Aoi's fisrt guitar was PURPLE?? WAHAHAHA~[LMAO, that's Uru's favorite color. THEY WERE DESTINED TO BE TOGETHER]

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  2. MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY :DD
    And now Uru also says that Black is his favourite colour!! That's totally 'lovers' habits rubbing off on each' there, if you ask me :DD

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  3. Thank you so much for great work <3

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  4. Thank you for translating! ♥

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  5. Thanks for the translation!!

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  6. uwah! so many technical guitar words!! thank you for your hard work!! i love the part when he talked about his first guitar n_n

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  7. thanks for translating~ (:
    aoi's purple guitar~ ♥

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  8. thank you so much for your hard work on the interviews of this neo!!
    i was reading them when the neo came out and couldnt help thinking how hard it would be to translate aois parts lol
    but you did a great job :D
    otsukaresama!!

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  9. Ah, iie iie !
    I do find Aoi's interviews more difficult to translate than Uruha's, for some reason:) He's so random, and he switches topics so suddenly, one is left wondering if one understood correctly-_-
    I've been trying to translate another one of his interviews actually, but i'm totally stuck at one point..have absolutely /no idea/ what he's talking about x__x
    Thanks for leaving behind a comment:) Your appreciation means a lot to me *bows*

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