Sunday, 11 April 2010

Arena 37 - January 2010 - Aoi Interview

from. the GazettE

Bringing to you Aoi, the second player to the GazettE’s personal gameplan.
Replete with (photographs of) expressions one is never able to see in the photographs of the Gazette fivesome.
This interview with fiery thoughts flowing so earnestly is a must-read!

----As we look back upon the year 2009, let us talk about the prospects for the year 2010.
“There is no choice. Lets talk, in that case. 2009 was normal. No impressions of having been too busy.”


----You’ve forgotten?
“Forgotten what?”

----You almost died out of being busy……
“Ha? Did I?”

----Yes, you did (laughs). Starting 2009 with the Company Live at Budoukan in January, you produced “DISTRESS AND COMA” and did the 7th Anniversary Live at Makuhari Messe on March 10th, went into the production of “DIM” without taking any breaks, and then there was the “DIMSCENE” tour, with the Final at Saitama Super Arena on 5th September.
“Oh~. I worked sufficiently hard then, didn’t I~ (laughs). You’re right, you’re right, I was busy (laughs). I really did feel dead during the production of the album, you know.

----It’s only human to completely forget the bitterness once it’s been swallowed, isn’t it?
“So it is (laughs).”
[Sai, the Manager – They’d say, “In case we die because we’re too busy to rest, you’re the one who’s killed us!”]
“We did that, we did that (laughs). We truly thought that way, you know (laughs). But we had some margin during the second half (of the year), so I forgot about it. Also, maybe its just me in particular, but I’m not the sort to look back. I like it the most when I can place everything ahead of me, can feel the vigour in me, because I think it’s nice to have that feeling of recklessness.”

----Well, don’t you watch past videos of yourselves?
“Those, we do watch. But we don’t watch them with the intention of analysis or introspection. I drag in some elder sisterly lady from around the area and watch it with her. ‘What’s this. Isn’t it cool?’ sort of thing (laughs).”

----Drag in some elder sisterly lady from around the area!? This is rock (laughs). In the past, talented people from outside would often make those kind of comments in western music magazines, right? These days, musicians giving such critiques are no longer around. They, sort of, did away with the ‘person pursuing rock = dangerous’ image. They could well be called the intelligentsia.
“That could be said of them. Well, talking of which, even I do joke around saying those things (laughs).”

---- ………………
“Ahahaha. Well? What was it? Ah, the DVDs. When I’m watching things such as old videos,I do it objectively. Unless it’s watched objectively, it means nothing, does it? When it comes to respecting artists, players or even people, I go all the way, which is why I buy their DVDs and stuff despite having borrowed them. Because they are perennial, you know. It’s an extreme thing to say, it’s alright even if you altogether ignore it (laughs). The fellows in my town would knock down a person if they were talked to in such a way. They’d either grab the base of one’s neck and punch with their bare fists, or they’d circle their hands around the neck and grip it from behind in such a way that one couldn’t move it, and then they’d punch with their fists (laughs). It’s absolutely sadistic. But, they’re absolute masochists when it comes to people whom they respect or are charmed by. Because they let themselves get charmed with all their heart.”

----That again is quite extreme, isn’t it? (laughs)
“Isn’t it cute?”

----What is?
“That sort of me.”

----Eh,  ah,  yeah (laughs). Those words do bring out very Aoi-ish characteristics. So then, for you, aren’t the B’z guitarists one of those respected ones? Do you still continue to work at their music sheets?
“I used to. I definitely respect the B’z guitar playing a lot. But these days, I’ve settled down for another thing to be respected. These days, I think of working harder at my job. I’ve had a sort of change of hearts, you see (laughs). I want to work harder now. That’s why, I haven’t even been playing games, recently.”

----You also have your birthday coming up, on 20th January, isn’t it?
“Yes. One has to grow older. So alongwith that, I feel like working harder at my job too.”

----Still, even though you say that, you’ve been twice as stoic as the others ever since the earlier days. So, if you’re not practising with the B’z music sheets now, what else do you do?
“These days, it’s ‘Dragon Quest’.”

----You just said you’ve stopped games……….
“It’s not a game. It’s like a textbook in which one has to play ‘Dragon Quest’ with metal (music). It is terribly difficult, you know. Mechanical training from hell. That is what I’ve been playing and defeating, recently. First, I wake up in the morning….then, yeah! These days, I’ve been waking up in the mornings you know!”

----Waking up in the morning is not normally thought of as an unusual occurance, you know….
“But that’s because I used to wake up at around 4 in the morning up until now. But these days, I wake up at around 10 in the morning, wash my face and then immediately it’s the guitar. In the past, my lifestyle was such that I would wake up at 4, wash my face, switch on the laptop, and just like that, play games till the morning.”

----Weren’t you a bad person?
“That’s right, isn’t it. A bad person. But recently, for whatever reason, I wake up in the mornings, quickly get onto playing the guitar, and get so immersed into it that the day passes by before I realise it. It makes me sort of happy, to gradually be able to play things that I couldn’t play before because they were too difficult (laughs). It’s almost like being a kid with a guitar, you know (laughs). Nowdays, I can’t help but have fun with the guitar. It isn’t a half-hearted interest, I really immerse myself into it. That’s because these days, I’ve ended up creating an ‘other’ self. When I get into the ofuro (Japanese-style bathtub), my chest sort of darkens, and that becomes the other me. Then I start thinking, “What is this? Don’t freeze.”, I play too much even in my dreams, bringing the guitar’s body really close to myself, I become the ‘other’ (laughs). I go, “What is this right in the middle of my dreams?’ (laughs). It’s great (laughs). I end up tapping at those times. I really get immersed and have to tell myself sometimes that my stomach must be getting empty. When I look at the clock thinking thus, I realise it’s already evening, so no wonder I got hungry.”

----So do you call for home delivery services then?
“No. I’m in a really good mood at those times, so I call over some staff, and go out for food (laughs). Very conveniently I get generous then, and tell myself something on the lines of, “Thanks for everything, have whatever you want.” (laughs). It’s a sense of solitary accomplishment (laughs).”

----Ahahaha. Sense of solitary accomplishment (laughs).
“Right right (laughs). I think, holding onto and standing by what one believes about something makes us mentally stronger as human beings, and sort of, raises us. Though I’m saying it myself, these days, I’ve gone rather gentle (laughs). I don’t get so angry anymore. I don’t feel like fussing over every minute detail, I feel like being a little clumsy too, at times. It’s sort of refreshing, you know. I think it’s very important to feel accomplished, in order to boost oneself. And to think why that fire is still ablaze uptil now. Basically, when I watch people posting videos of my own guitar-play in places such as Guitar Mania, (I realise) how adept they are at it. I almost regret that fact. So I think, “Yay. Let’s get even better!” That’s where that desire (to accomplish) stems from.”

----I see. You self-taught yourself when you started out with the guitar, right?
“That was mainly through copying the music sheets. It used to be like, ‘I can’t read anything except tabs!’. I couldn’t read anything except tabs until recently, because I never thought it was important to my guitar-play. But lately, because I had time, I’ve been studying score sheets too. And I’ve also been practicing how to write them. Actually, I’ve just been trying to see what it’s like to work a bit in the manner of a musician. What with it being my birthday on 20th this month (laughs).”

----Then again, that’s not entirely true (laughs). You’re a famous musician now.
“No no. I’m still like a gamer who’s only halfway there (laughs).”

----There, you’re saying the same thing again (laughs). And yet, all along uptil now, you’ve been investing heavily in instruments if you feel they are important for your sound.
“That’s because I like it. I want to try and grow as a musician, but in a more profound manner. These days, while playing the guitar, it feels like I’m stumbling towards something of an SE.”

----At the keyboard?
“Through step recording. Hey, am I not a musician?”

----Eh, ah, definitely. I mean, one moment you call yourself a gamer, the next you suddenly come up with “Am I not a musician?”, so it’s tough to follow you. What would you like to be known as, then? (laughs)
“Please leave that subject to the occasion, because I myself don’t know such things.”

----…….Sure. In that case, let it be known well that Proffessor Aoi is a musician. How about that?
“Fine. Though I can manage with the step recording, I can’t play the keyboard very well. I’ve been wanting to strengthen that aspect too. More than being a guitarist, it’s a natural thing for me to be playing the guitar. Since the finest is right on top, one way or the other, I want to develop my skills targeting that height. But I’ve come to feel that being able to do even that much is not quite what I’d opt for. Despite being a musician, it’s not nice to end up viewing everything objectively. Lately, the members have also been working hard at developing their individual skills. I can’t possibly lose at that either.”

----I see. Things look really ambitious right now, don’t they. Any objectives for your 2010?
“Well. I guess, to set right every disrepute (suffered) in 2009. Though the year was thoroughly memorable, there was this inferiority complex in me. I really felt as if I was the only one getting left behind. There were a lot of times when I felt dissatissfied with things. So, first of all, I just want to work hard at catching up with the members, to be able to have that confidence within myself. I’ll be leading a more meaningful life from now on. A way of life with vigour quite different from that of teenage.”

----Because it isn’t adolescence any longer, right?
“Yes! That. Truly that. I feel, that from now on, true human nature will begin to show itself in my way of life. The parts which make up that true nature, per say, will get a little brushed up. Like, ‘even if I go to a cabaret club, I’ll get popular not because of my outward appearance, but for what is within!’. I’ll try to improve myself thoroughly in 2010 so that I can live such a life. Such are my thoughts.”

----You said really good things, but the way you summed up the last part again ended up sounding like a saucy rocker. Is that alright?
“It’s alright (laughs). Of course there’ll be people paying money and dragging themselves because they want to listen to our music, right? They’ll come to the Lives wanting to watch us play. From now on, and not just for 2010, my objective will be to give my last bit to avoid being impolite or disrespectful to those people.”

“That’s because it’s easy to say (laughs).”

----………….. That’s really not true. Although, you do understand and like your fans to that extent.
“Well (laughs). I don’t mean to lie, I just want them to expect those things of me. With that, I’ll get back!”

Ducky's Notes:
1. Aoi~ dear, dear, dear Aoi ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ *sends hugs* 
2. I'm really, really not sure about the 'other' part. If someone could comprehend it better, please let me know!!
3. Credit for scans goes to [rawkstarr23 and gazette_daily at LJ]. Much thanks:)


  1. woo! first! XD
    "these days, I wake up at around 10 in the morning, wash my face and then immediately it’s the guitar. In the past, my lifestyle was such that I would wake up at4,wash my face,switch on the laptop,&just like that,play games till the morning.”

    ah, to play guitar all day everyday form morning till evening.... what a life! XD =)
    lols man, gamers *shakes ehad* XD

    wow, these guys are all so .... driven. lols so directive <--is taht even a word?] like they all know what they're doing..still developing their skills and getting better...they dont stop =) <3 <3 ah, if only i can work that hard XD and focus on it without getting bored =.= XD
    some musicians are jsut like "eh, i can play and write, i dont really feel the need to get better." so they dont really improve... but eh lols
    seems like he's working really hard... XD
    the GazE guys always seem to be working really hard lols

    THANKS FOR TRANSLATING! i always enjoy reading what Aoi says XD

  2. Quite a life they have, indeed:D And i know, even i wish i had that sort of passion, even for things i like, but i get bored of things too quickly and easily. I guess that's what separates the stars from us normal earthlings XD
    Aoi seems to have grown a lot, it's kind of bittersweet, isn't it?
    Yay! for hardworking Gazemen:D Ah, i wish i could be there when they'll finally be reaching that pinnacle, the Tokyo Dome, this December~ *is sad*
    Thanks a lot for leaving behind a comment, dear:D

  3. Thank you for translating, it was interesting! :)

  4. You're most welcome:)
    Aoi is a charmer ♥

  5. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!! Aoi is a sweetheart. Just stole my heart and he's not giving it back anytime soon. ♥

  6. Awwwww :D
    Don't worry~ Your heart is in very skilled hands:D

    Thanks for commenting!

  7. I just love Aoi's interview XDD

    Anyway,thank you LOADS for the hardwork translating the interview.I might translate it to my own language if you don't mind :D

  8. Thank you so, so much for translating this!(^w^)
    I was very much surprised to read that he'd rather call some staff and then go and have dinner and not call up some band member...I never know what to think about that and it's still a mystery to me how the band members interact with each other outside work...
    And just reading about how much passionate Aoi is about his work and his beloved guitars makes me so happy, you have no idea^^ He really is a perfectionist to the core, isn't he?

  9. Thanks a lot for translating this^^
    I enjoyed reading every bit of it.
    Aoi is very endearing<3

    His passion, his work ethic--not just in his career, but in regards to all areas of his life...
    I admire him very much^^

    Aoi, fighting!!
    Gazette, fighting!!
    Venemous Cell Tour, fighting!!<3