TOUR10 NAMELESS LIBERTY SIX BULLETS 01 START!!
Introducing Uruha, the 4th player to the GazettE’s personal gameplan.
With “Easy to Convey” as the theme, it turned out to be a photography session at an airport in the outskirts of Kantou. The interview traces Uruha’s thoughts about the Final of the Fan-Club tour in March, the changes in his attitudes about making songs and the “present” of the man that is “Uruha”.
Text : Takeshi Sachiko
Photo : Miyawaki Susumu (PROGRESS-M)
Hair & Make-up : Machida Yoriko
Styling & Costume design : Hiruma Masato
Location : Honda Airways (049-299-1111 / Homepage : http://www.honda-air.com/)
----The photography today was done at an airport, so was it you who chose the venue?
“It wasn’t exactly the airport to begin with, but I wanted to have a picture that was simple and easy to understand and communicate, and I only had the idea of abandonment in mind. By simple, I didn’t mean the ‘studio photography with white background curtains’ kind of simple. Letting go of that sort of an image, the idea of ‘How about an airport?’ came up. It fit perfectly with my image. The costume was finalised only after the shoot at the airport was decided upon, because I wanted a ‘hard’ image. Although I conveyed only that image to the stylists, the ideal picture I had figured in my mind took form. We took off at 9 in the morning, and it was really rushed, but by evening, since we wanted to shoot in a rather un-Japanese airspace, it was quite some fun shooting in an atmosphere like in some foreign country. I did have the build-up in mind. Fanning from below, and experiencing an ambience different from normal airport activities was quite enjoyable. Those were the sort feelings I gathered from all the personal sessions I did in the past. Trying to present the image of emerging out of a cucoon, or breaking out of a shell, through photographs, ended up being rather messy affairs. I thought that was something I could express quite well in my own way, and there were also places where I felt that the true meaning did come forth. So this time round, it was something easy to fathom. Actually, it’s really difficult to express something to another person through ways other than words, isn’t it?”
----That’s true, because there is nothing but our senses to express something to another person through means other than words, right?
“Yes. Even with respect to music, since it’s not lyrics, it’s meaningless to attach any meaning to it. I personally think it’s meaningless to be explaining how “this sound expresses such and such meaning.””
----Does this also apply to normal song-making?
“It does apply. Isn’t music something that one just gets, one way or the other, because it’s all about the senses, really. For that reason, I’ve recently been thinking quite a lot about how I want to make something that expresses even without any explanations. What I sense when I’m making songs is something like the feeling of having a foreigner before me and trying to express things through gestures. Though it’s the same even with the band, for my personal projects too, whatever I’m feeling strongly at that time, at that moment, does remain behind in the pages of the magazines. I think its not about forcibly retaining our essence, but about not blurring it either. I think that is because all the influences and the environments that I have been under uptil now have been naturally turning into something of my own. In the past, we were concious about not having any blurs or vagueness, but I think there were also times when we did that. We tried not to flatter ourselves. In those days, it was more about not considering anything except ourselves, rather than the thought of what one wanted to express individually. “What we want to show” was more important than “What I want to express”. But this time, or rather, recently, we’ve also come to consider things like what an outsider would feel when they see us, or how we would like to be seen by them. I feel the same about making songs recently. Rather than it being fine as long as I’m good, I’ve come to think over things like ‘What sort of songs are loved by the people?’. In the past, I made songs that I wanted to make, or songs that I loved, but these days, I’ve begun to feel like making songs that will be loved by everybody. I think it’s hardly anything if I do what I enjoy doing, and frankly, I think I’d rather have people enjoy watching me having fun. It’s not that I don’t want to make songs that people acknowledge, or songs that are thought of as good, but making such songs is difficult, you know. That’s because it’s easier to make songs that one likes, you see. These days, I’ve come to take up things which I find difficult as challenges. I’m not trying to flatter myself here. It’s more of a concious effort at being able to make songs which people will love while still preserving something of my own. I mean, at present, I do what I want to do, but more than that, I think this is how I expect things to be a little into the future. I think the photographs this time represent my thoughts as they are at present. When I myself look at the photographs from the past, even though I don’t read the interviews, just by looking at the photographs, I quickly comprehend “At this time I made this song thinking this at the time”. Though I feel I’m that easy to fathom, the way this is conveyed to the people keeps changing time and again, I suppose. There are so many ways to think about this even now. Looking back at the pictures, it’s interesting to see how natural the change was even though we were just being very honest all the time with what we put forth (laughs). It’s like looking at an album of one’s growing years (laughs). It’s like nostalgia, you know (laughs). Since the emotions I felt in those times remain in the photographs, it’s not that I think about shooting in the same situations as I did back then, but it’s just that, I don’t think it would turn out to be the same thing even if we shoot in a similar situation now. I guess my present self would come forth, after all. The ideal thing would be to have that conveyed to anybody who looks at the magazine, isn’t it?”
----This was all related to “songs that are loved by people”, was it not? There is a difference between being easy to understand, and being liked and praised by people. It’s difficult, isn’t it?
“That’s so true.”
----You played your old songs during the Fan Club Tour, didn’t you? Is the feeling of playing old songs at Lives the same as taking another look at old photographs?
“When we play old songs, we, in the present, don’t reject or deprecate those songs which we made ourselves in the past. Rather, we stay confident, and play those songs with a happy feeling while attempting to reach out to the essence of those songs with our present style of expression in mind. We feel like playing those songs if they are still loved, I think. That said, and this is something I felt during the Fan Club Tour, isn’t playing old songs rather exciting? It really brings the venue to a boil. Of course that makes us happy too, but I think the real thing is when utterly delighted and moved voices say “I’m happy because I heard it after a long time!” That definitely makes us happy too. Since it was a Fan Club Live, we wanted to prepare a premium set-list of exclusive songs at the time, and wanted to make everybody feel “the joy of hearing them after a long time”. I’m not sure whether everybody noticed or not, but even Ruki’s MCs were a bit different because those were Fan Club Lives. It felt almost as if it was an art form. We don’t do things like talking a lot or doing stuff other than the Live just because it’s a Fan Club Live, because the Live itself is a particularly special thing to be presented with, you know.”
----That’s right. How do you go about choosing the old songs?
“We research what songs the fans like to hear, and with that as a basis, the 5 of us decide upon them. We go about discussing things like ‘I want to play this’ or ‘How about this one?’. There are practical problems like someone with a different tuning, rendering a particular line-up impossible or something, so it’s quite difficult. Basically, the 5 of us discuss things and without the exception of even 1 person, unanimously decide upon playing songs which all of us feel like playing. I think that mindset is extremely important.”
----That gives a rather pleasant feeling, the nature of the relationship between the GazettE. The way the members probably come across to each other comes forth quite clearly.
“I used to talk quite selfishly in the past (laughs) but I’ve grown up considerably now, and don’t speak all those unreasonable things anymore (laughs).”
----While playing old songs, is the joy you feel somewhat similar to the joy one feels when, say on a date, one’s throat feels dry, and someone casually buys us just the drink one always drinks, and one feels “Ah, were they aware I like this? Really!”
“Eh? I mean……aren’t we talking about the Fan Club, right now? Sort of? (laughs)”
----Eh? What I mean is, don’t you have those sort of feelings when, on request by the fans, you suddenly play some song which you too like, from among the old songs?
“Ah aah (slight comprehension). Well………right now, stuff about the Fan Club…… (laughs)”
----That analogy was quite easy to understand (laughs).
“Ahahahaha. I do understand the nuance, this way or that (laughs). But I think it’ll be good if we can keep on making songs like the ones which we play regularly and which still make people feel “I’m happy to hear this song”, rather than the old ones which make them go “Squee” simply because we played them after a long while.”
----I understand that very well. This is about songs which genuinely have a power in them, isn’t it?
“Right. Even this is related to the “songs loved by everyone”. In my case, my thoughts at any particular moment always have some connection with song-making. That’s because I normally think of nothing else but making songs.”
----According to your present self, is there any song which resonates to that sort of feeling?
“‘Guren’ is one such song. While playing ‘Guren’ at Lives, I get a sensation no other song gives me. If you ask me why, it’s just that it feels like it seizes my chest with such absolute force. It sort of draws me in, and gets conveyed, it’s a sensation that makes my body tremble all over. Though it’s easier for ballads to draw one in like that, ‘Chizuru’ gives me the same sensations. That’s why, right now, I want to make songs which, despite being lively, render one immobile, and leave one with that swelling sensation.”
----A swelling sensation? That’s a nice expression, isn’t it? But when I watch the GazettE Lives, there are moments when I forget to breath!
“But I feel it’ll be nicer if that feeling totally spreads all over, instead of coming in sprinkles. There is no way but to create such a song to have that happen. That is the challenge I’ve set myself at the moment.”
----We’ll wait for it eagerly. But it seems you’ll get quite busy in the second half of the year, right? Starting with the performance at Budoukan on July 22nd and 23rd, it’s a country-wide Long Tour after quite a while, with 37 venues and 39 performances.
“Isn’t it? So what all songs shall we play? Say, one performance has approximately 22 songs, hm? 858 songs !? I’ll just be playing those many songs in a 2 month period, right? (laughs)”
----It’s even more if you think of 1 year, isn’t it?
“I don’t even want to think about it (laughs).”
----Talking of which, long back, when I was in University, I used to spend 2 hours in commuting one way to the University. The round trip took 4 hours. I was left speechless when told by a senior how that meant I was spending 4 months in an year , riding a train, though I suppose you do play the guitar everyday?
“Yes. I don’t think there’s a day when I don’t.”
---That means, if one calculates, it would come to around 10 months of you playing the guitar continuosly, in an year, (laughs).
“Woho. It’s not nice thinking of it that way, though being in a train for 4 months sounds even worse (laughs). In such a case, I guess it’s better to find something one can do in the train during commuting! One ought not to waste time (laughs). I’ll deal with the Lives one at a time, give them my full energy, and uptil the end of this year, when the Tour ends, I guess I’ll simply work at my present challenge, draw everybody in, and aim at making songs which will be thought of as good by everybody.”
Ducky's Notes :
1. Uruha ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥!!!!! He talks and talks and talks, doesn't he~
2. Sorry about any mis-translations....this is Uruha, the dear guy talks in circles..and i kept getting lost~
3. All thanks to [rawkstarr23] and [gazette_daily] @LJ for the scans:)