Special Feature Article
The GazettE, not having had another release since “BEFORE I DECAY” in October last year. Actually, with the talks of the transfer progressing under the surface, as a band, the other issue of the long periods of creative work was also done away with. So, the band is once again working at a new beginning this summer. Returning to the music scene with the new single “SHIVER”. With the Tour starting at the same time as the release, we talked about their enthusiasm post the mental state of a period of concealment.
Photographer: Susumu Miyawaki (PROGRESS-M., Co, Ltd.)
Hair and Make-up : Yoriko Matsuda, Asami Yamada (PS COMPANY)
Stylist : Masashi Takahashi, Maki Akaba, Masato Hishinuma
Interview : Atsushi Kaie
Design : Hideyuki Sahashi (ALPHA GRAPHICS)
THE BEGINNING OF A NEW FIGHT…
-------It’s been almost an year since all of you gathered here (the last time was No. 49), isn’t it? During this long……a time, what have you all been doing?
Ruki—Making songs. (laughs)
--------Though I’m sure the song-making has been going on since last year, isn’t the release-schedule-related work a little different?
Ruki—At the time we started making the songs, it was simply a dump of compositions.
--------Well in that case, you must’ve had quite a stock, right?
Ruki—Its like……it’s not as if……there are around 7 songs which remain, but there were other songs too.
--------So it was a no-deadlines……sort of a thing. (wry smile)
Aoi—That said, we weren’t even told to hurry up or anything.
--------In a positive sense, wasn’t it a luxurious period then?
Aoi—That’s true. It’s been a while.
Ruki—But because there was time, in the end we still were rushing to catch up……wonder why that happened.
--------Because the deadline does have to come up sometime. (laughs) In any case, if there is time, one is able to experiment with various things, and debate over stuff, isn’t it?
Aoi—That’s because, we are, ultimately, the sort who avoid risks as best as we can, you see. (laughs)
--------Really? (laughs) No no, not just with making songs, but it also enables you to include other things, doesn’t it? Like going for a trip, or hanging out. (laughs)
Ruki—I couldn’t help but be anxious. (bitter smile)
Reita—I wanted to go for a trip, but there was nothing decided about the upcoming matters, so I wasn’t even in the mood to go for a trip. (laughs) Had I been told it’s an off hereafter, I was bound to have had some fun, you know.
Ruki—It was just dangling in the air. It wasn’t an off but it wasn’t work either……sort of.
Uruha—I did think about it, but I had a sense of the distance between us and the deadline, I think. Not too close or too far. If that’s not there then nothing really comes up, isn’t it. (laughs)
Aoi—Sometime before the FC Tour (this March) was when I thought how the days for completing this were coming closer. (laughs) Sooner or later, sort of a feeling, I mean. (laughs)
Uruha—Normally, it’s a done thing to have various things decided by year-end, but before we came to know where the recording office was, I wasn’t even in the mood to get down to making songs.
Ruki—For us, not having anything to do was a rather disagreeable state. (wry smile)
--------Passing such a bleak period, then with things clearing up, the transfer getting decided and then also the decision about the release of the single, “SHIVER”. I suppose, with all of this, the song must’ve been made quite recently……right?
Ruki—That’s true. Just a little before the new deadline. We started making songs only after we had reached a state where we were thinking, ‘If we don’t meet up for choosing songs soon it’ll get really bad, wouldn’t it?’ (bitter smile) And when things got to where we felt, ‘If we think so much, it’ll be awful now, right?’……if we didn’t do the recording around that time we wouldn’t have made it to the July date, so we started off rather impatiently. (bitter smile)
Uruha—I thought we’d be told something like, ‘Please make it by this time’, but there was nothing of the sort at all……and then, the time totally ran out. (laughs)
--------So when did the song-selection meeting take place eventually?
Ruki—It was the beginning of February, right?
Reita—That was around the time the plans for the year were decided upon all at once.
--------And, Sony was decided upon for the transfer. I suppose, the aim of the transfer was to let the existence of the GazettE be known to people who don’t know about the band yet, right?
Ruki—That is so. Well, we wouldn’t know unless we try, right? (laughs)
--------Talking of which, were there any orders from the makers saying “Please make it this sort of a song”, or something?
Ruki—There weren’t any.
Uruha—Rather, they told us that the songs were everything. Although it’s most obvious that not having enough compositions is not something good, that was how it actually was. On the contrary, I think we were the ones requesting things. We were able to get a lot more publicity done for ourselves, for example.
--------That’s because, the basic thing is for there to be good songs, isn’t it? Well, the crucial thing, so to say, is to have good stuff in the GazettE style.
Ruki—We went about it the same way as always, though.
Uruha—But, with respect to deciding upon the songs, we worked keeping in mind the fact that we couldn’t proceed until all of us came to a consensus.
--------Starting off work with a new staff, were there any sort of discords?
Ruki—The makers themselves didn’t seem to know much about the thing called Visual Kei. So, it started off with an explanation about what Visual Kei is all about.
Uruha—But when we explained things to them, they happened to have an opinion or two of their own, in places, and we almost ended up, sort of, quarreling over it. (laughs)
--------Isn’t this all about the GazettE becoming the Vanguards of the Next Era?
Ruki—That’s what the makers also said. But they also said that there are those fans too who have followed us until now, and for that reason, we cannot just change all of a sudden. The core fans who have been following us until now will get surprised.
--------Moving ahead, we’d like to hear you talk about the 3 songs in the compilation, including the title song. They are different from the normal pattern, aren’t they?
Ruki—They do sound like the usual stuff though. (laughs)
--------The coupling song “HESITATING MEANS DEATH” being a lively number, what sort of impression did it make upon the makers? Did they like it?
Reita—It was like ‘they like the coupling even more!’ (laughs)
--------Does that mean there was some difference of opinion over having “SHIVER” as the title song?
Ruki—We talked about the lyrics. For the most part, they were putting in all their effort too. Rather than feeling “This is not nice”, we managed to work at it with all honesty.
--------I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there are places in the lyrics of “SHIVER” which somehow have a different aura than the earlier works.
Ruki—The songs in the past used to be reckless and straight. So even I wanted to have easy-to-understand lyrics this time. Nonetheless, there was a difference between what was easy-to-understand for me and what was easy-to-understand for them----. Well, what I had with me beforehand were also very straight-forward lyrics so there wasn’t any sense of discomfort about it. I haven’t written them recently.
Uruha—They were all in Japanese.
Ruki—Well, seeing as it came after quite a while, I thought I would look like something fresh, you know? It wasn’t especially difficult anyway. That’s because, truth be told, I’ve always been writing difficult-to-understand lyrics till now.
Uruha—Isn’t that what you like?
--------Going through such an exchange of opinions, wasn’t there a reaffirmation of the essence of the band? How did things work out in this respect?
Ruki—Nah~. I thought, because they don’t really lose sight of us anyway, there weren’t any visits to our living rooms either. Whether it’s our appearance or the song that we’re working at, we felt that as long as the part about the typical the GazettE style of rock would still be present…… it would be fine by us.
Uruha—Actually, we’re not the sort of band to do what we don’t really want to do.
--------Nevertheless, there are also parts which are easy to work at, aren’t there? By the way, has the PV been shot yet?
Ruki—It’ll get done sometime soon—
Reita—The Director had been the one who wanted it, so he settled upon it himself. Last time, there were people who had requested it.
Uruha—Our job got easier in that aspect.
Ruki—The quality of the artwork, including the jacket itself, increased.
--------Hearing you talk, I get the feeling there were all sorts of ups and downs before the Single came out. (laughs)
Uruha—We want to let everybody know quickly that this is not all that we are releasing. (wry laughter)
Ruki—There’ve also got to be a large number of fans who don’t know about the transfer.
Uruha—Wouldn’t they be wondering why this bunch of fellows isn’t releasing any compositions yet?
--------And then…… this time “SHIVER” has been decided upon as the Opening Theme for the anime “Kuroshitsuji II”, right?
Reita—It’s the first time we’ve tied-up with an anime.
Uruha—Though it’s an anime, it felt like we’ve steadily walked hand-in-hand with each other. There have been various tie-ups up until now, but our own involvement had been overwhelmingly small.
Reita—It’s as if we were creating an opening image in rhythm with the song.
--------And well, the Tour is also starting in July. It’s happening after a long time, and it’s also spread over a long period----. What struck me was the division between “NAMELESS LIBERTY SIX BULLETS 01” and “NAMELESS LIBERTY SIX BULLETS 02”.
Reita—Aah, I think you’ll realize it yourself later. (laughs) You’ll understand even this in July. (laughs)
Aoi—We were idle in the first half, that’s why. Keeping that in mind, we felt we had to give out a lot of candies. (laughs)
--------Not only are there numerous performances, but even your opening day at Tokyo Budoukan is a 2 DAY performance. The gig at Nakano Sun Plaza Hall has 3 performances, right? Have you done this before?
Uruha—Isn’t this the first time?
--------There are venues you’ll be performing at for the first time, and this being a long-duration Tour after quite a while, at present, what sort of a Tour do you want this to turn out to be? Could each one of you talk about it, please!
Kai—Since there are only 3 songs coming up as new songs, I think 01 will not be much different from the Lives we’ve done this far. So, that’ll do away with the pressure of having to do something new, I guess. We had a little meeting about this a while back too, so if we could just get to that nice place. (laughs)
--------As in, having easy-to-relate Lives because there will also be people who’ll be watching you for the first time?
Kai—That is something we keep in mind for any Live we perform anyway.
--------How do you fell about this, Reita?
Reita—It’s the first time we have so many performances lined up despite not having released an album. Well, I wonder how the GazettE right now, performing an intermixing of old and new songs, will turn out to be. The set-list hasn’t been decided yet, so I don’t know how it’ll turn out to be, but I want to hear what sort of moods the old songs will bring about now.
--------How about Aoi?
Aoi—Is that how you feel? (laughs)
--------Eh? How? (laughs)
Aoi—Instead, it’s about what would be better to do, right? Although I’ve turned it into a question instead. (laughs)
--------Hm? Instead? (laughs) Uhh~, you’re being your magnificent self----.
Aoi—Ah I’m tired of hearing that, all the time. (laughs)
--------Well, without having said that. (laughs)
Aoi—Well I don’t know, I just feel it’ll be good if we can turn it into a summer which stays on in one’s memories. I want to perform memorable Lives.
Uruha—The Singles compilation this time has 3 songs which is very little, but I feel they could well be keystones leaving a fairly good impression. “SHIVER” would reach out to the world, “HESITATING MEANS DEATH” was made because we wanted to have some wholehearted fun, so it’ll be a song which will be exciting, not considering the fact that it’s difficult to play, while “Naraku” is a heavy song which shows our worldview, so all are songs which I feel will draw a response even at the Lives so I’m really looking forward to it.
--------Would you kindly sum it all up, Ruki?
Ruki—Well you see, these are Lives which signify the road that we, as the GazettE, have followed this far, I’ve been talking of how I want to bring in such a feel into the performance of these Lives that they look like we’re showcasing a movie called the GazettE. I don’t know how we’ll do it though. (laughs) Isn’t this like a world-view broken up into blocks?
--------As in, the hard blocks, the blocks which are listened to, and such.
Ruki—I suppose, if we could take a close-up of each one of those, and work with them, you know. If we do that, I think even the image of the older songs will change.
--------This is an additional question, but what do you want to do by the year-end this year?
Ruki—I either want to be shivering away, or laughing real hard, I suppose. (laughs)
Reita—Don’t we also get mentally stronger?
Aoi—Well, I just want to think that it was a good year, you know. (laughs)
1. Nice, fun, positive interview, wasn't it!? GazeMusicians this time, hehe :D
2. Do let me know if there are places where something is unclear or wrongly translated! I'll be glad to clear and fix it up :)
3. Thanks for the scans to [rawksarr23] and [gazette_daily] at LJ.
4. Enjoy! ♥