Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Fool’s Mate – January 2004 – the GazettE’s interview

Taihai Geishakei Hankou Kiroku [Criminal Record of Decadent Artistry]

First interview with the GazettE, under the title “Dai Nihon Itan Geisha”, showing a steep rise in popularity throughout the country. Introductory text to the GazettE taking questions about everything from the sweet beginnings of their five-some to the latest state of affairs. Disliking without knowing is the loss of a lifetime, so wouldn’t you too like to step inside and take a look at the world of the GazettE?

This being your first appearance for this magazine, let us start with the story of the formation of your band!

Uruha – Me, Reita and Ruki were in a band together before the GazettE.

Reita – By the way, me and Uruha have grown up together ever since 4th year of Elementary School!

It’s been a long association then.

Reita – Yes!

Uruha – Ruki was originally a drummer, but he was quite good at writing lyrics so we got him as the vocalist for that band. And we got the original vocalist to be the drummer (laughs). Well, anything to make things ultimately turn out well.

Ruki – Like, breaking up (laughs).

Uruha – But, the three of us – me, Reita and Ruki had become really close friends by then and we decided “The three of us want to do this together again!”

Reita – And then we started searching for members.

And the one you met was Aoi?

Uruha – No, Aoi……

Aoi – What do you mean, saying that so awfully! (laughs)

Uruha – There was no drummer, so we got an acquaintance introduce us to an earlier drummer.

Reita – And then, just because he was the guitarist of the same band as the drummer, someone barged into the set-up.

What do you mean “barged in” (laughs) Didn’t you have the idea of a twin guitarist in mind originally?

Uruha – No, it’s not that we never even thought about it. I just wasn’t sure if it might be a disadvantage (laughs).

Aoi – Eh? Is that so? To that level? You’re lying aren’t you!!

Reita – Such a well concealed matter too……you know (laughs).

Aoi – Ah, is that so……although right now, I’m in a lot of shock (laughs).

And with that the GazettE got going in January 2002. Kai wasn’t there in the beginning, right?

Uruha – Yes. We had a different drummer. We met Kai at a session Live at exactly the same time that person quit, so he joined the band.

Kai – I was already acquainted to Ruki, and knew about the GazettE too and thought they were cool, so when I was asked “Won’t you do it for us”, I said “My pleasure” without any objections.

That was in February this year. Since then the five of you have continued vigorously with music releases and Live activities.

Everybody – Right!

What’s the concept of the GazettE? – Although the cover comes with the catchphrase “Dai Nihon Itan Geisha [The Great Japan Heretic Artists]”.

Uruha – It refers to our aspirations; how we always want to be different from the rest, how we want to be heretics.

Ruki – Like, defying everything.

Uruha – But, it’s not about doing only what is different; we want to empathize with whatever draws our empathy.

Ruki – In terms of music, that range can get quite extensive.

True, there really are a lot of songs ranging from dark and intense to heartrendingly melodious.

Ruki – We ourselves don’t carry any notions like “This is what the GazettE is!” We’re a band that plays songs of every hue.

Kai – On the contrary, it would be nice if this would become a hue unto itself.

Uruha – But there is a foundation, you know. Something like an “over the top”, vehement kind of feel.

Aoi – Also, if one talks about the point of a song, there are various things that unfold within the length of a single song. We’re determined to make songs which carry various outlooks. Not very fond of things just gliding past.

Uruha – Occasionally, there are also songs which get over in a flash. Also, for some reason, there are ones with those old-school melodies. I heard a foreigner somewhere saying “Wonder why Japanese people go on adopting new things. Why don’t they care more about the older, nicer things?” and I thought “I see~”.

Ruki – I feel that the old songs have a deeper impact emotionally, compared to the new ones. One still remembers them, and they’re easy on the ears. For that reason, we adopt those aspects.

Incidentally, who builds the core of the song?

Kai – Ruki brings the original melody, and then we discuss it like th~is and th~at among ourselves and finish it up.

Ruki writes the lyrics too, right?

Ruki – The point is how to express the mentality of people through words. To disclose things directly, without speaking in a roundabout manner.

Kai – I’m always surprised by Ruki’s lyrics. He’s so good at how he expresses things. He writes lyrics which make one feel “Aah, I get it I get it!” “This really does happen”.

Even among those, there are a lot of times when you write about sentiments of loss, of things which ordinarily don’t get expressed openly.

Ruki – That’s true. There really are a lot of those.

Reita – Normally, Ruki can express anything. This fellow is quite frank with his feelings. Like a stereotypical B-type [blood group].

Uruha – Generally speaking, careless and untidy.

Aoi – But, isn’t he quite methodical about his own place?

Ruki – I’m methodical about my own things.

Kai – And that is why he’s stereotypical. SELF-CENTERED.

But I think it’s better to have a somewhat self-centered person for a vocalist, right?

Uruha – It would be a matter of such great adulation if that could turn into a plus point.

Ruki – (face flushing with agitation)

Reita – He’s REALLY showing it frankly (laughs).

He’s just awfully honest, isn’t he?

Reita – He even lies in a way that he’d get caught immediately. Well, in a word, he’s an idiot.

(laughs) Well, what about you, Aoi? Talking of which, haven’t you been in low spirits for a while?

Aoi – ……’cause I’m depressed. Am I being made a part of this as a last resort? My mind is heavy with that thought……I won’t be a part of this conversation anymo~re.

All members – (laughing out)!

Are you getting concerned about what we just talked?

Uruha – Not really, right?

Reita – Hm. Not really.

Aoi – Is that all? Isn’t your defence a bit too lacking!?

Well well (laughs).

Reita – He is stubborn. Inflexible!

Ruki – Childish.

Reita – Elementary School Student.

Aoi – This isn’t a gathering to get me depressed, is it?

Reita – Look, impressions are very important on a debut appearance.

Aoi – Isn’t Kai supposed to be the one getting bullied!? You’ve got the wrong guy!

Uruha – Aoi is the type of person who constantly seeks out the aesthetics.

Aoi – (with “Well spoken!” written on his face) I play the guitar on the left, so even if I’m working out the aesthetics of the staging for myself, this (Reita) keeps on being a nuisance, with his “Me me”!

Reita – Liar! (laughs)

That is probably just Reita being a show-off……or something.

Reita – That is not true. Not true at all. I’m so humble and low-key. Keeping a poker face.

Aoi – That’s not true! If you think or perceive something I see it on your face right before my eyes!

Uruha – He has tremendous power of keeping things hidden to himself.

We were talking about the stage right now, isn’t it? How’s he ordinarily?

Reita – Ordinarily, I pay too much attention to the things around me and my sensitivity wears out……in fact I’m left with no sensitivity at all. There’s a fellow who gets lonely easily, so I go accost them or something.

Uruha – Basically it’s Ruki and Kai who get emotionally attached.

Reita – Speaking in terms of soccer, I’m like the midfielder, you know. Always looking all around before giving a pass……like gauging the atmosphere. Sometimes I get called an air-conditioner.

Aoi – I’ve never said tha~t! (laughs)

It’s like bearing the motherly role in the band, isn’t it? What kind of a person is Uruha?

Aoi – Extremely obstinate.

Uruha – Obstinate, is it? But indeed, I don’t budge from what I think.

Ruki – It’s like if you say something you’ll probably get beaten up (laughs).

Uruha – But, if I feel that I’m making a mistake, I earnestly recheck and confirm things.

Ruki – No~? You just try to bend the truth (laughs). Like, ‘I define the rules!’

Uruha – Aren’t there times when that sort of a thing is also necessary? (laughs)

Reita – YOU don’t make a mistake! That is why I stay with you!

(laughs) A motherly existence within the band. Well, what about Kai?

Reita – Well, there’s nothing special about him.

All members – (laughing out)!

Aoi – Strangely enough, he’s the most serious one.

Uruha – I think he’s the type who does everything untiringly.

Ruki – What do you think of this yourself?

Kai – My wish, I suppose, is to be the centre of laughter. I like getting teased. As long as I keep getting teased and the laughter keeps coming, I’d be enjoying myself immensely.

Reita – You haven’t put that ruse to practice for even 10 minutes until now!

Aoi – If done so, it works really well at breaking the ice. Break the ice by teasing him. This is important.

Uruha – It is an essential requirement for getting him excited (laughs).

(laughs) I imagined you all to be these cool sort of people when I saw the art-pictures but in reality you’re all just brimming with a unique kind of humanity (laughs). Well then, what are your plans up ahead?

Ruki – There’s a One-Man at Shibuya AX on January 16th. We’re simply looking forward to it……

Aoi – None of us have been there, you know, to AX (laughs). On the day itself, we just hope we won’t lose our senses in shock when we go there.

Reita – It’s our first One-Man at a big venue, so I wonder how much aura we’ll have to build up to not look small, to what extent we’ll be able to do something that would be distinctive of a big stage. I’m really looking forward to it.

Kai – We intend to make it a Live which will leave behind an impression, so we want everybody to carry that expectation.

Uruha – Our sense of unity gives us the confidence to conquer any place. I would want the people who want to feel “This is what a Live is” to definitely come and watch us.

And finally, what is the mark of the GazettE?

Aoi – We always keep our aspirations high, no matter what.

Ruki – Without forgetting those first feelings we had when we formed this band, we want to be even more spirited.

Spirited?? Did you, by any chance, mean diligent?

Ruki – Ah, that’s right!

Aoi – Sorry, basically we’re not very intelligent……

Everybody – (roars of laughter)

Ducky's Notes:
1. Text in smaller size, in square brackets, consists of translator's notes. Other text in normal brackets was there in the original text itself.
2. Aoi did refer to Reita as 'this'; it is not just a choice of words in translation.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Please read this.

Since I don’t know when I will get the time to update this blog again, please feel free to continue or redo any translation here. Also, as always, you’re welcome to take excerpts or even entire articles, for translations, etc., if you want, but please make sure you link back to the source page so that people can browse through other articles too.

Thank you.

Friday, 17 June 2011

B=PASS - July 2011 - Single Interview

n  Without delaying this any further, please tell us about “VORTEX”. One can feel the thrill of having released this song as a Single with such confidence. According to what Ruki said in last month’s edition, when all of you got talking about what you want to do post Tokyo Dome, there was a unanimous opinion on the lines of “We want to do something heavy”, isn’t it?

Ruki : Hn.

Aoi : Well, because Ruki has rules (laughs).

Reita : Hahaha! But really, there’s no doubt that nobody wanted to do anything serious.

Uruha : More than ‘post Tokyo Dome’, it was about doing what was lacking in the flow of the 3 Singles from last year. So it was about time we brought that out.

Aoi : There was absolutely no perceptual dissent there. Aren’t we so-called soulmates because of that?

Kai : Soulmates?

Uruha : Is that the name of a game? (laughs)

n  Is it about being able to communicate feelings at a spiritual level?

Aoi : Hn. Ordinarily, I think we don’t even confirm much about this or that. Or if we don’t perceive something, we might even talk about “How should the next song be?” just along everyday conversation. I feel this is how we do it.

n  Don’t you have something like a ‘daily meeting’ at all?

Aoi : Hn. We don’t even have any formal conversations when the 5 of us are together. It probably happens quite unconsciously, as in, we sense what the other wants through general remarks, or from the music flowing from the other member’s PC, we grasp “Aah, they want something like this”. But we don’t even make or ask for any explanations about all those various things.

n  So what is the actual story behind the title song “VORTEX” itself; how did it come about?

Ruki : The idea was originally mine. I made it with a rather reckless feel to it. More than based on what I was thinking, I made what I was naturally playing, right till the end. It’s been quite some time since I made an intense one.

n  As in, all that built up frustration just burst out all at once?

Ruki : That is so. I made it with nothing but that etched in my mind. Like, without suppressing any desires. As a result, by following what I envisioned from the start, I think I was able to build something was better than it.

n  It’s heavy but at the same time, it’s quite easy to comprehend. Like, there’s no need to go back and check what one heard. It’s the type of song which everybody will get right without having to check and confirm what the best interpretation might be.

Aoi : Aah, hn.

Uruha : Well you see, for each scene, even if each person doesn’t get to do what they please, they still properly keep in sight what according to them would be the solution. I think this is proof that the pre-production was done in a steady manner. Lately, there aren’t any cases where we go “This scene is such a riddle, isn’t it?”.

n  If we turn this the other way round, do you mean there used to be a lot of riddles in the past?

Uruha : Yeah, quite a lot (laughs). We used to let the riddle be a riddle and work with it. We thought that was rock.

Ruki : Those words might be a bit painful (laughs).

n  To put it differently, in your understanding, these inconsistencies, or mismatched parts, or parts with incomprehensible reasoning were what made rock interesting, is it?

Uruha : Hn. We tried to enjoy that for all we were worth. That’s how things were. But in case of this song, we dealt with it in a very straightforward way. Without going all out to destroy. There are cases where, unless there are parts settled down in neat order, the disharmony shows itself.

[[ be continued.]]

Ducky's Notes:
1. The other parts shall be posted by-and-by, hopefully in quick succession~ :)
2. The other segment of this issue, the Special Q & A, is here

3. Suggestions and corrections are always welcome!
4. Scans from here. Thanks!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

B=PASS - July 2011 - Special Q & A

Wanting to know even more about the 5, we threw various questions at them. From the Single “VORTEX” and miscellany related to music to their ‘my boom’, a close-up of them at present!


Q1. What would be the catchphrase you’d give to “VORTEX”?
A1. I want to touch the limits of my strength. A song of supremacy sent to you.

Q2. “UNCERTAIN SENSE”. Which part would you say has the main point of the song?
A2. Hn~, the song was made with the intention of having it worth listening to in its entirety, but if I were to point out a strong part it would be……the whole song?

Q3. “BREAK ME”. Recently, what made you think “BREAK ME”?
A3. Nothing really (laughs). If I had to, I’d say the thing about wanting to do things in a disorderly, messy way.

Q4. What is your favourite album or musician these days?
A4. There are too many of them…… . I can’t speak of a point of view about anything except the GazettE (laughs).

Q5. What has been on your mind these days?
A5. Organizing the postponed tour [Abyss][Lucy], and wondering if I’ll be able to perform properly again~, things like that.

Q6. Lyrics, melody, phrases and arrangements. When do these occur to you the most?
A6. Lots of times in the Ofuro. Particularly while shampooing. If I tried to put proper effort into thinking about those it would surely speak of a bad personality.

Q7. I’m sorry but it was a promise (!?), please tell us about your ‘my boom’.
A7. I didn’t make any such promise! I don’t know if it could be called ‘my boom’ but since we’re busy with production work these days, I’m in a state where I just can’t do without shochu.

Q8. Please tell us if there has been a book, a manga or a movie you found interesting.
A8. “SIDOOH – shidou” “Kuroshitsuji II”

Q9. How would you express your character in a word?
A9. I’m original, so I simply cannot give myself a character. But if I were to push myself, I’d say Sebastian from “Kuroshitsuji II” is someone who really does his best. Ah, this is a joke right?

Q10. Live band – the GazettE. Please tell us about the ideal Live situation for you.
A10. Hn~, this is tough. I want to perform at a beach, and I want to perform abroad too. I also want to appear in big summer festivals…… Well that’s how it is.


Q1. What would be the catchphrase you’d give to “VORTEX”?
A1. The giant, thunderous roar at the centre of a vortex.

Q2. “UNCERTAIN SENSE”. Which part would you say has the main point of the song?
A2. The riff at the Intro.

Q3. “BREAK ME”. Recently, what made you think “BREAK ME”?
A3. I tried doing something perm-like.

Q4. What is your favourite album or musician these days?

Q5. What has been on your mind these days?
A5. The earthquake disaster, really.

Q6. Lyrics, melody, phrases and arrangements. When do these occur to you the most?
A6. When I’m driven to the wall.

Q7. I’m sorry but it was a promise (!?), please tell us about your ‘my boom’.
A7. Cooking.

Q8. Please tell us if there has been a book, a manga or a movie you found interesting.
A8. “SIDOOH – shidou”

Q9. How would you express your character in a word?
A9. “There’s a weird kind of fellow!”

Q10. Live band – the GazettE. Please tell us about the ideal Live situation for you.
A10. A live which would make me forget all memories.


Q1. What would be the catchphrase you’d give to “VORTEX”?
A1. “Take this……”

Q2. “UNCERTAIN SENSE”. Which part would you say has the main point of the song?
A2. When I translate the lyrics……!

Q3. “BREAK ME”. Recently, what made you think “BREAK ME”?
A3. The time when I’m sleepy.

Q4. What is your favourite album or musician these days?
A4. Yoshii Kazuya san’s album “The Apples”.

Q5. What has been on your mind these days?
A5. The earthquake. The nuclear power plant too. I don’t think there’s anything more than that right now.

Q6. Lyrics, melody, phrases and arrangements. When do these occur to you the most?
A6. It’s really happens on impulse. A lot of times when I’m taking a walk outside.

Q7. I’m sorry but it was a promise (!?), please tell us about your ‘my boom’.
A7. I don’t know if it’s a boom……designing for work.

Q8. Please tell us if there has been a book, a manga or a movie you found interesting.
A8. “SIDOOH – shidou”

Q9. How would you express your character in a word?
A9. Freedom

Q10. Live band – the GazettE. Please tell us about the ideal Live situation for you.
A10. The moment one can turn into nothingness is the most ideal.


Q1. What would be the catchphrase you’d give to “VORTEX”?
A1. A sprint that feels good.

Q2. “UNCERTAIN SENSE”. Which part would you say has the main point of the song?
A2. The easy to listen composition!

Q3. “BREAK ME”. Recently, what made you think “BREAK ME”?
A3. When I’m straining myself with production work.

Q4. What is your favourite album or musician these days?

Q5. What has been on your mind these days?
A5. Japan’s future.

Q6. Lyrics, melody, phrases and arrangements. When do these occur to you the most?
A6. Like, on the spot while drumming.

Q7. I’m sorry but it was a promise (!?), please tell us about your ‘my boom’.
A7. Observing people.

Q8. Please tell us if there has been a book, a manga or a movie you found interesting.
A8. Movie : “Nakumonka”. Abe Sadao is the best!!

Q9. How would you express your character in a word?
A9. Weird figure.

Q10. Live band – the GazettE. Please tell us about the ideal Live situation for you.
A10. A riotously tempestuous one.


Q1. What would be the catchphrase you’d give to “VORTEX”?
A1. A tour which will make you feel the beginnings of the GazettE.

Q2. “UNCERTAIN SENSE”. Which part would you say has the main point of the song?
A2. The instability between the feelings of suspension and solidity.

Q3. “BREAK ME”. Recently, what made you think “BREAK ME”?
A3. I want to put my eating habits right.

Q4. What is your favourite album or musician these days?
A4. Taproot “Our Long Road Home”, Linkin Park “A Thousand Suns”

Q5. What has been on your mind these days?
A5. Japan’s future.

Q6. Lyrics, melody, phrases and arrangements. When do these occur to you the most?
A6. Before I fall asleep on my bed.

Q7. I’m sorry but it was a promise (!?), please tell us about your ‘my boom’.
A7. iPhone’s game applications.

Q8. Please tell us if there has been a book, a manga or a movie you found interesting.
A8. Movie : “Hurt Locker”

Q9. How would you express your character in a word?
A9. An ordinary character.

Q10. Live band – the GazettE. Please tell us about the ideal Live situation for you.
A10. I want to perform at an outdoor Live right now.

1. For Nati~ Get well soon! Hope this distracts you for a bit! :)
2. 'My boom' is basically whatever the person is really into at the moment.
3. I'll be translating the interview too, hopefully soon~
4. Scans are from here. Thank you very much :)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Neo Genesis - Volume 15 (2007.07.04) - Uruha's Interview

Uruha (the GazettE) ...... "resplendent" beauty, just like his name!

Guitarist Uruha, the 3rd person in the the GazettE's 'personal close-up'. With his idea of "I wanted to try out over-the-top visual kei!", first of all, his long, blond extensions were curled, then he wore a pure white shirt...if this process were to be reported, one would start out thinking it was about Beethoven?metal kei artist?Oscar?, but when it was finally completed, his beauty was a perfect representation of his name, "resplendent". As expected. There is such sensuality in him posing before the camera, it could turn even a woman to envy. Make sure you check it out in these pages!

The one aspect that absolutely cannot be ignored when talking of Uruha’s life is the existence of companionship. Uruha, who proudly asserts, “I am what I am right now not because of myself alone, but because of what we all aimed at”. We got to hear him talk about life walking a straight route down the fascinating and perilous path of a band. And for this photo shoot, Uruha selected a gothic visual, something which he has never quite ventured into. Such beauty; isn’t it inconceivable even for a woman!?

---- What is your earliest memory?
“This was when I was in kindergarten, was it? I remember I used get inside my Mum’s skirt a lot. Didn’t you get in there a lot?”
---- No, I don’t have any such memories (laughs).
“She mostly used to wear a long skirt, you know, and I used to get inside it.”
---- That dark, confined feeling is nice.
“I don’t really know (laughs). I was quite the pampered kid. With 2 elder sisters, I was the youngest child.”
---- Then you must’ve been raised with care.
“That’s true. If I may say so myself, I think I got comparatively more pampered by my sisters. They’d always buy me what I wanted, like birthday presents and stuff. Because of that, my sister would often snap at me.”
---- I can understand your sisters’ feelings (laughs). So, that disposition of the ‘youngest child!’ is what you had.
“Yes. I was the type who’d always go along with people. I still have much the same tendencies. I wasn’t the type who’d take the lead. Even when we’d go out with the family, I’d generally be the last one closely following along. Even when I’d go out playing with my friends, I was the sort who’d just leave things to my partners.”
---- As in, ‘go where everybody else is going’.
“That’s true. Like, “Where do we go?” “It’s up to you.” Generally speaking, I was brought up in harmony.”
---- For some reason, I understand what you mean.
“Hahahha. I used to be called a “good boy” in Elementary School. I would never oppose things, and was an obedient kid.”
---- What was it that you played a lot?
“I’d play games at home, or go outdoors and be rather active playing around. Mario was a huge craze just when Super Famicom was released, so I raged and ranted at home wanting it to be bought for me, ended up kicking the door and opening up a hole in it, and got quite a thrashing from my father.”
---- So, did you get Mario?
“I kept on pestering them about it this way or that and eventually, I did get Mario (laughs).”
---- Then, what about the active games?
“The time when I was in Elementary School, I was bounding with curiosity about things, and I played stuff like ball games and Dragon Ball Z. I wonder, why was childhood so much fun? We could get absorbed in anything, we could get excited doing anything. We’d go to the mountains, make secret bases, play with fire too (laughs), we also did all kinds of bad things~.”
---- You must have gotten scolded a lot then.
“No but, whatever I did, I never got caught. I’d run away quite expertly if there was glass broken.”
---- Is that, something you’re proud of?
“It’s not like I pressed anyone into doing it. You see, I was the type to just follow along. But once, something we had done got found out, and I got scolded till I was literally kneeling on the sidewalk. My parents found out about it too, and then one’s parents apologize to the other person, you know? Seeing my parent’s tears for the first time back then, I realized, “Ah, I shouldn’t do this”, and in a flash, I stopped doing bad things. I can never forget the words of my Homeroom Teacher from Elementary School at that time. “From now on, before you decide to do anything, remember your parents’ faces”. That was a good teacher.”
---- What are you grateful to your parents for?
“It’s that they always told me to eat vegetables, ever since I was little (laughs).”
---- You played soccer too, right?
“I joined a soccer club when I was in second year of Elementary School. It was a real lot of fun. I hated stuff like basic training, but I enjoyed things like mini-games. That is where I met Reita.”
---- I see. Were you good at it?
“I was playing after an year. I was a substitute though.”
---- That means you sure were good. How was Reita?
“Reita was the substitute for our year. He was really tiny and frail, you know. He talks in his assertive way now, but I know where his core lies, so there have been times when I’ve had to tell him “Hey hey, you’re just bluffing it now!” (laughs).”
---- Like, you have a hold on his weaknesses (laughs). The times when you’re with Reita must be fun (laughs). Have you been good friends since then?
“No, not at all in the beginning. I think we just met and started talking by some chance, and got quite friendly after that. We were together in Middle School.”
---- Did something change once you were in Middle School?
“Study-related stress increased, you know. Aren’t there these cram schools which people get sent to for their High School Examinations? I got sent to one with a Spartan style1 of instruction in the beginning.”
---- I suppose that’s because after all, one’s parents want one to graduate from a good High School and then get into elite courses.
“I didn’t like that so I quit, and then went to an ‘at-home’ cram school for a bit, which was fun. I had a lot of friends there too.”
---- So you studied there.
“I took it rather lightly (laughs).”
---- The will to decide things for oneself and work at them started sprouting then, didn’t it?
“That’s…probably right. Because 2nd year of Middle School was also when I came to know about LUNA SEA and started developing an interest in bands.”
---- How did you come across them?
“I borrowed the CD from Reita, watched the PV of “ROSIER” and felt how cool it was. Watching Sugizo, I got interested in guitars, and then felt like being in a band. At the same time, with what was going on around us, Reita too similarly came to like LUNA SEA and got interested in bands. We assembled a group of friends we used to hang around with often, and would go to each other’s homes to meet up. The instruments we all wanted to play were diverse, so it was just right.”
---- When was the first time you went on stage?
“Before I formed the band with Reita, I played in a band as the class performance for Bunkasai2. I don’t remember anything except having been nervous, but that moment when the consultant Professor from the Sports Department told me, “You’re quite good at the guitar”, I thought, “Ah, but this isn’t soccer, is it””
---- Of all the people, it had to be the consultant from the Sports Department (laughs). Did your life change dramatically after forming a band?
“Once I started out with the band, I completely lost interest in soccer. We were unafraid and went with the feeling that “the 5 of us are a team”. It brought me a lot of peace, the feeling that “my place is here”. I truly felt that there is nothing more enjoyable than to be doing something of my own will.”
---- And this despite the fact that you were a boy who’d just follow people.
“Once we had confirmed our intentions among ourselves, I came to think something like “I’ll do it if everybody else does it”. Like, “I’m not alone.”
---- You weren’t alone, but 5 people with the same will, all working towards it, is a different matter.
“That’s true. With us having a band, our circle of acquaintances spread rapidly. Like, the senior who let me play drums when I was taking them down at the back, or meeting people outside the place of my part-time job.”
---- What part-time job did you have?
“I worked as a greengrocer.”
---- A greengrocer with blond hair?
“Umm, I wore a neat cap, and an apron. I switched through all sorts of greengrocers.”
---- So you were a greengrocer boy throughout (laughs). Did you like vegetables?
“No (laughs), I don’t like them at all, but with such an appearance, there weren’t many jobs I could do, so I didn’t really have a choice. But thanks to that, I learnt to distinguish between cabbage and lettuce.”
---- (laughs)! …this is off topic, but wasn’t there some girl you liked at the time?
“You see, I was always in love ever since Middle School. I fell in love too easily, to the extent of worrying myself over it, thinking, “Why do I just fall in love this way, in a single glance?”; to the extent of wondering how just about anybody would be fine (laughs). But I didn’t show it in my behavior at all.”
---- Didn’t you talk about it even to your friends?
“I didn’t, you know. I was afraid of being taunted about it, so I couldn’t tell them (laughs).”
---- Well, didn’t you confess to or go out with someone?
“I did go out in Middle School, so to say (laughs). The girls at that time seem really grown-up, don’t they? The other side gives off a strong aura of liking you, and once that happens, the boys have no choice but to go and confess to them. That was the kind of situation that came up. And because of that, things like going home together were the most embarrassing, but she would continuously pester me with “Let’s go home together” or something of the sort. So, I’d just go “Ah, hn……”.”
---- What, you made her take the lead? (laughs)
“Being a shy person was a good thing too. I didn’t even know when the right timing was to hold hands……”
---- How innocent.
“I was innocent, but it was a difficult time by itself, so I can’t genuinely say it was fun (laughs). I really wanted to take the lead, but I didn’t know how to do it, and it hurt.”
---- But after that, little by little, you did become able to form good relationships.
“I suppose, that was because I was able to do things to make the other person have an interest in me? As in, to express, “this is who I am” through words. I also became able to have a proper conversation.”
---- Was that because you came to be confident about yourself and what you were doing?
“True. I gained self-confidence, and the ability to view things objectively, so I was able to talk to women too.”
---- Your sociability gradually came forth.
“It did (laughs).”
---- When was the first time you made a song?
“I don’t remember very well, but when I was in 2nd year of High School, a senior whom I met at the greengrocers’ which I just mentioned, had the apparatus for recording songs, so I borrowed it and that was the first time I made a song.”
---- Did you have any intention of making a song yourself?
“I did. I didn’t think I’d be able to make one though.”
---- And how did your first song turn out?
“It turned out surprisingly well. Added the drums, added the bass, added the guitar. I didn’t add the song chorus, but I experienced the fun in making songs. That senior was the one who taught me all of this too.”
---- That meeting was quite an important one then, wasn’t it?
“It sure was important. He was the teacher of the band. Before we knew it though, we lost touch with him, but once in a while when I return to my home town, I hear of how he’s doing. That girl too, I think she probably knows about how it’s been going for me.”
---- Having played all along admiring SUGIZO, did you ever feel that you were nearing the ideal you held for yourself?
“I think the time when I was in High School, when I set my sight on my dream, was the closest I ever came to that feeling. But the more time passes, the more that dream seems to be going further away.”
---- Right now, more than getting closer to SUGIZO, I think it’s more about you molding your own form.
“That’s true. In the past, I was just like, “Want to perform at Tokyo Dome” or “I could do it”, so in a sense, it was close.”
---- What about you in the past do you think is the reason why you are what you are at present?
“I think what mattered the most is that I wasn’t working at it alone back then, and that is probably why I’m still doing it? That’s what I feel. Having always been together with my companions is the biggest thing. There’s also the fact about me being the youngest child and always having followed people, and the past led to this present because it was a dream dreamt together by everybody. I don’t know if I still had been doing this had it been my dream alone.”
---- What would it be like if the High School Uruha were to see the Uruha at present?
“I see… probably something like “Still going at it”? (laughs) Maybe I’d say “That’s wonderful”. Wonder what it would be like.”
---- (laughs).
“But since we still haven’t played at Tokyo Dome, I don’t think I’d say something like “That’s wonderful”. I might just say “Not quite amazing”.”
---- That’s because Tokyo Dome was the measuring scale at the time, isn’t it?
“Hn, because I didn’t know anything except Tokyo Dome. Even if someone had mentioned Yokohama Arena to me at the time, it wouldn’t have rung a bell.”
---- By the way, when you were little, what did you want to become?
“A J-leaguer. I found the J-league very exciting, and it was the same for everybody around me. Maybe we just jumped the bandwagon (laughs). But for bands… . Ah~ but those were the times. Back then, even the people who weren’t in bands knew what LUNA SEA was.”
---- It would of course have been wonderful had you become a J-leaguer, but it is equally wonderful that you turned to what you aspired for, with visual kei, despite the bandwagon.
“But, I think, my skills weren’t quite suited to being a J-leaguer after all. …this is something I’ve felt ever since those times.”
---- Compared to the past, what has changed in you?
“My taste has changed. What I find cool is completely different now. Back then I used to think visual kei was all about how gaudy one could be, that if I made my own guitar, I would make one with an awesome shape. But when I actually made it, it came out surprisingly simple.”
---- What do you think about your taste in the past?
“As far as taste is concerned, I am in complete denial about it (laughs). In the past I used to like the things which I found cool at first sight. It’s the complete opposite now, rather than giving in to the first impression, I come to like the coolness of something only after I’ve further thought things through.”
---- Up until now, there must have been all sorts of temptations, and also other paths you could have taken, so what do you think is the reason why you’ve made it this far without getting distracted by anything?
“For me, the band was the biggest temptation. Parents carry that ideal of properly going to a University, finding a job…isn’t that how they feel? But I walked on towards my temptation with all my heart (laughs). There was no other temptation except the band. I had practically no other interests.”
---- As a band kid, you went in pursuit of your dreams; what aim do you pursue now?
“What is it now? It remains unchanged, I’m still working towards it. For now we can only acknowledge the fact that things don’t end there. I don’t know what will happen thereafter, but I feel we could walk towards it with a new hope that that isn’t really the goal. When I think this way, I wonder if I’m not getting closer to the dream I had in the beginning, after all.”
---- And together with your companions too.
“Hn. I don’t ever want to see the end. If we get closer to the end, I think our targets will get even higher, and we’ll go on working towards them.”

Ducky’s Notes:
1.    Very hard training or education.
2.    Cultural festival.
3.    Hope you enjoyed reading the interview J Do share your thoughts and impressions!
4.    Corrections as well as suggestions for improvement are always welcome J