heidi. EU Tour FLY HIGH Interview [日本語あり]
Images and videos are used with the permission of HEADWAX Organization. ROKKYUU extend our gratitude to Sarah.C for her assistance.
Amid preparations for their first ever European tour, heidi. sat down with ROKKYUU for a charming reveal. The band shared their pre-tour impressions of Europe and discussed in detail the five-day set of concept shows that gave them a taster of the schedule in store for them. The band have a few numbers they want first-timers to check out before meeting them and a promise of their own to fulfill (or not…?). On a quirkier note, read on to learn about Nao’s “bad luck” and Yoshihiko’s sixth sense—and what it will take to get the band to believe him…
69: We’d like to start with self–introductions but for some extra insight… heidi. have a mini album as well as a song both titled Six Sense and now a new goods brand called Sixth Sense as well. In keeping with that theme, if you each had a sixth sense, what do you suppose it would be? Please tell us along with your name and part.
Kiri: Hello, I’m drummer Kiri. Pleased to meet you. My own sixth sense, hmmm? I think if I had to pick one out it would be when it feels like something bad might happen. Like, “I have a bad feeling about today…” I do seem to feel that way sometimes.
Yoshihiko: Hmmm, then… I’ll go with my spirit sense that nobody believes in.
Kiri: Oh, now that’s a sixth sense!
Yoshihiko: I’m heidi.’s vocalist, Yoshihiko. My sixth sense is… Well, the members don’t believe me at all, but I think I might be one of those people who has a sense of ghosts. You see, it runs in my family. My older sister has a pretty strong dose of it. So I guess my sixth sense is a spirit sense.
69: Do you have any particular reason to feel that way?
Yoshihiko: When we go on tour, we stay in single rooms and there’s that feeling the moment I enter a room… If I feel like “Something’s up today!” then something will definitely happen that night. I think that shows how strong it is.
69: Do you have a particular example you can share?
Yoshihiko: Let’s see… Oh! I was in my hotel room on the phone when suddenly water started flowing from the faucet. I said, “Hang on a moment. The faucet just started running,” to the person I was talking to and went to turn the water off. So then I kept talking on the phone for a while and once again, the water started flowing. I thought it must have just been broken but then again it was (flowing) pretty hard. When I was settling in that night… I don’t know what floor we were on but it was pretty high up… Anyway, people came in from the window and the closed door seeking help from me. I think they probably needed water.
Kohsuke: Oh, I get it.
Yoshihiko: Thinking about the faucet running, it seemed that way. Also, the image of the figure when it came in was… It was intense… I mean, like it was hot.
Kiri: As in passionate?
Yoshihiko: Actually, it was in a hotel in Hiroshima…
69: By Hiroshima, you mean near the peace park…
Yoshihiko: So… I think they needed water. It all seemed to come together. [To the other members:] You really don’t believe me, do you?
Nao: It’s impressive that you have such a rich imagination. [All laugh]
69: So, it wasn’t like a dream, but rather that you could feel the heat and clearly see the form in front of you?
Yoshihiko: Yeah. It’s visible to me, at least.
69: So the rest of the band are always skeptical like this, it seems.
Yoshihiko: They’re always like “Yeah, yeah,” so I won’t talk about it anymore. [Laughs]
Koshuke: It’s just… I do think ghosts exist, though, you know. I believe in them. If that many people say they’ve seen them…
Yoshihiko: So you believe in ghosts…
Kohsuke: I believe they exist.
69: How about Nao and Kiri. Do you believe that ghosts exist?
Kiri: Actually, I’m of the belief that they don’t, so…
Nao: If I saw one. If I can’t see it with my own eyes, then…
Kohsuke: As for me, people are always telling me I’m possessed.
69: You guys really have a lot going on behind the scenes! [All laugh] How about Kohsuke and Nao. Have you got a sixth sense you can share?
Nao: I’m guitarist Nao. For my part, it’s just instinct. Or, rather, you could say that I write music based on instinct. So maybe a musical instinct? It seems to be constantly working. (Otherwise,) I don’t have very strong instincts or feelings, though.
Kohsuke: I don’t really have much of what you might call a sixth sense but…
Yoshihiko: [Whispers] Self introduction!
Kohsuke: Oh! I’m bassist Kohsuke. [All laugh] I guess, when I make a decision, it’s my feeling then… Or you could say that I straightforwardly implement what I thought of.
Kohsuke: Yeah. I think it’s an instinct.
69: So, you’ve begun a fresh new project of a “goods brand.” Could you tell us a little about that concept?
Nao: Well, part of it is just experimental but the goal is to make items that all of the members are satisfied with. The idea came from the desire to have the members more heavily involved in the process. Well, there have been some restrictions in the past. There’s a lot to consider such as the form and color and we thought that we could make something interesting if we were able to design freely. I think it also makes the fans happy to know that we members have produced everything ourselves. So that’s where it all started.
69: So, are the items designed by all four of you together or do you each design separate pieces?
Kiri: For the moment, we started with the idea “We all want to make something like this together,” so it isn’t like “Who made this one?” or anything. This time, it’s “We all did!”
69: Well then, getting right down to business, you’re going on a tour to Europe! Congratulations! You’ve all been to America together to perform but I think one of you has also been to Europe before, as well…?
Nao: Yes, I’ve been before.
69: Where in Europe did you go?
Nao: Well, I mainly went to Slovenia but I also visited Italy and Austria.
Yoshihiko: You went to so many places?
Nao: Well, for starters, the airport was in Austria.
Yoshihiko: Oh! I get it.
Nao: Right. So I went to Slovenia and then took a boat over to Italy… and that was about it. I was really only in both Italy and Austria for a very short time, though. Just a little sightseeing.
69: What kind of impression did you get?
Nao: I’m not really sure about it… But even though it was the first time I went it just felt very European. [All laugh]
Nao: Yeah. The usual feel of the housing and buildings. One house is attached to the next, for example. The cobbled streets were really cool, too. And then there’s the… how do I put it? Well, the cows are just walking casually down the street, etc.
Yoshihiko: You mean as in “those” cows? [Note: The edible kind.]
Nao: Those cows.
Kohsuke: Is that so different from the Japanese countryside?
Nao: I dunno…
Kohsuke: Well, I guess it is.
Nao: I guess you could say… I felt a certain freedom of living things.
Nao: It’s like they’re not being kept, or something.
Kiri: No way!
Kohsuke: They can’t be strays…
Nao: Yeah, like, “Is that a stray?”
Yoshihiko: That’s pretty damn free!
69: The image of the Japanese countryside is dominated by rice paddies but it’s a bit different in Europe, I guess.
Nao: It is different. Well, I guess the area I went to was more mountainous so I can’t say for sure but… Oh, and in the harbor area, if you go to a restaurant at night there will almost certainly be someone singing. And dancing, too. It seemed really festive. That sort of thing left a strong impression.
69: So it’s about a month until you go to Europe. For the rest of the members, what image do you have of Europe at this point?
Kiri: Well, I’ve been to America but my image (of Europe) is very different. I think, like Nao just said, the European-style paving stones and buildings seem very different to my image of America. How do I put it? It’s that kind of feeling…
Nao: Like renaissance?
Kiri: Renaissance? [Laughs] Anyway, I think I have a more stylish image than of America. A lot of pretty scenery, etc. Of course, America was also lovely but it was very much ike, “The America!” I felt it was just as I’d imagined it. My image of Europe is, after all, beautiful.
Kohsuke: I really like movies, sooo… Well, naturally, when we went to America there were places like Los Angeles that often become the stages (for movie settings), right? In Hollywood movies. So, very simply, it was like I would think, “Ah! It looks like…” and be impressed. So in Europe, too, I expect there to be a lot of opportunities to see images from movies and television. I think that a lot of people from over there might think the same if they saw Japan. I guess, I haven’t seen them with my own eyes. Only in photos and films… Old German castles, etc. Places like, “There really are places like this in the world…!” So, I feel very strongly that if I saw them with my own eyes, I would be impressed.
Yoshihiko: I don’t have a very strong image of Europe. But I imagine they would be very stylish cities. The brands from over there are very famous, right? I think it would be a lot like Disney Sea.
69: Well, some of the buildings and things there do have a sense of Italy, etc.
Yoshihiko: Ok, then I really, really want to go! [All laugh]
Nao: You just want to go to Disney Sea, right?
69: You could always go to Disney Sea as a warm-up…
Yoshihiko: Oh, good idea!
69: So, the schedule in Europe is likely to be quite intense but recently you’ve had some practice with hard schedules in the form of consecutive oneman shows.
Kiri: We did.
Yoshihiko: The five days.
69: You performed four days consecutively at Chelsea Hotel then performed 33 songs at the final three days later but for those first four days, each member designed their own concept. Could you tell us about those concepts?
Kiri: Let’s go in order, then.
Kohsuke: Well, the first of the five days was “Kohsuke Day.” We actually all came up with the idea together, though. We thought we might like to jump right in with nothing but our most vigorous songs right from the start. It seemed like it would be interesting to try that as heidi. The result was that it was pretty taxing. [Laughs] But it was really fun! I’m sure everyone’s going to say this same thing but it was about going for it and doing the things we’ve never done before or always wanted to do and the results were pretty varied. I think each of our concepts, or, rather, hues, really came out. I think that everyone who came must really have enjoyed it, too.
69: During the show, you said that it was a set list designed to kill off the spectators but when it comes to heidi.’s music, it seems like it might be harder on the members than the fans… [All laugh] So, who do you think bore the brunt of it?
Kohsuke: Who could it have been hardest on…?
Yoshihiko: On the other hand, who did it seem hardest on? That’s what I want to know. [Laughs]
69: I guess I would imagine it to be the drummer or vocalist.
Kiri: Well, in terms of stamina, it was nothing but heavier songs so it was pretty tough but… I think it would have been harder on the vocalist. There were a lot of songs with shouting, etc.
Kohsuke: He was unexpectedly spirited, though.
Yoshihiko: That’s right. It’s strange but… How should I put it? With ballads and slow numbers, there’s the matter of all the emotion put forth from inside. Unlike singing those, diving forcefully into something like the heavier “Kohsuke Day” was much easier, emotionally. So I thought that bringing that out for the first day was the right choice. I think I was able to go through to the end without disrupting that momentum so I liked “Kohsuke Day.”
69: Next up was “Nao Day” which began with an acoustic performance.
Nao: We’ve had quite a few chances to perform acoustic before and I wanted to do something that would make the best of that specialty so first of all, I decided to do an acoustic section. The preceding first day was decided to be all heavier music so we discussed the idea of having the acoustic as a bit of a break in a way. To begin with, it seemed like a good idea to do something with a vastly different atmosphere to the first day. Then in the proper live section, I just picked songs I like. I felt I wanted one more twist, though, so I went with doing a staff band. It was unexpectedly interesting. The shabbiness of it was exceedingly entertaining.
Yoshihiko: Wasn’t it?
Kohsuke: Yoshi and I watched from the side, from the audience perspective, and as Nao said, I guess there was an element of shabbiness but the atmosphere was charged with the fans’ encouragement and I think there was a sense of unity born that totally exceeded our own shows…
Nao: They were really into it.
Kohsuke: Right? That unity of “We’ll support you!” came about and it made me think, “Wow! That’s awesome!”
Nao: That’s what I was aiming for, in fact. [Kiri laughs]
Kohsuke: I was really impressed.
Yoshihiko: Even though it was our show, it felt awkward to play after that.
Kohauke: Yeah! It was like, “What is this unity?”
Kiri: The staff members even threw in some imitations of us members. Little impressions. That got me. I felt grateful that we have staff who would go that far. I felt their affection (for us) in that. The fact that they’re watching us that closely.
69: About the drummer of the staff band, “Giri.” There’s an instructional video for the choreography to “Ryuusei Dive…” Sometimes, that staff member can be seen in the wings at your shows and his movements are identical to those of the person wearing the heizo suit in the video. [Note: heizo is heidi.’s goat mascot.] Is it Giri in the video?
Nao & Kiri: It’s Giri! [All laugh]
Kohsuke: He loves the spotlight.
Nao: “You’re in a magazine! Although it’s just your name…”
(Meet “Giri” as heizo:)
69: [Laughs] Could you introduce the members of the staff band and their parts, then?
Nao: Let’s see. There was Giri on drums. He’s our guitar technician, the one who follows me up during lives. On bass… who was on bass?
Nao: Oh! Chittan! Chittan is, uh, our PA. He’s the PA who is always with us, touring around, etc. The guitarist, “Grecchi,” is our manager. Then, the vocalist, Hikaru, is in production and planning. He’s the one who organizes tours and reserves live houses for us. They all had parts and instruments they wanted to try but we basically decided it by a process of elimination. [Laughs] Then we practiced maybe once in a studio. [Note: Nao also took part in the staff band on guitar.] Everyone was pretty busy with their real roles, so… Anyway, by the day it was at the point where we just used a bit of the rehearsal time for that day and somehow it came together. Well, I don’t know how “together” it was so we’ll just leave that be for now, but… [Laughs]
69: Thank you. Now, you had a talk section on that day as well. Of course, being in January, the first shrine visit of the year came up and you talked about omikuji [drawing of fortunes at Japanese shines] and Nao’s consecutive bad luck in the past. You decided that you would all go and do omikuji together before the final, but did you, in the end?
Nao: We did not go at all…
Kohsuke: We didn’t go!
Yoshihiko: Yeah, we didn’t go.
Nao: We didn’t even consider going.
Yoshihiko: We just forgot about it! [All laugh]
Kohsuke: We were more concerned with recovering (before the final).
Nao: I slept.
Yoshihiko: Pretty much.
69: It’s probably for the best that you didn’t draw a fortune, Nao.
Nao: Yeah, that’s true. It was probably a good thing we didn’t go. [Laughs] I’m afraid! We talked about it in the talk section, too, but I don’t want to draw “bad luck” with everyone watching.
Kohsuke: Maybe when we go overseas…
Nao: I don’t know that the same kind of tradition exists over there…
69: It doesn’t, actually.
Nao: See? It doesn’t!
69: Well, to begin with, there are no shrines like Japanese ones.
Nao: Is there something similar to omikuji?
69: Astrology—star signs—etc.? There are things like that but since there are no shrines, there’s nothing quite like omikuji.
Yoshihiko: Oh, but astrology might do!
Nao: Let’s go with astrology, then.
Yoshihiko: Ok! [All laugh]
Nao: Yet, if we have a chance, we should all go do omikuji together, too.
Yoshihiko: Yes, we should!
69: Next was Kiri’s day. Could you tell us about the concept for that day, Kiri?
Kiri: heidi. is going on eight years now and the number of our songs has really grown—to about a hundred songs. (The number of) songs we don’t play often has also grown respectively. So I thought it might be fun to do a show putting the spotlight on those. Well, partly, I just thought I would enjoy it. Playing songs we haven’t done in a while is both fun and refreshing so I tried throwing something together around that.
69: There were many nostalgic songs but also surprising songs, too. For example, “Little Garden.” Why did you choose to play this song among the “maniac” [rare] set list?
Kiri: Well there are maniac songs among our more recent songs which we haven’t been playing much lately, too… Even though it’s from our most recent album, it’s a great song so it feels like a waste—or maybe I just felt like playing it since we haven’t lately. Although I never really intended to do only maniac songs. I guess I just wanted to show that “We have so many different awesome songs!” I think there must have been songs that some of the more recent fans wouldn’t have known or had maybe heard live at that show for the first time. I hope that they found it interesting.
69: For the last song of the main set, you chose “Parallel” from the album Senkou Mellow. It’s quite a bright song. What prompted you to choose it for the end of the set?
Kiri: Well there’s the simple fact that it’s a song I personally like but I also felt that the lyrics were very suited to finishing off the main set. It’s very positive. I feel like it expresses our approach in a way, so I thought that placing it there would be the loveliest (spot for it) so I tried it out.
69: Were there any songs from this day that felt especially nostalgic or that were difficult to play after a long while? Or songs that you came to appreciate all over again?
Yoshihiko: There were a lot! Ones that we haven’t done (for a while).
Nao: So many that I almost want to see the set list.
Yoshihiko: That would help.
69: Actually, I have the set list here. Please take a look.
Nao: Somehow, I found “Parallel” to be the most grueling.
Nao: Well, rather than difficult… I think those were the only ones that we hadn’t played in so long; either “World Note” or “Parallel” had the longest interval since playing, I think.
Kohsuke: No, there were a lot, weren’t there?
Yoshihiko: I’m really, really bad at memorizing lyrics… It’s like, when we reached the second day… I felt more comfortable than the first day—on the second, that is. But then we came to the third day and despite listening all the way to the end, the energy didn’t fail. It was our first time having to stay sharp for three days straight but, for me, when we did “World Note.” …In the past, I was worse at riling the crowd up than I am now. Yet, playing it after so many years, I realized that “World Note” is probably the song that most helped me to find my own way of firing up the crowd.
69: How about you, Kohsuke? Were there any songs that stood out?
Kohsuke: Mine totally overlap the others but after the show that night on the way home, I talked to the other members about… “World Note” is included on the album Panorama and It would always feel a bit out of place when we played it. That was the sensation I had, but then, playing it this time after so long, after so many years… It just felt so right. I really liked it. As I said earlier, there were many songs I felt that way about but if I had to pick one out… So, as Kiri said, we members rediscovered some good songs… Truthfully, memorizing them is a pain but it was a show that made me feel that way (that we have many underrated good songs). I’d like it if people who heard those songs for the first time then and thought “What’s this song?” would go and listen to the recording. It was a very refreshing show.
69: Could it be that “World Note” hasn’t been played since the Panorama tour at Shibuya Koukaidou?
Kohsuke: I think you might be right.
Yoshihiko: In total, only…
Nao: About ten times?
Kiri: I think we only ever played it during that tour.
Kohsuke: I think this was the first time since the Panorama tour final.
69: And now for the fourth day; Yoshihiko, could you explain the concept for it?
Yoshihiko: As for the songs, I selfishly crammed songs I wanted to sing in there with no other thought behind them and then… Well, then I was curious to see how heidi.’s songs would feel sung together with (vocalists who are) my elders and classmates. So the concept is that I mixed in some guests to perform with.
69: Could you introduce the three guests from that day and tell us your reasons for inviting them?
Yoshihiko: The first, Dancho, I’ve known since my vocational school days. We’re good enough friends that we would go to karaoke together, etc., but when I really thought about it, we never sang together properly. That was when we were about 19/20 so we’ve known each other for about ten years yet I realized we’ve never sung together before. “Ooh, this is my own ‘Yoshihiko Day’ so I kind of want to use this opportunity to sing together,” was my reason for singing together with Dancho. Then, the second guest was Baku who is the junior of both Kohsuke and Nao—I can call him your junior, right?
Yoshihiko: Even though I’m younger than him, he’s always been extremely kind to me when I’ve met him. He said that he likes heidi. and wants to sing our songs so I asked him to let me sing together with him at this opportunity and that was how I was able to sing with Baku. Lastly was Makoto from The BEETHOVEN. When we did a joint show at O-WEST with his old band, Doremidan, I was able to sing “Seishun Rollover” in a session—I really like it. Enough that if I go to karaoke, I sing it. So, I thought I would be thrilled to be able to sing with someone I look up to like that and when I asked Makoto, he gave me the OK so I went ahead with those three.
69: It seems like the rest of the band also get along with these three guests. What did you guys think of this concept? Was it any different having two vocalists?
Nao: I don’t know… I didn’t really pay much attention to it. [Laughs]
Yoshihiko: Wait, shouldn’t you be adding that I’m all heidi. needs…? [All laugh]
Kiri: Even while sensing a certain freshness in hearing other vocalists singing heidi.’s songs, I also came to appreciate Yoshihiko’s talent all over again.
69: Dancho appeared in what turned out to be a cosplay of your mascot, heizo, but did you have a chance to see that before he came onstage?
Kohsuke: I saw it.
Yoshihiko: In the rehearsal, you mean? During the rehearsal, I was able to look him in the eyes as we sang but… then he came onstage with that pure white face…
69: You did an impressive job of keeping a straight face while diving straight into the ballad “Yasashi Uta…”
Yoshihiko: I really couldn’t meet his gaze! In visual kei—we’re also visual kei, but—I had this image that visual kei bands should have gorgeous and cool vocalists. Yet when it comes to Dancho… We’re exactly the same age and he made me think that “A guy like this can be a vocalist, too!” [Waves down laughter] So, it seems like, here he is putting on the guise of visual kei, and I think… How do I put it? He’s got guts and he has this aura of someone who’s really found himself and, of course, he’s a great singer. Dancho himself chose to sing “Yasashii Uta.” He said it was one of the songs he likes from heidi. It’s not often that another bandman says that he likes “Yasashii Uta.”
Kohsuke: I’ve never heard of it (being said).
Yoshihi: So I was really happy. Putting that white make-up aside… It really felt good singing it.
69: I’m sure it did. It sounded great, after all. Well then, let’s move on to the tour final. Three days later, you held the final at Ebisu LIQUID ROOM. What were your foremost impressions of the final?
Nao: It was long.
Yoshihiko: It really was long.
Nao: ‘Twas long, huh?
Kosuke: Well, we did make that choice ourselves…
Nao: I’ve had my fill.
Yoshihiko: For a while, at least.
Kohsuke: I think it would have been tough on those watching, too. It was all standing, after all.
Yoshihiko: Yeah, it probably felt shorter for us, performing, than it did for them.
Yoshihiko: I did feel that we thoroughly nailed it, though.
Nao: That’s true. I did get the impression that trying things we’ve never done before is a good thing. Let’s not worry about if the merits outweighed the demerits or not.
69: You said you’ve never done this before… There was about 30 songs to the set list at your 5th anniversary show at Mitsui Hall, though, correct?
Nao: Ah, but that was split into two parts.
Kohsuke: Yeah, there was a break during which we played a video.
Nao: So playing 30 songs straight through was a first for us. I think that, taking that into account, it was a good experience. The “We can do this” part.
69: Despite the number of songs, your voice held up impressively to the end, Yoshihiko. Did you take any measures to ensure that your voice would hold out until the end?
Yoshihiko: Countermeasures…. Nope. You see… fairly recently, I have come to realize that mentality is the most important thing. There was a long period where I would think “My voice isn’t coming out so I’m not looking forward to tomorrow,” or during a live, my voice would cut out and I’d lose momentum. Only recently, I’ve shed all of that, and with the spirit that “It doesn’t matter if my voice isn’t perfect for every single song!” I put aside worrying about whether it was good or bad and I was able to last from the start to the end of all 30 songs. I basically just took my feelings in a firm grip and faced the final. I just wore a sick mask and, without getting myself unnecessarily worked up, I did what I could (to protect my voice). Maybe it was a bit carefree? Emotionally, I faced the final with a carefree attitude.
69: Well then, at all five days, you performed the songs from your most recent single—the digital release, GLIDE. Could you please introduce those songs for our readers?
Nao: Sure. As for “GLIDE,” quite simply, I wanted something that would contrast with our last single “Ryusei Dive” and I also simply felt the urge to write a song with a sense of volume to it. There’s a lot of development within the song and I think it turned out quite dramatic. I feel like it’s a very appropriate song to base a single around. It’s the kind of song that really shines when played last so, lately, we often play it last.
Then there’s “Ori…” Let’s see… The rhythm of “Ori” is our specialty; a shuffle beat. Saying that, we have a lot of shuffle numbers but I thought it would be cool to have a song where we could play with that more than we have in the past. In terms of style, I feel that our various methods of approach have increased. The final result seems like something you can get into again and again without getting bored of it.
“Tomoshibi” is… Well, I thought it might be good to have one out of the three songs begin from the chorus and it just came together. It works unexpectedly well at lives. I look at it with the perspective that it’s the song we could get the most use out of once it grows into its potential.
69: Thank you. Of course, it goes without saying that the songs from GLIDE are a must-listen but for those who will be seeing heidi. for the very first time on this tour, could you each recommend a song you think first-timers should definitely listen to?
Kohsuke: I think “Omaesan” is pretty obvious. It’s one of those songs that we play more often than we don’t. You could say that it brings out heidi.’s true colors… It’s full of that and, in turn, it’s got a very Japanese component—it’s full of Japanese personality and music. That’s why I think that if European people were to listen to it, they would be able to get a good understanding (of us). I think it’s a song full of elements that don’t exist over there. Besides, it’s a song that we ourselves get really into every time we play it so I’d love for everyone to listen to it.
Yoshihiko: Well, “GLIDE” is… Yeah, my first impression was that it’s an amazing song in recording. That’s the image I had of it at first but then I thought, “No, this is a live song!” It’s got something more than the recording… I think that “GLIDE” is an extremely important song for us at the moment as an expressive piece. I think that on the European tour, as well… it will be played last. I just truly think that after all we have done so far, playing “GLIDE” at the end (of a show) is the right decision so I would love it if everyone could listen to “GLIDE” and become familiar with it. Then there’s “Sentimental.” I’m going ahead and recommending a second song here, but I want everyone to sing along with it! [Nao Laughs] If they don’t practice it, they won’t be able to sing it!
Nao: Well, that’s true.
(You can view the chorus of “Sentimental” in the following video: ♪Uta wo utaimasho ano hito to, watashi kanashiku wa arimasen. Uta wo utaimashou ano hito ni, watashi sabishiku mo arimasen.♪)
69: [To Nao:] You look like you’re having a really tough time deciding…
Yoshihiko: What’s the problem? [Laughs]
Nao: Well, I’m not sure if we’ll play any or not but I have a feeling that they would get worked up for slow numbers, too, over there, so I was thinking to myself about two or three of those songs we might be likely to play. But, of course, there’s always “Charles.”
Yoshihiko: I think if people got worked up for “Charles” it would be a pretty amazing sight.
Nao: When we played it in America, they were pretty worked up!
Yoshihiko: Oh yeah, that’s true.
Nao: I think they might really enjoy those kinds of dark numbers so we might work a few of them in. That said, I want to work in all of heidi.’s strong points. I can’t say we’ll do them every time but I think those kinds of slow numbers are one of our secret weapons so if people could have a listen to songs like “Shinda Sekai,” I think the shows might get pretty interesting.
Kiri: I’d say something like “Gekkou Showtime.” It’s easy to get into and in the chorus there’s a bit of interaction in the actions… Well, even if I say interaction… You see, in Japan, sometimes the actions [Note: choreography] are pre-determined. If you were to watch the music video, I think you’d understand, “Oh! It’s like this!” The music video for that song is shot in a live style so I think you could have fun with it if you were to check out those parts of the video.
(View the music video for “Gekkou Showtime“:)
69: On that note, I think there are newcomers who may not be aware, so… there’s more to “Gekkou Showtime” than just listening to it or watching the music video, isn’t there? A little something extra…?
Yoshihiko: Oh! [Hints:] Mae…
Kiri: Maebashi Visual Kei.
Yoshihiko: That’s the one.
Kiri: It’s the theme song for that movie. That’s just how important a song it is. [Laughs]
69: Well then, we’re coming to the end of the interview but 2014 holds in store a European tour, a national tour, and an album release. It looks like it’s going to be a busy one but can you give fans a hint of what to look forward to amidst it all?
Nao: At this stage, even we don’t really know what to expect from the completed album but I think it has a good atmosphere to it. It’s our first album in a while so I think it will turn out well. In turn, we’ll be taking off on a national tour and that’s also the first for a while—one year? So there’s the feeling of having waited for it, and with that in the mix, we’re planning to create an album and tour that people can really enjoy—so we hope you’ll look forward to it. It’s right around the corner, truthfully.
69: Lastly, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the European tour and, in the form of a message, extract a promise for readers of ROKKYUU Magazine.
Yoshihiko: Thoughts… Our thoughts…
Nao: Well, as to that; for everyone, it’s a first—
Yoshihiko: Our first time.
Nao: —(It’s our first) European tour, so plain and simple, we’re looking forward to that. I really can’t even imagine how it will be.
Yoshihiko: I wonder how people will dance to our songs? I’m looking forward to that, too.
Kohsuke: This is just my image but I have this idea of everyone just riding it out in their own little worlds and enjoying it however they want to. Of course, it’s not that I think people aren’t the same in Japan, but I get the feeling that people overseas are even more open with themselves. Or, it’s like, “I’m here to listen to this music so I’m going to enjoy it in my own way!” Japanese people tend to be self-conscious of their surroundings, right?
69: They do tend to.
Kohsuke: So to bring that in full on all fronts…
Yoshihiko: The dancing is all over the place, too (overseas).
Kohsuke: Even so, as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better than having people enjoy themselves no matter how they want to do it. That’s why I’m hoping to get a taste of that kind of scenery. It’s a first for me, and the schedule will probably be very tight so… I think my theme will be to see just how much I can enjoy myself amidst it all. So, now for a promise.
Yoshihiko: A promise…
Nao: Something like, “We’ll definitely eat the foods of your countries!”…?
Yoshihiko: Oh, I like that!
Nao: Like, “We’ll eat the famous foods of each country, for sure.”
69: You’ll take on that challenge? [Laughs]
Kohsuke: Or you could promise to learn the greetings of each country.
Kiri: Oh! I think that’s a great idea!
Kohsuke: See, when we went to America, this guy [Note: Yoshihiko] just greeted everyone in Japanese.
Nao: Personally, I think that’s fine as it is. We are a Japanese band.
69: That’s very true. I’m sure the people coming to see you will come prepared with a few phrases they can say in Japanese, after all. Of course, I’m sure they’d be thrilled to hear you say something in their own language, as well.
Kiri: I get that! It’s the same for us, too.
Yoshihiko: Ok… then… That’s what I’ll promise! [All laugh] I’m just climbing on the bandwagon, though… [Laughs]
Nao: There’s no way he’s going to go through with it.
Yoshihiko: No, I think I’ll get on it early… and… look them up…
Kohsuke: Then once we come back from overseas, we have a live in Japan…
Yoshihiko: Right away, too.
Kohsuke: It’s right away, so I think it will be great to be able to show people the fruits of our going overseas and have them say things like “They’ve grown!”
69: I’m sure they’ll be able to say so. Thank you for your time, today!