Interview with DaizyStripper at Blue Planet Japan

Interview

by Kate Havas and Leela McMullen, posted June 28, 2011

DaizyStripper are definitely on the visual side of visual kei, but they have far more to offer than a round of pretty smiles. With a versatile range from sweet to funky to heavy, DaizyStripper are serious about the music they make–but that’s not all! They’re also dead serious about using their popularity for the greater good. In a thoroughly entertaining and revealing interview, ROKKYUU learned all about the Blue Planet Japan charity project and much, much more.

69: Please introduce yourselves with your name, part and a short description of yourself.
Mayu: I’m Mayu. I play guitar. I’m the leader. Thank you.
Rei: I’m Rei. I play bass. [English] “Cool and beauty” desu.
Yugiri: I’m Yu-Giri. I’m the vocalist. [English] “The world is mine” desu.
Kazami: I’m Kazami on drums and piano. I’m kind.
Nao: [English] Oh, my name is Nao. Plays guitar. I like is Macdonald.

69: Now, can you tell us a secret about the member on your left?
Yugiri: Just one? Is that all?
Mayu: What secrets are left? Here’s a secret about our bassist, Rei. Actually, he likes shoujo manga (girls comics).
Rei: Oh, that’s a good one.

69: Could you name an example?
Rei: I can’t name any titles, but basically stories about romance between young guys and girls that make your heart flutter.

69: The cute type.
Rei: Yes, cute. That’s the kind of manga I like. As for Yu-Giri, he has a habit of filling up his mouth when he eats.
Mayu: He stuffs it all in.
Rei: He particularly likes mixed nuts.

69: In other words, squirrel-like behaviour.
Yu-Giri: I think I was a squirrel in my past life although I don’t remember it very well.
Nao: … Very well?
[laughter]
Yu-Giri: Kazami is… I think this is surprisingly not well known but as he just said, the truth is that he’s far, far nicer I think than the readers know. [laughter] For example, even after working alone all night for DaizyStripper’s sake without sleeping, without even the slightest unfavourable expression… When we arrive in the morning he yells the freshest [English] “Good morning!” [Nao laughs loudly.] It’s hard to believe how nice he is.
Nao: [English] Fantastic!
Kazami: As for Nao… Looking at photos of him, he’s very boyish and cute and that’s how he acts in his blogs etc. but actually he’s quite crazy with a real punk personality.
[Mayu and Rei whisper:] Punk personality…
Kazami: He’s all rock at heart and on stage it’s like he loses it. In truth, he has a real ferocious side.

69: I think that comes across onstage.
Yu-Giri: [English] Really?
[laughter]
Nao: With roughly an 80% ratio, our guitarist Mayu’s first words will be “Yeah, but….” etc. He always starts with retracting phrases. Even talking to himself he starts with “Yeah, but…” What’s that about? How can you take back a statement when talking to yourself, I always wonder? I think the fans must have an image of him being very airy and super passive but as the leader he actually really focuses on serious discussions and closes up talks neatly. He can be reliable and serious like what we call a class president.

69: That’s a good trait for a leader to have.
Mayu: Thank you. You can call me [English] dictator.
[laughter]
Nao: [English] Nice choice!
Rei: It’s true! It’s so true!

69: While DaizyStripper are well known for a versatile range between quite a heavy sound and beautiful arrangements involving piano, the latest single Kiss You contains a lot of romantic music. Why did you choose to put these three songs together?
Mayu: The three songs, “Kiss You,” “Last Note,” and “Nana iro no hanataba wo…” These three songs have the potential to convey dreams. I think that the people who enjoy listening to our music could enjoy some wonderful dreams; Nice dreams, sad dreams and joyful dreams.
Kazami: This year we’re releasing three full albums and three singles. “Kiss You” is the first of the many songs we’ll be releasing this year and could be called the core. Naturally, it’s very DaizyStripper-like but also reveals what DaizyStripper intend to be from now on. We wanted to make a very special single with a lot of meaning so we chose these three songs.

69:  “Nana iro no hanataba wo” (A Seven Coloured Bouquet) is a very joyful song about marriage. Where did the inspiration for the lyrics come from?
Yu-Giri: When we first made this song, Kazami brought me a demo tape. When I first listened I strongly envisioned a seven coloured world. You could say a rainbow coloured world. I saw the kind of colourful world enveloped in blessings and wanted to put that into words. The result became a wedding song. Of course, I hope that married couples or couples planning to marry or even just partners or people in love with someone can listen while thinking of that person.

69: Last year there was a couple who met at DaizyStripper and got married, was there not?
Yu-Giri: That’s right! That came up at our oneman at Nihon Seinenkan. It would be great to be able to continue sharing rainbow-tinted joy with people who come to celebrate not just marriage but all sorts of things at our lives.

69: Which of your songs would you each recommend newcomers to listen to?
All: That’s hard!
Mayu: Hmmm, I think after all that “Kiss You” really expresses everything we’ve built up since the very beginning as DaizyStripper. It’s the starting point of a concept. I think that with that in mind, “Kiss You” is a great song to start with.
Rei: I think “Kiss You” is a good choice but I also really want people from overseas to come to our lives and let loose, and in that case they should listen to “Jiiteki Showtime” and go crazy.
Yu-Giri: In my case, there’s a song on the album to be released on the 29th called “Awairo no yume.” I really want people to listen to that song. It’s the type of really cool song that DaizyStripper hope to make this year. I want people to listen to it and really wake up.
Kazami: It’s really, really hard to choose one song. If I have to narrow it down… I really want people to listen to all the songs we release this year. I’d like people to judge what kind of band we are from this year’s music.

69: So it all starts this year.
Kazami: In a way, it all starts from “Kiss You.” Damn, this is hard. Well, of course I most want people to listen to “Kiss You” but I also think “Dandelion” is good. It’s the song that we started with after all.
Nao: As for me, it’s a song from the same time as “Dandelion,” right from the beginning, called “Black Dropper.” We’ve been performing it since our very first live. It’s quite heavy. Even now, it’s very popular among the fans and it remains a standard number at our lives.

69: Today you’ll be playing alongside FEST VAINQUEUR, A(Ace), heidi. and Dolly for the charity event Blue Planet Japan. What’s this all about?
Kazami: Among the founders of Blue Planet Japan, we came up with the concept of making a charity song to be sung together. It’s called “Hitotsu dake We Are the One.” We finished recording the other day with a huge group of musicians and today is the first it will be heard. Members from the bands who performed today and others who were involved in the recording and will perform and even those who helped in the recording that will be heard in the session but can’t make it to the live today will all sing together. That’s when we’ll film the promotion video.

69: So the video will be filmed today?
Kazami: That’s right.

69: What does Blue Planet Japan mean in your own words?
Yu-Giri: In March, Japan was knocked askew by a natural disaster and people’s hearts were disturbed. I want to return to a beautiful Japan. I think this can only be done by everyone joining hands. “Let’s become one,” “Let’s join hands,” are the thoughts bound into this charity project with the hope that we can regain a beautiful Earth. Having co-operation from across the world, too… The words “We’re supporting you!” from overseas really come across and I think it would be great for everyone to join hands.

69: It seems to be a visual kei-centered project.
Yu-Giri: Yes. This is a first, I think.

69: What do you hope to achieve from today’s live?
Yu-Giri: Well, the song will be heard for the first time today so first of all I want people to know that there’s a project like this, a song like this and those who learn about it will take that information and those feelings home with them and spread the word and if it could spread further and further to become something big, that would be wonderful.

69: DaizyStripper have also been involved with other charity projects such as the Eco Cap project. Could you update us on how that’s going?
Mayu: Right. At live houses we’ve been collecting bottle-caps and when fans come to the lives some of them bring all the caps they’ve collected since the last live in huge bags but even if it’s just a matter of handing over the cap from a bottle they bought and drank that morning, it’s only a small thing at first but it all adds up. Even now we take in a huge amount of eco caps at every live. It’s beautiful to be able to turn such a small thing into something effective.

69: Whether in English or Japanese, please share a message for ROKKYUU’s readers.
Mayu: Firstly, thank you for reading our interview. I think that reading an interview like this implies that you’re interested in us so we intend to work hard to boost that feeling. Please wait patiently a little longer. Oh! It’s okay to be impatient, too!
[laughter]
Rei: In short, we’ll come to you so please wait.
Yu-Giri: Honestly, we’re thinking this year of going overseas, so hang on. Also, we have a lot of releases planned, so even if we can’t meet often I believe our voices will reach you so keep nurturing that love.
Kazami: As for BPJ, many artists have been involved so far and along with those fans who will listen to our song, we’ll include more and more people. I truly hope that this Blue Planet Japan project will become something huge that the whole Earth can become involved in. Of course, in addition to that, DaizyStripper will be putting our efforts into heading overseas as well. We’ll definitely come see you, so I hope that not just the people in Japan, but everyone else, too, will be waiting for us.
Nao: Let’s overcome borders and become one through music. [English] You are my sunshine.
[laughter]

Kate Havas first became interested in Japanese fashion and culture in college when manga, anime, and visual kei were just beginning to make their way to America. An art and English major with a love of clothes, Kate signed onto ROKKYUU in order cover fashion and report on Tokyo trends, but was quickly also recruited to the music side of things and has been having an adventure expanding her knowledge of all things VK since. Follow her on twitter at keito_kate!

Leela McMullen is a strong believer in the philosophy "no music, no life." Having traversed the range of Japanese fandoms, she found her home at last in visual kei and has made it her mission to share what she loves most with the world. Leela completed her B.A. in Japanese language from Griffith University in Gold Coast Australia. She now lives and works in Japan, striving to bring you the goods, hot from the scene. Follow her on twitter for juicy hints of upcoming articles if you've got a bit of Japanese language under your belt! http://twitter.com/#!/LeelaInTokyo

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