Moran Reveal True Colors in Tricolore Interview [日本語あり]

Interview

by Kate Havas, Leela McMullen, Maya Kawaguchi, posted August 28, 2011

Read in Japanese 日本語 / English

ROKKYUU met with the members of Moran to get the inside scoop on their latest single Tricolore (Tri-color) and boy did we learn a lot! Join us in getting to know Hitomi, Soan and Sizna down to the colors that identify them and learn the meaning behind each song on the new single. Oh, and keep your eyes out for those sharp senses of humor, too!

69: Please introduce the member beside you and tell us what animal you think he was in his past life.
Soan: The one next to me is our vocalist, Hitomi. Perhaps not in a past life, but… Okay, well in his past life he was a fairy. [English] Fairy. [Japanese] Well, we’re telling animal fortunes, so he was a wild and free Pegasus. In his past life he was a fairy, so he evolved from a fairy into a Pegasus into a human. That’s what I think of Hitomi. [To Hitomi] Please continue to work with me.
Hitomi: Concerning Sizna, I think that he was a praying mantis in his past life.
[laughter]
Hitomi: Somehow, he’s just similar to a praying mantis. [All laugh] Don’t you think? I particularly think his stage form is praying mantis-like so that’s why I think he could have been a praying mantis. I think you need to witness his charm  onstage to understand, though.
Sizna: Soan is… A boss monkey.
Soan: The boss of monkeys.
Sizna: Standing atop his mountain giving orders to other monkeys like “Bring me feed” etc. That’s the kind of controlling Soan he is.

69: On your website, you have anagrams of Moran made up of different chosen key words. What is your favorite key word each and why did you choose it?
Soan: Mine is “New.”
69: Why did you choose that word?
Soan: New things are constantly being brought to life. Because there was a past there can be a present. Targeting that, I chose the word “New.” I think this word can be taken post positively and negatively depending on the context. Whilst bringing to life or returning to life, I want to ensure that the past is not forgotten, either. That was the idea.
Hitomi: Mine is “Minority.” For example, in the music scene, visual kei is a minority and those who choose to listen to it are viewed among the minority of the world and even within those groups there are further minorities. There’s a strong sense of uniqueness in the lyrics and rather than those who are satisfied with almost everything, I think that it reaches those who carry anxieties, people who are unable to join in with the people around them due to uncertainty. That was part of the theme that we came up with at the beginning at the beginning of Moran; focusing on the minority.
Sizna: My word is “Aura”. On the site, the letter “O” is used as the number “zero.” I like to try things differently to how other people see them. When I’m on stage, other people become “O” (zero.) For example, creating a stage performance that no one else could or making music that isn’t usually heard. I would like to capture a different type of perspective.

69: Your new single is called  Tricolore. (Tri-color.) Could you please explain the meaning behind that for our foreign readers who can’t read the song titles?
Hitomi: First of all, each song has a different color. When I first listened, there was a totally different image in all three songs. Also, there’s now three of us, and thus the meaning that we each have our own different colours, too. From that standpoint, we thought it would be interesting to create a CD out of the concept of three colours.
69: What are each of your colors, then?
Hitomi: I wonder! Our three colors…
Sizna: I’m red.
Soan: I’m blue. [English] Blue.
Hitomi: I’m a bit uncertain. Sometimes I’m gold, sometimes black, sometimes white. It’s always different depending on the timing.

69: Why did you choose to make a triple A-side single immediately after the mini album Apples?
Hitomi: Well for the moment, there was the fact that we wanted to release them right away. It wasn’t along after releasing Apples yet since Sizna joined, somehow the time seemed to have dragged on so we wanted Sizna’s sound to be heard right away! So we thought for starters that a single would be the quickest which is why we chose a single. However, originally, we hadn’t planned to make a triple A-side but after recording the final song selection and had to decide on which would be the A-side it seemed that all of them were worthy and so we decided to go with a triple A-side single.
69: Although there’s only one music video?
Hitomi: That’s right.

69: Why did you decide to make a video for just that song?
Sizna: ‘Cause we had a budget…
[laughter]
Hitomi: [laughing] Well the budget was one factor, it certainly takes a lot of financial input to make a video but… Hmmm, how to explain? We were actually very divided on which song it should be and in the end we came to the conclusion that we couldn’t make the correct decision by ourselves alone so we asked advice of various people and taking those opinions into account it was like “Well, okay then we’ll do this.”

69: Which of the songs from the single do you each prefer?
Soan: That’s difficult.
Hitomi: It’s hard!
Sizna: I quite like “White Out.” The third song.
69: That was your composition, correct?
Sizna: Yes, well, rather than “my composition…” we each sent each other different phrases so it has a real edgy feel to it. That’s why I like “White Out.”
Hitomi: Well, as for what I would listen to, I really like ballads so as a ballad, I really like “Haruka no Ao.”
Soan: Well!
[laughter]
Soan: Well in that case, I’ll choose “Benizashi.”
69: So what do you like about it?
Soan: Quite simply, I like that it exists as a music video, so you can experience it by linking music and imagery. In fact, I personally think the PV is also well done so… naturally it’s one of the songs I like.

69: What’s the concept behind that music video?
Soan: Isn’t it “sexy?”
Hitomi: Is it “sexy?”
69: Sexy, then.
[laughter]
Hitomi: Wait, are we going to leave it at that?
Sizna: It’s about a girl turning into a woman.
Hitomi: Right. If you watch the music video, you can see it, but at first there’s a girl cuddling a cat and she becomes separated from it at which point she and I interact. Then there’s the part where she paints on red lipstick and lastly there’s a scene where the gloves are taken from the girl. So it’s about a girl’s change.
69: So the cat symbolizes her childhood.
Hitomi: That’s right. From quite a pure image to… Um, how should I say this? …To becoming an adult.

69: Lately there’s a lot of diversity in your music in both Apples and Tricolore. Is this intentional?
Hitomi: Well we’re not originally the type of people who want to make just one type of music. For example, loud-rock bands tend to stick to that type of music but if you go too far in that direction it becomes hard to release something different and that’s not good.
Soan: It’s a visual kei thing. I think it’s a very free genre.

69: Could you simply explain the meaning behind each song?
Hitomi: Where should I start? Well, first of all, “Haruka no Ao” is of course… Well basically it’s based on “ao”(blue.) So it’s like the vacant blue you feel from distantly seeing an empty sea. That’s what became the concept of this song. The concept is the feeling of blue. So “Benizashi” came from an image of “aka”(red.) As I said before, it’s about putting on lipstick – a girl painting her lips. In other words, a young girl doesn’t wear lipstick, but once they see themselves as becoming an adult, they begin to do so. That’s the image. As for “White Out,” I think the meaning should be fairly obvious but it’s like snow in a snowstorm or mist where everything turns white, stealing away vision.

69: Concerning “White Out,” there’s some very interesting English lyrics in the beginning. Why did you choose to write only that part completely in English?
Hitomi: Well, for one thing, I wanted to try writing some English into the composition due to the image and ring of the music. When I heard the music, I thought that English suited it better than Japanese. Also, from the point of view of the lyrics, it’s a very abstract part of the song. It’s not something that’s really happening but rather the image in the girl’s mind, so that`s why that part only is in English. It’s not an actual occurrence but the imaginings of the heroine, of the girl. The lyrics are a little difficult, but if you read them in order you should understand. “In the deep mist, what was killed? The long-sleeved cuffs are soiled.” I think if you understand the song, it seems obvious that “The sleeves are dirty. What’s been killed?” means that the sleeves are soiled in blood because something was killed. That’s how I want it to be read. Then if you read until the end it becomes clear that they’re actually soiled from wiping her make-up so what the girl went on killing was not some other person, but actually herself. She wants to be disconnected. So the English part is about the imaginings the girl has conjured in her heart.
69: So did you look up the English for that part?
Hitomi: Yeah. I’m not that good at English.
69: Well your Twitter is full of English. Have you studied before?
Hitomi: No, I’ve never really studied for real but since I started Twitter, a lot of foreigners have followed me and I thought that it would be a shame if I could only tweet in Japanese so I put a lot of effort into looking up the English and tweeting.
69: How about Sizna and Soan? Have you studied English?
Soan: I can’t study anymore, although I regret it. I wish I had studied more.
Sizna: I’m stuck at level four of the English Proficiency Exam.
[laughter]
Hitomi: That’s really lame.

69: So concerning the recording of Tricolore, did you finish without a hitch, or do you have some interesting stories to share?
Soan: Recording… Was there anything?
Sizna: The earthquake happened while we were in the middle of recording. It was after the drums had just been recorded and the guitar was beginning. So I had to play amidst all the shaking, and the fear.
Hitomi: Oh, it was around that time?
69: After the Earthquake?
Sizna: Yeah, I started recording the guitar after the Earthquake.
69: Was it very difficult?
Sizna: Yes. There were parts that wouldn’t really move forward
Hitomi: [laughing] There was nothing calm about that period.
69: How did that affect the end result?
Sizna: On the other hand, I think that because the earthquake happened we were able to spend extra time on it.

6 9: Your coming tour is titled The Cult Musical. How does this relate to Tricolore ?
Hitomi: Rather than tying in with Tricolore, it’s more about how Moran has changed since Sizna joined us. The title isn’t linked to Tricolore because we wanted something that would show Sizna’s colors. I hope people will think of it as a series of concerts highlighting the changes and new music due to Sizna joining the band.

69: If Moran were a cult, what oath would you make your followers swear?
Soan: Hang on… I want to look up the meaning of cult in detail… “Ritual.” That’s all that comes up.
Hitomi: Isn’t it like B grade?  Like “mania” or “maniac.” “Cult movie.” I wonder if this is a case of Japanese English?
69: Oh, that meaning! The main use in English is that of a religious cult which is what we thought of.
Soan: No wonder I was confused!
[All laugh]
69: Your use is correct, too, though!
Hitomi: Lucky! Wow, so it can come across that way, too…
Soan: We’ve gotta be careful with English. How scary. I think I’ll start going to English classes after all.
Hitomi: In Japan it’s just such a set phrase that you wouldn’t think there’s another meaning.

69: Well, wrapping it up, you recently performed in the Viju Love Night DJ event, right Hitomi?
Hitomi: [laughing] Oh! Viju Love Night?
Soan: He was trashed!
69: So how was your first DJ experience?
Hitomi: I think it was fun, but I was so nervous to begin with that I drank way too much and all I remember is being drunk.
69: Sizna and Soan were also there, so what did you think of DJ Hitomi?
Soan: [acting drunk] He was drunk! [Hitomi laughing] He’s a total [English] drunkard. [Japanese] But all that aside, it looked like a lot of fun. It had been a while since I saw our vocalist that drunk.
69: Would you like to give it a go?
Soan: I’d like to try it just once.
Sizna: I just watched over him. I thought he was gonna do something crazy.

69: Lastly, please give a message for our readers.
Soan: Actually, I’ve been to America on homestay. I can’t speak English though. Just for one month I lived in Oregon. Summer was hot! The mornings were freezing but the daytime was extremely hot.
Hitomi: Wow, really?
Soan: The temperature difference was amazing.
[laughter]
Soan:And it was way in the countryside, the middle of nowhere. Well, that aside… Not just America but someday also Europe, Asia and yes, America, too… We’ll work hard so that Moran can go there. Well, first I want to make a strong foundation here in the Japanese field so that we can then head out into the world.
Sizna: I’ve been to America to perform. With Sugar. I’ve had a taste of the American live scene so I’d love the chance to go again.
Hitomi: So Sizna’s been to America, too. Well, no matter what, the lyrics of Moran, and Japanese visual kei in general tend to be difficult to understand so I think it must be hard but it seems like a lot of overseas fans are studying Japanese and trying really hard to understand the lyrics. That makes me really happy. So I hope we can wander a little closer. Lately I’ve started using English a bit, etc. That way I hope that our cultures can draw closer.

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

Maya Kawaguchi is a Japanese native who grew up in California. She was introduced to VK in college and soon became fascinated by the genre and nagoya-oriented bands in particular. Since then, she has been surprised by the number of foreigners who are interested in VK and hopes to introduce this world to as many potential fans as possible.

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