TRIGGAH Interview – Indies Series [日本語あり]
TRIGGAH may be young as a band, but the members have a wealth of history and experience to share–Not to mention a sense of humor! Who inspires them? What did Tomozo and Aika miss dearly while touring in Europe? What fate awaits Lion Yusuke in Africa? …What is this mysterious obsession with AKB48 all about? Find out in this exciting chat ROKKYUU had with the band before their appearance at [LOUD ARMY CORPS] volume 6 on March 13 at Meguro Rock May Kan.
69: Along with your self introductions, please tell us about a dream you had recently.
Aika: I’m Aika on guitar. Dreams? You mean like dreams you see when you’re sleeping? I don’t have them! I really don’t have many that I remember.
69: How about one you do remember even if it was long ago?
Aika: Let’s see… I had a dream once where I was performing onstage as always but I fell and hurt myself. I really don’t want that to happen in real life, though.
69: So more of a nightmare, then.
Aika: Definitely a nightmare.
Hajime: I’m the vocalist, Hajime. Through infectious disease…
Tomozo: Oh, that one!
Hajime: I had a dream where people became like zombies through an infectious disease.
Tomozo: Like Biohazard. [Resident Evil]
Hajime: Just like Biohazard. I had a dream about that. I ran away, and at that time, a girl called Imaji showed up.
Hajime: Yes, Imaji. Do you know someone by that name?
Tomozo: How the hell would I know someone like that?
Hajime: In my biography so far there’s never been anyone called that but even though she doesn’t exist she appeared in my dream. Imaji.
Tomozo: Like “Who the hell is this?”
Hajime: Yeah. “Who’s this?”
Tomozo: We have a lot of nightmares, huh.
Tomozo: I’m the guitarist, Tomozo. Rather than a recent dream, there’s one I have often. I go out onstage for a live and I don’t know the songs at all! Even though we’re counting in! Right up until the live starts I have no idea of the songs and then they say “It’s time for our set.” I have that dream a lot.
Hajime: Another nightmare!
Tomozo: I don’t know the songs, but the live starts. I have that kind of dream a lot.
69: At the last moment, do you remember the songs?
Tomozo: Not at all.
Hajime: In the end…
Tomozo: In the end, I get onstage–and I don’t perform, because I don’t see what happens next. I see as far as the last moment [before the set starts.]
Yusuke: I’m Yusuke on drums. I don’t play guitar or anything at all but I’ve had a dream where I’m playing guitar really well on a huge stage. When I woke up–you see, there’s one guitar at home–I felt like, “Maybe I really can play!” but it was hopeless. I had that kind of dream once.
Take: I’m Take on bass. The truth is, I really don’t dream and if I do, I forget them right away. I’ve hardly had any dreams recently.
Tomozo: None! Not a one!
69: Well that’s fascinating. Music, music, music, no dreams at all… and zombies? [All laugh] Could you tell us how TRIGGAH started?
Tomozo: Hmmm, how TRIGGAH started… Originally Tomozo and Aika were in a band together. Thinking about restarting a band, I contacted Aika and that’s how we began gathering members from here and there. We just got together members who were interested in doing the same thing as us.
69: What kind of first impression did you have of the other members?
Tomozo: Well Aika I’ve known for a long time. There’s not much of an impression, I mean, we’ve known each other for so long…
Aika: We’re the same as always.
Tomozo: It’s like we’ve been working together all our lives so there’s not really an impression per se. As for Hajime, he adapts to people well. When I first met him he had a bunch of manga so I thought, “He must really like manga.” Yusuke, I thought, “He’s huge!” and I thought “Take’s tiny!”
Hajime: Total opposites.
Tomozo: There wasn’t any really notable first impressions.
69: How about the rest of you? Any strong impressions?
Hajime: Not really. It was all very smooth.
Tomozo: We got along right away. We met and just started chatting and then we were all getting into it.
Hajime: Before I even decided whether I would join or not we were talking about what kinds of songs we should write.
Tomozo: That was how it started, wasn’t it?
69: It seems you all get along very well. Are your personalities very similar?
Tomozo: Everyone’s personalities are totally different. I think it’s because no two of us are alike that we get along so well.
69: How did you decide on the name “TRIGGAH?”
Hajime: Who was it? Aika?
Aika: Yeah, it was me. There’s a band I really like and the title of one of their songs is “Trigger.” When we were thinking about band names, we wanted something dangerous, in one word. Something people could remember easily without any translation necessary. When I was thinking, it popped right up. “What do you think of Trigger?” And they said “Oh, that’s good.” etc. We thought about putting something else after it but in the end this felt right. Just the one word, “Trigger,” So Hajime suggested that we play with the logo.
69: Was it a Japanese band that inspired you?
Aika: It was a foreign band. In Flames.
69: So, tell us about the band’s concept.
Tomozo: We’re a live band, so if we had a concept it would be for our lives to be fun. Fun and heavy. We think more about the lives than about any concept per se.
69: How would you describe your music?
Hajime: Metal. Hard rock. We work a lot of different tastes into it. We don’t stick to any one genre. We want to challenge ourselves with different types but the foundation is heaviness.
69: Who is the main composer?
Tomozo and Aika: It’s Hajime.
69: TRIGGAH is a very young band but how has the road been so far?
Tomozo: Well a year hasn’t yet past since April last year but in that time we’ve released three CDs and been doing a lot of lives. Our fans are pretty hardcore and so are we [laughs].
69: What are your individual musical influences?
Tomozo: I wonder what it was… My middle school teacher played guitar in a band and some of the older kids in my hometown played guitar, too… Thinking that was cool was what influenced me into it, I guess.
Aika: When I was in highschool, I went to my friend’s house and there was an acoustic guitar which I thought was cool. I thought it’d be cool if I could play. So I was just joking around playing it but it felt good and I wanted to give it a go, seriously. I got a serious band together right away saying, “Let’s get it together!” and that was how I got into it.
Hajime: For some reason, my mother played the drums. There was a little practice pad and I’d always use it. When I first thought, “I want to be in a band” I joined as the drummer but in the end there was no vocalist and my taking over that was the beginning.
69: Does your mother come and watch your lives?
Hajime: She doesn’t! Actually, I’ve hardly seen her actually playing the drums. It was really just having the drums there in the house [that inspired me.]
Yusuke: Earlier I talked about that dream, but I originally wanted to play guitar. I bought a used guitar with the money I received at new years. I gave up after an hour, though. I then thought I might like to be a vocalist but I was told I wasn’t very good and should give up. There was a drum kit in the studio. I had a go and it was fun. There weren’t many people around me who play the drums, so I thought, “Well, I’ll do it.”
Take: I saw bands like GLAY and LUNA SEA on TV and my friends played guitar and being surrounded by friends who played guitar or bass was the beginning for me.
69: How do you each feel the visual kei scene has changed since you started?
Tomozo: It’s become fashionable!
Aika: That’s right! It’s become really colorful!
Tomozo: In the past–I was the same–but people thought you just had to stand your hair up. The bigger the hair, the better. I think hair has gotten a lot smaller.
Aika: The bigger, the cooler, it was.
Tomozo: So now it’s like “[Their] heads are so small”
69: How about the music?
Tomozo: The genres have really spread out! Visual kei can take in anything. Visual kei is not a genre of music. It’s about the…
Aika: Outward appearance?
Tomozo: -outward appearance when you take the stage.
Aika: Make-up etc.
Tomozo: You could say that putting on make-up for the sake of standing onstage is what defines visual kei so in music, (and everything else,) visual kei is the category in the music world with the widest range of musical genres. “Anything goes.” In a good way, of course.
69: Can you tell us about your new single released on January 25?
Tomozo: It’s our third single, Dazzle! It’s just one song that has become an important number at lives. It makes a real clean impact; a deciding piece. Very cool.
69: Now for something a little different: If you were an animal, what animal would you like to be?
Tomozo: Wow, what would I want to be? Something very safe, I think.
Yusuke: I’m already decided. A lion. It’s the king of beasts; there’s no-one higher up, and it’s strong.
Tomozo: I want to be a bird, flying in the sky.
Take: Same! I want to be a bird!
Tomozo: It’s safe. A falcon or an eagle, I think. Well, if it’s a question of safety, I guess a dog or something would be good…
Hajime: It would be easy to be kept by someone.
Tomozo: A nice life. It would be nice to be kept by a rich person but, no, I’d be a bird. I want to be a strong bird. That would be safe enough.
Hajime: I’m stuck between a whale and a turtle.
69: Those are very different.
Hajime: Well turtles can contract their necks [to withdraw from danger/the world.]
Hajime: That would be the reaction, wouldn’t it? A whale, then.
Aika: I haven’t really thought about it.
Hajime: I think Aika’s very birdlike.
Aika: My face?
69: Perhaps the hair.
Aika: Oh, here! [Signals fringe] Ok, a bird. Well, I don’t hate their sense of freedom.
69: If you could be someone else for a day, who would you choose?
Tomozo: Out of anyone? Wow, that’s broad. Let’s see… AKB!
69: Any particular member?
Tomozo: As long as they’re a popular member, anyone will do. I want to know just how busy they are in one day.
Take: I think I’d want to become someone who’s a pro baseball player. I want to be good at baseball.
69: What team would you like to join?
Take: The Chiba Lotte Marines.
Hajime: Wow, this is really broad. Without a genre it’s a hard choice. Maybe someone I could actually become… What should I do?
Tomozo: Definitely a woman.
Hajime: Hmmm, it’s just one day, right? Then any woman would do.
69: Truly? No matter the age etc?
Hajime: No matter the… Ah.
All: Ah! [Laugh]
Hajime: A woman who hasn’t given up on being a girl. A woman who’s fighting hard. As long as she’s not saying, “I’m old, so I give up.”
69: This may be a dangerous question, but what would you do if you became a woman?
Tomozo: One would do all sorts of things.
Hajime: All sorts. Everything I could think of.
Tomozo: You’d do it all in one day!
Hajime: Everything. In a day.
Yusuke: This is hard. Rather than anyone in particular, I’d like to be a baby. It’s the age of ultimate freedom when you don’t have to think of anything. Even for just one day, I would like to return to that.
Aika: I want to be the guitarist of a foreign metal band. I’d kill to know what it’s like to play that well! Any band would do. I think the technique would be very interesting.
69: Is there a particular guitarist you admire?
Aika: There’s a lot of people I like but not any one in particular who I could say “I like ‘this guitarist’!” But out of those, I really like Alexi Laiho.
69: What bands would you like to put on a show with?
Hajime: Could you really call that a band?
Tomozo: There is one, now!
[All impersonate an AKB48 rock band.]
Tomozo: I would really like to play with INORAN.
Take: I’d love to play with the bands that inspired me like GLAY and LUNA SEA.
Hajime: I can’t really think of a band I’d like to play with.
69: Not even AKB?
Tomozo: AKB is mine!
Hajime: Wasn’t AKB taken? Or was it INORAN?
Tomozo: I’d like to play with INORAN, too, but my choice is AKB after all.
Hajime: Then I’ll choose SDN48. Something sexy would be good.
Yusuke: Since I became a drummer, the one who really inspired me to like the drums who I really respect is YOSHIKI. I don’t know if it would ever come true, but for one, I’d like to play with X.
69: If you could be YOSHIKI for a day, you could do almost anything.
Yusuke: That ‘anything’ is the scary part!
Aika: Me, too. I like X so if it had to be a Japanese band, I’d love to play with X back when hide was still here.
69: Have you ever been overseas?
Tomozo: We haven’t been as a band yet but personally I’ve been to a bunch of places in Europe. That was for lives, back in the day. I’ve also been to Korea. That’s all.
Take: Never. Not even once.
Hajime: I haven’t been either.
Yusuke: Me either.
Aika: I also went about Europe for lives.
69: Where would you like to go?
Tomozo: I wanna go to Australia.
Yusuke: Same here.
Aika: Italy for me. I love it. Nappoli… Rome…
Tomozo: Yeah, I would love to go to Europe again, too. We went to Germany and such, right? But if we’re talking somewhere new, it would have to be Australia. I have a dream.
Take: I’d like to try visiting Europe.
Tomozo: Europe’s a big place.
Take: I’d like to go to England.
Hajime: I want to go somewhere like Africa. I’ll hunt lion Yusuke. With a rifle.
Yusuke: He talks as if I’ve already become a lion… Australia.
Hajime: The ratio for Australia is high.
Aika: I’m set on Italy, though.
69: Australia, Italy, England…. And Africa. That’s a pretty rare choice for Japanese people.
Hajime: I really like animals.
69: So you want to go on Safari?
Hajime: Yeah, I go to the zoo a lot. I love the cat family.
69: If you went overseas, what would you miss from Japan?
Hajime: Definitely rice!
Tomozo: There’s no rice anywhere!
69: Sure there is!
Tomozo: We couldn’t find any at all!
Aika: Actually, I started craving soy.
69: There isn’t not much of those in Europe.
Tomozo: Nothing but potato!
Aika: Like potato soup.
Tomozo: Potato was all we ate. Oh, and meat, too.
Hajime: That’s not so bad.
Tomozo: No, you get sick of it.
Aika: That’s true. It’s hard for Japanese people.
69: Wrapping things up, what song would you recommend for TRIGGAH first timers to listen to?
Tomozo: I think the CD on release now, Dazzle, is a good one! It’s easy listening.
Aika: Yeah, it is!
Tomozo: Just released on January 25!
Aika: Nice push! [Laughs]
Tomozo: I think “Dazzle” is good. It’s cheap, too.
69: Anything to promote for the finish?
Hajime: April 24!
Tomozo: On April 24, a year since we formed, we’re holding a live at Shibuya Boxx. The details are on our official site, so check it out.
Hajime: If you’re around on vacation.
Tomozo: Those of you from overseas, that is.
69: Please share a message with ROKKYUU’s readers.
Tomozo: I love all the countries of the world, [all laugh] not just Australia and we’ll work hard to be able to visit any country for lives. That goes for the cities of Japan, too. People of the world, please support us!
Take: We can’t do lives outside of Japan yet, but I hope you will be able to buy and hear our CDs from overseas.
Hajime: Little by little, we’re training up to become a band that will be recognized even overseas.
Yusuke: At this point, to come in contact with our music you would have to buy our CDs but I hope that someday we’ll be able to open up another front, so please support us.
Aika: We’re a brand new band who haven’t made it a year yet but we’ll put more and more effort into it so we can go on tours throughout Japan and overseas to places like Europe. For the moment, please keep an eye on us on the web. You can sample our music there, too. Please sample it and support us.