On the European release of “Visual Kei” band the GazettE’s latest album, Division, the band members answered our questions during an exclusive interview.
Tell us about the time when the band was created.
Ruki: Our first show. I want to experience that sensation of tension again. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the GazettE.
You are now among the most popular Japanese bands outside Japan. How do you explain your success overseas? When you first started to play, did you have a strategy to conquer the world?
Ruki : I’ve never imagined myself playing in the same band for 10 years! (laughs) In Japan, it’s not easy to maintain a band for 10 years. I owe my freedom of expression to our fans and all the staff who have supported us throughout the years. The band is a part of our lives. We only think about keeping on moving forward.
What has been the most difficult moment for the band in the past?
Ruki: We’re always taking on difficult tasks, so there’s no one thing that has been particularly challenging.
And the happiest moment?
Ruki: Hmm. That’s a difficult question. But above all, it’s definitely the feeling of being appreciated as a band!
You seem to take a lot of pleasure playing live. Can you explain why? Your contact with the fans is very strong, isn’t it? Which live experience do you think was the most impressive one for you?
Ruki: I get a real sense of accomplishment when we come to the final show on a tour and get to see everything that we have worked for coming together and taking shape.
The main catalyst of your popularity overseas is your music. How would you define your music? What is the difference between the GazettE and other Japanese bands which can’t get the same audience overseas?
Ruki : To be honest, I think it would be much more interesting to hear what people overseas have to say on this question than to answer it myself. However, for the GazettE, I can say we are thorough and meticulous about what we offer directly from ourselves.
Let’s get back to your new album Division. Can you explain the basic idea of your album? Where did you take your inspiration?
Ruki: We wanted to redefine what ‘MADE IN JAPAN’ is all about. We also wanted to show that the world of the GazettE is a whole package, even down to the album cover and other visuals. So we want to expand our appeal to many more countries.
I guess that all the songs in this album are important for you, but is there any one that you prefer?
Ruki: I like all of them, but especially “DRIPPING INSANITY”.
The two tracks HEDORO and ATTITUDE are very interesting. I have the feeling you wanted to try something new with these two songs. Am I right?
Ruki: Basically I like the distorted bass sounds like you see in electro or dub-step. Perhaps that influenced me.
Anything to say to your European fans?
Ruki: We see many people coming from Europe to Japan to see us. So we feel that now it’s our turn to visit you. Have your fingers crossed. Thank you always for your support and messages!
Interview by Odaira Namihei