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ViSULOG Special Interview with Mejibray
Monday, March 17, 2014 at 12:18am in Translations

ViSULOG Special Interview with Mejibray

meji 1

It’s a new year and MEJIBRAY are back with their tenth single RAVEN, the first in a string of three new  releases. But rather than three singles in a row, fans can look forward to something a little different this time around. Next up is their first live DVD, A PRIORI Ei: Joshō -Counting Goats- TOUR FINAL AT TSUTAYA O-EAST, out on April 2, and a single collection, SM, hits stores on May 7. Here at ViSULOG, we’re sitting down with the band for three exclusive interviews to hear their thoughts on each release, starting this month. Enjoy!

This interview is not exclusive to Shattered-Tranquility.net, but serves as a translation for ViSULOG’s interview. Please view the original page for live details and interview photos, linked below.
Shattered-Tranquility.net has not altered this article from its original from.

下記のインタビューは日本語から英語に翻訳された物です。正本の著作権はViSULOGに帰属します。Shattered-Tranquility.netの記事ではありません。正本の記事、イベント詳細、画像は下記のリンクからアクセスして下さい。

ViSULOG: Special interview with MEJIBRAY for their 10th single, RAVEN

Interview and Text: Takaya Yamamoto
Translation : bambi [bambi@shattered-tranquility.net]

 

“I wouldn’t advise people to try and copy our way of doing things. They might get hurt.” (Tsuzuku)

— How would you describe your 2013?

MiA : Every year, it’s like it always goes by in a flash. So, just trying to take 2014 one day at a time, I guess.

meji 2

— Anything that really stood out for you?

MiA : Definitely our oneman tour [A PRIORI Ei: Joshō -Counting Goats-]. We played thirty shows! But once it kicked off it went by a lot faster than we thought. If anything, I kind of wish we could’ve taken it a bit slower. We’d love to do a full nationwide tour someday, but if we do, I hope we’ll get like four months so we can just relax and really enjoy the whole thing.

— I understand you’d never been to some of those places before. How did you find that?

MiA : I actually was a bit worried beforehand. Like, “Are people really going to want to come see us?” But once we got out there, everywhere we went people knew who we were. I was not expecting that. That felt really good. And it made me more committed.

— What was the year like for you, Tsuzuku?

Tsuzuku : Pretty eventful. If I had to name one thing that sticks out in my mind the most, I guess it’d have to be the tour. Especially Utsunomiya, where I said I’d quit smoking…

— What made you want to quit?

Tsuzuku : It was messing up my voice. The usual reason, I guess (laughs).

MiA : Now that he’s quit, that makes half of MEJIBRAY officially clean! If we can get just one more over to our side, maybe certain people will finally stop lighting up on the road… (laughs)

— You can smoke on the road?

Tsuzuku : Yes. So as soon as I quit, the first thing I did was apologize to MiA. That must’ve been torture for him to have me sitting there, blowing smoke in his face…

MiA : Yeah, on long trips it was pretty rough. There better be something good in this for me after what I’ve had to put up with (laughs).

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto thinks a thirty-stop tour must’ve been a lot to put up with, too.

Koichi : Uh, I do not “light up on the road”.

— How did your 2013 go, Koichi?

Koichi : On the whole? Better than 2012. I think I managed to make every day pretty avant-garde, for one thing. So this year’s going to be even better.

— What was the high point for you?

Koichi : The tour, definitely. I love onemans and this was loads of fun. Actually, I was just looking at our schedule from last year and everything from the summer on is basically just lives. I mean, between October and December alone we did forty shows. I was like, “That’s not even possible.”

Tsuzuku : Maybe we did go a little too hard. Well… it’s one way to stay in shape!

— Did you ever get sick during the tour, or anything like that?

Tsuzuku : I did have some issues with my voice… (laughs)

Koichi : Nobody got a cold or anything, though. Physically we were fine. I did bring a ton of medicine along just in case, but we were all good.

MiA : Oh yeah, one time I thought I was getting a cold and Koi was like, plying me with massive amounts of drugs.

Koichi : Hey, we were on the road! I couldn’t have you infecting everyone else! (laughs)

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— How about you, Meto? How was your 2013?

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : He says he changed his hair a lot.

— You certainly did.

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : He says a year ago, it was black, and really long… but now it’s all gone.

Tsuzuku : Even the sideburns.

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : He says that when he looks through his photos, he sometimes gets confused because in some of them he’s blond, and in others he has dreads, or his hair’s blue…

Koichi : Yeah, for a while he even had one of those rockabilly things going on towards the end there.

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : He says wait and see, because chances are he’ll change it again this year. Maybe even shave it all off.

— Did you get a chance to relax over the new year, at least?

MiA : I was working on the V-ANIME collaboration -homme- album so sadly no, not much (laughs).

Tsuzuku : I had way too much time on my hands – I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. I mean, this time last year, we were doing all these instores…

Koichi : Oh yeah, because we’d just released Avalon.

— And your first single of 2014, RAVEN, is coming out soon. Now if I understand this, “raven” in English is another word for “crow”, right?

Tsuzuku : It’s the English word for what we’d call a watarigarasu. Like a crow, but bigger.

— What made you decide to call it “RAVEN”?

Tsuzuku : I guess I always figured I’d wind up writing a song about ravens someday. I mean, in a way they’re kind of a minority, right? They’re on the margins. They’re not exactly pests, in the grand scheme of things… but as birds go, they don’t tend to get a whole lot of love. And I’ve always found that intriguing, because it applies to certain kinds of people, too.

— Ah, so that’s what you mean by “RAVEN”.

Tsuzuku : Even just looking at the music industry: what we do in visual-kei, we’re like the ravens of music. And our fans… I think you could say these girls are basically the human equivalent of ravens, too.

— I really like your approach to the vocals on the verses. Keeps it interesting.

Tsuzuku : Yeah, I tried to stick with the falsetto, mainly. Usually, with our heavier songs, I come on a lot lower, more aggressive… but here this just sounded right.

— And MiA, I know you wrote the music – did you set out to create something based on this “RAVEN” idea?

MiA : No, no… (laughs) I knew we were going to call it “RAVEN”, but not until after I’d already come up with the music. I had no idea when I was writing it.

Tsuzuku : Yeah, we tend to each do our own thing.

— The intro hits you right in the face, but the hook is softer, sweeter… it makes for a nice contrast.

MiA : Oh, thanks! I wound up just cutting the bridge from this song and I tried to keep it really simple, nothing fancy. I felt like a more straight-up approach would sound better than something with way too much going on in it, so I let the whole thing play out in my head and it took shape from there.

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— Your solo’s pretty simple.

MiA : There wasn’t much room for one, so I just tried to play it as fast as I could (laughs).

— You really notice the bass, too.

Koichi : Probably because the guitar’s so stripped-down. And you get more slapping from me, yay (laughs). Seriously, though, this song moves so fast, the intro just about kills me. And the hook may sound nice and all but behind the scenes, I’m like the only one who has to keep track of a million things at the same time. But yeah, it is pretty avant-garde (laughs).

— And Meto’s drumming is always great to listen to because it has this lyrical quality all its own.

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto says that’s because he wishes he could sing too!

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : He says it was even more intense in the demo and he thought it’d be way too hard for a doll to play, so he rearranged it.

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : A Japanese doll, anyway. Another kind of doll might be able to pull it off.

Tsuzuku : What the hell? (laughs)

Luana : But all in all, he really likes the drums in this song. And he says he learned a lot about tuning, too – more so than usual.

— Did all the different parts come out sounding the way you imagined, MiA?

MiA : Well, I wasn’t actually there when they recorded their parts… we don’t tend to stick around and watch each other record. Maybe only if we absolutely have to…

— Really?

MiA : We just figure we could each use that time to work on other things instead. It’s more efficient that way.

Tsuzuku : I couldn’t agree more.

MiA : I don’t know about other bands, but I think that as far as we’re concerned, this is what works best.

Koichi : The only one who sticks around for every recording is [our manager] Punch Ito.

Tsuzuku : Punch is great. Sometimes when I’m in there doing my thing, he’ll just butt in like, “That’s not how that’s supposed to sound!” (laughs)

MiA : Yeah, for that anime compilation [V-ANIME collaboration -homme-] I was in the studio with Dancho [from NoGoD] and Yugiri [from DaizyStripper] and he was like, trying to direct them, telling them how he wanted them to sing (laughs).

Tsuzuku : I think the only time we’ve ever stuck around for each other’s parts was when we were just starting out, am I right?

MiA : We did used to, but we all felt like we could’ve used the time for something else. I mean, we only have so much time, and it’s more efficient to spend it doing other things for the band.

Tsuzuku : Yeah, you were like, “God, Koi, could you please hurry up and finish recording the bass so I can get out of here?” (laughs)

— It’s amazing how you can take this approach to recording and still put such great songs together. There must be a fine line there, I imagine.

Tsuzuku : Oh, there definitely is. I wouldn’t advise people to try and copy our way of doing things. They might get hurt (laughs).

— I doubt they could copy you even if they wanted to. How would you describe the finished video?

Tsuzuku : Playful.

— Playful?

Tsuzuku : Yes. Playful (laughs). Koichi and I were just talking about this, actually. We both agreed we should go with “cute” as our concept for 2014.

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— Would you say the video’s cute?

Tsuzuku : It’s playful and cute (laughs). The whole thing is.

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto thinks the use of colors is what makes it so playful. People keep saying he and Koichi might actually appeal to kindergarteners because of the pink and blue hair. Like, a morbid version of Little Twin Stars.

— All : (laughter)

Tsuzuku : There’s something about the juxtaposition of people and meat that’s sort of adorable, too – and slightly erotic as well. Like something out of a Tim Burton movie.

— The speech bubbles definitely add to the playfulness of it, I think.

Tsuzuku : Yeah, there’s a lot of those. If people pay attention to them and also the lyrics when they see the video, obviously everyone’s going to feel something different but I definitely think people will pick up on this idea of ravens as something on the margins. And if they can relate to that on a personal level, I think reading the words and listening to the song will give them a new perspective on it.

— Your new look’s pretty out-there, too.

Tsuzuku : Isn’t it cute? Just look at Meto, perched on my arm…

— Never thought I’d see that.

Tsuzuku : Yeah, isn’t it just perfect?

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto says he couldn’t not do that.

Tsuzuku : He was so pushy at the photoshoot! He was all, “So, when do I get to perch on you?” (laughs)

— Well, of course it goes with the whole “RAVEN” theme, right?

Tsuzuku : I think we’re all ravens this time around.

MiA : Are we?

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto says he just realised “RAVEN”’s also the name of his drum kit.

 

“People really can do anything – and we want to be the first ones to prove it.” — (Koichi)

 

— You’re holding an exclusive series of onemans [DECADANCE Symphony Daigoshō Watarigarasu to tsukaima] just for members of your mobile fansite. How will these be different from a normal live?

Tsuzuku : Well, Taro will be there so I don’t think it’ll be any different. With Taro it should be business as usual. [Note: For further detais on Taro, see next month’s interview.]

Koichi : But with three different venues, I think they’ll get to see a few different sides of him.

Tsuzuku : And amazingly enough, right after the first show in Nagoya we’re heading straight to Osaka for the next one, but we get a day off in between. See, Taro’s already awesome.

— All : (laughter)

— Can you tell us anything else about these shows?

Tsuzuku : RAVEN won’t be out yet, but we’re going to play all the songs on it. And for the fourth show, the one we’ve just added, I’ve decided I’m going to ________.

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Come out with a mohawk. Maybe. Meto says.

— In other words, there might be some kind of a surprise in store for us. All right – just to round up, what kind of year are you hoping to make 2014?

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto thinks it’ll be business as usual for MEJIBRAY and for him – but only in the best way possible.

Koichi : I just saw the movie Predator, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in that totally blew me away. He made me realize just how amazing human beings really are. I mean, you have the Predator, which is even more powerful than Alien, and Schwarzenegger, he takes it down. It just goes to show, people can do anything they want if they put their minds to it.

— All : (laughter)

Koichi : Yes, after I watched that, I felt like I really could do anything. It’s like, the Predator’s immune to every weapon, right? And it has this stealth ability that makes it invisible. But Schwarzenegger still takes it on and wins.

Tsuzuku : Yeah, he does all the dirty work.

Koichi : People really can do anything – and we want to be the first ones to prove it. The important thing is, you’ve got this one man, and all his friends are dead, and he still takes out the Predator all on his own, even though it’s more powerful than Alien. There’s no more normal in that situation. I guess what I’m trying to say is, where there’s a will there’s a way.

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto says he just saw somebody he was pretty impressed with, too.

Koichi : Who?

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : So Takei. [1]

Tsuzuku : Why’s that?

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : He was on some show, talking about something – like, in a serious way – and Meto realized they have the same way of looking at things.

— All : (laughter)

Tsuzuku : So we’ve got Schwarzenegger on bass and a former pro athlete on drums… don’t you just love our band?

Koichi : I’m serious! People really can do anything. Well, maybe not take down the Predator, but…

Tsuzuku : It’s okay, Koichi, I think we get it (laughs).

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto says one time, Takei said that if he ever runs out of work on TV, he’ll just go join a band of gorillas and become their king.

Koichi : Okay, now that’s kind of awesome.

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : And Meto totally wants his Porsche, too.

— How about you, MiA?

MiA : I still have all the same goals I did when we were first starting out, so this year I just want to keep on working towards those.

— I mean, is there anyone you look to as a role model?

MiA : Yngwie Malmsteen. And Keisuke Honda from Milan FC. Yngwie, he puts Ferrari decals on his guitars, and he has to wear a Rolex or else he like… can’t function. Yeah, the minute I heard that I knew that’s who I want to be when I’m old. (laughs)

Tsuzuku : Seriously?

MiA : So I really need to get myself in gear so I can get to that level.

— What about you, Tsuzuku?

Tsuzuku : I’m just me. As long as I’m not bothering anyone, that’s all that matters.

— Really?

Tsuzuku : But lately I’ve had little too much time on my hands, and I’ve turned into a bit of a health nut. Like right now, I’m really into this Takaine guy, this trainer from Osaka…

Koichi : Who?

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto’s never heard of him.

Tsuzuku : He has like, two thousand videos on YouTube.

MiA : Two thousand? Are you serious?

Tsuzuku : He’s incredible. Really. And he doesn’t just do training – he also covers other stuff, like showing you what to eat for a week so you can put on weight in a healthy way. See, you want to do that because if you gain weight and then it comes off, that’s how you get your best-looking muscles of all. So if you want to sculpt a really nice shape, you should first gain some weight, then lose it. He’s on Twitter, too – he takes these shots of himself in the mirror to so you can see the muscles he’s got from training, and posts them with the caption “Today’s muscles”. And I love the way he talks, he’s got one of those voices that’s really relaxing to listen to…

Meto : ……………………….

Luana : Meto thinks it’s so funny how we all have this thing about muscles.

 


[1] So Takei (b.1973) is a former track and field champion and decathlete. He currently holds the Japanese record for the 100-metre dash at 10:54 seconds. A popular media personality, he has starred in numerous ad campaigns and often appears on TV.

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ViSULOG Special Interview with Mejibray Reviewed by on . It’s a new year and MEJIBRAY are back with their tenth single RAVEN, the first in a string of three new  releases. But rather than three singles in a row, fans It’s a new year and MEJIBRAY are back with their tenth single RAVEN, the first in a string of three new  releases. But rather than three singles in a row, fans Rating: 0

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