We have not had much news to report on lately for goth-industrial band Calmando Qual. Their most recent release was the single 闇を貫く激情の輝き (Yami wo tsuranuku gekijou no kagayaki), which dropped in January of this year, just about six months after their last album, BLACK SHEEP.
The band has not been sleeping on the job, though, as they have been performing every month without pause for the last year. Just last month, they returned from their 〜Black Sheep Parade in Europe〜 tour, which took them around Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and even Luxembourg. Though the group has seen lineup changes and even identity changes over their 12-year career, they’ve been one of the more resilient ensembles out there, always bouncing back and somehow maintaining a consistent message and aesthetic throughout.
This announcement, thus, may be coming as a shock to fans who did not see any signs of discontent brewing.
At their live on Friday, July 5 – the same day that the group uploaded their full video for “抜け殻” (Nukegara) to YouTube -, bassist Kenka announced his departure from Calmando Qual due to what he described as a desire for personal growth. What is interesting to note is that “nukegara” means “empty shell,” like the exuvia left behind by a molting spider or perhaps even the shell of hermit crab who needs more room to grow; in Kenka’s own message, he spoke of shedding his own skin, using the phrase “自分の殻” (jibun no kara, “my shell”).
His last performance with Calmando Qual will be at their oneman at Ikebukuro Chop on October 7 of this year, the details of which are yet to come.
To Everybody from Kenka
As per the statement made on stage yesterday, Kenka will be retiring from Calmando Qual.
Thank you, truly, to all the FREAKS and everybody at the label who have supported us thus far.
If, perhaps, you ever happen to run into Kenka again in another band, please send him your warmest support.
The following are Kenka’s own words.
As you may have heard from the announcement at yesterday’s live, I, Kenka, will graduate1 from Calmando Qual as of our oneman live at Ikebukuro Chop on October 7.
When I think about it, the long time, 10 years or so, that I have spent with this band, the various experiences I have had, have made me who I am today.
Having spent such a long time [together], Calmando Qual became like a family to me.
They took me, as I am, on as a member.
It was a very comfortable place.
Of course I think I also had the option to stay with Calmando Qual forever, but I thought that was dependent of me2.
I wanted to break through my shell.
I want to grow.
I want to change something inside me.
I want to change myself.
In order to do that, I needed some kind of major “catalyst.”
In order to let myself grow, I thought that I must become independent of Calmando Qual, who had become like a mother to me, because I can’t very well stop growing as a person3.
When I contemplated the time I have left, I had no other time but now [to make this decision].
Of course, I still respect and love the members of Calmando Qual.
That feeling will never change.
For that very reason, I have made up my mind.
Maybe it was “the biggest decision” of my life.
But even I think it is a selfish decision.
But I do not have any regrets.
Using this as one proactive step towards progress is important, and the other members also want [me to move forward].
I apologize sincerely for the trouble my recent decision has made for Calmando Qual, for all the FREAKS who support us, and for Starwave Records.
I would be grateful if, from now on, you would still give your support to Calmando Qual, Starwave Records, and myself.
Calmando Qual Kenka
1In Japan, it’s very common to refer to leaving something behind as “graduating.” Idols often “graduate” from their groups, and fans will sometimes even refer to leaving a fandom as “graduating.”
2甘え, amae, is very difficult to translate. It’s a Japanese sociological concept (look up Takeo Doi’s seminal work, The Anatomy of Dependence, if you are interested) that, using an oversimplified definition, is something like “dependence as love.” It’s the idea that people express their need for or attachment to each other as a manifestation of love. It’s seen as a good thing, that in society, people should ideally be able to be comfortable enough in relationships to depend on and expect kindness from others, but it’s also associated with childhood and, to an extreme degree, being immature and spoiled (甘えん坊, amaenbou). What Kenka is trying to say is that he felt like, if he stayed in Calmando Qual, he was falling back on the comfort of being able to depend on them, which, presumably, he felt would not allow him to grow.
3人間的な成長をしないといけないと思ったんです。 lit. “I thought that I can’t not grow as a human.”
Tags: Calmando Qual