As luck would have it, Royz’s Aomori date of the “The UNLIMITED INNOCENCE RAY” tour fell on Halloween, which made for a very interesting opportunity for the band to talk about the holiday, discuss their current direction, and even answer questions from some of our readers.
Photography: Evan Clark
Not for republication.
Thank you for meeting with us again.
All: Thank you.
First, can you each tell us what you’d wear for Halloween if you were to choose a costume?
Subaru: Today… everyone’s decided on a Halloween costume for the encore. Let’s start with Kuina.
Kuina: A black witch.
Koudai: Santa girl (laugh).
Tomoya: I’m gonna be a skeleton.
Subaru: I can see your bones anyways (laugh).
Tomoya: (laugh) Because I’m too skinny.
Subaru: I’m a gorilla (laugh). I’ve got a full body gorilla suit.
Kazuki: Dracula… he’s the best.
Do you usually do anything special for Halloween?
Kazuki: A cosplay live, of course!
Subaru: Yeah, every year there’s always some kind of cosplay live going on. Last year we had an event where we all came dressed in kindergarten uniforms (laugh). And this year our live in Aomori happened to fall on Halloween, so we decided to have some fun and wear costumes again.
Do you have any other plans for Halloween this year?
Subaru: I want to eat something pumpkin flavored (laugh). When I used to live at home with my parents we would always have pumpkins out, but now I’m all alone by myself with nothing at all (laugh).
Do you have any funny Halloween stories you can share with us?
Koudai: When I was little I used to get candy…
Kuina: I didn’t even know that Halloween existed until this year (laugh).
Subaru: I can’t really remember doing anything for Halloween in the past, but I’m really excited about doing a lot of fun stuff from now on.
What’s your favorite Halloween movie or song?
All: Eh? Are there any?
Kuina: “Jack the Ripper”.
Kazuki: “Nightmare Before Christmas”.
Koudai: Is that Christmas or Halloween? Ahh, it’s the one where they’re all sick of Halloween so they want to turn everything into Christmas, right?
Subaru: Wasn’t one of those characters in Kingdom Hearts too..?
Koudai: Jack? Yeah, he’s super strong.
Subaru: Yeah, I totally remember that part (laugh). And I just totally went off topic, haha. Anyways, “Nightmare Before Christmas!”
So what’s your favorite song to play live on this tour?
Kazuki: All of them (laugh).
Kuina: The new single.
Tomoya: I really like playing “Across World,” since everyone gets really rowdy and excited.
Subaru: So I have to choose one out of all of our songs? That’s hard… well, we usually don’t play it at lives, but we have a song called “Reve Story,” and I really like playing that one.
Koudai: “Mask” is really fun to play live.
Kuina: “Mask” … You’ll be wearing a mask today.
Subaru: Yeah, but it’s a gorilla (laugh).
How did you decide on your set list for this tour?
Kazuki: We all got together and talked about how our past shows went, and how we should include our new songs.
Subaru: Our new songs have more of a mature sound, so we kind of adapted our set list to match that kind of “adult” feel. Like adding heavier songs at certain points, and basically trying to create a fluid set that works cohesively with out current theme. Tonight’s live is only the 3rd stop on this tour so we might change things around after a few more shows, but as of now it seems to be a really good fit.
What made you decide to choose “INNOCENCE” as the lead song of new release?
Kazuki: “INNOCENCE” matches the concept really well.
Tomoya: It was more like “INNOCENCE” was the song we created specifically to express the concept of the single, rather than the other way around.
Subaru: The main concepts we wanted to focus on with this single were aggression and energy, so we wrote the songs in a way that would express those feelings.
What was the inspiration behind the PV for “INNOCENCE”?
Subaru: We watched a lot of other PVs on YouTube and saw that a lot of bands were filming with LED Vision. We had never used it before, so we thought it would be cool to use it in our PV this time.
Next we have some questions from our readers who have been enjoying your interviews.
First, do you create your own furitsuke* for each song?
Subaru: In the past, the fans would kind of create their own furitsuke for each song and we would go with that. But recently, like in the song “SHADOW” on our new single, we’ve come together and decided on furitsuke as a group. And “JOKER” and “cherry tree”. We’re not very good at coming up with moves, but there are a lot of fans out there that really enjoy it so we do our best (laugh).
*”Furitsuke” is a term used for the hand and body movements performed uniformly by audience members at a live.
Do you think of the furitsuke before or after you make the song?
Subaru: After! (laugh) Literally like right before the live begins, actually. Like, it’ll be the morning of the show and we’re in there trying to think of furitsuke. “SHADOWS” was like that too–we literally made up the furitsuke like 2 hours before the show (strange laugh).
All members: (mimic Subaru’s laugh).
From another reader: What kind of student were you in school?
Kazuki: I was an aide.
Subaru: I was a soccer kid; a sportsman.
Kuina: I used to go to the arcade every day (laugh).
Tomoya: I didn’t really think about anything… I was really stupid (laugh). I loved card games though.
Tomoya: Yeah, Yu-Gi-Oh… Gundam…
Koudai: …I got teased a lot (laugh).
Finally, another reader is wondering what direction your fans can expect your music to take in the future. Harder? Softer? Totally different?
Koudai: Totally different direction! (laugh).
Subaru: Rather than saying harder or softer, it’s more like… just all around easier to listen to, and catchier. I think with “INNOCENCE” we really tried to do a lot of different things with the overall sound and feel of each track, and I’d like to continue doing that more in the future.
Kazuki: Broaden our horizons…
Subaru: Yeah, broaden our horizons and create lots of new and different kinds of music.
To end the interview, give us your own original greeting in the scariest Halloween voice you can do!
Subaru: The scariest voice we can do? (laugh) Give us an example– let us hear your scary voice first (laugh).
I can’t really think of one right now (embarrassed laugh). What about “Happy Halloween” then?
Subaru: Ok, so all of us are gonna go then. ….”death vo~~~ice!”
Kazuki: That’s one down (laugh). Ok, I’ll go… “Happy Halloweeen!” (breaks out in a laughing/coughing fit) Haha, let’s not try that again.
Subaru: (laugh) That was so ridiculous~.
Kazuki: Who’s next?
Tomoya: I don’t know what to say (laugh). Are we all just gonna say Happy Halloween?
Kazuki: How about Trick or Treat?
Subaru: “Trick or Treat~”.
Koudai: Trit or Trit..? (laugh).
Subaru: Let’s say that in a scary voice…
Tomoya: Or can we say something in Japanese?
Kuina: Ok, my turn– (in English) “Japanese gay boy~”!
Subaru: How is that even…? Haha!
Kuina: Well, it is kinda scary actually… (laugh)
Koudai: That’s three down.
Tomoya: Let’s do that last one together…
Koudai: What should we do… Harry Potter?
Subaru: You should just say Happy Halloween in the highest voice you can (laugh). And do it super loud so that it echoes in here, haha.
Tomoya: (In a high squeaky voice) “If you don’t give me candy I’m gonna get you~”.
Koudai: “Happy Halloweeeen!!”
Royz OHP: royz.pya.jp/pc
Want your questions in an interview? Members of Ernie’s VIP Lounge find out about upcoming interviews and have a chance to submit their own questions!