Interview with VRZEL

interview - 10.01.2018 11:01

Music that is cute, cool, youthful, adaptable, audacious and enjoyable.

Formed in 2012, VRZEL is a visual kei band that has undergone several line-up changes, the most interesting of which being the departure of all the band members in February 2016 before they returned under new stage names and welcomed two new members the very next day.

On November 8th last year, VRZEL released its first full album, titled Murderer Psychopathy. The band members talk about a few songs from the album and more in an interview with JaME.

Hi VRZEL, thank you for this interview opportunity! Can each member please give a self-introduction and tell us one fun fact about yourself?

Cion: I’m Cion on vocals. I think it would definitely be interesting to chat about universal topics!
Яyoya: I’m Яyoya on lead guitar. Out of all the members, I’m the one in charge of keeping things tidy.
Kuu: Hello, I’m VRZEL’s rhythm guitarist, Kuu~ I’m a mysterious person.
KiRa: I’m KiRa on bass. I don’t know if it’s interesting or not, but I’m not good at being articulate.
Shikina: I’m Shikina on drums! I’m a no-good dude through and through!

How would you describe VRZEL's music in one sentence?

Cion: I feel like it personifies me in sound.
Яyoya: It’s a mixture of Japanese kawaii (cuteness) and cool.
Kuu: Music that is both audacious and enjoyable.
KiRa: It’s youthful.
Shikina: It’s adaptable.

You go without your usual makeup in your VAMP music video. The song also has many electro-pop sounds, unlike your usual songs. What are the reasons behind this departure from your usual image and sound?

Cion: There’s a strong refreshing image to the song, but our band has a heavy sound, so when you hear it live, you’ll hear it in a totally different way!
Яyoya: We also probably wanted to show that VRZEL has the ability to compete in both the J-rock and J-pop scenes.
Kuu: In addition, VAMP appears on the same album as Ibitsu, and it’s a contrast song to that one. We were able to make a song that felt emotionally uplifting.
KiRa: Cion and I wrote this song while eating, but compared to Ibitsu, it has a club music type energy which is something that VRZEL has never done before. We made the MV with the feeling of “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could convey how cheerful VRZEL usually is?”
Shikina: We challenged ourselves to do something new to show we can do anything!

Please tell us about the concept of your first full album Murderer Psychopathy.

Cion: It’s an album that makes you think that everyone’s heart has the capacity for sin ...
Яyoya: I think we were able to make an album with such diversity that no matter what kind of personality you have, when you listen to it, you’ll get the feeling of "psycho".
Kuu: It’s not exactly related to the concept, but it became an album where the content has a good meaning that creates a dichotomy with the title.
KiRa: I don’t think there was much of a concept. This time around every member wrote songs and we put them together as an album, but each of our personalities is in there, so I think it became an album you’ll never get tired of listening to.
Shikina: You can read every emotion you can think of into it, so doesn’t that give it an incredible meaning?

『』 is an interesting title for a song. What did you want to express with this title and song?

Cion: I think it’s something interesting from KiRa! Everyone, come up with your own title!
Яyoya: It came about because we thought it would be interesting to have the kind of song where the title would be imagined depending on who was listening to it.
Kuu: There’s no way to read the song title, and I can’t express it well, but when you listen to it, you imagine what the title might be.
KiRa: This song has been around for a long time, but there hasn’t been a title for a long time, either. It’s up to you what to call it. It might be interesting to listen to a song and come up with the name on your own.
Shikina: Don’t think about it! Just feel it!

What was the inspiration behind Ibitsu?

Cion: KiRa was in charge of the original composition and story, so in order to complement that, I tried to make it so there was a link to myself.
Яyoya: I personally think of colors, for example, “oxidized silver”.
Kuu: I think KiRa is the best person to answer this in detail, but some of the minor phrases within the song seem like they have some influence from SUGIZO.
KiRa: The song title is read as “Ibitsu”. In the past, VRZEL had a lot of catchy songs, so I wanted to express a song with parts of the dark side of humanity. Well, a long time ago, I had a stalker, and I remembered how scared I was during that time. So I created this song with that image in mind.
Shikina: I visualize what’s inside myself through intuition, so I don’t really know what the inspiration or anything is!

Which song on Murderer Psychopathy did you find most interesting to work on? What did you find interesting about it?

Cion: I think all of the songs will shine through at shows more than the ones that came before!
Яyoya: DOWSTER is the first song I’ve ever made for VRZEL. I was able to flesh it out with the other member’s help slowly but surely, and that process was interesting.
Kuu: I’d say the song Angraecum held my interest and I put a lot of effort into it I thought about the flow so that the song’s atmosphere would have a final feeling to it, and I faced the song head on and desperately poured my best into it.
KiRa: All of the songs.
Shikina: I agree with Kuu on Angraecum. I think both the lyrics and the composition are really great.

What are some themes and music styles you'd like to explore in future releases?

Cion: Folk songs ...
Яyoya: The other members seem to be into certain genres of hip hop, so I think it might be interesting to give that a try.
Kuu: Something cool.
KiRa: I want to write a ballad.
Shikina: Extreme metal!

Яyoya, we see from your Twitter account that you draw manga regularly. What got you interested in drawing manga? Can you tell us more about your manga series?

Яyoya: I’ve been drawing manga for fun since I was a child. It was the best form of expression for me to convey the images in my head. I liked bizarre stories.

What is the most encouraging thing a fan has ever said to you in a letter?

Cion: I like fan letters that convey feelings of love.
Яyoya: For some reason, hearing about how they see themselves makes me the happiest.
Kuu: Their impressions of the shows; their normal, everyday thoughts. When I’m exhausted, I feel encouraged by looking at my fan letters.
KiRa: I like fan letters that convey their honest feelings.
Shikina: When I’m told that they like the sound of my drums!

What are some specific goals you have for 2018?

Cion: To be acknowledged by everyone!
Яyoya: To create a focus for myself.
Kuu: To make more strong progress.
KiRa: To do the things I want to do.
Shikina: To keep moving forward.

Please leave a message for JaME readers.

Cion: Please try experiencing VRZEL’s music. Thank you for reading.
Яyoya: Suck my band music. (Translator’s note: This is Яyoya’s exact answer. He answered this question in English.)
Kuu: Thank you so much for reading. I said above that I want to progress, but I really think I’m going to follow through on that, so I hope you’ll all be watching.
KiRa: Thank you so much.
Shikina: Thank you so much \( ・ω・ )/ Please continue supporting VRZEL in the future!

JaME would like to thank VRZEL and Chaotic Harmony for this interview opportunity.  
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