Interview with ayabie in Helsinki

interview - 28.06.2008 22:00

Shortly before the gig in Helsinki JaME interviewed ayabie's guitarists.

We had the opportunity to interview ayabie's guitarists just a moment before their third gig in Finland. The calm Takehito and the lively Yumehito were happy to answer our questions.

Hello, we’re from JaME. We would like to thank you for the interview!

Takehito & Yumehito: Thank you!

This tour takes you to Europe for the third time, and it’ll be your very first time performing in the US. Although you are used to travelling, do you feel nervous? What are your expectations for the tour?

Yumehito: We are really, really looking forward to the US. The whole tour is, once again, a great opportunity for us.

Have you been studying English or any other languages during the past couple of years?

Yumehito: ...I speak nothing but Japanese.
Takehito: Our bassist Intetsu does speak some English though.

What do you do during the long flights?

Takehito & Yumehito: (demonstrating with their hands as they speak) We sleep, play games, eat, go to the toilet, sleep, play games, eat... (laughter)

You are also famous for your blogs. Fans translate them into different languages, and they are read regularly. Were you aware of this?

Takehito & Yumehito: We had no idea! (amazed)
Yumehito: I am really glad to hear this. We would like to thank the people who make the effort to translate the blogs.

What is the meaning of your blogs to you?

Yumehito: We can tell our fans about our daily lives and events through the blogs. Fans can also send comments to us, so the blogs are a sort of means to interact with us. They are a "communication tour"!

Intetsu, among many others, went to one of the recent X JAPAN concerts. Do you often go to see other bands’ lives?

Takehito & Yumehito: We went to the concert as well, the two of us together! (pretending to be miffed)
Yumehito: It was at the Tokyo Dome! (illustrating something huge with his hands and making sound effects) But we never go to see any other bands.

Many of you have pets. How do they cope while you are touring?

Yumehito: (demonstrating feeding) We need to find someone to take care of them; a pet sitter who feeds them and takes care of them in general. Of course being away from us makes them sad, and we are not happy about it either. Unfortunately we just cannot take them with us to Europe.

What do you do on your days off?

(Yumehito pretends to understand the Finnish question, nodding and mumbling, making everyone laugh)
Takehito: I... Drink. (pretending to drink)
Yumehito: I drink and also play games.

In Finland the summer is coming up. What do you have to do at least once every summer?

Takehito: Our summer tours are so long that we don't usually get to have any personal free time. Mostly we just spend our summers touring.
Yumehito: And go drinking!

The themes of your excellent lyrics vary from fairytale-like stories to descriptions of the current state of the world. The lyrics do get translated, but not all overseas listeners will know their meaning, and therefore some regard you as harmless pop music. Does this bother you?

Yumehito: (pretends to understand the original question, causing some amusement again) We could translate the lyrics into Finnish whenever we come to Finland! (the guitarists laugh) Aoi writes the lyrics, so he probably cares whether they are understood or not. It is still a question of a language barrier, so we cannot really expect everyone to understand the Japanese lyrics.
Takehito: Anyway, we have our blogs, and we are often featured in magazines, so hopefully people will somehow get the message and grasp what we want to say, even if they do not know any Japanese, or if they do but still don't quite understand the lyrics.

It may not be clear for all fans, so we would like to know how Yumehito joined ayabie.

Yumehito: Aoi simply called me and told me to join ayabie. (pretending to be on the phone) "Okay, I will join!"

ayabie has gone through several changes in line-ups. How did these changes effect ayabie as individuals and as a band?

(Yumehito is distracted, playing with the teddy bears and other presents from the fans.)
Yumehito: Takehito, go ahead.
Takehito: Our worlds have changed along with the new members. Our views have become wider, and new members have brought new elements to the band. It's the band that has changed, really. Yet the band in general has become simpler. Who knows what will happen next year.

When it comes to record labels, what is your current status? Are you indie or major?

Takehito: We are an indies band.
Yumehito: (in English) We are indies!

You have toured and performed together with several bands. You are also friends with many musicians. What band would you like to do a world tour with?

Yumehito: Do you mean Japanese bands? X JAPAN, LUNA SEA, S.K.I.N.... (with a deep voice) And Gackt! (everyone bursts into laughter)

What sort of funny or unpleasant incidents have you come across during your previous overseas tours?

(The guitarists think for a moment.)
Yumehito: Last year I tried to speak English to the audience in Sweden, but after I had finished my MC the audience was completely, utterly silent. No one had understood a word I said. That was rather awkward.

Lastly, would you give a message to the Finnish fans?

Yumehito: (begins to talk in the low voice of his alter ego "Kuroboshi") Let's see... The Finnish fans have always showed us their affection, and they have warmly welcomed us every single time. We really hope to return again!
(Yumehito suddenly pays attention to the interviewer's nails and starts to wiggle his own fingers.)
Takehito: This is our third time in Finland. Out of all the European countries we have visited Finland is the one with the hottest atmosphere. The audience gives 100 per cent. I do not know when we will be able to come back again, but once we return to Europe, we will surely come to Finland!

Thank you!

Takehito & Yumehito: (first in Japanese and then in Finnish) Thank you!

We would like to thank the band, our interpreter Emma and Heikki Mitikka for the pictures.
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