Interview with BLESS THIS MESS

interview - 07.23.2018 20:01

Visual kei band BLESS THIS MESS discuss the meaning of their band name and the inspiration behind their "blind Circus." EP.

After the release of their first EP blind Circus. on July 4th and the arrival of their new bassist Rega, visual kei band BLESS THIS MESS spoke with JaME about the meaning behind their name, and the music direction and concept of their new release.

Since this is your first interview with JaME, please introduce yourselves to our readers.

Yanagi: I'm honored to be able to send my message to people outside of Japan. I'm Yanagi, vocalist of BLESS THIS MESS. I don't know from what countries this interview will be read, but I confess that my favorite foreign country is Russia.
Jin Tateishi: Nice to meet you. I'm the guitarist Jin Tateishi.
Rega: I'm Rega on bass. Nice to meet you.

Why did you decide to name your band BLESS THIS MESS? Do you know the phrase "bless this mess" is commonly written on signs used as wall decor in English-speaking homes?

Yanagi: In order to excuse myself, I chose the words "BLESS THIS MESS" with the meaning of blessing my way of living. I believe there's definitely no other band name to express myself with. I wish you could hang us secretly on a "BLESS THIS MESS" decorative signboard someday (laughs).
Jin Tateishi: I joined the band midway and I liked the band name even from that time. It has a great meaning, so I had no objection to keep it at the time when the band changed completely its structure. As for the signboard inside the English-speaking houses, it's the first time I hear about it.
Rega: Just like Jin, I joined the band midway. However, I liked the meaning of the band name from the first time I heard it. Probably I knew it from Yanagi while we were talking on the phone and I still like it even now.

How does it feel to be a three-member band again?

Yanagi: There was a lot of despair until we became this three-member lineup. In a good way, this band exists while thinking this is our last time every time.
Jin Tateishi: I think that maybe we met for a reason. It's as if this scenario existed since the beginning and we're just tracing this path.
Rega: We balance out each other very well. It seems like our past bands were a preparation for this moment. I think we have a good lineup.

How would you describe the overall music direction of your upcoming EP blind Circus.? What kind of sounds can we expect to hear

Yanagi: We added a lot of unique details to our band sound, giving a taste of dark rock through all the songs and their structure. I’m absolutely proud of it. No matter what we do, we already achieved giving an undisguised originality to the five songs made for this release.
Jin Tateishi: Basically, Yanagi and I are the main composers while Rega is in charge of the design. I was allowed to compose one to four songs for this release. The lyrics and the melody were added by Yanagi afterwards. The final result was a joint work. However, the style is very similar to our past work.
Rega: I did it according to what I was asked to listen to and feel.

What is the overarching concept or theme of blind Circus.? What inspired you to make that the concept or theme?

Yanagi: I was so immersed in a dream that I wasn’t able to see my environment anymore. In some aspects it's a virtue. However, can you say that such a condition is cool? What is singing for me? I was desperately looking for the intersection between making a living and continuing with my dream of staying in a band. Although I’m still in the vortex, an answer finally came up with this album. I want to continue dancing through my songs inside this dream that I've been clinging to. That’s the reason I decided to title this work blind Circus.
Jin Tateishi: Talking from my perspective, the foundation genuinely is a sound that we'd like to hear. Because if it's something we don’t like, we just wouldn’t let others to listen to it. I don’t recall getting inspiration from something in particular; it highly depends on the idea that we have in that moment.
Rega: Yanagi and Jin made the sketch on keyboard. After listening to it, they let me do whatever I could do.

What is MIRROR MIRROR about?

Yanagi: It's a song that starts with the chorus. However, I guess I'd be tired if this song finishes with a rushed feeling. We played with the ears of the listeners with a hectic progress, while the most important message is delivered at the end of the guitar solo. The result is a wonderful song. The lyrics are deeply personal. Even if I have distressed myself by refusing to look at the mirror, I want to bless the dreams of the pure fans who see themselves in a mirror... That's the kind of message I'm singing about. In fact, it’s a love song.
Jin Tateishi: It's a song we wrote while producing the music video. We made it under the theme of aggressiveness. I also wanted to create a song that begins with the chorus, so this was the chosen one.
Rega: I think it's a good song to introduce BLESS THIS MESS to people who see us for the first time in a concert. It has a good feeling of urgency that's accompanied by the vocal part, and the song also has a simple progression. Therefore, it’s a melody that gets stuck in one’s head.

Please tell us about the creation process of VENOM. Did anything noteworthy happen during its creation?

Yanagi: I sealed my own poison in our previous work XIALL RAIN and then it was unleashed through this song VENOM. I hated my own person who was old-fashioned, nostalgic and referred to by others as someone who lives in the past. However, VENOM is the impulse that was wriggling in my core. There are also hidden references to this topic in other songs; for example, in the phrase “nogararenai kono doku” 1 or when I sing “jigoujitoku” this sounds similar to “ji doku” 2. Moving from the first song rourui ni shisu towards VENOM, which is the last one, I’m gradually releasing my uncontainable urges. In short, read the lyrics (laughs).

1. This is translated as “I can’t get away from this poison” but it’s written with the kanji for Germany that has the same reading (doku) as poison.
2. “Jigoujitoku” means “what goes around comes around”. The last word sounds similar to “ji doku” (autotoxicity or self-poison).

Jin Tateishi: This song was written by Yanagi. Personally, I was more concerned about the live performance of this song rather than the production itself. It demands some skills, but all the practice is worth it.
Rega: I got goosebumps when I listened to the completed song. I hope everyone can experience what I experienced.

What should listeners pay attention to when listening to Lost Sphear? Is there any reason behind using the spelling "Sphear" instead of "Sphere"?

Yanagi: It was on purpose. “Sphere” is an orb. “Sphear” is an interpretation of the sky floating in the heights. I regret losing the “sky” of the common sense that was supporting my feet. It's a song with a very utopian worldview. I'm finishing my answer here; my head is a mess (laughs). I’m hard to understand, I guess. But I like myself that way (laughs). Let's move on to the next question.
Jin Tateishi: Although it’s a very short ambient song, the highlight that I'd like you to appreciate is the mood that it carries. I made the song with the image of a dark universe, with Mother Earth's movement inside of me. About the word “Sphear”, it's not a misprint. We used it on purpose.
Rega: According to the answers of Yanagi and Jin, it seems that there’s indeed a reason. I often judge this band objectively, but I truly believe that this song was made by putting a lot of effort on each detail.

Which song from blind Circus. are you most looking forward to performing live? Why?

Yanagi: I'd choose rourui ni shisu at this moment. The phrase “shi wo matsuyo” (I will wait for death) is repeated continuously at the end of the song, but my emotions will probably be at their highest levels while singing it live. I don’t want to sing a phrase like that, but at the same time I want to sing it.
Jin Tateishi: I want to perform all the songs. It’s very difficult to choose only one.
Rega: I want to perform all of them. However, the lyrics of rourui ni shisu are piercing, so it seems like many emotions will be vent on stage during this song.

What’s next for BLESS THIS MESS?

Yanagi: All what I wanted to express of my worldview was put into blind Circus. I ask myself what I'll sing about after this. I wonder if I'll be able to see a future while performing this or if I'll be satisfied with myself so far. My words might be misleading, but it’s very complicated to think about a plan after the one-man live show on July 3rd. At the present time, I want to perform blind Circus. live.
Jin Tateishi: We're thinking about it; it’s not the case that we're not planning anything at all. Instead of looking into the future, we prefer to prioritize what we're doing right now.
Rega: I'd like to work on my own songs. Until now, my hands have been full with creating the graphics and designing the costumes for the band. However, I'm gradually getting the chance to create more things.

Please leave a message for JaME readers.

Yanagi: As an artist, I'm proud that I got the opportunity to send my message to people outside Japan. Despite the fact that we encountered one another through this writing form, I'd like you to come to meet us at a concert someday. I’m convinced that I will get new inspiration if BLESS THIS MESS gets the chance to perform overseas. If you want to see BLESS THIS MESS in your country, please call us.
Jin Tateishi: Even if it’s only one person, I feel grateful to see that the number of people who know about our existence is increasing. Please listen to our work, both our current release and our previous album XIALL RAIN.
Rega: Thank you for reading about us. I'm not good at talking to others, but I'll communicate with you properly on stage. Please come to our shows if you have the chance. We want to go to meet you too.

JaME would like to thank BLESS THIS MESS and Royal Stage for this interview opportunity.
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