Interview with Merry in Paris

interview - 12.26.2006 07:00

An interview with Merry in Paris, France during their European tour.

Merry made their way over to Europe in the first week of December for two concerts: one in Munich, Germany and one in Paris, France. We met the band members just a few hours before the concert in order to conduct a short interview with them.

After we introduced ourselves, the interview started.

Tonight, you will perform your second European concert here, in France. We would like to know what your thoughts are about your first concert and what you expect from the concert tonight?

Gara: For Germany, we really did not know what would be waiting for us and we had no idea how the audience would react. But the ambiance within the venue was good, the audience was enthusiastic and it was a pleasant surprise for us. (smiles) With regards to France, we know that the audience won’t be exactly the same in either their appearance or in their response to our performance but for now, we just have the images of the German audience in our head and we are really impatient to play this evening!

Merry is a very 'old-school' band and completely the opposite of the current, newer visual kei scene with your smooth and flawless sound. Was this a choice you made or did this happen unconsciously? Is this what you call ‘retro-rock’?

Nero: We are very happy to see that even in France and Germany, the people are able to put their finger on what we want to convey through our music.
Gara: Actually, we wanted to separate ourselves from all current music trends in order to create our own sound without following any pre-existing style...
Tetsu: We all bring different musical influences to the band and so we searched to achieve a mix to obtain the sound of Merry, resulting in a combination clashing between “it’s old” and “it’s the new generation.”

You will be releasing a DVD of your concert at Hibiya Yagai Ongakudo (30.07.2006) at the end of the year. Can you tell us what it will contain and what can we expect from it?

Nero: The DVD mostly focuses on our new album, Peep Show, and it will contain the Hibiya Yagai concert, which represents our major debut.

At the moment, the visual kei scene isn’t as important anymore as in the nineties when bands like LUNA SEA and X-Japan were around. On the other hand, a visual kei market is being formed in Europe and America in response to bands, such as yourselves, coming to perform overseas. Do you think that this will help revive the visual kei flame in your home country?

Gara: That depends. It’s what those groups at that time achieved that makes us what we are today.
Tetsu: But we don’t make music while thinking about others, first of all, we think about ourselves.

(Our translator, who noticed that the band didn’t really answer the question, added: "When I ask them if the fact that they are playing overseas could change the situation, they don’t really answer this question because from their point of view, they don’t seem to realize that the visual kei scene has evolved. They are not aware of the fact that visual kei isn’t as popular as it used to be and that playing overseas could change it.")

On the album Koseiha Blend Classic ~OLDIES TRACKS~, you recorded the song Tokyo Telephone in a classic jazz version with piano and the album also had a duet version of Omoide Sunset. Do you think that you might repeat this approach again in the future?

Nero: The golden rule of the band is: nothing is decided beforehand. If we find something that seems interesting or amusing to us, we’ll do it and that’s why we can’t say what we’ll do in advance. We don’t give ourselves any limits or restrictions and thus, we will continue to surprise our audience. But, we cannot foresee what we will do in the future.
Gara: Actually, we wanted to make a song which was slightly classy and in the Enka style for Omoide Sunset with a combination of a male and female singer. I do admit, however, that I would not make an Enka song with a girl if she wasn't pretty. (laughs)

Tetsu, in our previous interview you told us that you liked some European bands. Can you tell us which?

Tetsu: I really like Rammstein, Pleymo and The Cure.

Let’s go back in time for a moment. At a concert in 2002, you were throwing panties into the audience. Did these belong to you, or did they belong to your fans?

Gara: They were ours. (everybody bursts out in laughter) But where was this?
It was at an event in Shinjuku Loft...
Gara: Ah, yes! We went to buy them together...
Nero: Gara had panties and Tetsu did as well and I wore a bra. (laughs) But that doesn’t mean we like guys! (laughs)

Moreover, to continue this subject, do you have any anecdotes from a concert to tell us? About fans acting weird, or such?

Tetsu: We don’t really have any anecdotes to tell, but concerning the German audience, it pleased us to see that they moved as they wanted on the contrary to the ‘coordinated’ movements of the Japanese audience. As a matter of fact, one could feel a certain freedom radiating from them, which surprised us pleasantly and the concert had formed a good memory for our tour already.

A last word from us: Merry is a really passionate band and is completely original when compared to the current visual kei scene. On behalf of all the French fans that will come to see your performance tonight, we would like to offer our heartfelt thanks and we hope that your career continues well!

Gara: Thank you very much! (smiles) That touches us enormously. We came to play in Europe and to meet and please our foreign fans like you and tonight we will give our best for the French audience.

JaME thanks Merry, Ganshin/JVStore (Jon for the translation) and Alias.
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