Dustar-3 interview

interview - 06.07.2005 08:00

We had an exclusive interview in Japan with the crazy and amazing band DUSTAR-3.

On this afternoon of November 14th, I'm preparing to have an interview with Dustar-3. There's a huge crowd in Shibuya, like every Sunday, but I somehow make my way to the hotel where I have to meet the band. I arrive 10 minutes before the time we had planned for the interview, but they're already there, sitting on a sofa. Hiwamari, whom I already know a little, stands up and waves me in a funny but also warm way. We head into a tea room nearby, and the interview may begin.


Hello everyone, could you introduce yourself to Europe, please?
Himawari: Hi, my name's Himawari and I'm the drummer.
Yuki: And I'm Yuki, on guitar.
NoisyNoisy for me, bass and lead singer.

What are your influences?
Himawari: I love heavy-metal and hard-rock. As for Japanese musicians I liked X Japan a lot.
Yuki: I really love American hard-rock a lot too, bands like Extreme or Bon Jovi.
And in Japan I especially liked X Japan's hide.
Noisy: I loved the Blue Hearts (Japanese rock band). And also Metallica,Slayer. I also listened to some slash metal.

Who is the composer of the band?
Himawari: We all compose actually. Everyone brings his ideas to the studio, and we end the songs together.
Ah, so you never compose on your own?
Yuki: Yes yes of course. Sometimes one of us brings a whole melody to the studio, already finalised, then each one of us tries to add it a little something, in order to end the rest of the song.

You don't try to divide the job when you compose? Like lyrics first and music after?
Himawari: It happens, but, usually, we all have our own way to work; for example I will often compose 60% of a song.
Noisy: I mainly compose chorus-lines.
HimawariYuki makes 100% of the instrumental parts, and we do the rest.

So you add/mix all of your ideas, lyrics, music, instruments, and you end the song together once you're in the studio?
Himawari: Yes that's it.
And the song is finalised in the studio.

And you've always done this way? No one ever composed anything on his own?
Himawari: Ever since Dustar-3 yes, we end the songs together in the studio.

It must be a very long process, isn't it?
Yuki: That's how most ideas come to us, in the studio; from a drums rhythm for example, we may develop it and end the song straight away.

And you record the song straight after?
Yuki: Yes, we record it so that we don't forget anything, and everyone takes a copy home in order to work and propose a final project the next time we meet in the studio.

Sex Machineguns [=SMG] is a heavy-metal band, and Dustar-3 is rather punk, do you like both styles?
Himawari: It's because Noisy's origins are punk.
Noisy: I wouldn't really say that, but as you already know I was very influenced by the Blue Hearts, it must come from there.
Himawari: Actually, in our music, you hear Noisy's punk far more than our hard-rock because of how he sings, which is naturally very punk.
Noisy: Meaning I don't sing very metal-like, eh.
Yuki: Even if we played hard-rock behind, if Noisy sings pop-like over it, the atmosphere of the song will completely change, it's one of our strong points I believe.

And also, there are things I couldn't translate in your lyrics… we'll say your songs have rather delirious lyrics…
Yuki & Himawari: Yeah it's funny we're crazy! (laughs)

And you enjoy this kind of lyrics, it seems! (laughs)
Himawari: At what particular moment did you think they were delirious?

Mmh well in Toilet Paper, for example…
Himawari: Ahh yes yes, we like slang words!
Noisy: Yes, actually, we write whatever comes through our minds at one given time, and we keep it.
Yuki: We live in a time when a little too direct words aren't so accepted in music, we simply want to change this idea in a softer way.

Why do you want to do it?
Yuki: Because it's disturbing…
Himawari: Yes, let's say that sweety-cutie lyrics… wouldn't fit us, so we keep our lyrics as they are.

And you get these ideas… in what kind of moments?
Yuki: Well when he went out of the bathroom for example, Noisy said that the paper really was stiff… (laughs)
Himawari: Yeah, and so it made him angry (laugh)

Ah I see, so when you're angry, hop, you get new songs ideas, mmh?
All : (everyone bursts out laughing)

You released three mini-albums, and a best of album straight after, why so quickly?
Himawari: Well, to allow those who couldn't listen to the mini-albums to get a little idea about the kind of music we play.

And so, what criterions did you use to choose what songs appear on this best of album?
Yuki: Well it's true that we would have liked to include all of our songs, but as it's impossible we simply chose our favourite songs.
Himawari: Yes, the selection was very difficult, because, to us, all of our songs are "best". We're very trustful for that.

What is the particularity of the songs you chose for this best of then?
Himawari: We tried to choose the songs so that their succession forms a coherent story.

So we may recommend the best of more than the other albums, in the end?
Himawari: No, listen to everything! (laughs) As we already explained, we consider all of our songs as "best songs", so it's difficult to choose; so yes it's a best of, would it be only because of its status, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're all of our "best songs" to us.

Himawari interview:

Himawari, can you please tell us about your career, first with CleiR, where you already played with Circuits V Panther, who joined you after in SMG?
Himawari: I met Panther when I was in a band back in Osaka. As he was a great guitarist, I kept in touch with him. Then I entered a new band, I made so that the guitarist gets fired, and asked Panther to come and join us, because I thought he was a far better guitarist. And at the time of SMG our guitarist left us, so I proposed the others to have Panther with us.

I have a personal question now: your real name is Jun, why did you change it to "Himawari"? (translation: Sunflower)
HimawariJun is my real name. I wanted to change it because I didn't want it to be assimilated to SMG, and I wanted a name that would be both original and funny.
Yuki: (Yuki speaks to Himawari) And the origin? Come on, tell them!
Himawari: Eeer yes… the origin… Well you probably know about Guns'n'Roses's Axl Rose: I wanted a flower name, like him, and I chose the sunflower because I had a blond hair then: when they grew, roots made a black mass in the center, a little like a flower.

Ah yes, from above…
Himawari: Yes yes, like a sunflower.

So it isn't because you were already nicknamed like that?
Himawari: No no, it's a story I made up on my own actually.

Where does your passion for music come from?
Himawari: Women!
Everyone (looking surprised) : Really???
Himawari: Yes of course I make it because I like it, but at first I began because I wanted to have some success with girls, even if today my main aim is to be able to play and compose even better.

You've been a drummer from the beginning?
Himawari: Yes, even though I admit I also touched a piano in the old days… but as I loved heavy-metal, I wanted to play the guitar, so I bought one and began to train, but when I wished to begin with a band we were in need of a drummer…
It's true that drummers are quite rare.
Himawari: Yes it's true, and I'm not a complicated person anyway: as soon as I can play music with a band, rather than play the guitar alone in my little corner, it's fine: as a drummer was missing, I proposed myself.

What do you aim for, in music?
Himawari: I'd like to keep on composing songs that bring happiness and smiles to our fans.

It's been your aim from the very beginning?
Himawari: Yes, I love happy music, the most important to me when I listen to music is that it may bring me some kind of well-being.

You don't ever listen to slightly more melancholic music then?
Himawari: Umm no, not really…

And finally, would you have a message for your fans in Europe?
Himawari: I'm very happy that Europe could know about us and appreciate us thanks to anime, but music also has other aspects, even more interesting ones; knowing that there are open-minded people who have this vision of the world and help the development of music from the whole world… I would like this mentality to develop even more.

Noisy interview:

Noisy, you already sang when you were with SMG, didn't you?
Noisy: Yes, SMG's history can actually be divided in four parts: In the first period, Anchang, the leader, began a band in Kagoshima; it's in the second period, when the band moved to Tokyo, that I sang a little… but I got fired very quickly! (laughs)

But you had already sang at a SMG concert, hadn't you?
Noisy: Yes, I must have sang one song at least, and a lot of chorus too.

It probably wasn't easy to leave the band after so many years?
Noisy: Umm yes it was difficult for me, but there were a lot of other things that I wanted to do, it's what helped me to go over this separation.

Why did you create Dustar-3?
Noisy: Because I wanted to start my own band.

And it has always been punk-like?
Noisy: I always did the music I wanted to do, without bothering about the style or such, and the result was what you could have heard up until today.

Is it difficult to do the music you like when you're a Major artist?
Noisy: If there were music labels (major) accepting the music we play why not, but as I think there isn't, we don't care about being major or not, and we feel very well in "indies".

Where does your nickname come from?
Noisy: Ah yes, it began when I was with SMG, where I played the second guitar. My guitar made a weird sound then, like « piii piiii », it was quite "noisy", so I said something like "I'm OODA the Noisy guy when he plays!", and that's where it comes from.

Guitar first and then bass: you too play several instruments!
Noisy: Myeah, but it's not really so great yet…
All: (everyone laughs)

Do you use a guitar when you compose?
Noisy: Umm it depends actually, on tunes I sing along a melody.

Would you like playing a concert in Europe?
Noisy: Yes of course!

Noisy, a final message for your fans in Europe please…
Noisy: Hum yeah so: as I'd like you to know that there are twerps like us in Japan, while I'm still alive I'd like to play a concert where you live!

Yuki's interview:

Λucifer, your former band doesn't have much in common with the music Dustar-3, can you tell us a little about it…
Yuki: It's true that the styles of these bands are very different, I always loved American hard-rock and I couldn't play hard-rock guitar riffs as I love them when I was with Aucifer, while I can do them now with Dustar-3.
They both [Noisy and Himawari) needed a guitarist so they called me, and that's when we began. They said that what they played was kind of punk, but that they still wanted us to give it a try. I knew what they sounded like when they were with SMG and I was curious about what the three of us could sound like, so I decided I could try to do something with them.
At first I thought I would only have to play the guitar, but when we began to compose there were ideas of choirs we would all sing. I had never sung until then, and I really liked it when I tried, it feels good (laughs). I discovered what it was like to sing.

So you easily managed to sing?
Yuki: Er… easily maybe not, but it mainly was because I didn't trust myself so much, as for singing, but I could solve this problem when I began to sing in a studio or at concerts, where I thought I didn't sound so bad.

Do you use a specific technique to train your voice?
Yuki: Oh no, not at all.
Himawari: No one does actually…
Yuki: I had always played the guitar until now, and only that, but of course a band is often turned around the sung parts, so I thought of practising a way to play the guitar adapted to a sung part, and I understood the principle for that. I was often told that my guitar was too loud compared to the sung part, and I understood that only playing the guitar wasn't enough, but that playing something that would sound good with the sung part was important too. And I discovered what a sung part really was about as I began to sing with Dustar-3, I really enjoyed it, so I also understood a lot of other things, I had a mentality of guitarist only before that.

So now you know if you have to play a guitar tune or not, if you have to play at this or that moment, depending on what is sang?
Yuki: Yes, I thought that being a good guitarist was playing something technically impressive before, so I began to practise complicated techniques. And as soon as I began to sing, I understood that people didn't give any special attention to these performances. I love great techniques, but I understood that we don't have to give them too much importance, the most important thing is to play something that sounds good once added to a voice. It was a nice discovery.

Do you all feel the same?
Himawari: Yes, I also try to play rhythms that sound good with a sung part. It's the same when I compose, I try to use the same rules.

By creating technically simple tunes?
Himawari: Yes, trying to make it become a good song technically, and which can easily be heard.

Yuki, one last message for your European fans please?
Yuki: I would be very happy to play a concert in Europe, if it had to happen please come, all of you!

General again:

Is there a dream you would like to fulfil in the future, as an artist? Like each one of you creating his own band, have a solo career, or even propose your techniques as musicians, or others…
All: Well, all that you just said! (laughs)
Yuki: Yes and we also want to improve even more, artistically and as musicians, in our way to use our instruments.
Himawari: In one word: improve, be able to live on our music, eat, live like anyone else. A band is cool so we want to go on this way, each one improving technically, and go on our band life.

You're always together finally, when you go on tour it looks like you all have a good relation too, but are there any inconvenience to it?
Himawari: No, for now we're having great fun.
Yuki: Ah yeah, except when we all sleep in the same room and that one of us snores awfully loud! (laughs)
Himawari: We're never far from the others very long actually.
Noisy: Which doesn't mean we're constantly together either, but we often have diner or a drink together after a concert for example.

When you're on tour, are there places where you like to go? Good restaurants you could recommend?
Noisy: Yeah, especially because, on our last tour, we could discover new places in Japan we didn't know before, it was really nice.
Himawari: Yeah it's true it was really nice, but what was even more nice was to see the smiles and joy we brought to our fans. You could say I do kind sentences to look good, but it really is sincere. It was a very nice tour.
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