the GazettE interview in Finland

interview - 11.17.2007 07:00

JaME interviewed the GazettE before the final stop of their tour in Helsinki on October 30th, 2007.

The doors to Tavastia were already open and the enthusiastic audience was swarming inside when we headed backstage to interview the GazettE. Because of the tight schedule, the members were split up and JaME was given the chance to interview Aoi and Reita. Both had their make-up done and gig outfits on, since it was only an hour until the concert. The interview was relaxed as the members were both excited and responsive, and Aoi was strumming his black guitar.

Reita: (sits down) Hello, my name is Kai! (in English) (everybody laughs)
Aoi: He's lying! I'm Aoi. (in English)

Hello, we are from JmusicEuropa. Thank you for this interview.

Reita & Aoi: (they bow) Nice to meet you. Thank you. (in English)

How have your concerts in Europe been so far? Are you already feeling tired?

Aoi: The tour has been wonderful. So many people come to our concerts and we've been more and more excited at each concert.

How do you like Finland and what have you done here?

Reita: Your country is very beautiful and exotic. We have gone shopping at shopping centers nearby and eaten out, mainly alone. In my case, too many fans noticed me and in the end I had to arrange a signing session of sorts.
Aoi: (in a sad tone) But no one recognized me! (everybody laughs)

Aoi, you and Uruha both play guitar solos in your songs. Is there any competition between you two because of this?

Aoi: (laughs) Of course there is no competition between us, because after all, our working is based on continuous teamwork. Uruha plays a solo if he has a deeper emotion or affection towards the song and vice versa. Many our songs have guitar solos from both of us, though, so we are very equal as guitarists.

NIL and STACKED RUBBISH were such different albums. Will your style change in the future or are you now what you ultimately want to be as a band?

Reita: You can never be sure about the future, because everything is possible, so that's hard to answer. We don't want to be labeled into one category. We'd rather make the kind of music that feels good at that moment. And our present musical style represents us the best now.

How are your music videos and songs related to each other?

Reita: Our songs are almost never directly related to the videos.
Aoi: The material in the video is rarely related to the lyrics. We want to give our fans some space for imagination. Music videos that are related to the song are, in my opinion, rather useless. They, almost without exception, ruin everybody's personal images that the music gives.

Now that you're finishing your European tour, can you say how well you've been able to break through the language and cultural barrier?

Reita: We feel no barrier at all during the concerts. It doesn't matter which country we play in, the fans always make us happy. And at concerts we communicate with our music and gestures, not verbally so much. (laughs) There is a barrier only when we are in a hotel or a shop, we can easily get in trouble in such situations.

Has there been anything specific about European fans that has stuck in your minds?

Aoi: I think European fans are surprisingly nice in concerts. From what I've seen, they queue for a long time, but they do it quite decently without any big fights. And in concerts they go wild in a genuine way.

Should Japanese and European fans learn something from each other?

(both laugh)
Aoi: You know... (starts drumming his thighs) GAZETTO! GAZETTO! GAZETTO! GAZETTO! (everybody laughs)
Reita: When we hear that shout in Europe, our excitement and adrenaline levels soar even if we're still backstage. Our Japanese fans don't do that, so the concert atmosphere in Japan starts only when we get on stage.

Your fans have been discussing whether you are a major or indies band. Could you tell us how it really is?

Reita: Actually, (laughs) we are neither.
Aoi: I don't understand bands and people to whom this kind of labeling is very important. We've never cared about the faltering borderline between major and indies bands, since to us the most important things are performing and making music. We just are the GazettE and in our opinion, everybody has the right to decide for themselves if they want to see us as an indies or major group. We don't care about it or prefer either option over the other.

When writing music, would you say the melodies are composed through the basis of music theory or through what conveys your emotions the best?

Aoi: I personally don't trust music theory. To tell you the truth: I have never even studied it. The melody is always the first thing in my mind when I start constructing a new song and I keep perfecting it just by ear until I get the result I want. I don't need anything else.

There are small indies bands whose looks resemble yours a lot. What do you think about them?

Reita: We really don't care about other bands that much.
Aoi: I think we are a unique line-up with striking personalities, both musically and regarding our looks. We aren't very interested in other bands, so we haven't really been actively watching them...

Do you become happy anyway if you come across a group that has been inspired by you?

Aoi: Of course! I always think it's great if the things we do have inspired other people - whether it is the fans or another band.

Your tour will be over after this concert. What are you doing to do when you get back to Japan?

Reita: A tour starts in November and lasts until May next year. We haven't thought about the time after that yet.

There has been more and more English in your lyrics. Do you base the language you use in your lyrics just on the sound of the language or do you use Japanese and English for expressing different things?

Reita: Ruki writes the lyrics in the language his voice can take. Pronouncing these two languages is so different that for example at certain pitches he simply isn't able to sing in English even if he wanted to. (laughs)

What has inspired your current visual look?

Reita: We always think about an imaginary person called Gazette and what he possibly looks like at certain times.
Aoi: When the basic idea is ready, each of us develops his personal style a bit further. As a result, we look like Gazette as a whole but we all also have some of the personal elements we are recognized by.

Are you close as private persons? Do you meet each other in your free time?

Aoi: We're like a tight family and we see each other so much as the GazettE that when we finally get some time off or a holiday, we'd rather spend it alone.

Thank you for this interview and we wish you a very good gig!

Reita: Thank you very much.
Aoi You are the best! (in English) (laughter)

Thanks to the GazettE and their staff and Supersounds for making this interview possible. Pictures by Heikki Mitikka.
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