Interview with DADAROMA

interview - 19.05.2017 01:01

JaME Russia talked to DADAROMA's members about their new album, their creativity in general and many other issues.

DADAROMA is quite a young band, yet it has already shot to fame. They can boast versatile music and meaningful lyrics. In mid-April, the band presented a new mini-album titled dadaism#3, another contribution to their "dadaism" series of releases. JaME Russia talked to DADAROMA's members about their new album, their creativity in general and many other issues.

Hello, thank you for the interview! First of all, we want to congratulate you on the third place on the Oricon Indies Album Chart! The first question is: how did the band’s name appear? We heard that you had "DADAMORA" as a variant, so why did you decide to settle on the current one?

Yoshiatsu: Regarding "DADAMORA", it was my suggestion but the other members firmly rejected it.

Please tell us why you decided to title all your works as dadaism # ... ? Is it somehow connected with the artistic movement at the beginning of the 20th century that is called "Dadaism"? Did you keep this concept in mind when you were naming the band?

Yoshiatsu: I came up with the name. Dadaism is famous for uniting unrelated parts into one. So does our music. We create something solid from various dissimilar things. On the other hand, there are no direct links to it.

Your provocative style suits visual kei perfectly. In less than a year after your debut DADAROMA greatly grew in popularity. What, in your opinion, are the reasons for such success?

Yoshiatsu: Maybe it is because each of us can freely do what he wants to do. And each of us understands clearly what he should do.
Takashi: Honestly, I don’t even know. Perhaps it’s because we are all friends? (laughs)
Tomo: I don’t know if we are really successful or not, but we are trying hard not to do what everyone else around us is doing.
Yusuke: I think, the reason is that we do what we love, and we do it the way we like. Moreover, we gathered a truly strong team!

Your music video for Oboreru sakana has more than 700,000 views. How do you feel about it? What does this song mean to you?

Yoshiatsu: I’m happy because Oboreru sakana is our first song.
Yusuke: The first song stays special to you forever. As for the number of views … I think it’s not enough. Let’s make it to 10 million!

Speaking about achievements, what are your goals as a band? What about personal goals?

Yoshiatsu: I don’t have an ultimate goal now (in a good sense).
Takashi: Maybe it’s my personal goal, but I want to set off for a world tour and feel the foreign world. It’d also be nice to reflect this experience in songs.
Tomo: I think one of the goals is our growth as musicians.
Yusuke: Now we feel even more free than at the beginning. As for goals … These three men in front of me onstage are too cool, and I don’t want to lose to them! (laughs)

Your songs are mainly about people's sins, hypocrisy and loneliness. Choosing such themes, do you try to attract people’s attention to these issues, or express what you can’t be silent about any longer?

Yoshiatsu: I simply write a song about what is happening in my life, full of the same trials you are experiencing in yours. If something sad happens, I’ll feel sadness. If I can’t, for example, forgive something, I’ll say "I don’t forgive it!" I try to collect emotions I have at that moment and put them into the song. If something good happens, the songs will be joyful. I think DADAROMA reflects what is happening around us at the exact moment. That’s why if I were to write a song right now, it will be about how much I want to meet our fans.

In Russia there is a saying "Beauty will save the world". In Europe and America they say "Love and Peace". What, in your opinion, can save the world?

Yoshiatsu: I think, nothing. The answer may differ depending on what we mean by "society" and "world" but it’s impossible to save something as huge as this. I’d be glad if we can at least "save" those who love DADAROMA.

On April 19th, you released your new mini-album dadaism #3. In one of the interviews, you mentioned that “Every time we release a single, we’d think like this: The previous time, we wanted to do one thing and we did it; we will make something new next time.” What was the idea behind this release? Please tell us more about its concept.

Yoshiatsu: The whole dadaism series of mini-albums is not just CDs; it’s always the expression of what we want to say, of what we want to do. This is the concept. That’s why all our works are the essence of our thoughts and what we want to express.

The cover art of two versions of the new release differ from each other. Please tell us about them.

Yoshiatsu: Type A’s cover is my photo, while Type B features some of my graphically edited sketches.

We heard that Takashi is the main composer, while Yoshiatsu usually takes care of lyrics. What are the roles of Yusuke and Tomo in this process? How much time does it usually take to turn a demo into the final product?

Yusuke: We record pretty fast. This time too. As soon as we release one work, we immediately start working on the next one. That’s why our songs express what we feel at the present moment. As for the drum part, it’s created to highlight vocals and lyrics. Yes, vocals are the basis.

In your works, you use English pretty often. The song MASTURBATION is completely in English, and it seems even the western fans took it too literally. The phrase "Please pay money for my masturbation" became a catchphrase. Please share with us what you really intended to say. Why did the song’s line appear on Yoshiatsu’s Instagram long before the release?

Yoshiatsu: Well, no, you can take its meaning literally. I see this title as the direct parallel with DADAROMA’s work, that’s why I honestly sing about what I want — to be paid for the musical activity. I wrote this line on Instagram long ago and used it in the lyrics. I always turn what I think about into songs. It’s very me. This is how I finished the song.

At your website you compare the new songs to your previous works. However, many foreign fans say that the style has changed, the music is not as heavy as before, and the amount of depression in the songs has lowered. If all their suggestions are true, is it a change in style or just an experiment?

Yoshiatsu: No, it’s not that complicated. Let’s think it’s a change in mood. The number of our fans has increased, and I don’t feel I’m lonely anymore. That’s why many songs are being created with thoughts about our listeners. If something sad happens, a sad song will appear. It’s pretty simple.

Which song from the new mini-album do each of you like most of all? Which songs do you want to include into the next best-of album? If these songs differ, please, explain the reason.

Yoshiatsu: I like Ai shiteru to itte yo, but I’d choose Ookamishounen to dokuringo for the best-of.
Takashi: As a composer, I like all of them. If I can’t choose all, I’d rely on the preferences of band members and fans.
Tomo: I can’t choose one, I like them all.
Yusuke: I like Ookamishounen to dokuringo, and I’d pick it for the best-of album. It expresses everything.

In your interviews, you mentioned trust-based relationships with the fans. However, now you have the song titled Watashi, bangya ja nai wa. What made you write it? Are there a lot of such closet fangirls?

Yoshiatsu: This is a story based on personal experience. I think, there are lots of such girls now. The song was born out of the wish to hear the sincere confession.

One of the most powerful and thoughtful tracks of the new release is Ookamishounen to dokuringo. It’s truly the gem of the album. Please tell us more about it.

Yoshiatsu: Once I thought music can’t save the world. What if we can’t even save those who like our band? No matter how much I write, no matter how much I sing, a lot of sad things are happening around us. At a certain point I gave up. But then I started to feel that my fans are worried about me and wait for me, that’s why I’m writing songs again. I go on. This is what Ookamishounen to dokuringo is about.

How do you usually come up with the images for band members? How did you choose them for this album? Looking back, one can certainly see the common thread through all the images — the frontman’s smeared lipstick and Takashi’s female image.

Yoshiatsu: Every time our images appear suddenly. I create the image I like. With this lipstick I wanted to express something childish. Children don’t know how to eat spaghetti neatly, and tomato sauce is all over their faces. This is something similar. My thoughts and ideas are very childlike, to be honest. Not very smart. I wanted to show it with my make-up. A sad but laughing Pierrot.
Takashi: It all comes from the inside: I don’t know how to act tough or cool. That’s why I unconsciously choose a "kawaii" image (laughs). This time, I represent the mix of cute and monstrous.
Tomo: I like games and anime, that’s why I created my image with the thought "it’d be cool to have a character like that".
Yusuke: I create the image I like myself. I like clothes, so I made items I’d wear (laughs). But at the end, it’s Yoshiatsu who decides images for the release.

On May 20th you'll set off for the tour promoting the release of the new mini-album. What do you want it to be like?

Yoshiatsu: We will do only what we want to.
Takashi: We’ll try to present a more on-point sound than before. Hopefully, the fans will enjoy it.
Tomo: I want to step up to a new level with this tour.
Yusuke: I can’t wait for it! I hope to taste many treats, play amazing shows and share our thoughts with you.

You have played shows with many other bands. Which two-man tour sticks out in your mind and why?

Yusuke: I guess it’s the tour with Xaa Xaa. It was a good experience for us. I as a drummer and we as a band surpassed ourselves.

Since we are representing Russian branch of JaME, we can’t help but ask you about the song Belka and Strelka. We understand it’s only an allegory, but please tell us how this title was born.

Yoshiatsu: Belka and Strelka are the names of the dogs which first visited space. But before that, I suppose, a lot of effort was put in and many dogs died. It somehow reminds me of the band. The band which succeeds, gains popularity and is praised. However, nobody remembers those who failed — they are forgotten, not even a name left. It’s sad but it’s the course of nature. That’s why I want to be like Belka and Strelka. This is the meaning I put into this title.

Unlike fan clubs of many Japanese bands, yours welcomes foreigners. Can we expect DADAROMA to appear outside of Japan soon?

Tomo: At the moment we don’t have such plans, but we will definitely jump at the opportunity to have an international tour. We will do our best to get such a chance.

Finally, please say something to our readers.

Yoshiatsu: Thank you! I’m glad you read it to the end. We are far away, as you are overseas after all. It’s exciting to know that thanks to our music we can create a bond with you. One day we’ll surely meet, and I promise to work hard for it. Yes, we’ll definitely meet. I love you.
Tomo: Will overseas readers really read it? We will do our best not to disgrace visual kei as a part of Japanese culture.
Takashi: I often receive letters and emails from overseas fans. I’m thankful to the music for making it possible. One day we want to go overseas and see other cultures. On the other hand, Japan is a wonderful country too, so please come to visit us one day.
Yusuke: Will this interview be published overseas? We are sorry if we couldn’t communicate with you properly because we spoke Japanese. However, if you don’t understand our lyrics, I will patiently wait for the opportunity to tell you everything about it at our show. Thank you very much!

JaME would like to thank DADAROMA and their management for this interview opportunity.
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