Interview with SuG at V-ROCK FESTIVAL '11

interview - 11.11.2011 00:01

Before their performance at the mega-event V-ROCK FESTIVAL '11 SuG sat down for an interview with JaME

Four years after the first interview with SuG, JaME met the band to talk about the changes they have been going through, their new release and plans for the future, their thoughts about visual kei overseas and more.

Since JaME had a chance to interview SuG in Germany once, instead of introducing yourselves this time, please introduce the person next to you with an interesting fact.

Chiyu: Anything can appear from masato’s bag. (laughs) For example, it’s like the yojigen-pocket (“fourth-dimensional” pocket from which Doraemon produces tools in the anime) in the Japanese anime "Doraemon," he’s got Doraemon functions. (laughs) There are lots of useful things in there.

masato: Like handkerchiefs, scissors, I have lots of things like that in there. (laughs) shinpei can fall asleep just anywhere, if we talk in terms of "Doraemon" characters he would be Nobita. (laughs) He would sometimes roll up and sleep under a table and such, he really likes sleeping.

shinpei: I slept here today too. (laughs) Takeru is the core of SuG, so he is always the one deciding the ideas, concepts behind the songs and the like.

Takeru: If we think about "Doraemon," yuji would be the type of person whom Shizuka likes. He’s an otaku, who people who are like everyone’s idols would like. (laughs)

SuG: Why are we coming back to "Doraemon" every time? (laugh)

yuji: The bassist Chiyu, he is just as popular with girls as Dekisugi, and we’re coming back to "Doraemon" again. (laughs) He is kind… probably. (laughs)

The last time we talked to you was four years ago. How has SuG changed since then?

yuji: First of all, the drummer changed, and we made a major debut.

Chiyu: We also went overseas several times, to Asia, like Taiwan and Singapore.

How were these Asian lives?

yuji: There were many fans who were very passionate. Their voices were very loud during the lives. Also, when we got off the plane at the airport, we were gripped by the arms and they’d keep walking next to us, not letting go. (laughs)

shinpei: They were very passionate, so it was very different from Japan.

If you had to imagine SuG in four years time, what do you think you would be like?

Chiyu: Four years later… At least one of us would have a child. (laughs)

SuG: (laugh) One of us would be married and become a daddy. And would be like the daddy-character of the band. (laugh)

Toy Soldier is coming out on October 26th. Could you tell us about the concept of the release?

Takeru: Consistent with the title of Toy Soldier, we thought that we wanted to introduce some military flavour into this release. So for the costumes we arranged military costumes in a SuG-like manner, and in the PV as well we have some dances that are like boot camp, like military exercises. I think it turned out to be a rather special song for the band.

How did this PV shooting go?

Takeru: It’s hard every time, but this time especially as we had a very tight schedule.

Were there any interesting episodes during the shooting?

yuji: We had a fight with a projector. (laughs)

Takeru: They told us that the projector had broken down so we could not use it, so they changed it to another projector and we could finally do the filming.

shinpei: I wish they’d taken it out from the start. (laughs)

For the fans who do not understand Japanese, could you explain to us what the theme of the lyrics of the new release is?

Takeru: First of all, they include the message that you should take good care of the people who are next to you, such as your family, your friends, your lover.

You mentioned that there is a military theme. Where did you get inspiration for this theme?

Takeru: "Toy Story." Not from real military movies. There is more inspiration from Disney characters and the like.

Usually when you create new works, what do you get influenced by?

SuG: It is different for every one of us.

shinpei: I think it's mostly from the music I listen to. It’s easy to get influenced by things that you like at any particular moment.

Chiyu: I’m also the same. Takeru is probably different…

Takeru: I get influenced by manga, movies and such a lot. Other members are more influenced by music.

Could you give us any examples?

SuG: Like S/mileage, an avant-garde Japanese idol group. (laugh)S/mileage and Marilyn Manson and such. (laugh) We like extremities, a lot of different genres.

This is your second time performing at V-ROCK FESTIVAL. How do you feel about taking part in such a big and rather special event?

Takeru: It’s really interesting to be able to meet different people here. This time we are on a sub-stage, but we want to do our best to be able to perform on the main stage next time.

There are foreign bands performing at V-ROCK FESTIVAL too. What do you think of foreign bands influenced by visual kei?

Takeru: I like Tokyo Hotel most. I think these bands are probably influenced by visual kei, but the music that they have been listening to while growing up has been mixed into their influences also. So if they did visual kei in Japan, it would feel like fresh and very rare music. I think this is the best form, it’s like visual rock that has been born in a different place overseas. They are not doing it just the way it is done here, they make it their own thing, and I like that.

Could you tell us a bit about million $ orchestra?

Takeru: It’s a brand that I do designing for. Rather than looking for clothes that would fit SuG’s works, I thought that it would be faster to create them, so this is how I started creating them in the first place. So for example there are prints based on soldier themes, or we use the patterns that are on our costumes on these clothes.

Do you also design the costumes for the members?

Takeru: Not really. I sometimes make some choices, but generally every one of us chooses what they want to wear themselves.

Takeru, you have acted in some movies. Do you think you want to do more acting?

Takeru: Yes, if it’s some disgusting character, I want to do it. (laughs)

What about the other members, would you like to try acting?

Chiyu: Oh no, I really don’t like that. (laughs)

yuji: I really want to try doing something, but I can’t remember lines. (laughs)

SuG: You mean like V-cinema (direct-to-video movies), don't you? (laugh)

yuji: Right, V-cinema, that’s a Japanese culture thing.

Takeru: V-cinema and V-Rock, they have nothing to do with each other, just the V. (laughs)

shinpei: There are many members in the band who aren’t comfortable acting even a bit in PVs, so I think it’s probably impossible. (laughs)

SuG: It would be interesting! But better some non-speaking roles. (laugh) It would probably be a bit difficult.

As you said, SuG have been performing in Asia, but the last time you’ve been in Europe was four years ago. Do you want to go overseas again, and where?

yuji: I want to perform in Australia.

shinpei: I thought about Europe, so I thought you were going to say Austria. (laughs)

SuG: Europe, we want to perform in many places.

shinpei: I’ve been to Germany, Switzerland and Australia before unrelated to band activities, so I’d like to perform in these places where I’ve been to already.

masato: I want to go to America once. I just want to go there myself, and I also want to experience performing there as well.

How did you feel the live in Germany was different from your experience in Japan?

Takeru: The loudness of the voices was so different that I was really surprised.

yuji: It was the first time I thought, “Oh my, humans can scream so loudly.”

Chiyu: The fans were too welcoming, they’d go wild at whatever you say. (laughs) They’d cheer even if we just drank water. (laughs) That felt great.

Could you tell us about SuG’s plans from now on?

Takeru: There are many things coming up. We don’t want to be framed into a category, but we are a band that together expresses ourselves through our outfits and videos among others, so I believe that we are a band that is based firmly in visual kei. From now on too, we want to continue expressing ourselves strongly through our videos, outfits and more.

Finally, could you tell us a message for JaME readers?

shinpei: I have never been to Europe with the band, and we have only been overseas to few places in Asia, so I would like to perform at least once in Europe, America and other places. So if there is a chance to do it, please wait for us and look forward to it.

masato: Visual kei music is being recognised overseas and there are many artists going to foreign countries now, and it seems like there are many people who accept and listen to this music. Aside from this, I would like us to also be able to express ourselves, so if there is a chance, I would like to go overseas again.

Chiyu: It isn’t easy to go overseas, and among other factors it’s related to the fact that it isn’t easy to spread our music. So if the fans overseas would say “Listen to SuG” and recommend us to their friends, the number of SuG fans would grow and it would become easier for us to go overseas. So please spread the word.

yuji: It was my birthday a while ago, so I received so many messages from people from all over the world. I usually don’t really feel this, but I realized that there are people waiting for us in so many places. So if we have a chance, I would like to be able to meet the fans from all over the world. Please support us from now on too! (laughs)

Takeru: I am happy that fans are able to feel closer to us with help of the internet, like this website and others. But being satisfied only with this would also be partly sad, so I would like to take our works, and to come and meet everyone in person once. Even if we can’t meet, I think we are a band that people who like anime for example could also come to like, so if you could share this feeling, and if you could enjoy it, I would be happy.

JaME would like to thank V-ROCK FESTIVAL '11 and the band management for making this interview possible, as well as Non-Non for the help with the transcription.
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