Interview with GOTHIKA in Derby

interview - 02.28.2011 19:01

JaME interviewed the electronic duo shortly after their performance at the J-Culture Con in Derby, England.

After a heated performance at the J-Culture Con event, GOTHIKA spoke with JaME about their European tour, mixing electronica and tradition, and the concept of conflict, war and man's brutal instincts.

How did today’s concert go?

andro: Today’s concert was at an anime convention, but our usual concerts are at clubs, so it was a different feeling, different from our previous concert in Birmingham. But I thought everyone was really nice. From the beginning they were really nice people. This time at the convention there was a good feeling.

#449: Yeah, the feeling was really good.

You’re currently in the middle of your tour of Europe. How has it been so far?

#449: We haven’t done the main bit of the tour yet so… this is the main bit.

andro: We’ve been to a few countries, but we’re going to go to a lot of different countries. Like Germany, England, France, Spain, Russia and so on. Eastern Europe, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland. Going to these countries is really great; I really like seeing all the different audiences.

#449: Going to all the different cities is really interesting.

Have you had any interesting experiences so far?

andro: Yeah, there was something interesting, I don’t know why but there were a lot of people who came onto the stage at different concerts. First in Russia, someone came onto the stage. Then in Poland the most people came up, around 22 people. The security guard had to come and help out. But it was fun.

You’re planning yet another big tour of Russia in many different locations. Why do choose to visit Russia so often?

andro: Because we have a Russian manager. He organizes a big Russian tour almost every year.

#449: We just want to play many, many concerts in all countries, and it's just that in Russia we can do it now.

andro: Yeah, in some places in Russia we are the first Japanese band playing there. Slowly they are hearing about this kind of music.

Do you have anything planned while you’re staying in England?

andro: Well, drinking. Beer, sake, and so on. (laughs)

You should go to Ireland then.

#449: Yeah, there is a big convention in Ireland, maybe I want to play there in the future.

What are your plans after finishing your current tour?

andro: Well, first we are going to play concerts in Germany and Russia, after we have finished this part of the tour. Then we will start recording a new album.

Do you ever find it difficult collaborating with European musicians? Are there any problems in mixing these two types of music?

#449: Yeah, there were some problems with different people. For instance, there was this Italian person who never showed up on time, this person from Germany was a bit stubborn.

andro: Yeah, definitely stubborn.

#449: He was an interesting person. Working with people from many different countries was good, but a bit difficult.

In your song Abattoir you sing basically about how people have brutal, animalistic instincts. What is the message of this song?

andro: The concept is, people’s history, our history. The album’s concept is conflict and war so it’s among that. People from the past onwards have had a dark history, so the song is to emphasise that.

Some of the songs on Zeitgeist, such as Papilo have lyrics focused around relationships. How do you come up with these ideas? Are they based on real experiences?

andro: They are real, but they’re not 100%, maybe around 70% real. Maybe recently they have been a bit fictional but, they are based on my real experiences, my real feelings.

You have written a number of songs with military themes such as Partisan. Why do you write about the military so much?

andro: Zeitgeist’s album concept is war, conflict and so on., so most of the songs on the album are to do with the military. Even Papilo is a love song, but it is a bit like that. So even though they are military songs, they are not all the same kind.

#449: For Army march we used a compilation of videos to give an impact to go alongside the song. I think it worked well.

GOTHIKA is known for mixing traditional, military styles with modern styles. What do you think is the importance of this?

#449: Because it’s just exciting, the most exciting thing for me in my experience is mixing. I’m Japanese but I want to make a bit of an electronic sound, but I have to do something that only I can do, that’s mixing with traditional Japanese style. So kind of using layers.

You’ve said in a previous interview that you write unhappy lyrics but you want to be happy in the real world. What is the importance of writing these types of lyrics then?

andro: I can’t write that many good lyrics with happiness as the basis. I write based on my feelings. And I want to give the message that it’s ok to not be happy all the time. I will make songs when I’m not happy, so they will not always have happy lyrics.

Was it difficult writing most of the lyrics to Zeitgeist in English?

andro: The writing itself wasn’t that difficult, but pronunciation was. I’m Japanese so I’m not used to speaking English, so that was the most difficult thing.

GOTHIKA has been together for almost 10 years now. What differences have you seen in the music scene since you began?

#449: When we started the Internet wasn’t so much in use. But the Internet has helped people overseas become more aware of GOTHIKA, by downloading for example. There are some other differences but the Internet is the biggest difference.

Have you ever come across any hardships because of your unusual style? In concerts...

andro: In Japan people like rock bands more than electronic bands, so sometimes the audience comes to see that at concerts. Sometimes at festivals and concerts they aren’t expecting an electronic band, sometimes they want a rock band instead.

If there was one mark you could leave on the music world, what would it be?

andro: We would like to have a live with many people. Once we had a one-man in Germany and a lot of people came, it was a good feeling.

#449: Yeah, once we would like to have an audience of 10,000 people.

andro: That kind of thing would be great.

Finally, could you please give a message for your fans?

andro: This time we are playing in Birmingham and Derby, and we are looking forward to our next concerts. Last time, in March we had to cancel Birmingham and Northampton which was a shame. But finally we are playing in England, and it has been really fun. Next time we come to England, please come and meet us.

#449: We really enjoyed coming to England, the audience here was really great. And please check our facebook page on information of our upcoming lives.

andro: Next spring we will also release a new album so please look forward to it.

JaME would like to thank the staff of J-Culture Con and GOTHIKA for making this interview happen.
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