Jumat, 14 Oktober 2011

Tora & Shou Photoshoot Interview

For today's photoshoot we have the both of you dressing up as draculas, but please tell us about the concept.

Shou: Ok. Simply put, it's something that I wanted to do, but for Tora, our senior Miyavi-san ...... Was it that he told you to do it?

Tora: He said "It'd be awesome if you became a bloodsucker".

(laughs) Meaning?

Shou: It seems like that was the advice he gave.

Tora: Just before he went independent, he left me only with those words and then left (laughs)

Did he say that you should try and dress up as a dracula at least once?
Tora: Well, it seemed like he was telling me to try and aim for that kind of character. Like how I appear on stage.

Shou: When I heard that, I was also willing to try and do that (laughs), surely when you see Tora-shi in a flash he seems scary, but sexiness and mysteriousness ...... is the image that he has. I also tried carrying that feeling.

I see. Although the theme has nothing do with the sexy photos that the two of you took (laughs), this interview is about keywords relating to "Spring".

Meeting by Chance.

When you think of Spring, it's a season for meetings and parting ways, so please tell us the kind of situation when the two of you met, and what kind of words you exchanged.

Tora: Where was the first place that we met again?

Shou: Hmm, originally we were playing at the same live house as a tai-ban1.
Tora: Was it a Machida Play House?
Shou: No a different place. Surely the first place we did a tai-ban at was at Yokohama 7th AVENUE. However, the first place I properly noticed Tora-shi was the time when I went to go see his live at Meguro Rokumeikan.

Were you watching as a part of the audience, Shou-kun?

Shou: Yeah. At that time Tora was already a skilled guitarist, he was so skilled that he pulled in quite an audience, I was like "Amazing".

He was a popular guitarist.
Shou: Yeah. His movements were showy, although he does occasionally do that on stage now, but back then he would play while doing an action like hanpuku yokotobi2, it was quite a culture shock in the way that he would also do wide movements with his arms.

How many years ago was that?

Tora: About seven years ago.

Shou: At that time we gave each other a standard greeting, but Tora also came to watch the band that I was in at Machida Play House ......

Tora: Right. It was my turn to visit him.

Did you exchange greetings and then become friends?
Shou: At that time it was a bit complicated, at that time my band was looking for a guitarist. There was a guy who wanted to do a guitar solo, so the guitarist of Tora-shi's band ended up joining us instead.

Tora: We were pretty much at disbandment then.

Shou: Yeah. The band that I had put together didn't have Tora-shi in it, but I thought that he was a cool guitarist. At first I thought he was older than me.

Tora: (laughs) But I'm younger.
Shou: When I found that out I was like "Really?". But it seems like Tora-shi thought that our band was a good band.

Tora-kun, what was your first impression of Shou-kun?

Tora: Hmm, yeah. The Shou-kun of that time was singing in a crouched position (laughs). Then when I listened to a demo tape he was really cool, I was shocked. Shou-kun's type of voice was something that you don't generally hear in the Visual Kei scene, even now, I felt like he would probably be able to do anything with his voice.

Shou: At Machida Play House, I certainly wanted to exchange contact addresses. I wanted to have a small conversation like "What kind of bands do you like?".

Tora: That's right.
Shou: Tora-shi's hair was red, he had a kind of stern image.

Like it would be scary if you got into a fight with him.
Shou: That's right. He had the smell of Yokohama (laughs). So I don't mean that we hit it off right away.
Tora: Yeah, at first. I did think he was cool though.

Shou: I wonder why. I certainly did feel that he was different to other people, so we gradually got to know each other and now we've come this far, but when we first met, we didn't set off sparks or anything. I think that at first Tora-shi certainly didn't think I was cool because of my singing, the way we think about each other now is because we formed a connection, perhaps.

Tora: Yeah.

So then the two of you formed a band.
Shou: That's right. At the time that I wanted to create a new band, Tora-shi sent me some mail through my homepage saying something like "Want to start a band together?", and I immediately went out to meet him. It was there that we talked about many different things.

Tora: Simply put, I thought that we could do this together.

Meeting someone like that is mysterious.

Shou: That's right. If Tora-shi didn't know how to get into contact with me and didn't send me any mail, I think that Alice Nine wouldn't be here now, it's really mysterious.
Tora: It might be weird for me to say this, but I thought that I had the ability to judge someone's character. The members of that time are still around today.

Shou: Yeah. The band that Tora-shi and I first formed together was called Givuss, but everyone is still doing activities in the major scene now. I was originally a vocalist that had a Japanese name and was riotous as a selling point, but we were a smart band, even with intense songs we properly took the time to plan it out and compose them, we also had lots of melodious songs, so it was quite difficult to arrive at a point where I could properly sing them. The band was only active for a year, but it felt like we did it for three years.

Tora: Yeah, it felt long.

Shou: It's almost unbelievable that we've been in Alice Nine for five years, but were only in our previous band for one year.

It means that you had rich days.

Tora: (laughs) Well.

Shou: During those days we made our own fliers, even to place magazine advertisements we had to fork out our own money.

Tora: Yeah.

Shou: At the Yokohama Arena Sound Hall's lobby we wrote the name of our lead song from our demo tape on a folded piece of paper, we stacked each demo into cardboard boxes, we delivered goods to CD stores, we would fuss and fidget over how many advance sales tickets we had sold and such.

Like "How many have we sold now?". During that one year you had to do all you could and had many hardships and experiences.
Shou: That's right. Givuss was a known band and we even had roadies, however we didn't have any particularly big connections or supporters, but even so after about half a year after formation we were about to hold our own one-man live. But back then it was a more exclusive scene than it is compared to now, so there were also adverse winds.

Like jealousy and such?
Shou: That's right. At that time there were lots of things happening even within our own band, even with Tora-shi there were times where there wasn't any agreement of intentions, so when we disbanded, the guitarist that I wanted to try being in a band with after all was Tora. Though it felt like the one who gathered the members for that band was Tora, but it felt like we would consult each other, like "What do you think about this person?" when we were looking for members that we wanted to try being in a band with. Tora looks at things objectively and takes one step at a time, he's really smart, I feel the sense of balance within him ...... I don't usually continually praise people but it was like that (laughs), even though he isn't the type to practice the guitar so much, he's good at it. Although back then he played it a lot.
Tora: Yeah.
Shou: That's why I was like it would be no mistake if I was in a band with Tora. That feeling of peace of mind still hasn't changed even now.
Tora: It was said before, but I had this feeling that "This person will become someone amazing", Shou-kun's sense was good. Even though it's normal now, but at that time there wasn't anybody with the same hair or clothing as him, it's not something that I said, but something we could boast about was "Our vocalist is really trendy" (laughs)

So amongst the Alice Nine members, the two of you have shared the most joy and sorrows together.

Shou: (laughs) Yeah. It certainly is the case.


The two of you are from the Kantou area, so I don't think that you would have had any sensations about coming to Tokyo, but do you have any experiences of having to part, such as going overseas for quite some time?
Shou: My friend is employed at a company, they had to relocate because of their job and said "If I'm still alive, when I return, let's party", and then set off for a trip to the Middle East.

Tora: (laughs)

How many years are left in their stay?

Shou: Around four years have passed.

That may be an unforgettable farewell.

Tora: For some reason, I didn't have any friends in middle school or high school. I wonder why.

With that meaning, you've had a lot of experiences in parting with people.
Tora: It was only parting with people. I would occasionally be surprised. Like "Huh? Don't I not have any friends?" (laughs)

There aren't people you keep in touch with?
Tora: There isn't. It feels like everyone has faded out.

So, for a situation similar to what Shou-kun had told us, what kind of words are you the type to say when you part with someone that you don't know if you'll ever be able to meet again? Like you want something simple like "See ya".

Tora: But, going to the Middle East is a little, you know. Would it be like "Don't die"?

Shou: But if he had returned to Japan, he'd have to decide if he would take a promotion. I'd want to try going just for the sake of that.

You'd have memories of a difficult few years. Even if it's not to overseas, what if there was someone that you'd have to part with for a while?
Tora: Hmm (Carefully Considering).

Shou: It would have a "See you later" kind of feeling.

Tora: "You've worked hard" (laughs)

(Awkward Smile) Is that all?
Shou: Hahaha. In some way, "You've worked hard" has the feel of a dry farewell.


In middle and high school, what kind of uniform did you wear? Like did you have your own way of arranging it.
Tora: I didn't arrange mine.
Shou: Wasn't it blazers?

Tora: Yeah. In high school I would be wearing a blazer at the top and at the bottom I would be wearing baggy pants.

Shou: Ah, that was somewhat trendy.

Was that cool?

Tora: Well thinking about it now, it was clearly a weird appearance (laughs). Conversely, the delinquents' would come to school wearing skinny pants, their neckties would be fastened to the very top, they'd have punch perm3 hair, wear sunglasses and carry a second bag4 with them. It was like "What is with this person?" (laughs)

There were lots of boys who carried second bags with them.
Tora: For them to wear things so neatly, it was actually quite scary (laughs)

Aren't baggy pants for delinquents?
Tora: Well it's not really like that, because they were easy to wear, everyone was wearing them. It was comfortable.

What about middle school?

Tora: It was more normal in middle school. Wearing your pants low was popular.
Shou: Yeah.

Was it so low it was around the waist?
Tora: Even though it was a period where there were the appearance of gyaru-o5, when I became a high school student there were guys who wore baggy pants, perhaps we made that period retro (laughs)

Shou: My uniform was normal. We had a gaku-ran6, we carried bags that were specifically for our school, also, at that time a Burberry muffler was really trendy, I went to a school where everyone had something similar to that wrapped around.

Tora: Ah, we changed bags. We had bags that weren't from our own school, but from another school.

Shou: People did do that. We had this thing where it was cool not having a designated bag.

Tora: We also wore a necktie from another school.

How on earth did you obtain that stuff?
Tora: We relied on the people who went to that school (laughs). In the class there was a guy who collected them all. It was like "I've already asked for this high school's bag, how many people want one?" (laughs)

Hahaha. So, when was the last time you wore a uniform?
Shou: In the "Shunkashuutou" PV (laughs)
Tora: After that, it was the live at Shibuya AX.

Shou: Also, shockingly, at the live where our affiliation with King Records was announced (laughs)

Tora: Ah, we did wear them.

Shou: We wore them, with this "We'll be in your care, from now on" feeling.

That was the last appearance of you guys in uniform.

Tora: That's right.
Shou: But it seems like our junior bands have also taken over doing lives in uniform.

Tora: We've slowly started to look severe, in terms of age (laughs)

Shou: Coversely, it may be a good thing if we look sophisticated (laughs). Wearing uniforms now seem like we're trying to look young.


Do they two of you have any interest in when they will blossom?
Tora: I don't, I'm a person who has come this far in life but had never been sakura viewing.

Shou: I want to do it this year.
Tora: Yeah, I want to try.

Shou: But when the tour final is over (10th of April, Zepp Tokyo) the sakura petals will start falling. It'll just start to get cold.

Maybe you could squeeze some time in for it during a break in your tour?
Tora: (Immediate Reply) It's impossible. Shou: We don't have any days off during the tour. We only have days off for travelling.

That's too bad. So up until now have you not viewed the sakura as Alice Nine?
Shou: In the year that the band formed, I went with Saga-kun and friends from other bands to Ueno Park, although it was viewing the sakura at night, it was fun.

It seems like Tora-kun would be drinking under the sakura trees.
Tora: What kind of image is that (laguhs)
Shou: Hahaha. If you're talking about those kinds of things, then I really feel like going sakura viewing.

Tora: I was just saying this now, like it's almost time for the season of the sakura.
Shou: That's right. Generally, it feels that when we return from the tour the sakura petals start to fall.

Hay Fever.

Are the two of you ok with hay fever?

Tora: I don't get hay fever.
Shou: The year before last I only had a little feeling of having hay fever.

Like your eyes were itchy?

Shou: But rather than in Spring, I start getting symptoms in May.

That might night be an allergy to cedar pollen but to cypress pollen.
Shou: Ah, that might be true.

Amongst the members, who suffers from hay fever?

Tora: Perhaps Nao-san.

Shou: But there probably isn't anyone in the band who suffers from really bad symptoms.


What is something that you would like to start this Spring?

Tora: I wonder what? Maybe I should get a license.

Shou: Oh!
Tora: I want to get some kind of qualification. Aren't there people who are obsessed with getting qualifications? It seems interesting.

Shou: Like a boat license (laughs)

Tora: I definitely wouldn't be able to use that though. Maybe like an aromatherapy license (laughs). So, I'll get one from U-Can7 (laughs)

Shou: I have a lot of things that I would like to try and do, but lately I've been thinking about buying DJ equipment. The members all have a part where they can do solos, so when I was thinking "What if I was to do something like that?", so rather than singing to my own piano accompaniment, DJing would be better. I surprisingly like digital-ish music, usually at home I only listen to electronica.

So you should buy a turn table. That might be cool. DJ Shou (laughs)
Shou: However, I'm the type of person who'd jsut be satisfied after buying one.

Please DJ. At lives.
Shou: Ok. I'll try doing a bit of it. But if I did do it, it would be extremely tough.
Tora: In actuality, for DJing, you wouldn't understand how you should go about doing things.
Shou: I might have the image ...... of DJing at a live.

We might not see it at this tour, but one day there will be time for DJ Shou.
Tora: Ok then, I'll get some qualifications (laughs)

You'd bring in a cruiser on stage.

Tora: No, I'd give the live hall a good smell (laughs)

From the aromatherapy?
Shou: (laughs) It might be a good idea.
Tora: The idea is well liked. It will be a new trial for me to get more qualifications. If I get my boat license around the time we are going to shoot a PV, the PV will be shot on top of a boat (laughs).

Shou: A live on a boat (laughs)

Hahaha. I also want to properly ask this of you Shou-kun, to you, what does Tora-kun mean to you? For example, when you're together you feel calm or something.
Shou: Out of the members, he feels like he is the closest to being family.
Tora: Ah.

Why do you say that?
Shou: Hm, yeah. All of our members are great guys, but it feels like we can talk freely without choosing a course for our conversation. He's a good listener.

Tora: (Smiles)

Shou: He's popular because he's good at listening.

Tora: I'm not popular (laughs)

The Taste of Spring.

When we think of the taste of Spring, we think bamboo shoots.

Tora: It feels like anything would be ok (laughs)

(Continues on, without being discouraged) Or the edible bud from fuki8 or strawberries.
Shou: (laughs) We're talking about the taste of Spring?

Tora-kun is good at cooking, so he might, for example, use the raw ingredients from the season and make something.

Tora: This is completely unrelated to Spring, but before this some male friends came over to my place, they made dashimaki tamago9 that was really delicious. So I had him teach me how to make it, I did try making it myself but it was difficult. When I asked him "How much dashi10 should I add to it?", he replied "A substantial amount is good", but I still don't know how much is enough.
Shou: When I go to a bar the first thing I order indefinitely is dashimaki tamago. I know how much that store puts in.
Tora: How much dashi.

Shou: I know, because it's something simple. That reminds me, a while ago Nao-san, for some reason had dashimaki tamago in his bag (laughs).

Shou-kun, aren't there any foods that you feel like eating when it becomes Spring?

Shou: Nothing in particular in Spring. When it becoms Autumn I feel like eating pike. I'm a guy who usually alternates between ramen, curry and spaghetti (laughs)

What about a hamburger11?
Shou: I like it. Even though my tastes are like a child's taste.

What are Tora-kun's tastes?

Tora: They've changed. Even though back then I ate nothing but meat, lately I've come to like smelly things.

Like dried horse mackerel and such?

Tora: (laughs) No, not that, even when I go out to eat sushi, I eat things that have a bit of a fish smell and taste.

So you've come to be able to eat sliced fish with the silver skin left on, such as mackerel. How mature.

Tora: Back then I also used to find beer unpleasant, tastes are really mysterious. Back then I couldn't eat anko12 at all, but now I can eat it just fine.

You've already switched over to Japanese confectionery (laughs)
Shou: It's also become difficult for me to eat beef (laughs)

Are you switching to chicken?
Shou: Pork or chicken. If I went to a BBQ meat restaurant, I would be ordering shabu-shabu13 or sukiyaki.

Beef ribs seems a little difficult to eat.
Shou: (laughs) Yeah. The left over meat attached to the ribs would be bad (laughs)


Please give a message to the people who are just entering a new school or the people who are becoming working adults.
Tora: Hm, sure. Please do your best (laughs)

Like "Go get some qualifications".
Tora: That's right. It would've been great if I got some qualifications while entering into high school (laughs). Ah, well, I think it would be better for you to enjoy yourself. Also, for students, it might be better for them to study kanji.

Is that what you truly feel?

Tora: For radio shows there are lots of time when I have to read a manuscript, I can't read quite a few of the kanji.

Shou: That might be Tora's only weak point.

Tora: Even if I'm reading it smoothly I get stuck on reading the kanji. Since I was in elementary school I was bad at kanji, in high school there were about 1400 students, and I was so bad at reading kanji that I and one other person were the only ones who had to take supplementary lessons for Native Japanese. Maybe it's about time I took the kanji test on the DS (laughs)

For the time being, you should just study kanji.
Tora: That's right. I think that it's not essential to maths or science (Conclusion). But I must be able to read kanji~ (laughs)

It's sunk quite deeply into your mind.
Tora: Kanji and English. And well, history, I think that you can live without knowing it. Also, learning politics might be more enjoyable if you watched it from the news on TV.

Shou: I think that in life you can fairly exchange some things, I think that what you understand is a proportion of how much effort you've put into it, even with studying and having exams, I think that in order to have one of your goals achieved you'd spend your days studying, if you use that sort of logic then it's not a waste to learn things.

So the things that you've come to understand is proportional to the things that you've studied.

Shou: That's right. Saying "Everyone, let's work hard!" has a bit of a sultry feeling.

Spring Tour.

Finally, please give us a message about your tour "Kikagaku no Ri" which will start on the 22nd of March, and what kind of audience you think will attend.
Tora: It's been a while since we did a tour, so all the members will put our fighting spirit into it, I want to show everyone a different kind of tour than we have done previously.

Shou: This time the tour isn't for any new songs that we are releasing, so with that meaning, so perhaps this will be a live where we have the stance of showing everything of what the current Alice Nine is. I want everyone to be excited with us!

credit to : jaeho_x3@lj from aliceinrainbows@lj

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