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[Interview] KAMIJO’s seven-movement symphony is finished. “You might think that music has no borders, but it does” (Part 3 of 3)

KAMIJO made his major solo debut with the mini-album “Symphony of The Vampire” on March 5. The album is a 28-minute, seven-movement, 1103-measure symphony. It took about a year for it to go from idea to reality. The story is set during the 18th century French Revolution. The first single, “Louis ~ENKETSU NO La Vie en Rose~” is based on Louis the 17th awakening as a vampire. The story is told in one perfect live performance and blends fiction with non-fiction. With metal music at its core, it tastefully blends symphonic music, Heavy and Loud music. It is a beautiful ballad in parts, yet goes through various tempo and time signature changes in a dramatic way. KAMIJO reveals everything in this interview.

“Symphony of The Vampire” trailer

■My “one-man” at Tokyo Cinema Club on July 19, my birthday
■I want people to understand what it is to “make a country”

――Each movement is titled with a musical term, such as the (Presto, Allegro, Sonata, Adagio, etc.) Was this your idea?

KAMIJO: No, that is a bonus. They were the chapter names for the story. The title of the song is “Symphony of the Vampire”, and I split one long song into seven shorter movements so that would be more convenient for the listeners. Every person has their own favorite movement, right?

――If you like fast metal, you like the first and seventh movements. If you like slow music, you like the third movement. If you like aggressive music, you like the fourth movement.

KAMIJO: I’m looking forward to playing the fourth movement live in concert. There is a story behind the phrase, “Let me bite your neck”. I did a Ustream event for the last single. I was communicating with an overseas fan, and when they were asked what phrase they wanted to hear me say, they responded with “Let me bite your neck”. So you could say that a fan wrote that lyric.

――The time signature changes a lot. There will be a lot of different reactions at your concerts. People will be shaking their heads as well as standing still.

KAMIJO: I made “Symphony of the Vampire” while thinking about how to faithfully reproduce it live. For example, I can see myself hyping the crowd between the first and second movements. If I am telling the story chronologically, I can also put the single between the third and fourth movements. I could also start off with Ludwig’s confession in the sixth movement. There is a lot of freedom to different things with this piece of work.

――The unveiling will be at Tower Records Shibuya on April 26. It’s been a while since you played live, right?

KAMIJO: My last show was the last Versailles performance at NHK hall, which was a year and four months ago. I really want people to see this moment. This time, everything went so smoothly with the production. It was the first time everything fell into place naturally. It’s strange saying this myself, but you can feel the power of musicians who know what they want. I want people to experience that. It can be enjoyed as a normal CD or as a symphonic metal CD, but nothing will make me happier than if people can experience it like they are watching a movie.

――I hear that a 28-minute long music video is in the works. I can see how much you care for this story.

KAMIJO: To put it another way, it’s an album with a music video for each song. We shot it in a few days. It’s like a short movie. The production was smooth because we hired a director that actually directs movies. I appear in the video as the singer and as Louis as a young adult.

――It seems like the filming process, just like the recording process, went so smoothly because the story is so clear. Didn’t you raise the bar quite a bit for your next work with this one? I would think you’d have to come up with a very deep concept and pre-production next time.

KAMIJO: I’ve already started with that. When Louis becomes king, he unifies the country. The next theme is “country”. You might think that music has no borders, but it does. I will create my country with my music. That is my next concept. I’ve come to a good chapter ending with Louis this time. I’d like people to look forward to what is in store for Louis in the future. On July 19, my birthday, I will perform a “one-man” (no opening act) concert at Tokyo Cinema Club, which looks like an opera house. I want to put on a show where people will understand what it is to “make a country”.

Interview & text: Motoko Shimizu

[Interview] KAMIJO’s seven-movement symphony is finished. “You might think that music has no borders, but it does” (Part 2 of 3)
[Interview] KAMIJO’s seven-movement symphony is finished. “You might think that music has no borders, but it does” (Part 1 of 3)
KAMIJO official site
KAMIJO label site

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