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[Interview] Fourth stage of J’s series. Video is complete (Part 3 of 3)

J’s concerts are known as whirlwinds of positive energy. “CRAZY CRAZY IV –THE FLAMING FREEDOM-“, a documentary video that captures that energy and groove, will be released on March 26. J’s 2013 activities are summarized in this fourth in a series of works.

J enlarged image

J says that he is “searching for something absolute”, and the camera captures that “cool” attitude that J lives by. J talks about his sanctuary = performance outlook and how he always sees himself as the origin. He also talks in length about his relationship with his band members and the audience.

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■I feel like now is not the place
■I’m searching for the next fun thing

――There are scenes of cake throwing at your birthday concert and toasting at the countdown concert. 2013 truly was a year of live performances. There were the shows you played with Akihiro Namba, as well as the <ROCK IN JAPAN> and <MONSTER BASH> summer festivals. This video footage shows all of that.

J: Namba and I are both bassists, and we are the same age. I don’t think anybody, myself included, expected us to ever share the same stage. There was a lot of drama on the summer festival circuit. It was like an adventure film or like the Discover Channel (laughs).

――Hahaha. A quest (laughs). I feel like J is always J, whether you’re riding on the bullet train or whatever. You’re not that different from what you see on stage.

J: People tell me that I’m pretty much as-is.

――I feel that you’re lifestyle is directly turned into sound. The video is very persuasive.

J: I really believe that I become sound. I live my own life, and I don't stop being myself. Everybody has their own life and their own way of living, but I think it’s more interesting when you do everything at 100%. You’re don’t get bored that way. There will be bad times, places you don’t want to go, and things you have to persevere. But I think if you do all of it 100%, you will see life differently. I think that listening to music is an active thing. I think that life is a series of those events that you try to grab on to. If you take that intensity you have at concerts and apply it your everyday life, I think something will change. That’s the message in this DVD. The message is to be yourself.

――You live life at 100% everyday, so each project always feels like it’s going to be the last one.

J: It might just be my personality, but I want to show my true self to people who wait for me. As a listener, I think I am drawn to that kind of artist. When I was a kid, there were artists I hated because of that (laughs). It might the long way around, but I am always searching for a way to stay myself.

――How is that?

J: I wonder about what is that absolute thing that I am chasing. Why do I make music? Part of me just wants to have fun. Part of me wants to feel better. Part of me wants to get excited with everybody. Perhaps there is one word that will allow me to express all of that. I think I may be chasing after that.

――You’re the type that goes after than from your soul.

J: You have to, or it’s hard to take that next step. That's why I think that now is not the place I want to be. I’m searching for the next fun thing.

――2013 is over and now you’re headed towards the next thing.

J: Yes. I think that’s how I bring closure to the past. 2013 was a very rich year for me. I was able to overcome things, and it made me more powerful and more confident. I am able to use what I learned in 2014, so I think it’s going to be a crazier year.

――We’re looking forward to it. You have shows at SHIBUYA-AX on May 3 and 4. You hold the record for the most shows played at AX.

J: I played <AX 5 DAYS> there, and I want to do it flashy as the most featured artist at AX. Of course, there have been a lot of artists that played there, and a lot of drama was born there. Even if the building is gone, the energy of the place will still remain, so I am not that sad. That’s why I want to show my gratitude and closure. It will be the last time that people will be able to stage dive there (laughs).

――It looks like you’re going to put on some intense shows in 2014 too.

J: There is LUNA SEA in 2014. I’m also thinking of a lot of the great things for my solo work. We are making plans to roll the cameras again (laughs). Look forward to it.

Interview & text: Hiroko Yamamoto

[Interview] Fourth stage of J’s series. Video is complete (Part 1 of 3)
[Interview] Fourth stage of J’s series. Video is complete (Part 2 of 3)
J official site

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