“IMMORTALIS”, the first album by DIR EN GREY’s KYO’s new band, Sukekiyo, is getting a lot of attention. A lot of interest and curiosity have been growing about this album from the moment it was announced. The band is just now reaching the first peak of excitement and fervor. We arranged a long interview with all five members of the band in mid April. We hope you enjoy the comments that came about from this special meeting.
■It’s not interesting when there is a fixed path
■We wanted to make something great (KYO)
――You’re in the process of waiting for the album release. How do you feel right now?
KYO: We planned this about a year ago… Almost everything we planned has become reality. That doesn’t happen that often. It was fun for us. We think it was also fun for our fans who were gradually getting details and information along the way. I think there was a sense of buildup. We’re simply happy that all that planning will become reality soon.
――From the receiving end, Sukekiyo seemed to have a mysterious start. We didn’t know who was involved in the beginning. What were all of you thinking during that time?
TAKUMI: I was involved for a long time, so I was waiting very nervously. I was thinking, “What’s going to happen?” I should know because I’m involved, but I didn’t know anything. We had a finished product, but no concert scheduled to present the product. That’s when I thought, “We just made something crazy!” I think it is a crazy album, and I feel pressure to express it properly in a live situation. That’s why I feel like we just finished the “preparation for the preparation”.
UTA: Yeah. It definitely feels like the “preparation for the preparation”
TAKUMI: In a good way, the live show hasn’t been fully conceptualized.
YUCHI: We didn’t play a lot of songs at our two 2013 year-end performances. We actually had completed all of our songs by then, but decided to play just a select few songs that represented the project best.
――But you did make a conscious effort to keep things ambiguous, right?
YUCHI: That’s just how it ended up being. There are a few songs that we still don’t know how to perform live.
UTA: It’s a very nice nervous feeling, but it also feels very bizarre. I’ve never felt this way before. Well, if I’m being honest, I’m not nervous at all (laughs). I wasn’t that nervous for our first show either…
――Of course, you’re not taking the situation lightly are you (laughs)?
UTA: No, of course not (laughs). I think it’s the atmosphere of this band. That’s what makes it feel bizarre.
YUCHI: Ah, yeah. I think I know what you mean.
UTA: KYO’s presence is very big, but something feels cozy about it (laughs). That’s why we don’t have to be on edge. We really should be on edge, but we are able to be natural. Everybody emits that kind of energy, and TAKUMI brings it all together.
MIKA: I think there is that kind of energy. It’s like we are constantly jamming. We are jamming even when we’re not making sounds. We’re always doing things and sharing that energy in real time. I feel like I’m going to experience things I’ve never experienced before.
――You are all experiencing something for the first time. You have that in common. A lot of bands set up goals and themes when they form. Sukekiyo didn’t have a timeline or deadlines when it started?
KYO: It’s not interesting when there is a fixed path or goal. We just wanted to make something great. It’s like we all had a piece of clay and thought about what we could make with it. When you create something greater than what you were expecting, that's when you’re happy you made something. We didn’t set out with a plan to make a certain thing. We relaxed and took it easy.
MIKA: KYO trusts us in many ways. He gives us hints and pointers and lets us go with it. That’s why its cozy, but not lazy. We can’t make something interesting if we don’t pull our individual skills together. That’s where there is that nervousness… But there is a lot of freedom to do what we want, and it’s exciting.
――A cozy state. So you work without thinking about the end result?
KYO: Yeah. I want that to be all about feeling.
――Focusing just on the feeling could detract from actually completing something. Sometimes it’s good to have a map of where you’re going. Did you ever worry that you might not be able to complete something cohesive?
UTA: No, not with these band members. We all have our roles, and we’re doing it in bizarre ways. That’s why when I get stuck, I can hand it over to somebody else. I wasn’t worried at all.
YUCHI: Yeah, there was no worry there. Once we lay the groundwork for a song, KYO presents us with a lot of things. Then it gets easier to see what you want to do with the song and where you want to take it. It was easier to imagine what you wanted to do. It seemed ambiguous, but looking back, I might have been going along a path that was laid out for me.
TAKUMI: That cozy feeling saved me. I am always very precise about what I make. I push myself a lot and feel like I can put more of myself into everything. KYO helped me a lot during those times. UTA would say, “That’s good”, and that's all it took to erase my insecurities (laughs). There were a lot of instances like that, so I decided to do whatever I wanted.
◆Continued in [Interview] Sukekiyo’s first album, “IMMORTALIS”. A long interview that interview that reveals the five members’ deepest thoughts. (Part 2)