“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.
■"I think that the people who agreed to do the remixes are people who thought this project was interesting."
■"Everyone enjoyed themselves and that's how it came into existence. And that's why I think it's good." (Kyo)
――And about DISC2, which is included with the limited edition of the album. It includes remixes and collaborations with a great lineup, but did you decide in advance who you wanted to do each song?
Kyo: No, it was more like we gave each person three or four songs that were completed at the time and had them choose. But at the end, there weren't many alternatives to choose from, of course.
――As your first release was born, at the same time you also released another interpretation of the music. I think that's usually a pretty unusual thing.
TAKUMI: That's why it was motivating. Of course, when it comes to this, there's an original completed version and the composition is like, "It's because of this kind of relationship that it's like this," but when I listened to the remixes, I felt surprised like, "Ah, they used elements like this?" or "Oh, I understand." Because I'm one of the people who created the original version, so there's a certain kind of pleasure in being able to experience that. It's something like being connected to that person's antenna. And being able to enjoy that to the fullest is our privilege.
YUCHI: There were times when I thought, "Ah, with this arrangement, it wouldn't have been strange if we had done it like this for the original," and also times that were characteristic of remixes when I thought, "With this arrangement, you can really hear Kyo's singing." In that way, it was like listening to it as a listener, and because of that, I think it was worth listening to.
MIKA: There was definitely a part of me that could enjoy listening to them normally. And there's also what I listened to while working on them. And everyone involved is my senior in the industry, so part of me wanted to analyze the songs and think, "So this is how they break it down."
――It was both research and pleasure. What did you think, UTA?
UTA: Uh, the same as above. (laughs) Really just as they said. I enjoyed it like a fan, and it was also a learning experience……just that.
――But I think that when you announced who was doing the collaborations, the reactions from around the world were probably fun, especially for Kyo.
Kyo: Well, yeah. I had the most fun……it was a sense of self-satisfaction. But I think that what I enjoyed is also what the fans enjoyed.
――In materials related to this album, Kyo used the words "one simple pleasure." The world "pleasure" is sometimes used lightly, but because it can also mean, "Is everyone enjoying themselves from the bottom of their hearts?" I think we should think about the final product like that as well. Those who make the music too.
Kyo: Yeah. I think that the people who agreed to do the remixes are people who thought this project was interesting, and I was able to enjoy the excitement of wondering what everyone would create……and I think that the people who listen to them will feel the same way. In the end, nothing has been a waste. Everyone enjoyed themselves and that's how it came into existence. And that's why I think it's good.
――At the same time, I feel like those words are hiding the idea that, "Music made by people who are not enjoying it from the bottom of their hearts and which listeners are just experiencing like it's habit cannot be entertainment and should be weeded out."
Kyo: Yeah. No matter what the intention of the people who create a work, isn't it really just one form of entertainment for those who listen to it? For some people, there will be profound nuances, but for those who don't feel that way, it's no different than the music that is playing in the streets. So in daily conversation, those people might say, "Kyo is doing something strange." If while we're alive, our music can become a topic of conversation, then I think sukekiyo has meaning. Through music, like when we gradually announced who had been chosen to do remixes, each time it became a topic of conversation and it was a reason people could get excited, right? Even just that has meaning. So it is simply music, but I think that it also offers something that is more than just music.
――Just because of that, I'm already enjoying myself more than enough, but after the live performances that have currently been decided, you have some sort of plan, right?
Kyo: Well, we have some plans, in an abstract sense. (laughs) We're completely in live performance mode right now, but when that is over, of course there will be part of us that will say, "Well, what will we do next?" By the way, about the upcoming shows, in Kyoto, we're having a performance in which people have to wear funeral clothing, and I personally think that that would be okay all the time. It's an selfish desire, though. (laughs) I really like the idea of everyone in all black not moving and not speaking. I don't want to force people do to that, but I wanted to try it out once, so I decided to do it this time in Kyoto.
――Uh. That way of thinking is pretty strange. (laughs)
Kyo: Hahaha! Every band can do as they wish, and every band's fans are enjoying themselves, right? But I think that it would be okay if there were a band that wasn't like that. Even if there was something that wasn't exciting in the same way. Like…because that already exists, it would be okay for the complete opposite to exist. I think it's okay for us to be on the absolute fringe. But of course, I generally want everyone to be free to do as they want. It's just that my selfish desire is something extreme. (laughs)
――In short, you're proposing, "It's okay not to come to experience a standard kind of excitement."