Versailles is back with their thoughts on Gothic and Lolita fashion, choreography, visual kei, recommended bands, and more.
Are you going to see them in L.A.? Come to our meetup section in the forum and let us know!
And we’ll have more on Versailles for you as their European tour approaches! Read on…
Interview Part 2
JRR: KAMIJO, you have appeared in the Gothic & Lolita Bible several times. What do you think of gothic and lolita fashion?
KAMIJO: I think it’s wonderful for people to wear clothes they like confidently. I like it. I think it’s a good thing.
JRR: What do the other members think about gothic and lolita fashion?
Jasmine You: I think it’s lovely when people wear things they really like.
HIZAKI: When I look at someone I can see, if they wear what they wear because they like it or because someone recommended it to them.
JRR: How would you feel if you see overseas fans cosplaying yourselves when you go there in 2008?
Versailles: That would be great.
JRR: KAMIJO, you’ve seen people cosplaying yourself, in America, haven’t you?
KAMIJO: Oh yes. I was glad to see long lines of cosplayers.
JRR: What do you think, YUKI?
YUKI: Basically the same. Naturally, different people like different things, but why shouldn’t everybody wear what they like?
JRR: So you just finished your All Japan tour. How do you feel about that? Are you satisfied with it or were there things that were still lacking? Or other things you still want to do?
KAMIJO: Naturally we’ve grown through that but if I can talk honestly, I have to say that there hasn’t been any overwhelmingly big development yet.
JRR: Is that your next objective, then?
KAMIJO: Yes, I think so.
JRR: What kind of development do you want to see?
KAMIJO: I think as we continue to perform there will be some great discovery, but as we haven’t managed that yet, I think it might not be so easy to get. But we’ll continue to search for it.
JRR: How did you decide on the choreography of your live performances?
HIZAKI: There isn’t any choreography, really.
JRR: Everybody’s just twirling around on stage at the same time?
KAMIJO: We didn’t particularly decide on that, that just happened while we were practicing.
JRR: It looks very well-rehearsed.
KAMIJO: After he did it on stage, we next did it during practice, too. (Laughter.) Sometimes everybody does it too much, so after discussing that we’re trying to curb it a bit. (Laughter.) Moving to the edge of the stage, too. Though it’s just controlling our moving around a bit.
HIZAKI: Everybody has a strong personality, so we are trying to manage that to keep a good balance.
JRR: We wanted to ask you about your live at Rokumeikan, together with ANTIFEMINISM, where you came out together at the end and seemed to have a lot of fun. (Ed. Note: The bands perfomed together to ANTIFEMINISM’s music, waving roses in the air and shouting “Bara bara bara bara!”—“Rose, rose, rose, rose!”) Who came up with that idea?
KAMIJO: KENZI [of ANTI] approached me about performing together on December 21st and I told him we’d do it if it would be just Versailles and ANTIFEMINISM, only two bands, not more. He’s our sempai (senior) [in the music business] and we’ve been getting along very well for the last ten years. And with Versailles, I always like to surprise our fans and he likes to do that as well. He may break fluorescent lights and we carry roses, but the desire to surprise is the same. That’s the reason we did the two-band live. Then we decided that if we do that special live together, we could also do one song together at the end. "Buta" (pork – a theme word for ANTIFEMINISM) we don’t need to do—what we can do, as Versailles, is "bara" (roses). That then became "butabara." (porkbelly)
JRR: If you could perform with anyone in the world, who would that be and why?
KAMIJO: A band we want to play with?
Jasmine You: Red Hot Chilli Peppers
TERU: Maybe ARCH ENEMY, are they not from America?
YUKI: Dream Theater.
JRR: There are a lot of Jrock fans who listen only to Jrock now. Are there any bands outside of Japan you’d like to recommend to them?
KAMIJO: There is Mantenrou Opera, one of the younger bands we play with. Though that’s a Japanese band.
JRR: How would you describe their sound?
KAMIJO: Symphonic metal.
JRR: Does anyone else have recommendations for bands to listen to?
Jasmine You: They already disdanded, but BLANKEY JET CITY. I like bands who puts their emotions into their music.
HIZAKI: Antique Cafe?
YUKI: I like THE BLUE HEARTS. That’s a Punk Rock band, from some time back already.
YUKI: I like a band that reunited last year, Kinniku Shoujotai.
JRR: If you were recommending music from outside Japan?
KAMIJO: I like movie soundtracks from John Williams. Like "Terminal."
HIZAKI: Naturally there are a lot of artists that sell worldwide, but if you listen to them, you can make new discoveries, because they produce high quality music. Whether it’s Metallica, or Bon Jovi, or Aerosmith.
Jasmine You: If you listen to the best of some American bands, you can really feel the power of their music. Or take Red Hot Chilli Peppers (laughter), they seem to radiate music from their whole bodies, rather than just play. You can really learn from that.
HIZAKI: You can feel the power in every single note in American bands. More than in anyone else. I really want to ask people over there what kind of environment creates that kind of bands.
TERU: Pantera, too, yes. (Laughter.)
YUKI: They are gods.
JRR: Bands that broke up were mentioned previously, but now here in Japan are two huge bands that are reuniting, LUNA SEA and X JAPAN. We’d like to ask you what you think about their revivals.
KAMIJO: I think they’ve had no small influence on me. I think there isn’t anyone in the Japanese music business who hasn’t been influenced by them, so if we want to match or outdo them we’ll have to create evermore beautiful music for an even wider audience.
Jasmine You: X JAPAN and LUNA SEA created the visual kei scene—now it’s our task to spread that even more.
HIZAKI: YOSHIKI’s music has been an inspiration for me since long long ago, so definitely I’ve been influenced by him, even if I express myself my own way.
TERU: It’s pretty much the same for me. I’ve admired them for a long time and I’m happy that people I admire are performing again.
YUKI: I listened to them a lot, so I’m really curious now what [new] songs they will perform. Though, that’s our job now…
JRR: As you know, Jrock Revolution is trying to spread Jrock overseas, introducing Japanese bands to overseas audiences and organizing events. So as a Jrock band, what would you like to see happen overseas?
KAMIJO: I think that at the moment, most fans listen to Jrock as a Japanese phenomenon, so what I’d like to see from now on is for things to go beyond that and people to become really aware of individual bands, explore to find bands that they like personally [not just because they are Japanese], everybody taken as their own.
HIZAKI: In the end, with Japanese bands, too, it’s those who pay attention to their music as well to their looks that survive. Those concentrating on looks only usually disappear soon. So I’d like people to pay more attention to the music, not just the looks, and the differences between the bands.
Jasmine You: I think there are some things that can be expressed in certain ways only in Japanese. So I’d like people to explore the language further. Really.
TERU: I guess to foreign fans, we must look like the extreme edge of visual kei. In Japan, they now call us a strange band.
JRR: Are you really that strange?
KAMIJO: Oh yes, in Japan they really call us a strange band now…
JRR: I’ve been watching VK bands in Japan for 20 years now, but while you’re definitely very "visual" I don’t think you’re strange. (Ed. Note: This comment is out of Rika’s experience.)
KAMIJO: I really appreciate you saying that, but in Japan, they’re treating us like fossils from a different age. But then, we’re glad to be fossils. (Laughter.)
JRR: If Jrock Revolution had another Jrock Revolution Festival, would you like to participate?
VERSAILLES: Definitely. Yes, we want to, really.
JRR: One last fun question: If you had the chance to appear in a movie, what kind of character would you like to play?
HIZAKI: A samurai.
JASMINE YOU: An alien.
KAMIJO: A vampire.
TERU: A game character, maybe like someone out of Final Fantasy.
YUKI: An action hero (laughs), Kamen Rider.
KAMIJO: Maybe appear in something like Matrix (laughs).
Look forward to more on Versailles as their European tour comes closer!
With additional contributions by Kuri and Krystal
Interpreted by Rika
Versailles appears courtesy of Sherow Artist Society