As JRockRevolution sat down for DIO’s press conference at Oni-Con, we were not prepared for how much we laughed!
DIO’s fans joined us in the background as JRR, JRE, and Askew magazine plied DIO~Distraught Overlord~ with questions. (Both funny and serious!) Read on for more information on DIO’s views of visual kei and the secret of Mikaru’s heritage. We’d love to give a hearty thanks to CURE Magazine and Animefood for bringing DIO ~Distraught Overlord~ and we’d also like to remind you to check out their newest album, DICTATOR!
Translator: Hello. Now we have a mic, yay! So we’re going to start Dio’s press panel now, so we’ll get the band to introduce themselves.
Denka: Drums no Denka desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Kei: Guitar no Kei desu.
Mikaru: (in English) Nice to meet you! Vocal, Mikaru!
Erina: Guitar no Erina desu.
Ivy: Bass no Ivy desu.
JRE: Mikaru, how did you meet the demon who taught you to fly?
Mikaru: (in English) My father!
JRR: Mikaru, you said previously that your wings are dragon’s wings. Are you part demon, part dragon, or what?
Mikaru: I’m someone that doesn’t fit into any of those [categories].
ASKEW: Do you play any other instruments and, if you don’t, what would you want to play?
Denka: The first instrument that I actually picked up was a bass, so, just for fun, I could pick up a bass.
Kei: If it’s a little bit, I could play piano.
Mikaru: Um, if I’m able to play something else it would be piano, and the reason is because the image of playing it is really cool.
Erina: The reason why I started playing guitar was because they were selling a guitar set for really cheap. but I really wanted to play drums.
Ivy: The one that I could play the most after bass is a recorder.
JRE: You played a live in Lyon, France on a boat, what was that like?
Erina: It was crazy (laugh) we got all fired up so everyone started jumping, and from that, the boat tipped. (laugh) And then on top of that, we went over capacity so the humidity was so high. It was crazy, but a lot of fun.
JRR: What models and brands of instruments do each of you play?
Denka: The snares are LUDWIG, the kick is AXIS, and the cymbal is PAISTE.
Kei: My guitar is ESP and the amp is Mesa Boogie.
Erina: As of right now, I play a seven-string IBANEZ, but I’m planning on changing it soon.
Ivy: Right now the bass I use is called SPECTOR.
JRR: What is your favourite Gundam model?
ASKEW: How did each of you get into visual kei?
Denka: To tell the honest truth, I hated visual kei. Eventually, from other band members and doing support, and things like that, I just got dragged in and when I realized it, I was here. (laughs)
Kei: Um, I was influenced by seeing X Japan and LUNA SEA, and that’s why I started.
Mikaru: In the beginning, I thought all the visual kei people were gay. (laughs) But then one day, the blood of the demon arrived inside of me, (laughs) and then I became the form that I am right now.
Erina: It wasn’t …. being influenced by bands or anything. When I was in my teens, because of curiosity, I went to my parent’s dresser and took a lipstick. (laughs) Out of curiosity, I put it on and then I saw myself and I was like "Heeeey~! What is this?" So, that is why.
Erina: Hey, it was cute!
Ivy: Um, so in the beginning I was bored. And then I said "Hey, why don’t I try it? " and then, out of curiosity, and from there, I just got kinda dragged along. And when I realized it, this is what I looked like.
JRE: Playing in the U.S. and in Europe, obviously a lot of the fans don’t understand the lyrics just by hearing them. So you feel that the instrumentals and the vocal lines carry themselves without that understanding, or do you encourage fans to go and try to find translations of the lyrics to help them understand it better?
Mikaru: As for the lyrics, I’ve poured everything of myself into it, and there’s certain ways of saying things in japanese that are really hard to translate, so for this CD right now, we weren’t able to do it, but for the next single, we want to work with a translator and work on it to together and just keep on working on it. And we’d like to put out translations for it.
JRR: Mikaru, last time you flew, where you go?
Mikaru: (laughs) I went quickly to heaven and met the Archangel, Michael.
ASKEW: What are your favourite songs to play live?
Denka: Um, Carry Dawn.
Kei: Dantoudai wa Ta ga Tame ni Yureru.
Mikaru: GOD Forsaken, because at the live two days ago, even though the lyrics are in Japanese there were a lot of people singing along with it, and it’s just a really fun song to play live.
Erina: final call. It’s fun for me to play that song. Dun dun poi~!
Ivy: What’s fun to play for me is Lord’s Prayer.
JRE: Do you have any favourite english words or phrases?
Erina: This is different from yesterday, but love. [yesterday he said ‘beauty’]
Mikaru: S… E… *clears throat*
Kei: Um, darkness.
JRR: Mikaru, last night, you MCed almost completely in English. Did you write those before hand or come up with them on the spot? They were kind of… creative.
Mikaru: (laughs) At that moment, I saw all the fans’ faces and heard their voices and i got really excited. And that’s why I said them.
ASKEW: What are your rehearsals/practices generally like?
Erina: What we do is once a week or twice a week for about five to six hours we go into the studio and rehearse together. And also we’ve started doing a thing with making new songs.
JRE: Denka, you’ve mentioned pro-wrestling in your blog several times. How did you get interested in pro-wrestling? That’s not something very common in Japan.
Denka: Around me, there’s a lot of hidden pro-wrestiling otakus. I was influenced by them.
JRR: Have you ever received anything really strange from a fan as a gift?
Denka: Porn magazines.
Kei: I was given underwear.
Mikaru: T-back. [thong]
Erina: G-string. (laughs)
Ivy: I’m always given underwear!
ASKEW: Do you guys have a routine to get yourselves pumped up before shows?
Erina: We do a shout-out
JRE: Is there anything you have to have backstage with you at a live?
Denka: Energy drinks.
Kei: Things to drink.
Mikaru: (in English) Espresso and cigarette!
JRR: What’s your favourite part of a live experience, is it the way the fans more or how they shout or just performing on a stage?
Denka: Where all the audience all gets together, and screaming.
Kei: Where all the fans are just going nuts.
Mikaru: Um… it’s the voices, like how you guys are screaming "DIO!" or the member’s names.
Erina: It’s the voices, and "Hwaaaa~!"
Ivy: There’s a moment in the live that I just snap. And that moment and just going from there and being snapped.
ASKEW: Is there anywhere in the world that they particularly want to see that they haven’t yet?
Kei: The Galapagos Islands.
Mikaru: I would like to see an Aurora.
JRE: What has been the most memorable experience for you and why?
Denka: Really, there’s too many things and I don’t really know, but just the fact that I’m playing drums. It’s the best.
Kei: In life, when I was in junior school, I actually got into a car accident with my parents. I survived that, and I still remember bits and pieces of it to this day and that’s the most surprising thing to happen.
Mikaru: The first time I bit into someone’s neck and sucked their blood out. (laughs)
Erina: There was this dream that I had when I was like five, and there’s a highway. And there’s an eggplant with wheels on it and it just goes by. And to this day it’s just stuck on my mind.
Ivy: I wore my new costume and it got ripped apart by the audience. (laughs) And to this day I hold a grudge.
JRR: Mikaru, do you put your wings away when you walk about town?
Mikaru: (chuckles) (in English) TOP SECRET!
JRE: How do you see visual kei changing in the future?
Denka: As long as visual kei lasts, there’ll be all different kinds of costumes that you have never seen; hair and makeup that you have never seen coming out.
Kei: Umm, from the past and getting influenced by other people, there are all these costumes that were created that have come out and the hair, maybe the hair will get shorter or the makeup more glamourous, but it’s going keep on evolving, keep on going.
Mikaru: Um, with the makeup and PV editing and things like that it’s going to keep evolving to get better and better from now on. And eventually along the line, even if skinheads become popular, I would never do it. (laughs)
Erina: If I really answer this seriously, about 10 years ago, visual kei was looked at as something that was really not that great and shameful. And now, from then, it has evolved into something that we can really be proud of and stand up to and say "This is a really cool thing we are doing." And eventually, within the genres of jpop and everything else, they will have a genre that fits in there physically called ‘visual kei’ and that’s going to be a really great thing that happens.
Ivy: Um, right now, visual kei is very very…. everyone’s looking at it from all over the world. It’s being focused on and with that, from those people that are influenced by that, 10 years from now, they’re going to start a band just like us. And then maybe from there, about 30 years on, the world is going to be filled with visual kei. And then from that, maybe it will be possible to have something like a Summer Sonic [a music festival in japan]. If there could be a visual kei only Summer Sonic, I’m looking forward to it.
ASKEW: Are you guys planning on doing another tour any time soon overseas, or..?
Erina: As of now, it’s not actually official, but we are supposed to do Korea in March. And then, we’re in the midst of planning right now, but once it gets warmer, before it gets cold, we want to fly around parts of the world.
Translator: Okay, so that’s the end. Thank you so much for coming. And if you guys could show your appreciation for the band one more time, they would appreciate it.
Translator: We have a last message from the band for you guys:
Denka: Today we were told that it was a press interview, so we didn’t know what it was going to be like. But being able to hear all these questions being asked and then having the fans being able to listen to it, I personally enjoyed it a lot. We will definitely come back to America soon, so please… please wait for us.
Kei: This time, we were only able to do one live, but if we are able to stay for a while, we would like to do a couple more lives. So, for the next time, please look forward to it and come. Thank you so much for today.
Ivy: Please cherish your parents.
Erina: I see that a lot of you made it to the live, and there’s a lot of people doing interviews with us. We have a lot of staff that took care of us. And it was really fun, these three days that I have been here in America. I’m really thankful for it.
Mikaru: (in English) (to press)Thank you for interview! (to fans) Thank you for coming! Ummm, I’m… very very happy to see you! (laughs) I promise I will come back. I don’t know when. But… I will come back. So, see you again! Thank you very much!
Translator: Everyone please stay put, we need to get out of here first. So, thank you so much for coming and I hope you enjoyed the last three days. Thank you!
Special thanks to: DIO ~Distraught Overlord~, Red List Entertainment, CURE USA, Carmilla, AnimeFood, Midori Maejima, ASKEW, JRockEventsUSA, and Oni-Con.