At AnimeUSA, JrockRevolution had the opportunity to sit down with one of the most colorful people we have interviewed, DJ SiSeN.
JRR: Please introduce yourself for all of the readers at JRockRevolution.com.
SiSeN: Yes, um… (in English) Hi. My name is SiSeN. I come from Japan. I DJ.
SiSeN: …And various other things. (laughs) Thank you very much! Yes.
JRR: You’ve been in the US before, but this is your first time performing at an anime convention. How does this sort of thing compare with your tour with Blood?
SiSeN: With the band and the tour it’s more like a live concert, it’s more of a band thing. Whereas with a convention there’s obviously going to be a lot more otaku, but it’s more…I hope it will be more like a club scene.
JRR: What do you think of all the cosplayers and the fashions you see around?
SiSeN: I think it’s really neat, and it’s a good thing, and this is a place where fashion and cosplay … it’s all about wearing interesting things you think are different and I really like that aspect.
JRR: Do you have anything favorite that you’ve seen so far? Like a favorite outfit on someone?
SiSeN: I haven’t really had a chance to get out to the con or see a lot of the cosplayers and the other fashion yet, but I’m really impressed by all the cosplayers walking around and I really want to see them and I have seen Versailles‘ costumes… Jasmine’s is amazing. Jasmine’s was like a very beautiful ma’dam. A proper lady.
JRR: Jasmine You is very fabulous.
SiSeN: (in English) Oh yes~.
JRR: Why did you decide to hold auditions for dancers for the AUSA rave?
SiSeN: It’s all about promoting the image of what a club is like. I really want to…. I feel like a lot of people who come to cons don’t really understand what a club is like. So I’m trying to show them that. Also, there is the mixing of Japanese and American culture: I’ll be DJing on the Japanese end and having American dancers. I just want to give everybody that great chance to dance and enjoy the music and… feel what a club’s like. I wanted do both men and women dancers, but the primary turnout was females. So for the next time I have auditions if anybody’s interested I am looking for men! (laughs)
JRR: I’m curious about your background. How and when did you start DJing?
SiSeN: Basically it started out how anybody really starts with anything… I was attending clubs as just a regular attendee and then I became friends with the staff and before I knew it I was DJing and was doing my own shows. Now I’m just constantly working and studying to become better and better. It’s growing. Right now…right now the Japanese underground scene is still pretty small but…. I was very surprised coming to America, becoming a bigger part of the scene.
JRR: SiSeN, you used to wear all black clothing. Why did you switch to more colorful clothing?
SiSeN: Umm, I had a lot of influence from the scenes in London and things like that. I have always enjoyed being gothic and kind of mysterious. And so, I’ve taken those various influences and made it a cute and mysterious kind of look. I like to play with that.
JRR: Very cute.
SiSeN: Thank you! (laughs)
JRR: Can you tell us something about the other DJs in your scene?
SiSeN: In comparison to me a lot of the other DJs are dark and cool… but I’m more of joking character. Cute. The other DJs are more gothic. I think I have made a more unique image for myself. Yes.
JRR: Are there any songs for you that are especially fun to DJ?
SiSeN: There’s a lot! (laugh) The songs I choose are really (in English) not famous. So…
SiSeN: I can’t decide which ones but I like to play the music of other DJs because it’s just not really well known and I want people to hear, you know, this kind of music. The underground scene is good, but I want it to be more of a popular thing too.
JRR: Can you tell us a little about the Tokyo Decadence?
SiSeN: What I really like about Tokyo Decadence is that it was started by Adrian, who is from France. Because in Japan, there’s the gothic lolita style, there’s the gothic industrial style, there are all these different kinds of styles that each have their unique culture. There are so many walls built up between them. And Adrian came in and made Tokyo Decadence, it broke down these walls, so everybody could come together and be this great co-habitation. I really, really enjoy that, because when you’re living in your own world it’s very boring.
JRR: If and when Tokyo Decadence were to come to America, where in particular would you like for it to happen?
SiSeN: I wouldn’t want to do it in just one place. America is really big so obviously we would want to play some of the bigger states like California, Texas, Florida, umm, New York. But I also kind of want to do more unvisited places like Minnesota, ….Alaska… even, and Utah, places like that. (laugh)
SiSeN: (in English) Wolfu is coming to Tokyo Decadence, Alaska
SiSeN: I wonder if Palin and a wolf would come to Tokyo Decadence in Alaska.
SiSeN: (in English) Sorry.
SiSeN: Inside jokes…
JRR: You have mentioned before that you really like Yousei Teiko—
SiSeN: (in English) Yousei Teikoku-kun, yaya, I know.
SiSen: I am good friends with Aural Vampire too. (laughs) I really like that they have an industrial sound. Right now, they’re more underground but they are working towards becoming a more major scene band.
JRR: I would like to see them in America. [editor’s note: Check them out at Katsucon February 2009!]
SiSeN: I have a lot of pride in them because I feel like even if they go further than just underground they’ll keep that underground sound with them. I‘m not really fond of people that when they go from being indie or underground they lose the image that they had. They change their image just so more people will like them.
SiSeN: (in English) Yes. I love they keep strange underground image.
JRR: Can you tell us just a little bit about your musical project that you’re doing with Seila, Seileen?
SiSeN: (in English) Ah! Yeah, Seileen.
SiSeN: Umm…Seila, despite being a male, he can sing high, he’s a counter-tenor. We are trying to mix more classical-style music and industrial gothic music to make a whole new kind of sound. We are really looking forward to building more and more of it.
JRR: You changed the original name of Seirene to Seileen. Any particular reason?
SiSeN: Ahhhhhhhh- We changed it because the newer name sounds a little more catchy.
JRR: Ah, it is easier to say.
SiSeN: (in English) Yes.
JRR: What are your plans to release albums with Seileen?
SiSeN: We are working on one right now. (in English) Please wait.
JRR: I’m looking forward to it.
JRR: How is doing your DJ work solo different from working with another person ?
SiSeN: The difference is that when you’re DJing with others, there’s a rotation where you take your turn. But if you’re by yourself you have more control over what you’re playing and you can really play what you want to play and give off the kind of feeling that you want to give to the clubbers. And… this is the first time I’ll be DJing solo in America. So I’m really nervous. But I’m excited too.
JRR: In February you started working at the Takuya Angel shop in Harujuku. What do you like about working there?
SiSeN: It’s in Harujuku, first of all, which means a lot of people with very flashy and outgoing styles come to visit. And I hope to bring more people into the club scene so that I can REALLY show them what it’s like.
Translator: Yeah…he’s all about sharing.
SiSeN: (in English) Yes.
JRR: Speaking of Takuya Angel, you model for them quite a bit, what do you like about the modeling?
SiSeN: (in English) I’m shy…
SiSeN: So… I don’t really think of myself as a model, but before I worked for Takuya Angel, they very much had a more ‘Japanism’ feel, that is, it was more like kimono-influenced styles and very much the Japan-esque aesthetic. And now, since I’ve started working there and started modeling, a lot more of the clothing has become more club-esque.
JRR: So you’ve influenced him in that?
SiSeN: Yep! We are friends.
JRR: How would you describe your own fashion style?
SiSeN: The influence is from several different areas. …It started off with visual kei groups like Mana and Malice Mizer; I cosplayed as Mana for a while. Once I stopped doing that, I went on to become a drag queen and now it’s kind of more of a cyber industrial gothic thing. But I’ve taken all those influences into what you see here. And what you’ll see online too. It’s all influenced me. Yes.
JRR: You did used to dress more femininely and you don’t do that as much now. Is there any particular reason?
SiSeN: At first it started off a little feminine and inside I’ve always… I have parts of me that are feminine. (laugh) But it’s one of those things where now I have taken both, I mean, I am male, so I take both elements and combine them to create my own kind of image.
JRR: Do your outfits generally have a general idea or theme behind them? Do you decide, "Hey, I’m going to dress like a plant!" ?
SiSeN: There’s no specific idea like that, I just like the mysterious and the little strange details like the eyes on my gloves and everything. I try to put those ideas forth to Takuya Angel, and together we’ve created what you see here.
JRR: Is there any advice you can give to someone trying to discover their own fashion style?
SiSeN: It’s very important to have a good balance of color and to really express who you are 100%, It’s all about you so it can look a little confused sometimes but it’s about having an inner balance between you and what you’re wanting to express.
JRR: Finally, do you have a message for the fans at jrockrevolution.com?
SiSeN: First of all, I am very grateful to everybody for having an interest in Japan. Especially Jrock fans! I also used to be a very big fan of visual kei and Jrock groups, so I really appreciate people having an interest in that, but, I’d really like to be able to share the more underground, electronica, and industrial areas that I am in now. I’d like to share those with people and hopefully encourage them to check it out.
JRR: Thank you very much for your time.
SiSeN: (in English) Welcome! Thank you.
You can catch DJ SiSeN all throughout the upcoming BLOOD: La Fin de la Journee tour.
Interview by: Kara
Edited by: Kara
Special thanks to: Roger Shackleford, Tainted Reality, AUSA, and DJ SiSeN