Sakura Con was April 10-12 in Seattle, Washington. During the convention, JrockRevolution.com had the opportunity to sit down with the band and discuss the two years between the first Jrock Revolution festival and their performance at the convention.
JRR: What does it feel like to release music and perform overseas? Did you ever see yourself in this position when you first began playing music?
ShuU: When we started the band, we loved bands from abroad but we never imagined that we would be able to play abroad, so we’re really excited about that.
JRR: You played at the Jrock Revolution Festival in Los Angeles in 2007. Compared to that audience, how was the audience Friday night here?
Satoshi: The biggest difference was that the fans here, they knew the lyrics and they were able to sing the songs as they were watching. That was the big difference.
JRR: So how is it to know that your fans that were at the concert Friday are able to sing with the lyrics?
Satoshi: I realize that they had to have been really listening to the CD to memorize the lyrics and it really shows me that music breaks the language barrier.
JRR: Why did you pick the name girugamesh? Is it related to the Epic of Gilgamesh at all?
Яyo: Actually, it has nothing to do with that. I was playing a game and one of the enemies in the game came out—and that was Gilgamesh—and that’s how we decided that.
JRR: What did you want your fans to take in/feel when listening to your album, MUSIC?
ShuU: Our last album was much more about fighting and pain and attacking, but with our new album we’re more focused on showing appreciation to the fans and that’s our current feeling. It’s sort of a new rock feeling that we want to relay to the fans.
JRR: Do you feel that the fans are receiving that well and understanding that message?
Satoshi: In Japan, we get letters from the Japanese fans and they tell us that the lyrics have helped them in their life or saved them from something in their life so I do think that they understand the message of the music.
JRR: How do you feel when performing the songs off of the MUSIC album?
ShuU: There’s only… fun. We all feel the same about that. We all are having fun when we’re playing.
JRR: That’s important. What sets MUSIC apart from other releases that you’ve had?
Яyo: Even the older albums had digital elements in them but with MUSIC, we’ve enhanced the taste of the digital so there’s more digital strength in the new MUSIC album.
JRR: How long did the process of making MUSIC take?
Яyo: Recording took about a month but from start to finish, it’s about a six month process for that album.
JRR: Is that typical for how long it takes to make your albums?
Яyo: Normally, it probably doesn’t take that long but we were trying to go for a different sound so it took time deciding the direction that we wanted to take.
JRR: Why did you decide to release an album without releasing any singles before that?
ShuU: We had just released an album and were doing a tour for that album, and during the tour we really started to feel like we wanted to do different songs, newer songs. So more than a single, we felt that it would be better to just go with an album..
JRR: Which of your albums did you enjoy making the most?
Яyo: It’s fun to make any album, of course, but the schedule when we were making MUSIC was really hard. So maybe that was not as fun, it was kind of tight.
JRR: Which one was the most difficult to make?
Яyo: Yeah, it has to be MUSIC, because—"Which direction are we going to go with it?" and deciding which direction to go really was a long process for us.
JRR: Where do you get your inspiration for your music and the lyrics?
Satoshi: Яyo will write the music and he finishes it and sends it to me. He doesn’t give me any direction and I come up with the lyrics, whatever I feel fits the song. A lot of the lyrics come from, you know, we talk to fans and they tell us how much the lyrics have helped them. I think that I want to help the most people that I can with the lyrics, so when I write the lyrics that’s what’s in my mind. "How many people will this help?"
JRR: So it’s very important to you to help your fans and new people that are listening to your music?
Satoshi: Yeah, that’s really the biggest concept.
JRR: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as a band?
ShuU: Probably performing overseas.
JRR: Is there any other place that you would like to perform overseas?
Яyo: If we’re called there, anywhere.
Satoshi: The entire world!
JRR: What is your ideal vacation?
Яyo: If you have a vacation, you get lazy and to restart that engine is a lot of work. For me, it’s much better to have that schedule be real tight so that I don’t get lazy—but I do want a break! I don’t want it to be too tight!
JRR: What have been some of the most useful pointers—in music and in life—that you have received from your senpai at Maverick DC?
Яyo: For example, MUCC. The guitarist, Miya—when I complete something, I like to send it over to him to say, "what do you think about this?" And he gives me advice, "if it were me, I would do this…" And then from there, I might adjust.
ShuU: On our Crazy Tour, L’arc~en~ciel’s Ken said to me on our last day, "the most important thing is that you have fun and you have to laugh-hahahaha!" So I did that, on the way to the smoking area.
Satoshi: I was told by a member of the studs that you have to take the thing about you that is uncool or bad and sing about it. That’s rock ‘n’ roll.
Nii: Ken of L’arc~en~ciel told ShuU and me that during songs when there’s no sound happening, you should make noises with the effectors on your guitar randomly and that would make it a much better live.
ShuU: The booking manager at the first live house that we went to and performed at, he said to me: "If you die tomorrow, what are you going to do? That’s how you have to perform your live, this could be your last." That really helped us change a lot. It’s a sentence that really affected us.
JRR: Please give a forecast of your activities and plans for the rest of this year.
girugamesh: Recording… live… recording… We do the Europe tour, recording. We do a Japanese tour, we do recording, recording, recording… And then we want to come back to America!
JRR: No sleep!
JRR: Thank you!
girugamesh: Thank you!
Interview by: Kia
Edited by: Ali W.
Photos by: Derek G. Shaw & Sonia Rose Kim
Photos appear courtesy of: JapanFiles
Special Thanks to: girugamesh, JapanFiles and Sakura Con