It was a surprise that many didn’t expect, as VAMPS had planned to prepare for their next concert following the Baltimore show. Originally, the band was scheduled to record an exclusive video for Otakon, answering a select few of fan questions submitted online. However, due to the overwhelming amount of questions submitted and the immense fan support, the band made time for a scheduled appearance.
The first US panel introducing the duo was scheduled to begin at 1:30 PM on Friday, July 17. The anticipation for the panel had crowded the entire southern corner of the fourth level of the convention center. Two lines were maintained: One for the convention goers and the other reserved for those who had attended the prior night’s concert.
Gradually, fans made their way into the large ballroom where they were greeted with a large screen showing video clips of past VAMPS performances. The very lively audience applauded after a song’s play and cheered when a new song began.
Ai Aota, the co-producer of JrockRevolution.com’s Bento Beatbox and promoter of the VAMPS USA tour, went onstage to ensure everything was in order before announcing, "Please give it up for VAMPS!" The audience screamed and applauded, focusing their attention to the door.
The door opened and out stepped Hyde and K.A.Z. Deafening screams were heard, as the audience stood and welcomed them as they made their way onto the panel. "Hello," Hyde spoke to even more screams. "We are VAMPS. Thanks for coming."
Ai started the panel, "All right! So, you guys already got the first album, VAMPS? [The] U.S. release was on June 10th." Some of the crowd reacted in agreement, as random shouts of admiration towards the duo could be heard through the room.
"Okay, I would like to start the questions that you guys submitted," Ai continued. "First question is from Corol." The audience looked amongst themselves before a young girl from New York stood up. "Thank you for submitting your question. I would like to ask your question to them. What’s one thing you always wanted to do, but never had the chance?"
The audience was giddy with anticipation. "You gave them a pretty difficult question," Ai noted.
Hyde then replied, "Make soba from scratch," making a victory gesture.
K.A.Z added, "I want to make a dish from scratch and I want to break it."
"This is from Ashley," Ai began, as a girl from Washington D.C. near the front row responded to her name. "Have you had the chance to eat any American food during the tour? If so, what has been your favorite dish?" Some of the room erupted with giggles.
"Ahh… Crabs." Hyde whispered into the microphone, which was followed by a roaring applause. "I eat crab." K.A.Z leaned forward to the microphone, "Me too."
Hyde continued. "So many many… Yummy yummy."
"Yummy," K.A.Z added.
"Kim… Is that you?" Ai asked, seeing another girl stand up. "VAMPS, what motivated you to choose the USA for this tour?"
"I want an American girlfriend," Hyde answered as girls screamed and pointed to themselves in response. K.A.Z replied, "I love to stay in the U.S.," which was met with the resounding sound of aww.
"Porshanna?" A girl stood up from Pennsylvania. "If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would you meet and why?" Both thought considerably for this answer, as Hyde replied, "Jesus Christ." K.A.Z still needed some time to think about his answer before replying, "It’s a hard question."
"Elizabeth? This is a really good question. Part of the fun of watching anime is seeing a character’s with super human or super natural powers. If you could have any special power, what would it be?" Hyde took his time before he replied, "Flying in the sky. It’s not like I want to fly really high up [in the] sky. But closer to the roof."
" I want to be invisible. To go into girl’s bathroom," K.A.Z answered, to the amusement of many.
"We got so many questions… Thank you all for submitting them!" Ai said, as she called a few names not in attendance. Hyde repeated them into the microphone.
"Devon? From West Virginia: What are your favorite animes?" With much passion, Hyde replied "Evangelion. I love Evangelion the best, even including all the movies. Did you guys watch the second movie?" The audience disappointingly informed him that it’s not playing out in America. Hyde was stunned. "It’s really fucking great! I recommend you to pay airfare and then go see it in Japan. It’s that good!" K.A.Z answered, "Death Note. I did the theme song for Detroit Metal City. "
Music from a neighboring panel could be heard, as Hyde and K.A.Z looked around the room in curiosity. "Sabrina? From Virginia. Your question is: What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you at a concert or tour?" K.A.Z recalled, "I jumped from high upstage. It was really high up there. I jumped toward and landed and broke my leg." Some fans were stunned; others remembered hearing about this incident when OBLIVION DUST performed at the hide Summit last year. "That’s danger!" Hyde commented, "Every day is crazy."
"I would like to get questions from you guys," Ai announced. This was met with a mass of hands thrown up in the air.
"While in America, have you had any big inspirations?" a girl in a red and black wig asked.
"Because Americans are very opened and express emotions, the dynamic. That makes me feel more opened. Japan is culturally reserved and we act that way. In the US makes us more open and free to express," Hyde responded. K.A.Z answered, "Everybody’s very kind to us. I feel more friendlier here than in Toyko."
"You with the crazy mask." Ai pointed to an individual in a walrus mask, who asked, "Who is your favorite singer other than yourself?" The two took some time to reflect on their response. "Jim Morrison," Hyde finally decided, as he brushed back his hair, gesturing how it may have resembled Morrison’s style. K.A.Z had put his head down to think and replied with, "Sting."
"Next question is the last question!" Ai announced as several individuals in the audience did their best to gain her attention. "My name is Shina. My question is, if you would ever tour with any other artist, like for example Gackt," the suggestion was met with approval by some "who would it be?" The two took a considerable amount of time to consult with each other before Hyde responded, "Sting, in The Police."
Ai decided on one last question, choosing a girl in a VAMPS t-shirt named Colleen. "I’m from Chicago. I was wondering if you guys have ever been there or would like to tour there ever?" Hyde quickly responded by shaking his head and answering ‘no’, in which some of the audience made their disapproval heard. Ai clarified, "I asked him if he’s ever been to Chicago." Some fans apologized as others laughed over the situation. Hyde continued, "I would like to go to Chicago."
"Lastly, I am asking them to give you guys a message," Ai presented.
"Thank you so much for coming to the panel. There are so many people here. Thank you. You guys are so nice to us. I don’t want to go. I had such a fun time! We’ll come back, so please see us again," Hyde announced.
In English K.A.Z replied, "I love to see you guys." Random shouts of admiration were once again heard from the crowd. "Thank you so much for coming to the panel. Thank you! We would love to come back and see you guys again," he continued.
A piece of cake mysteriously made it way on stage, and Hyde began to eat it. "I wonder if Hyde’s cake is good?" K.A.Z questioned, as Hyde displayed his plate to the audience.
"Please give it up for VAMPS!" Ai ended. With that, Hyde and K.A.Z exited the room while the entire room stood to applaud and cheer.
Report by: Monika
Edited by: Ali W.