The ROCKSTAR Taste of Chaos tour has brought Jrock across America, and Jrock Revolution has been checking in with the bands along the way. Starting from the early end of the tour, after two weeks of the band rocking out and making tons of new fans, we snuck onto D’espairsRay’s tour bus in Chicago to ask KARYU and ZERO how they’re feeling about the tour.
JRR: You’ve been in the U.S. for about two weeks. Are you used to it yet?
KARYU: Yeah. The food’s great this time. Also, the bus and everything else are much better than last time, so it’s nice. It’s no problem being here.
ZERO: And the driver’s better than last time. (Laughs.)
JRR: Why did you decide to join this tour?
KARYU: Well, we were invited and we knew it would be rough, but we wanted to try it.
JRR: You guys are playing shows pretty much every day, right?
KARYU: Well, America’s big. If we don’t do a tour like this, we’d never be able to tour the whole country.
JRR: Before you came over, when you were thinking about the set list and such, what kind of image were you aiming for?
KARYU: The same as always.
JRR: But you only have about 30 minutes to play, right?
KARYU: Well, choosing the songs was difficult, but we had requests from fans, and we also talked about what kind of D’espairsRay we could show in a 30 minute set. It’s hard to have so little time.
JRR: It seems like you’re mostly playing heavy songs. Was that a conscious decision?
ZERO: Well, we thought about what would be easiest for the crowd to understand in a 30 minute set, and that seemed to be the heavy stuff.
JRR: So how has the response been?
KARYU: It’s different in every place. There have been places where they’ve embraced us and places where they don’t respond at all, like the Detroit show. We were the first band on the main stage; not everyone had gotten into the venue, so not too many people saw us.
JRR: It seems like a crowd gets a lot more into the set as it goes along.
KARYU: It depends on the place—there are times when they get into it and times when they don’t.
JRR: Where have you gotten the best response so far?
KARYU: I guess it was today.
ZERO: Yeah. It was today.
JRR: That’s great! I was a little surprised that you didn’t play "Hollow" today.
KARYU: Well we’ve been playing it, but…
ZERO: We took it out today, didn’t we?
JRR: So having played these two weeks, is there anything you’re planning to change in your set list or in your performance from here on out?
ZERO: Well, we’re changing the set list a bit at each show, like maybe a song or two. I mean, if we play the same songs every time, it’s not that fun for us—we do that to keep from getting bored. I can’t say anything about the MCs, but we do change it up.
JRR: Are there any songs that get a particularly good response?
KARYU: There are a number, but for the most part, people get more into it in the end. There’s not really a particular song that’s gotten a good response.
JRR: So when you guys have free time, what are you doing?
KARYU: If there’s a shopping mall, we usually go there. We haven’t gone with the Underneath, but we go out with MUCC almost every day.
JRR: How about the other bands?
KARYU: We haven’t gotten to know them yet, but we plan to go around and hand out our CD and introduce ourselves soon. We just haven’t had a chance yet.
JRR: So is there anything that you want to do while you’re in America?
ZERO: I want to go to the first Starbucks in Seattle. I’m looking forward to that.
JRR: (Laughs.) What are you going to order?
ZERO: Café Latte.
JRR: How about you, KARYU?
KARYU: I want to go Manhattan and to the Japanese street in New York.
ZERO: There’s this street there with a lot of Japanese restaurants and shops.
[Ed. Note: ZERO is probably referring to St. Mark’s Place in lower Manhattan.]
KARYU: I got this tattoo there. (Shows a tattoo on his finger.)
ZERO: I don’t think we’ll have time, though.
JRR: Do you go out and eat famous foods at the various places?
KARYU: In Japan we do, but in America we don’t know what’s famous.
ZERO: It seems like it’s hamburgers everywhere.
JRR: Changing the topic, you guys are releasing your album MIRROR in the States. Can you tell me a bit about the album?
KARYU: Well, the album’s concept was about facing yourself and finding out what kind of person you are. So I wrote the music after looking at myself.
JRR: After playing those songs for about a year, what do you think of them now?
KARYU: I think that we created an album with a lot of meaning, and I listen to it now and think that it’s really cool.
JRR: How about you, ZERO?
ZERO: Well, when we made it, I thought that it was a great album—that each song was good. Having played the songs a lot, I still think that we made a cool album. As I play the songs, that’s what I think.
JRR: So have you been watching the other bands’ shows? Are there any bands that have left a strong impression?
KARYU: We watch the shows and they’re all pretty impressive.
JRR: What’s impressive about them?
KARYU: They’re just cool. Well… I guess that their shows are really powerful. The songs themselves aren’t really my thing, but they can draw in so many people and I think that’s incredible.
And hopefully by the end of the tour, D’espairsRay will be drawing in a ton of new fans, too!