alice nine. interview

A fun-loving, close-knit, energetic group of five, Alice Nine. bravely performed as the last band the Friday of the first Jrock Revolution in late May. Like Miyavi, they are also part of the PS Company.

JRR: How were you approached about being a part of J-rock Revolution?

alice nine.:
Our manager told us about it. We heard that other bands from the same management were going too. “Visual Kei” is a pretty specific genre, and we thought this would be a great opportunity for us to introduce what a Visual Kei performance is like. Also, this would be a great chance for us to perform our music overseas.

JRR: It seems like the members of Alice Nine are very close.

alice nine.:
Yeah, lately we spend more time together with the band compared to time spent with family and siblings. We have some new adventures such as going overseas which make us a bit nervous… but we can go forward and try our best because we have each other. We also continue to inspire each other. I think that’s a good thing for us that we are this close.

Saga told me that he was hungry during our plane ride here, so I gave him half of my flight meal. We are that close!

JRR: Do you think J-Rock Revolution will differ from or be similar to your past musical experiences?

alice nine.:
We will try to perform our typical show to the US audience, similar to what we would do in Japan. We won’t change our style just because we are in the US. We will do something that we like and do in Japan. I hope the US audience will enjoy it.

JRR: What do you expect from the festival as performers?

alice nine.:
People, who live far away from where we perform, have a music festival specifically for and enjoy our type of music. That alone made us extremely thrilled. We are ready to be part of it and want to share the same moment with everybody.

JRR: Are you looking forward to seeing any of the other artists perform?

alice nine.:
Yes – Miyavi-san and Kagrra-san. And if we could, we would like to see the whole event. We want to get inspired by other artists.

JRR: What kind of impact do you want your performance to have?

alice nine.:
We want to experience the moment and music with the audience. We hope that they will be entertained by our performance.

JRR: Have you done anything else while you are in the US?

We went to Guitar Center and visited Melrose to see the clothing stores there. We saw some strange stores that we wouldn’t normally see in Japan. I liked the atmosphere and view here.

JRR: What message would you like to convey to the American public?

alice nine.: Visual kei is not just listening to the CD and enjoying the music. It conveys our culture, and we hope that people would enjoy that.

JRR: How did you become part of the PS Company?

alice nine.: These are specific questions!? We approached the company on our own and then we had an opportunity to be in a PS Company event. We had heard a rumor from somewhere saying that “PS Company will sign Alice Nine” …but we didn’t know if it was true. So we took our information to PS Company, who decided to sign us up. We were lucky.

JRR: Do you perform any special ritual or routine before the show?

alice nine.:
We make a circle and “raise voice”.

I always wonder why… but Tora and Hiroto punch each other before the show.

JRR: Why is this?

Hiroto and Tora:
We are both guitarists, and so we punch each other in the arms. It relaxes our arms before the performance.

Sometimes it makes me worry because it they get too excited by punching each other, they might somehow end up punching me…

Nao, Tora, and Saga get on the stage first, and Shou-kun and I are last to enter. Before we go on stage, we sometimes say, “Let’s have a good live and go get some good ramen afterwards!”

I like Ramen.

JRR: What are your dreams or goals? In 5 years?

I would like to continue to be in this band for a long time. I want to be the best in Japan after 5 years.

When I was growing up, I got inspiration and support from different kinds of music and bands. So I hope to someday become a great artist who could give the same inspiration and support to someone else…. When the 5 of us got together for the first time, I had never felt so excited… and that keeps me going. I am looking forward to feeling more of that in the next 5 or 10 years.

Even though there are many ways to be an “artist” these days, I want to be an artist who makes people feel that I am a great musician, or if I could, I would want to make them think that being in a band is great. I would be happy if I could keep the same passion 5 years later.

Saga: At first, I wanted to convey our music to many people and I would think that would be enough. But now, I hope that I can make people to understand how great a band and actually being in a band is. I hope none of us will have any injuries or be hungry.

Nao: I hope I can continue to do this for a long time. I would be so happy! We will be a bit more grown up in 5 years, but I hope we stay the same as we are now.

JRR: Message to the American fans:

alice nine.:
We were so excited to hear that people in such a far place were waiting for us to come! We are thrilled and want to show our excitement to you. We hope that you will enjoy our sound as well as visuals.