Following Akon, JrockRevolution.com had the opportunity to interview special musical guests ALSDEAD. Please enjoy the interview and look for them at Anime Vegas, September 5-7, 2009.
For a fairly new band, has the prospect of playing overseas so soon been exciting? Were there any worries for performing overseas in general?
Because it’s been only 6 month since ALSDEAD formed, we didn’t even think about to play overseas so soon. Of course, we were able to make it due to a support from staff and fans. It was the first appearance at U.S therefore we were slightly anxious for the trip. However once we stood on the stage, fear, worry, and any other negative mood that we had went away. We were confident.
One thing that we worried was that Maki had a trouble at the SFO. He took hours to get through immigration and we didn’t make a flight that we supposed to take. We had to arrange schedule because of him…
What is the history behind the name "ALSDEAD"?
ALSDEAD is an abbreviation of ‘ALL IS DEAD’. Nobody can escape from death. Once you were given birth in this world, you start to walk the way to the death. But it would be also true that even though everyone will pass away sooner or later, someone will deliver new life, and that new life will begin its life. We were impressed by the huge energy that comes from death. The concept of death could be understood with the same concept of starting new life.
Your MySpace reads that ALSDEAD’s music aim is to "assume mental disorders are basis," can you elaborate more on that?
A mind is a fragile and weak. It could be influenced by various things; bad relations with others, or drugs, etc. We are trying to express those negative sides in your mind, but we aren’t talking about only despair, but also trying to find a new way to escape from the situation.
Since December, two singles have been released, Kizu and SagA. Can fans anticipate an upcoming album release this year?
3rd single “PARADOX” will be released on Oct 7. We are planning to sell out side of Japan though we are not sure yet. PARADOX consists of 3 songs and we are very confident with those songs. We didn’t include a ballad song this time since we wanted make the single more aggressive and heavy. You can preview our new songs at myspace.com/alsdead666!
Maki, as the music composer for all the songs, how long does it take for you to compose music? Do you write the lyrics by yourself as well? Can you share some inspirations you use in the creation process?
(Maki) I am working on composing with Shin. We make the base of a song, arrange the base, adding melody, and arrange again….. It is like we are playing catch between Shin and I. We are inspired from lots of stuff in our daily lives, but stuff that’s nothing special. Because we are so into music, we are in another world during the time we are working on new songs.
Do you think an international audience will understand the concept of Visual Kei? Do you think your international fans will understand ALSDEAD’s purpose as much as your Japanese fans?
Visual Kei is now becoming a big part of Japanese culture, however back in the day there were only a few bands that both visually and musically stood out. Now Visual Kei has grown and some bands have been changing to be a band that both look good and good sound. Therefore, as long as bands try to keep a high quality look and high focus on music, international audience would understand and like us, even though Visual Kei isn’t familiar with them.
We think international fans will understand ALSDEAD’s purpose well enough, though it is depending how we act out side of Japan.
Were you surprised you would have such attention from an international audience? Has that influenced or changed how you approach the music?
We are very surprised about such attention since we hadn’t expected it at all. We are glad that more people like “Eternal Insanity” from D&J than we thought. We were influenced by the event and that experience will definitely make us change in some way.
Was your performance at A-Kon any different than how you would typically perform in Japan?
Not really, we just added few songs from the D&J album. Sound equipments that they provided were different with what we are using in Japan, so in sound wise, we tried adjust to the equipment provided.
Is it possible you might play more overseas shows? If so, what are a couple of places you’d like to visit?
Absolutely! We want to attend overseas’ show more. We want to come back to U.S for sure, but Europe is pretty interested too. Last time, we had no time to go sightseeing, so it will be great if we can have more free time next time. (NO WAY. Comment by AKIE)
What was each of your favorite things about performing for an international audience?
(Maki) The audience was so energetic! They made me think of coming back to the U.S again. (Shin) Even though nobody did know us before A-Kon, they enjoyed our live from the bottom of their heart. I was very impressed. (Reito) As Maki said, the crowd was really cool. Besides, I enjoyed their cosplay too. (Setsua) Compared with Japan, people are more ROCK’n. Japanese should be more ROCK’n too. Were you able to check out local sights before or after your performance? Any particularly interesting memories?
We had a little time for sightseeing, so we hung out (drank a LOT) with staff outside, and at the hotel room. Taking a limousine was quite memorable. Also, we had never seen that much cosplay before, so that was a good memory too.
Can you describe each other’s personalities for us?
(Maki) Hard worker and idea man.
(Shin) Perfectionist. Non-stop talking when drunk.
(Reito) Like a woman.
(Setsua) Total ROCK n’ ROLLER
Do you have a favorite fashion designer?
Where do you see ALSDEAD in five years? In ten?
We don’t exactly know our future yet, but certainly we would still quest for music. Make up could be sober by then.
Please give a message to our readers and your fans.
Through A-Kon, we got lots of precious experiences and memories. Thank you so much! Next time, we’ll do our best to insure that our fans have even a better time than last. Please listen to our new single. We look forward to seeing you guys again! See you at the next live!
Special thanks to ALSDEAD, CURE, and CURE Media USA for the opportunity.
Photos by: Hans W.
Photos appear courtesy of CURE