Anticipation is high for BLOOD‘s imminent return to the U.S. for yet another tour. They have now evolved into a more gothic style and are ready to cross some more borders as they plan to hit Australia with label mate GPKISM, band leader Kiwamu‘s new unit with Australian gothic techno vocalist and composer GPK. JRR got to ask the band some questions before the 2007 Jrock Choice Awards and gave us an inside look at BLOOD‘s current events and concepts and their thoughts for the U.S. tour Darkest Labyrinth vol. 7 in U.S.A. featuring DJ SiSeN.
Check out the Upcoming Tours page for details about the tour and read on for the interview!
-Before we begin, could you please introduce yourselves?
fu-ki: Hi. My name is Fu-ki, a singer of BLOOD.
Kiwamu: My name is Kiwamu, guitarist. And I am working for songwriting, design, label work etc.
-I’d like to start by discussing your upcoming performance at the 2007 JRock Choice Awards. How did you get involved with that?
Kiwamu: Our U.S. agent Roger told me about the Awards. First, I didn’t understand his meaning, so he explained that very much and I decided to join in that.
-Will this be the first time you’ve done a live performance on radio? If so, how do you feel about that?
Kiwamu: I didn’t have that kind idea before Jrock Choice Awards. But it is a good opportunity for us to promote our U.S. tour. So I am happy we can join.
fu-ki: I hope the people who can’t come to our live show to know how it is.
-Would you mind revealing what song you will be playing, or would you rather it be a surprise?
Kiwamu: We will play the song I love most. When I wrote that song last year, I felt "it is the best song I wrote in 2007!" Please enjoy that!
fu-ki: I don’t mind about it. But we will play many new songs.
-What do you want listeners to get from your performance?
fu-ki: Dark but pleasurable feeling.
Kiwamu: On another j-rock bands’ songs, they can’t dance. So BLOOD‘s music will be very interesting for you.
-Moving on to your upcoming US tour with DJ SiSeN. How did you become aware of DJ SiSeN?
Kiwamu: He sometimes came to my events in Tokyo with DJ chihiro. I talked with him sometimes. So I have interest in him very much. And in Japan, the club event scene is very small. So we met at other events in Tokyo too.
-What was it that made you say, "I want to tour with him"?
Kiwamu: He already went to Europe for dj-ing. So he has much experience about the tour in another countries. So for me, it is a normal choice. And he has much more impact than a small strange band.
-What are your expectations for this tour?
Kiwamu: U.S. fans are special for BLOOD. When we had the chance to go to other countries, it was U.S.A.. So we will do our best for the live shows. Oh, I forgot to tell you. On this U.S. tour, BLOOD will have their 6th anniversary. It is already 6 years!
fu-ki: I hope we get more fans that are not only Jrock fans but also gothic fans.
-What do you want your audiences to walk away with after the concerts end?
Kiwamu: I hope they will feel "I spent all money for BLOOD cds, so there is no money to get the train home". If they feel that, it is a good concert.
fu-ki: Satisfaction and our CDs with my signature.
Kiwamu: We will give our autographs to all people who buy our cds. So I hope many fans will buy them. And if they buy 2cds, they will get the free poster too. Is it good, right?
-You have changed concepts since your last visit to the US. What is the story behind the current Symphony of Chaos concept?
fu-ki: In the dark labyrinth,you can see nothing and only hear the sounds of chaos. Then they are harmonizing…
-How have both newer and older fans responded to your change from visual kei to Goth/industrial?
fu-ki: Older fans seems to be confused, but I think we get new fans.
Kiwamu: We just make the music we want. And I just write songs I can write. My melody style has not changed. So if the backtrack is changed, BLOOD‘s taste will not be changed.
-What was the driving force behind the change in your sound?
fu-ki: We are on the way to make our new style. So it’s a little early.
-Where does your influence for your new sound come from?
Kiwamu: Recently I worked with many foreign artists. On the concerts, for the cd distribution etc. I think they gave much influence for my songwriting. And we noticed "BLOOD members have not listened to visual kei music for 5 years…." So it is not visual kei music. Industrial, gothic and newwave, they gave much inspiration to me.
-Would you like to do a full U.S. tour under the current concept?
Kiwamu: I want to do a full U.S. tour. But… there is a problem of scheduling. So I and Roger chose 4 cities. Please come to these cities from other cities.
-There has been some question about the differences in audiences in other countries. Is the U.S. audience any different from those in Mexico and Japan (where you have been on this current tour)?
fu-ki: Mexican fans are very good.They can sing our songs, of course in Japanese. They are great.
Kiwamu: I think U.S. fans are kindhearted. When we had the troubles in NYC, they helped us very much. I appreciate this very much.
-What do you like best about performing in the U.S.?
fu-ki: In U.S. there are many bands, but our fans choose us. I’m very happy about it.
Kiwamu: On this tour, some good local bands and local djs will help us. The tour will be very cool.
-Kiwamu, I’d like to talk about your label, Cure. What do you hope to achieve with Cure? What is its mission statement?
Kiwamu: It was my band’s release label from 2000. BLOOD started to go to other countries from 2003. So I got much experiences to talk with many artists in each country. So I thought "I want to introduce good gothic artists to Japanese visual kei scene." So I started to work this label as gothic bands distribution. There are 2 types of working ways. One is distribution in Japan. I distribute foreign artists in Japan. I don’t make the cds in Japan on this case. I already got 170 titles from the foreign industrial scene. Another is the licensed deal with artist. Anyway, I work for industrial, gothic and newwave bands. Not for the visual kei bands. Oh, I changed the label name from CURE to Darkest Labyrinth.
-What artists are already signed? From what countries?
Kiwamu: There are 3 artists without BLOOD. Virgins O.R Pigeons from Greece. GPKISM from Australia. Spectrum-X from Italy. And I produced the compilation cd "Darkest Labyrinth". I got 10 dark artists from the Japanese scene and 2 artists from other countries. It was good success.
-What do you look for in artists before you sign them?
Kiwamu: When I find a "good image, good sound and no deal" band. I contact them as artists for my label. But I don’t deal with any visual kei influence bands from other countries.
-Are you planning on signing new artists anytime soon?
Kiwamu: Now, I always look for good artists. Recently I noticed the thinking way of foreign artists. Many artists misunderstand the Japanese scene very much. They are thinking "Japan is a very easy country. Every artist can become big soon. So we can get much money" I dont know why. But they misunderstand the Japanese scene. So I am not working for money. I just want to help the good artist. So if there are good artists, I will deal with them.
-What are some other plans for the future for Cure?
Kiwamu: I am working for this label for 8 years already. But recently I started to use this to other artists. So I want to help indies bands in other countries.
-Do you have any plans for a new album?
Kiwamu: There are many plans I want to do in the next album. It will be a double album. One is our full album and another is a remix album from foreign artists. This is rare in the Japanese scene.
fu-ki: Recently we found a support synth player. We are almost finished working but now we re-make them. They will become more industrial sound.
-What will it include?
fu-ki: New version of the songs we already released.
Kiwamu: Rerecorded songs became better.
-When can fans expect it to be out?
fu-ki: In May or June.
Kiwamu: I found a new partner in Japan. But they are a little lazy. So I am waiting for the answer.
-Will you release another DVD anytime soon to appease your overseas fans that are not able to attend your concerts?
fu-ki: Now we are not ready.
Kiwamu: If Roger wants to make that, he will record the live show by his camera. I need to talk with him about his opinion.
-Where can fans purchase your new album along with your other merchandise?
Kiwamu: In U.S.A., everyone can buy our cds at CD baby and iTunes. Owing to many U.S. fans, they are selling well.
-Could you give a message for your fans in the US anticipating your tour?
fu-ki: See you in our live show!!
Interview by Nitashka
BLOOD appears courtesy of Tainted Reality