JrockRevolution.com attended the press conference camino held at A-Kon. While a group interview, a good number of our questions were addressed, much to our delight. Read on and discover how the name ‘camino’ came about, how their sights are set not just in Japan, but the world as well as a fondness for Walmart. Enjoy!
Who are the members of camino?
Kiku (guitars), Hayato (vocals), Taka (bass), Rehit (drums), Ryosuke (keyboards).
What influenced your decision to get into music?
Taka: In junior high school I was really impressed by Ozzy Osbourne. He was cool. When Ozzy Osbourne bit the bats head off I thought that that was exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up.
Rehit: I was a big fan of the Japanese band X. They were a big influence.
Hayato: I loved singing ever since I was a little kid. It was rather natural for me to become a musician. I am extremely happy that I landed in a position where I had such good members, such good bandmates around me.
Ryosuke: I am a big fan of the B’z. I saw a live concert of the B’z and knew that I wanted to become a musician.
Kiku: Just to be blunt, I wanted to meet girls. I thought that being a musician is the best way. These days it isn’t working so well but in the past it was working okay. Not so much now.
What are the bands goals?
Kiku: We want to overtake Metallica. More realistically, we want to tour America as much as we possibly can. We want to make it into the Billboard Top 100 but first we want to try to be a big success in Japan.
Kiku, I’ve noticed you have 3 different models of guitars, do you have special names for them? Do any of the other members have names for your instruments?
Kiku: My guitars are named after the Evangelion Ava’s. "Model One, Model Two…."
Hayato: Our special van we use to carry around our instruments and tour is named "Yochang!"
How do you feel about anime in the rock community?
Kiku: Before they didn’t seem to be worlds that overlapped but now there is really a very strong connection.
Do you have a favorite anime?
Kiku: Dragonball Z
Ryosuke: Slam Dunk
Hayato: Ghost in the Shell
Rehit: Ultimate Muscle
Taka: Lupin the 3rd
camino performed at A-kon for the 3rd time. How do you feel about performing in the U.S.?
Kiku: The audience reaction is great. The Japanese audiences just don’t react like that. Not quite as loud and energetic. I felt like I was a star. The Japanese audiences are always very shy. In the Japanese audience if the other fans are cheering then the individual fan will cheer. They will go with the groups feeling, but they won’t cheer if the group doesn’t. The Japanese audience is always holding back waiting to see how the others are reacting. If the group gets excited then they will but no one wants to be the first to start. If no one ever starts things going they will just stand there. In America we love watching each individual audience members reaction here. They each have their own special energy. That’s why we love playing in front of an American audience. It’s so much fun.
Taka: It almost feels like home after three visits. The air is nice and clean. Playing live is happy and fun. The staff at A-kon was very helpful in bringing us over here. It’s been five years since we were last here in 2004 and it was good to come back. We are really glad that we’ve had a chance to come back again.
Hayato: American air is better. We should sell it in bottles back to Japan.
Rehit: Everytime we come it’s so fun. This convention has lived up to expectations.
What were some special memories from your performances here?
Kiku: When we came out and the audience cheered when each name was announced we really dug that feeling.
Would camino consider touring outside of anime conventions, such as conducting a world tour?
Kiku: Yes, we’d love to tour the United States like some of the other Japanese bands that have come over. [He begins to joke] We’d like to do warm-ups for Metallica.
Rehit: I want to play Rock am. Ring in Germany.
Hayato: We want to play Germany, United Kingdom. All of the European Union.
How did the name "camino" come about for the band? Does it have a specific or special meaning?
Kiku: I’m a big fan of "Star Wars." In "Star Wars" there is a planet of clones called "Camino." There were so many clones. I wanted to have as many fans as there were clones. So it came from the planet in "Star Wars."
camino’s full-length album "New Life" was released April 8th. What message do you expect your fans to get from this?
Hayato: The message is in the title. It means "New Life" or "New Creation." That’s the feeling that we want to convey. It is a beginning for us and we wanted our fans to feel that. It’s about expressing a new lifestyle and creating a new lifestyle. Really kind of expressing beginnings.
If you could perform anywhere in the U.S. where would it be? Where in the world?
Kiku: Los Angeles. It’s more important to us than New York. We’d like to play "Rock am Ring" in Germany and the "Monsters of Rock." We also really want to do "Oz Fest."
While you are in Dallas will you get to visit anything outside of the hotel?
Kiku: We went to an amusement park [Six Flags over Texas]. A shooting range. Walmart. We really like Walmart because there is nothing like it in Japan. We want to go back to Walmart. We also like going to get Texas barbeque at a place called Spring Creek.
Rehit: Hooters. It is kind of like a cosplay Cafe.
What is your favorite song to play live?
Kiku: Do you mean covers or our own songs? From our own songs "Story." It was our first single. In Japan we sometimes cover "Deep Purple." [He begins to hum the riff to "Smoke on the Water with a grin]
You’ve had songs used for television shows several times. As an example, your song "Nostalgia" was used as the intro theme for the anime Kotetsu Sangokushi, and most recently "Double Standard" was on the soundtrack album to TV Asahi’s "Kamen Rider 555." Are there any plans to do another?
Kiku: Currently there’s no plan. We don’t have any plans right now but we really want to do another and are looking into opportunities.
Do any of you have jobs outside of camino?
Kiku: We all work in the music industry on different projects. We have a tour of Japan coming in the fall and we’ll all be together working on that then.
Please give our readers and your fans a message.
Kiku: I really love America and if I have any chances whatsoever, I’d really love to come back. I definitely want to come again. I want to go to Walmart again. In our van car.
Ryosuke: There are so many things I’d like to say…. I have such big expectations of America and I would really love to come back and interact with American fans.
Hayato: I am just really happy that we are so well received in America. I want to make more and more songs and new songs to bring happiness, first on Myspace and Facebook.
Rehit: Coming to America we feel the power and energy of America. It really increases our motivation.
Taka: I don’t want to go home.
Press Conference Attendee: Haleigh Watson
Edited by: Ali W.
Special thanks to camino and Avex for the opportunity.
Photos by: Hans Watson
Photos appear courtesy of Avex Entertainment Inc.
Official Avex: www.camino-project.com/
camino MySpace Site: www.myspace.com/69camino
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