The wait is over! Here’s part two of our in-depth and extensive interview with GIRUGAMESH. Part one was posted over here, if you want to refresh your memory because the beginning of this interview answers the last question from the first interview. Please enjoy this unique view into our Festival One bands!
Satoshi: I think I was able to expose myself in this new album because I was able to destroy parts of me that I don’t like.
JRR: If you weren’t in a band, what do you think you’d be doing now?
ShuU: Prime Minister or working for a clothing store.
JRR: … Those are completely different.
ShuU: I was just kidding with the first answer.
JRR: Do you like designing clothes?
ShuU: I like to design and I also like to do fashion coordination, and to look at fashion trends.
Nii: I think I’d probably have became a salary man. I’d work ordinarily, live ordinarily…
ALL: Die ordinarily. (Laughter)
Nii: I think that’s how it would have gone, if I didn’t start playing music.
Satoshi: I’d probably work for Naritake. (laughs)
JRR: As the restaurant manager?
Яyo: That’s possible.
Satoshi: I think I’d be making ramen there. Or something food-related.
Яyo: I’d probably be a bousouzoku (loud bike riders, usually roaming the streets in large groups and try to be as noisy as they can, sometimes destroying things in the way), be in a gang, or something of the sort. Or a yakuza. Or a hacker.
JRR: … Those are all bad!
Яyo: That’s true… it’d give me a bad image. Oh well.
JRR: What were your dreams when you were little?
Яyo: Ultraman. I wanted to become one. Something like that.
Satoshi: Me too. (laughs)
NII: I can vaguely recall that, I wanted to be a ninja.
Nii: I don’t know! I just vaguely recall thinking about it when I was little, that I wanted to become a ninja when I grew up.
Satoshi: Go ahead and be one.
Nii: Ok I will! (laughs)
ShuU: I wanted to be a baseball player.
JRR: You’re the most normal out of the four.
ShuU: I think it’s just the age we were referring to; they all talked about what they wanted to be when they were still little and didn’t understand what was going on. As you get older you know what’s possible and what’s not, right? So eventually you find out, Gee I can’t be Ultraman! There’s a person in there! Otherwise I’d wanted to become an airplane; I wanted to be able to fly in the sky.
JRR: You could have become a pilot.
ShuU: When I was that young I didn’t understand the concept of a pilot. I thought there’s a job called the airplane. (Laughs) So I wanted to be an airplane, then a baseball player, then a musician.
JRR: Not the baseball bat?
ShuU: No I’d rather be the ball (laughs). I want to be stricken.
JRR: Really? Are you M?
ShuU: Umm… ermm… it depends on the girl; I can go both ways (laughs).
JRR: How old are you all?
ShuU: Яyo is 21, and the rest of us are 23.
JRR: Do you get along well with the older bands in your company?
JRR: Do they ever bully you?
ShuU: This guy (pointing to Satoshi) gets bullied sometimes, but that’s just their way of showing that they care about him.
Satoshi: The band we get along with the best is MUCC.
Яyo: TATSUROU messes with him a lot.
JRR: TATSUROU is a bully character, isn’t he?
ShuU: He’s extremely S.
Nii: Extremely S.
JRR: Extremely S.
Do you ever do any activities with the other bands?
ShuU: MIYA of MUCC is the sound producer for our new album. Also Nii and Яyo are doing a jam session with MUCC at the JACK IN THE BOX live.
JRR: GIRUGAMESH generally gives a cool, quiet image, but sometimes you show your interesting selves in videos. What are the members of GIRUGAMESH really like?
Satoshi: (Suppressed laughter)
ShuU: I think we are just your typical 22~23 year olds with an abundance of energy, but we become serious when we do lives, since we can’t just be like whatever on stage. So we have fun when we’re playing around, and become cool and serious when we’re performing; we distinguish the two.
JRR: Will you continue with the same image?
ShuU: In a way, yes, but since we started with nothing, when we were all young, a band is like a child, a person that grows and changes as time passes. We might become wilder, or go in a different direction, we don’t know for sure either. But in regards to music, we would like to keep the same passion.
JRR: Please tell us about something that happened to you recently that was embarrassing.
Яyo: I have something but it’s really embarrassing.
About a week ago, I was really sick and was puking and had constant diarrhea, so I accidentally shit my pants.
Satoshi: Is that ok to say?!?
JRR: …Where did this take place?
Яyo: At home. I was puking into the toilet bowl, was concentrating on puking and then lost control of my bottom.
ShuU: Then it just came out and said “Good morning!”
Satoshi: You needed two toilet bowls.
Яyo: Yeah… it’s been a long time since the last time I shit my pants; I’m 21 now so it’s been… 15 years.
Яyo: This is rock, man.
Satoshi: Last year I was questioned by the cops twice, because the underage are not supposed to be roaming on the streets after the curfew time. I am 23 now so I was 22 at the time, but I guess the cops thought I looked like underage so they questioned me and tried to give me a lesson. It was embarrassing.
JRR: So you had to show your ID to prove that you are not underage?
JRR: When you went to America you also had to show your ID for alcohol right?
Nii: Yeah. When we went to Germany, I wanted to buy a coke at the airport and the guy at the counter wanted to see my ID! For buying coke!
Яyo: Yeah we were going to pay for it then the guy at the counter asked for our ID or something, we couldn’t make out what else he was saying, but after he saw our IDs he was like ok, and let us buy the drinks.
JRR: Maybe it wasn’t really coke…
Nii: Maybe it had alcohol in it.
JRR: It was a coke flavored beer.
Nii: I haven’t had anything embarrassing lately. I can’t think of any.
ShuU: Yeah… I haven’t heard anything recently. He’s a good kid.
JRR: So you tell each other everything?
ShuU: Pretty much. We’re all open with each other; there’s nothing to hide. (To Satoshi) The only thing that gets hidden is your thing. (Laughter)
JRR: What do you mean?
ShuU: He hides his thing from us. We’d go to public bath together sometimes, that’s how close we are. Everyone is “open,” (spreads his legs) but Satoshi hides his private parts (puts his legs together and turns slightly away). He has a “secret zone.” So we tell him that he’s not open with us.
JRR: So that’s why Satoshi gets bullied.
ShuU: That’s true, he does have things that we can pick on him for. When he goes to rinse himself…
Satoshi: Let’s not talk about that anymore! (Laughs)
ShuU: Right, back to the question… Recently, I got so drunk that I fell asleep at a station. I slept for about three hours, felt cold and woke up, and it took me about two to three hours to walk home.
JRR: The last train had already left?
ShuU: Yeah, I was desperate.
JRR: How was that embarrassing?
ShuU: When I woke up, there was nobody around. It was really quiet.
JRR: The station workers didn’t see you?
ShuU: No, I found a place beneath the crossing bridge, under the stairway, somewhere warm to sleep.
Nii: You were like a homeless guy.
JRR: What were you like as students?
ShuU: I was an average student through elementary school and junior high. When I got into high school, a lot of people around me started to play music so I started too. I gave up studying right about high school. I studied through junior high, but near the end I felt that it wasn’t going to work out; so when I got into high school I just turned away from studying.
Nii: I was average, similar to ShuU.
Satoshi: He was an honor student who was dumb.
Nii: Oh yeah.
I was never late for school, I wasn’t too bright and my grades were mediocre.
Satoshi: Like a good but dumb student.
Nii: I also played video games with friends. As far as studying go, I only did that through junior high.
JRR: Are there any subjects that you were good at?
Nii: Physical education. I like to move around. I wasn’t into music yet at that time.
ShuU: You were playing games a lot.
JRR: So you got to exercise your thumbs.
Nii: (Laughs) Yeah.
Satoshi: I was a worthless student. I didn’t study well, and I skipped school a lot.
ShuU: (Laughs) And quite dumb.
Satoshi: I was like that through junior high, and then I woke up to music during the cultural festival that took place in high school. I was saved by music. (Giggles)
ShuU: You should thank the God of Music.
Satoshi: Oh, (looks up) thank you!
Яyo: I started playing in a band since junior high, and I was quite the yankee (delinquent).
JRR: You rode the bike?
Яyo: Yeah, roaming around illegally.
JRR: Is that ok to say?
Яyo: Yeah, it’s good material.
Яyo: I did a lot of bad things.
JRR: Do you still ride the bike?
Яyo: No, it’s too cold now, I don’t really feel like it. I don’t have time to either.
JRR: How do you get around?
Яyo: We move by car, we get driven together [by management staff].
JRR: Can you drive?
Яyo: Yeah we all can, except Satoshi. He doesn’t have a driver’s license.
JRR: Do you not plan on getting one?
Satoshi: I have one for riding bikes.
Nii: Powered scooters, basically.
ShuU: 50cc max.
Nii: And the bike he rides is actually mine! I lent it to him and he rides it like it’s his own.
Satoshi: Oh come on… let’s move on to something else.
JRR: You were the youngest band to perform at JRR Festival 1, but you gave a great performance that was as brilliant as the older bands. What do you have to say to bands that are younger than you?
ShuU: It’d be great if you guys listen to our CD and play our songs, record them and send them to us. Just like we’d cover songs from the bands we like, we’d also like people to do that with us. Also, no matter how dumb you are, as long as you like music and try hard at it, you can be like us and play in the world arena.
JRR: (To Satoshi) Up till recently you were really big on eating pineapple and pineapple-related foods; is there any food you are big on right now?
Satoshi: Hmm… cheese okaki (rice cracker). And also hotaruika okizuke (soy sauce-pickled squid). It’s similar to ika shiokara (salt-pickled squid).
ShuU: It’s a fisherman’s food.
Satoshi: The fisherman would pickle the squid tentacles.
JRR: Yeah I’ve tried that before.
Satoshi: Yeah, it goes well with alcohol. I like the foods that go well with drinking, even though I don’t drink.
JRR: You don’t drink or you can’t drink?
Satoshi: I can’t drink.
JRR: Why is that?
ShuU: He’s still a kid.
Satoshi: I don’t like the flavor, and I get drunk really easily, so I don’t drink.
JRR: You don’t smoke either, right?
Satoshi: Yeah, I can’t stand the smell.
Яyo: It’s a fragrant smell.
ShuU: For him, out of “sex, drugs, rock’n’roll,” he can’t do any of those.
Nii: Oh that’s so true!!
ShuU: If we consider tobacco as a drug, that is.
Satoshi: Cigarettes, alcohol, women, none of those… wait I don’t know about women.
Well no comment on that for now. I don’t smoke or drink.
JRR: In your blog, you mentioned about practicing singing lately; could you tell us about that?
Яyo: Oh that. MIYA from MUCC had a vocal booth at his place, you can go in there and sing and record as well. He said it was taking up too much space so he told me to bring it to my place. So since it’s coming this way I thought I might as well use it.
JRR: Are you good at singing?
Яyo: No I suck at it.
JRR: What songs do you sing?
Яyo: Well I listen to mostly English songs, not much Japanese songs so I don’t know. I don’t go to the karaoke either.
JRR: So you’d sing English songs?
Яyo: Erm if I went to a karaoke, I still can’t sing the English songs. (Laughs)
JRR: You have visited Europe, especially Germany, several times already; do you plan on learning Deutsch?
Яyo: I’m not too smart so I can’t remember anything. I can remember the easy words like hello, but I can’t carry on a basic conversation.
JRR: Last September at D’ERLANGER’s live at Shinkiba Studio Coast (opened by MERRY and MUCC), you were there at the live (as an audience). Do you go to other bands’ lives often?
ShuU: Oh yeah, quite frequently, when I have time. I try to see as much as I can. My goal for 2007 was to watch as many videos, live footage, or attend lives as I can. You can practice playing instruments at home, but you have to learn how to perform by seeing the others. So I’ve been learning a lot. I watch videos on YouTube as well.
Nii: YouTube is really a treasure grove. (Laughs) I get to watch all the bands I like. I’d pick three bands for the day, sit down with a beer and watch away. It’s really great.
JRR: 3 liters of beer?
Nii: (Laughs) No, not that much… maybe about three cans of beer. For the bands that I think aren’t any good I’d give them a batsu (an “X”).
Really!! I’d pick a few bands out, listen to or watch about 3 or 4 songs, then give them a mark; if they’re mediocre I’d give a triangle mark, and if they’re bad I’d just give them a big “X.”.
JRR: Do you watch mostly Japanese or foreign artists?
Nii: I don’t really have much interest in many Japanese artists so I don’t know them well; the ones that I watch are mostly foreign bands that I’ve never listened to before. If I listen to it and it’s death metal I’d just say, “no good.”
JRR: What bands do you like?
Nii: LIMP BIZKIT, LINKIN PARK, etc.
JRR: Do Satoshi and Яyo go to other bands’ lives too?
Яyo: I don’t go at all… unless it’s our senpai’s lives. Or when some foreign bands come to Japan to perform.
Satoshi: Me, too, I’d go to our senpai’s lives, or friends’ lives. I don’t go often, just whenever I have the opportunity.
JRR: ShuU appears to be the one that enjoys reading the most. Have you ever tried writing a book yourself?
ShuU: I can’t bring myself to write book; it’d be too long.
JRR: What about short essays?
ShuU: I’d write those. Reading is like watching movies, it’s just that instead of images you see, you read them as text and you invent the images in your head. That’s the only difference for me. I like to watch movies as well.
JRR: Going back again to earlier this year, after the JRR Festival One, you had a party at YOSHIKI’s house, and you all jumped into the pool. What was the party like?
ShuU: Oh it was chaotic. We all jumped into the pool with our clothes on.
Яyo: YOSHIKI-san was the first to jump into the pool with his clothes on, so we thought we should jump in fully clothed too, so about almost twenty of us were in there.
ShuU: There was MUCC, MERRY, D’ESPAIRSRAY, and GIRUGAMESH, and the staff went in as well. We all drank and talked.
Satoshi: We drank right inside the pool.
ShuU: 30 minutes after the party ended, we had to go catch the flight.
JRR: Was it a red-eye flight?
ShuU: No, we drank till morning, about 6 o’clock.
Яyo: It was alright bright when we finished. We went back to the hotel, changed our clothes and packed, and headed for the airport. On the flight back, well by the time we noticed we had already arrived in Japan.
ShuU: YUKKE-san was sleeping at the airport. Everyone was worn out like rags.
JRR: What country would you like to go next?
ShuU: We’d like to go to America again.
JRR: Anywhere in particular?
ShuU: We don’t know that many places there, but definitely NY, and LA again, etc.
JRR: Last time when you went to LA, did you have any time to do sightseeing?
ShuU: We did get to go to Melrose Avenue to do shopping, and we also stopped by a music instrument store. We also went to the Mann’s Chinese Theater. There was a premiere for Pirates of the Caribbean, and a lot of people were dressed up for it. We took a picture with one of the guys, and afterwards he said, “one dollar.”
I was surprised that they charged people for pictures! But we did have fun.
JRR: Are there any places that you might want to go next time, such as Disneyland?
Nii: Oh the real Disneyland.
ShuU: I’d like to see the Hollywood sign in person, and the stone heads at Mount Rushmore.
JRR: What about Las Vegas?
ShuU: Oh yeah, we’d like to go, if we have the money.
JRR: There are slot machines that you can just feed dimes or quarters.
ShuU: Oh yeah? Maybe next time we should do a tour there.
JRR: You’ll probably get your IDs checked at the casino though.
ShuU: How old do you have to be?
JRR: 21, so you’ll be ok.
ShuU: Ok, then next time we should have a competition at the casino.
JRR: Lastly, please introduce your new album to the readers.
ShuU: Albums, CDs, are like records of our growth. We have given our maximum strength on making this album, and we’d really like you to listen to the GIRUGAMESH now. There are some songs that have rock based melodies but we also tried to incorporate different elements in there, so for those of you who don’t really like visual-kei or heavier rock sounds, we’d still like you to give it a try. We’d like people from all over the world to listen to our music.
Interviewed, transcripted and translated by Christina.
Thank you to Maverick DC Group and girugamesh for this interview