JRockRevolution was glad to have a chance to catch up with MUCC right before one of the stops of their recent mini-tour in the U.S. Read on for part one of our two part interview! [We talked a lot!]
JRR: How was the first show of your first one-man live in America?
Miya: It was very fun.
JRR: Was it different from what you’ve imagined?
Miya: Not really; it was exciting.
JRR: How did you decide on the opening band?
Miya: We didn’t have one until the last minute, when our agent booked the opening band for us.
JRR: Who is the opening band for L.A.?
Miya: It’s HORSE the Band; we toured together in Europe on the Taste of Chaos Tour.
JRR: It’s been more than half a year since you last came to America. How does it feel?
Tatsuro: Although it’s only been half a year, it feels a lot longer than that.
YUKKE: It doesn’t feel like we were here this year; it feels like everything happened last year.
Tatsuro: We’re happy to be back again.
JRR: Was this your first time to NYC?
Tatsuro: I think so… last time we visited Nassau [with RTOC], not New York City.
JRR: Was it like how you’ve imagined it?
YUKKE: It was pretty much how we imagined it.
Tatsuro: I actually got to go there for about two hours last time when we were touring with RTOC, but really didn’t get to see much.
JRR: Whereabouts in New York did you go for sightseeing?
Tatsuro: I went to the Times Square area, just for a little bit.
Miya: Rockefeller Center and Ground Zero.
JRR: Miya, what did you feel when you were at Ground Zero?
Miya: There were already new constructions going on, so I thought that time had passed quickly.
YUKKE: When it happened seven years ago, I happened to be eating ramen at a restaurant and was watching the news there.
JRR: Where did you go in New York?
YUKKE: I also went to the Times Square, and also to the M&M store two days in a row. The first day was on the weekend so the store was packed.
JRR: Did you buy chocolate there?
YUKKE: No, I don’t really like chocolate; I bought T-shirts and other memorabilia.
SATOchi: We had dinner one night at a restaurant, and nearby was an illuminated tree, or what we thought was a tree. When we walked up close to it, it wasn’t what we thought it was.
JRR: So what was it?
SATOchi: Um, I guess… you could call it a tree? At least it was in the shape of a tree.
JRR: Other than your own instruments, did you use local equipments this time?
Miya: Yes, we used the American equipment.
JRR: Some people claim that, because of the difference in electrical current, the sounds of instruments sound different. Was this true for you?
Miya: It doesn’t really bother me… We don’t really notice it.
JRR: Music has the power to link people to people. Is there any experience in particular that made you feel most strongly about the power of music?
YUKKE: It was at our live in England; when we stepped out onto the stage, the crowd was very excited and sang along the whole way. I was moved. Of course, it’s like that in all the countries we’ve played, too.
Tatsuro: When the audiences sing along with all the songs, it’s really amazing and moving seeing that they are able to memorize all the lyrics.
SATOchi: If I hadn’t been a musician, I don’t think I’d ever have the chance to come to the U.S. or England, or other countries for that matter. I think it’s great that music has taken me to places in the world.
Miya: I felt the power of music when I started playing in a band in middle school.
JRR: Do you have plans to meet the other bands that toured with you on the Taste of Chaos tour?
Miya: We’ll be playing with Horse the Band, who we toured Europe with.
JRR: You had the opportunities to play at a few universities while on the Taste of Chaos tour; do you have any interests in universities?
Miya: We had the opportunity to perform in a couple of the campuses in England, and it was a new experience for us because usually in Japan we don’t perform in educational institutes. It was very interesting and fun.
YUKKE: Since I never attended college, it was interesting to see the students eating at the school cafeteria; it was something we’d only see on TV programs such as Beverly Hills 90210, etc.
JRR: MUCC’s album “SHION” has made its U.S. release on November 25 of this year. Congratulations!
Tatsuro: Thank you. They can be ordered through most music stores or retail outlets, such as Hot Topic.
JRR: Do you plan on releasing all your future releases in the U.S.?
Tatsuro: I hope so.
JRR: The overall feel/them of “SHION” is “ethnic;” what would you say your theme is right now?
Miya: Still ethnic, although the next song will be slightly different.
JRR: Your new single, “Sora to Ito”[Sky and Thread], will be released on January 28, 2009. What kind of a song is it?
Miya: It’s hard rock.
JRR: Are you the composer?
JRR: It is hard to imagine the meaning of the song just by reading the title, could you tell us what the song is about?
Tatsuro: I don’t now how the lyrics will sound like once it is translated into English, but it talks about disappointment and dissatisfaction. It’s not dramatic; rather, it talks about a feeling that can be felt by anyone, not positive nor negative, but in between, and a sense of emptiness and sadness. I don’t know if the meaning will be the same when it’s translated, though.
JRR: Will the new single come with the translation?
Miya: I am not sure at this point, but the new album should have English translation.
JRR: The lyrics of MUCC often uses difficult words; are there any words in particular that you like?
Miya: Not really. There isn’t any particular word that I like, but there are phrases that I use often.
JRR: A lot of your songs talk about the rain; how is MUCC associated with rain?
Miya: The rain is a symbol of images that are the opposite of brightness; it represents loneliness, coldness, and annoyance, so we use the rain to be a representative of these feelings in our songs.
JRR: It appears that you have been quite insistent on using mostly Japanese for your lyrics. Since now that you’ve been extremely active in the international arena, do you have any plans to write lyrics in languages besides Japanese?
Miya: It’s not that we are insistent on using only Japanese; our English level is just not good enough. If our English gets better, we’d probably try to use more English in our lyrics, although there are a lot of things that we prefer to convey in Japanese.
JRR: How about just single words?
Tatsuro: Just the ones that we know, the ones that are also commonly known in Japan.
JRR: In the special bonus for “AGEHA,” you produced a project to surprise/play a prank onMiya. Do you have any plans to do similar projects in the future?
YUKKE: We’ve always done something from time to time, it’s just that we put in extra effort this time, almost too much (laughs), but eventually we’ll do something special again, just not so soon.
JRR: It seemed like you guys had a lot of fun.
YUKKE: Yeah, it was fun.
JRR: In continuation from your last single “AGEHA,” your new single will also be produced by KEN of L’Arc~en~Ciel. What does it feel like to work with KEN?
Miya: It’s fun.
JRR: Are you pretty close?
Miya: Yes, but when it comes to work, he does everything a producer is supposed to do, and because we are both musicians, he understands things that only a musician can feel and the needs of a musician. It’s really easy to work with him.
YUKKE: He teaches me a lot of things as a musician and is very friendly, so I enjoy working with him.
Tatsuro: He is like a big brother and takes care of us, so I really respect him.
SATOchi: I agree; he is very good at bringing out one’s potential, at nurturing people. It’s not quite like “ame to muchi” [‘candy and the whip’, an expression to describe someone who can be sweet but also punishing], but even though he is a guitarist, he knows a lot about drums as well, and gives me pointers on how to play. I really appreciate his comments.
JRR: Will your new album also be produced by KEN?
Miya: There will be songs produced by him, and songs that are not.
JRR: Your new DVD “Live Chronicle 2” will be released on December 24th of this year. What are some highlights from the DVD?
Miya: There will be video clips that have never been shown before, that show a different side of MUCC.
JRR: Any special bonus?
Miya: There will be guitar picks, what else…
YUKKE: The manuscript.
Miya: The manuscript for “Akogare no Rockstar” [the special bonus video for the single “AGEHA”]…
JRR: Written by YUKKE?
YUKKE: Yes, handwritten by me.
Miya: And also a collection of photos.
JRR: It has been more than 4 years since the release of your last music score book “666.” How did the publishing of the music score books “MUCC THE BEST” and “MUCC THE WORST” come about?
Miya: We received an offer from the publisher saying that they’d like to publish those.
-END OF PART ONE-
Please stay tuned for part two of our interview with MUCC!
Interview by: Christina
Photos by: Lizzy Layne and Dave Duarte
Special thanks to: MUCC