The Taste of Chaos tour schedule has been announced and Jrock fans have marked their calendars and are already scurrying to plan ahead.
RTOC veterans are going to be tasting a new flavor of rock: Jrock, and its ambassadors are MUCC, the Underneath, and D’espairsRay.
D’espairsRay was one of the leading pioneers to cross the overseas border and they have no intention of slowing down. Read on for a brief look into their history and an exclusive preliminary interview with a more in-depth one to come.
Since 1999, HIZUMI (Vo.), Karyu (G.), ZERO (Ba.), and TSUKASA (Dr.) have hit nearly every corner of the globe with their unique blend of industrial hard rock. As early as 2004, D’espairsRay exported their visual act to Berlin and Paris. They then headed to the United States for a nationwide tour a year later to support their first full-length album "[Coll:Set]," playing in late May in San Jose, San Francisco, and twice in Dallas the same weekend as the anime convention A-kon. They returned in autumn of the same year to play in seven cities. Their success brought them back to Europe and in 2006 prompted a European release of "[Coll:Set]" on Germany’s Gan-Shin label.
In fact, the summer of 2006 proved to be one of the most prolific periods in the band’s history: On June 16 they ventured to the East coast to perform at the AnimeNext convention in Secaucus, New Jersey, and on June 17 had the privilege of playing the legendary rock club CBGB in New York. In August they were invited to play at the Wacken Open Air festival in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the biggest metal festival in the world, and in November returned to Europe for an 8-country headlining tour.
D’espairsRay followed up their overseas gigs with a Japan tour titled "[LIQUIDIZE] – Yugou Suru Taion" and released a live DVD with the same name of their 2006 show at Tokyo LIQUIDROOM ebisu. This new year will prove to be another energetic year for the band succeeding the April 11 release (and two European releases) of their second full-length album, "Mirror." Having already played at the Jrock Revolution Festival in Los Angeles this past May, D’espairsRay launched their 2007 "Spiral Staircase: Break the Mirror?" tour and in September released a live DVD ("Spiral Staircase #15," for the 15 venues on the tour) of their May 13 performance at Shibuya AX.
D’espairsRay once again returned to Europe over the summer, playing one-man shows in Spain (June 7, Madrid) and Sweden (July 3, Stockholm) and performing at rock festivals in Finland (Tuska Festival, July 1 and Ruisrock, July 7). The band continues to tour seven more venues in Japan throughout December for the tour final, "Spiral Staircase: Outflies." In January they will play Zy’s "Stylish Wave ILLUSION" show with Kra, Ayabie, Vidoll, Moi dix Mois (with whom they did the special event "Dark Sanctuary" in August), and others. TRANSCORE has even released a special 8th anniversary silver pendant commemorating the band’s history, which can be purchased from the shop on their official web site.
JRR: Looking back on JRR, what are your reflections on performing in a multi-artist Jrock festival in America?
D’espairsRay: It was simply enjoyable since such events as JRR are rare in Japan.
JRR: You performed with MUCC on the second night of JRR. Were you able to see any part of their performance after yours? Did you have the chance to talk to the members of MUCC during JRR?
D’espairsRay: We got to see them briefly from the side of the stage. We talked a lot with members of MUCC at backstage and afterwards.
JRR: What are you most looking forward to in Taste of Chaos?
D’espairsRay: There will be a lot of bands participating from various places, so we want to be stimulated, as much as we would stimulate them.
JRR: What do you think you can bring to the Taste of Chaos tour?
D’espairsRay: As usual, being ourselves as D’espairsRay.
JRR: What are your thoughts about bringing Jrock to Taste of Chaos?
D’espairsRay: We are grateful for the opportunity as things like this that happen only once in a blue moon.
JRR: You have past experience playing abroad with artists that are not from the Japanese rock scene, such as opening for Genitorturers and playing at the Wacken Open Air metal festival. How do you feel about the reception you received from those who were seeing the other bands?
D’espairsRay: It is still only a beginning.
JRR: You’ve made tremendous effort to perform internationally. What originally made you decide to reach out to your overseas fans?
D’espairsRay: We have been wanting to play overseas for quite some time, and there were requests on the BBS that some of the foreign countries wanted us there.
JRR: Many Japanese artists have said that American fans are more expressive than their fans back home. What kind of reaction would you like to get from the Taste of Chaos audience?
D’espairsRay: The American audience is exposed to a lot of good music and we consider this to be our touchstone, so we want them to see us in a calm manner. Not as a passing fad from Japan but just one of the serious bands.
JRR: In planning for the tour, do you think about the big picture of all the different bands and cities you will travel to, or are you more focused on your own performances?
D’espairsRay: We believe that what we need to do is to convey the music of D’espairsRay to the audience.
JRR: Do you feel that you will draw inspiration from the music of American bands on the tour, or do you feel that you have a very certain direction for your music?
D’espairsRay: We would like to absorb a lot of elements from all the stimulus.
JRR: With such a wide international outreach, do you feel that you have influenced any other musicians in the Jrock scene you know to be interested in performing overseas?
D’espairsRay: We don’t know, but as long as we participate in the Taste of Chaos tour, we would like to contribute something.
JRR: What do you definitely want to do or see in America while you are here for such a long period of time?
D’espairsRay: We would like to see something that we have never seen before, either on or off stage.
About D’espairsRay by Tiffany
Interview by JRR Staff
Edited by Misha and Krystal