Suicide Ali was a guest at PMX (Pacific Media Expo) early this November, and we were honored with an interview with the band. Please enjoy reading it, and the live report is coming soon!
JRR.com: First please introduce to the person to your right.
Yuu: This is Hisashi, on drums.
Hisashi: This is Hiroshi, on bass.
Hiroshi: This is Goshi, on vocals.
Goshi: This is Yuu, on guitar.
JRR.com: Goshi / Hiroshi, when you first formed the band, did you believe Suicide Ali would have such an international fanbase?
Suicide Ali: We wanted to do perform overseas, but had no idea what to expect.
JRR.com: It’s nearly been a little over a year since Suicide Ali had their first one-man [live], and now you’re playing overseas. What do you wish to accomplish in another year?
Suicide Ali: We want to release a full album and have a following tour, plus, a bigger one man.
JRR.com: Currently, Suicide Ali has four members. Usually, visual kei bands have five. What made you want to stick with four members?
Yuu: I can do guitar by myself.* We can do the same with four people, sometimes extra person is in the way. It’s too complicated. You can’t really play simple stuff with five people.
JRR.com: From band start to now, how has the inspiration changed?
Goshi: When we first started, it was a result of built-up emotions…Now, as we’ve interacted with the outside world, we’ve opened up a bit more to new feelings, new perspective.
JRR.com: What’s your favorite brand of instrument?
Yuu: I like the sound of Gibson guitars, but size-wise it doesn’t fit Japanese hands. Therefore, I have custom made one ordered in Japan.
Hisashi: No preference.
Hiroshi: I don’t have preference, but if it looks good, I use it.
Goshi: As for microphones, I don’t have a preference. I’ve tried bringing my own microphones to lives but it usually ends up not sounding as good. The live house microphones are set to the best settings [to the live house’s sound system], so my own doesn’t blend so well.
JRR.com: For the strings, do you still have your first instrument(s)?
Yuu: I was in a bad mood, so I tossed it into a river.
Hiroshi: I still kind of have it, but it’s at someone else’s house…it’s not really in playing condition.
Hisashi: I sold my first drum kit cause it was in the way.
JRR.com: How many instruments do you own?
Hiroshi: 2 basses and 4 guitars
JRR.com: What do you do before a concert, and how do you relax after?
Yuu: Before a live, I try to play as much as possible. After, I don’t really get tense, so I don’t need to relax .
Hisashi: I stretch before, and afterwards, I collapse.
Hiroshi: I stretch as well. Afterwards, I get hungry and go eat somewhere.
Goshi: I like to be alone before and after so I can concentrate and focus.
JRR.com: What was your favorite school subject?
Yuu: The nurse’s room. [laughter] I didn’t like PE, so I always would fake sick.
Hisashi: I liked Japanese and world history, but didn’t like math
Hiroshi: I enjoyed art, but English, no so much.
Goshi: I didn’t like any subjects, but I did get decent grades for PE and art.
JRR.com: Hiroshi, how do you make those green circles on your face?
Hiroshi: I have a stamp.
JRR.com: Oh I thought maybe, you know, it was a coin. [laughter]
Hiroshi: Like a one yen coin? [mimics putting a coin up to his face and tracing it]
JRR.com: And a five hundred yen coin for the larger circles… [more laughter]
JRR.com: To a Westerner or even a Japanese person who thinks visual kei is scary and untouchable, what words would you say to get them interested in your music?
Hiroshi: If people can’t stand the look, it’s hard to convince them. I recommend getting them into the music first before the image. Then, maybe, they can feel like they can get into the visual if they like the music. If the person you like likes visual kei, it’s easier. It’s like a scary movie: it’s scary but you want to watch it a second time.
Goshi: Presentation is good, but we don’t need to change for the crowd.
JRR.com: Thank you very much for the interview, Suicide Ali.
*Usually, when there’s two guitarists in a band, one plays rhythm guitar and one plays lead guitar.
Written and transcribed by: Hikari
Translation by: Christina
Special thanks to Suicide Ali and management, Tainted Reality, Roger Shackelford, and PMX.