Visually and musically aesthetic band Versailles recently went on their first tour ‘Sentiment of Genesis’ in the United States. Their first stop was A-KON in Dallas, Texas, and their second and final stop was Los Angeles, California at the well known venue: the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. Jrock Revolution was able to take some time after the band’s amazing performance to ask them some questions about their first U.S. trip, their upcoming album, and more! Read on!
JRR: How is everyone feeling right after the show?
KAMIJO: We feel great.
JRR: Last time when we interviewed you, you stated that “The Revenant Choir” and “Lyrical Sympathy” were parts of one story; so how does your new album “NOBLE” fit into the story of Versailles?
KAMIJO: “NOBLE” would come after “Lyrical Sympathy.”
JRR: Was there anything you were very insistent about when making this album?
KAMIJO: As Versailles, of course there were a lot of things that we were insistent on doing; but mostly we were able to achieve 100% of what each of us set out to do.
YUKI: Whilst doing things that I wanted to do, since the composition, tempo changes, extensions, etc, of Versailles’ music are very complicated, I made sure that the phrases for each song flowed perfectly and beautifully.
Jasmine You: I put my soul into playing each and every note.
TERU: As the guitarist of Versailles, HIZAKI and I play a unified sound, yet we both have our own characteristically unique phrases. I think we’ve successfully made an interesting contrast of our guitar playing styles.
HIZAKI: Every time we go into recording, we take on different challenges. I personally like challenges, so this time I also tried a lot of different things.
JRR: Congratulations on your first two lives in America! Please tell us how performing at A-Kon was different from playing here in L.A.
KAMIJO: I think at A-Kon, most people only knew a little bit about us, or were exposed to us for the first time, but they still gave us so much support. I found it miraculous. We were very happy to have those people who are passionate about Japanese culture direct that passion to us, and to be able to respond to that passion. The people who came to watch our show today are either our fans or people who already know about us, and had come to show their support for us. We are very happy to have stood in front of them and gave them all we’ve got.
JRR: Which did you like better, Dallas or L.A.?
KAMIJO: We like both; it’s all America to us. (laughs)
JRR: Was this your first time in America?
KAMIJO: This is my second time.
YUKI: This is my first time.
Jasmine You: First time.
TERU: Me too.
HIZAKI: First time.
JRR: What was your first impression of America?
YUKI: I didn’t feel that the city was too different from Japan, since Japan got a lot of its influences from America. But one thing is that, everything here is big!
HIZAKI: That’s because Japan is smaller/Japanese things are small.
TERU: In Japan, all the stores are right next to each other, but here everything is spaced apart, so we feel that that’s a lot of wasted space. (laughs)
HIZAKI: The spacing is just more generous.
JRR: How was sight-seeing in L.A.?
KAMIJO: We did a photo shoot yesterday, and we also went to several places.
JRR: Did you go shopping?
KAMIJO: Just a little, on Melrose Avenue.
JRR: You participated in the hide Memorial Summit a little over a month ago. How was it like being with all these other artists?
KAMIJO: All of the artists are great performers on stage, and when they get off the stage, they are also reliable and capable guys. They’re not just rock stars, they’re also great guys and it was really enjoyable to be with them.
YUKI: A few of them I had grew up listening to their music, so I was very happy to be able to perform on the same stage as them.
Jasmine You: I really respect all the artists, so it had a great effect on me [to perform with them], and I was filled with passion [for music].
TERU: I felt the same, I was just really happy to be able to perform with people I respect so much. At the same time I also felt that we have taken another step closer to what they have achieved.
HIZAKI: During the song “X,” it was really incredible to see fifty thousand people jump at once. Most bands would never get the chance to see something like that [when they perform]. We want to be able to do that one day, too. It was beautiful to see fifty thousand people jump crazily like that.
JRR: What influences and impact do you think hide has had on the Japanese rock scene?
KAMIJO: To make people happy and to surprise them. To have a naughty heart [that likes to have fun].
YUKI: Also not to be tied down to a certain style of music, but to freely express yourself.
JRR: Do you each have a motto?
KAMIJO: Yes. “Nana korobi yaoki.” (To stand back up and keep on trying no matter how many times you fall/fail)
Jasmine You: “Toki ha kane nari.” (Time is money)
TERU: “Dokonjo.” (laughs) (To have guts)
HIZAKI: “Kita toki yori motto utsukushiku.”
It means to leave the place, e.g. the live house, cleaner than before you came. That way, the whole world will be a cleaner and prettier place.
JRR: Well said!
YUKI: Since I use my whole body a lot [to play drums], I say “Kenkou daiichi.” (Health first)
JRR: So far you’ve performed in Europe, did your first one-man live in America, and you will be releasing your first full album “NOBLE” (July 9th, 2008). What is your next goal?
KAMIJO: To be number one in Japan.
YUKI: We did perform in Europe and America, but we have yet to release the album here. The lives don’t necessarily mean we’ve left much of an impact, so I’d like more opportunities for us to come back and make a difference.
JRR: Could each of you give a message to your fans at Jrock Revolution?
YUKI: Thank you for your ever present support! This time we had the chance to do a live here, and I definitely would like to do more lives. We will be releasing the album soon and will be touring in Japan for a while, and after that we’d like to go to more countries to perform. Please keep on supporting us.
Jasmine You: I was able to fill my heart with wonderful things thanks to the European and American fans. I will attempt to show what I’ve experienced here to our Japanese fans upon our return. We’d like to go to Europe, America, and more other countries in the future. Please continue to support us.
TERU: We have yet to reach our goal yet, but we will work towards it step by step. Everyone should also have a desire to reach your goal, so let’s all work hard together!
HIZAKI: Thank you to our fans from Jrock Revolution. Although we are active in Japan, we will be releasing an album and would like to go all over the world. Please show your support by asking us to come back, then we will go there.
KAMIJO: To our overseas fans, when we can meet next would be dependent on how hard you try to get us to come back. Until we meet next, please listen to our new album NOBLE, enjoy it thoroughly like a movie, feel it, and send in your requests to have us come back. Thank you for all these wonderful nights in America.
Interview by Christina and Misha
Translated and Transcripted by Christina
Questions Contributed by Krystal, Christina, and Misha
Special Thanks to Tainted Reality and Versailles
Versailles appears courtesy of Tainted Reality and Sherow Artist Society