posted by sin26
A to Z with Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet-
Interview - 20.01.2009 12:00
Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet- answered our questions from A to Z the day before their performance at Anime USA.
With a new addition to their band name, Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet- touched ground in the US for the second time this year to play at the Anime USA convention and a solo show in New York. On opening day of the convention, the band took some time out of their packed schedule to answer almost everything from A to Z with JaME.
Anime USA: What do you think of the convention?
All: We haven't actually done anything yet, so that's what we would like to know! (all laugh)
Beauty: What is the most beautiful thing you've seen?
Jasmine You: Yes, us.
YUKI: We are the most beautiful band in the world!
You all agree?
Concert: Do you have any pre or post concert rituals?
KAMIJO: Not quite. As much as we'd like to, our hair, make up and getting into costume takes up all the time.
TERU: After I finish make up, what I do is listen to my music and imagine what the concert is going to be like.
HIZAKI: For me, it's the opposite of TERU. I try to concentrate and not feel high levels of tension and calm myself down.
Death: Why do you use death as a theme for your music? Is there a specific purpose?
KAMIJO: In order to think about life, there must be death.
English: You like to use English and other languages.
What appeal does using other languages in your lyrics have for you?
KAMIJO: (Thinks) I might not be able to pronounce it well, I might not know the language, nor the meaning of the word, but the image another language can give- that image is part of the sound.
Fast food: Love it or hate it?
Versailles: Fast food? (Everyone looks at HIZAKI)
HIZAKI: Kentucky Fried Chicken! KFC!
Gift: What's the most memorable gift you've received?
HIZAKI: A star, named Versailles.
A star in the sky?
All: Yes, the fans named a star Versailles for us.
HIZAKI: Tell us something about HIZAKI.
HIZAKI: What? (Laughs) Something specific, or anything?
HIZAKI: Ah... (Flustered) Could you give me a topic? (Laughs)
How about something you like to do on your off time?
HIZAKI: I like to compose music!
Internet: How do you feel about downloads?
KAMIJO: If it's not legal downloads, I really don't like it. Legal downloads are good, but we really love our fans to see the CD jacket, too.
Jasmine You: Tell us something about Jasmine You.
Jasmine You: What about me? (Laughs)
Jasmine You: Every time I take a bath, I always put in jasmine extract.
KAMIJO: Tell us something about KAMIJO.
KAMIJO: About me? I am the prince for all the girls in the world.
Language: A phrase you use a lot.
YUKI: (In English) Heavy metal! (makes the rock sign with hands)
Jasmine You: Jasmine You desu!
HIZAKI: (In English) Come here!
TERU: (Not paying attention) What was the question?
Something you say a lot.
TERU: Please wait a little bit! (Laughs)
Magic: Why did you start to do magic shows in your lives?
KAMIJO: Yeah, why? (Laughs)
Jasmine You: It's one of my hobbies.
NOBLE: How do you feel about the upcoming US release?
HIZAKI: It's a really big honor.
Opportunity: What is an opportunity you wish to have in the US?
KAMIJO: A big live house tour.
Philharmonic Quintet: Out of all the entries, how did you decide upon this combination?
KAMIJO: Philharmonic means an orchestra, quintet meaning five. Us five by ourselves as a band are a quintet, but to be philharmonics- to be a complete orchestra, we need the fans. Together, we are a Philharmonic Quintet.
Question: Something you’ve always wondered or thought about.
KAMIJO: I've always thought that I would love to meet more people.
Reliable: Who do you think is most reliable?
KAMIJO: That depends on what it is. Art and visuals, YUKI. For band sound and arrangement, HIZAKI and I. TERU is someone who watches over all of us. Jasmine You is very good when it comes to communication.
Season: What is your favorite season and why?
KAMIJO: Winter, because I like the snow.
Jasmine You: I also like the winter.
Jasmine You: Because I can wear different jackets, like leather and fur coats!
YUKI: Also the winter, because I don't like the heat (laughs).
TERU: Spring, because my birthday is in the spring!
HIZAKI: I just wanted to pick something different!
TERU: Tell us something about TERU.
TERU: I love making different things.
Unique: What makes Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet- unique?
KAMIJO: Everyone's sounds and visuals together and everything else about us makes us unique.
Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet-: Where would you like to see yourselves in three years?
HIZAKI: I would like to be in a field where all our fans will come to see us whenever we come back to the states.
YUKI: Tell us something about YUKI.
YUKI: I can cry on command!
All: (Look impressed) Really? Wow.
Zodiac: Does your personalities match your zodiac sign?
HIZAKI: We don't know much about the zodiac, but our blood types? We all match (laughs).
Thank you very much!
All: Thank you!
Versailles Attends A-KON 19
Interview - 10.06.2008 13:00
During the last weekend of May, JaME had the opportunity to attend a press conference as well as hold an exclusive interview with Versailles.
During the last weekend of May, Versailles was invited to attend and perform at the anime convention A-KON 19 in Dallas, Texas. As it was the band's first stop during their USA tour, they were greeted by a multitude of fans during a variety of activities throughout the weekend. There were multiple autograph sessions -- one for each day of the convention, a rarity for invited guests -- a concert on Friday night, and a question and answer session on Saturday.
Before the fan question and answer session, Versailles attended a press conference hosted by Tainted Reality and we later met for an exclusive interview. In the small conference room, there was a luxurious red carpet that spread across the table, overflowing onto the floor, with a large golden "V" for the band's name surrounded by gold flowery patterns. Immediately after the band's arrival, the press conference began.
First of all, please introduce yourselves.
KAMIJO: (Stands and bows.) How do you do? I am the vocalist of Versailles; nice to meet you. (In English) My name is KAMIJO. (Sits.)
HIZAKI: I am the guitarist of Versailles, HIZAKI.
TERU: I am the guitarist, TERU.
Jasmine You: I am the bass player, Jasmine You.
YUKI: Drummer, YUKI. Nice to meet you.
Your costumes are quite elaborate. Who designs them?
KAMIJO: There's a costume team in Japan called ID Japan who's a specialist in this kind of design.
Are your outfits historically accurate or are they a creation of fantasy?
KAMIJO: It's just a hobby.
What are your impressions of the American audience?
KAMIJO: They were very passionate, very exciting.
You're at an anime convention. Do you have any favorite anime or manga?
KAMIJO: Yes, I like "Conan the Boy Detective" and "Lupin III."
HIZAKI: "Naruto," which we know is very popular in America.
Jasmine You: "Yu Yu Hakusho."
TERU: "Death Note."
YUKI: "Dragon Ball."
Well, you all already dress up, but have you ever considered cosplaying?
KAMIJO: We've already done quite a bit of cosplaying.
What were your first reactions when you heard you were being invited to perform in the USA?
KAMIJO: I thought, I could meet some of my family. I have a cousin, who is a policeman, living in Los Angeles.
What did you think the American crowd would think of your style of visual kei?
HIZAKI: Well, we ourselves are big fans of Dream Theater, Pantera, and Metallica. So we would be very happy if there would be reciprocation.
Did you think metal fans might not respond well to visual kei?
HIZAKI: Other Japanese visual kei bands have given it a shot so we would be very happy if we're accepted; we'd very much like for that to happen.
You've mentioned various American bands who have influenced you musically, what bands have influenced your visual style?
KAMIJO: Movies were a big influence.
Pantera was actually created in Arlington, which is not far from here. Have you considered going over there and seeing where it all started?
TERU and YUKI: (Laughing.) We would very much like to.
TERU: Pantera are gods to us.
Which was the most impressive cosplayer you saw here?
KAMIJO: This was in Japan, but there was a cosplayer who was a completely green statue of liberty. Everything was covered and all you could see was the face.
Did he move around, or stand still all the time?
KAMIJO: It was at a concert and he did this. (Pumps fist up and down in the air mechanically. Everyone laughs.)
You mentioned that movies have influenced you, what are your favorites?
KAMIJO: "Interview with the Vampire."
Continuing off the same theme, your lyrics usually contain references to shinigami, zombies, and vampires. Why do you use these creatures?
KAMIJO: In order to convey the images, feelings, and ideas we want to express, we feel it's necessary to employ the image of death.
Are you fans of European power metal bands such as DragonForce and Blind Guardian?
HIZAKI: Yes, they are very popular in Japan.
How do you feel when you see other people cosplaying you?
KAMIJO: Very happy.
HIZAKI: That makes us the happiest.
Could your style ever become mainstream in either the USA or Japan?
KAMIJO: No. (Everyone laughs.) It only suits us.
How do you develop the composition of your music and incorporate your lyrics?
KAMIJO: We are all free to create our own songs. However, for lyrics, Versailles has only one narrative. In order to establish that, I am the only who writes the lyrics.
In Japan it's common to go to high school, go to college, then become a lawyer or a doctor. What is it like to be the family member who did not take that traditional route?
TERU: The people around me have very much encouraged me to follow my own path, to do that which makes me happy.
HIZAKI: At first my parents were very opposed to the idea, but I continued and carried through with it, and now they support me.
KAMIJO: My mother was a keyboard instructor. My grandfather was a violinist and my grandmother was a pianist. So they all supported me.
What would you be if you weren't a musician?
KAMIJO: A tennis player.
HIZAKI: The president. (Everyone laughs.)
YUKI: (Turns to HIZAKI.) But Japan doesn't have a president. (Everyone laughs.)
TERU: I really like making things so if I couldn't be a musician, I would want to be some kind of constructive artist.
YUKI: I really like doing some kind of physical activity so I think I would have been some kind of athlete.
Please give a message to your overseas fans?
KAMIJO: On July 9th of this year, Versailles will debut its first full-length album. We're not sure whether it'll happen at the same time or maybe slightly delayed after that, but we will debut this album on iTunes. So people of the world will be able to download it. We're very much looking forward to their reaction.
The following day, after the much anticipated third autograph session, Versailles was able to take some time in the afternoon on the final day of the convention to answer some of JaME's questions. In a more private conference room, the band sat on comfortable couches, fully dressed in costume, ready to receive our questions.
Thank you very much for meeting with us. To get us started, when you were starting out, why did you decide to post a trailer on YouTube? What audience were you trying to target?
KAMIJO: It was posted as a joke. We wanted people to treasure hunt where we are the treasure.
HIZAKI: We were found pretty quickly. (Everyone laughs.)
Please tell us more about the time when the German TV crew interviewed you after seeing the trailer. Were you expecting such a reaction?
KAMIJO: Before the German TV crew interview, we had only been interviewed online via e-mail, but that was the first time we had a face-to-face interview in any country including Japan. After that, the media in Japan began to advertise us more in newspapers and on TV, making us more popular. So we really thank the German TV crew for interviewing us. We didn't expect to become more popular in Japan after the initial interview. It was a miracle.
What is appealing or interesting about the vampire figure for you?
KAMIJO: We like beautiful things and we think vampires are beautiful so we started using them for that reason.
Why did you decide to have most of the lyrics for The Revenant Choir in English?
KAMIJO: It's not because we can express our feelings better with English lyrics, but because Japanese lyrics didn't go with the melody.
For your fans who don't speak Japanese, what were some messages or ideas that came up in the lyrics?
KAMIJO: First of all, we want to express everything and not just the lyrics, but also the melody and other instruments. So we expect the listeners to get our expressions with everything combined and not focus just on the lyrics. If you look at the lyrics card, the Chinese characters are based on pictures so we think that listeners who don't understand Japanese can guess the feeling from the image in the lyrics card.
Can you tell us anything about the new album NOBLE that's coming out in July?
HIZAKI: It is our first full-length album and we have all kinds of songs including some that are ten minutes long. We expect our listeners to listen to all kinds of songs.
YUKI: I think that our expressive songs convey more intensified feelings from what we have previously been doing. For instance, our sad songs will make the listener sadder.
Early on in the band's career, you held a "males only live." How does that compare with a "female only" live?
KAMIJO: It was very different. (Laughs.)
HIZAKI: The smell was different. (Everyone laughs.)
YUKI: In a live where the audience is mostly female and there are fewer male audiences, the males cannot really mosh or get crazy. In "male only" lives, it's like a lion was released from its cage; they get crazy and mosh. We thought it was pretty exciting to watch. The audience was much more intense and involved. Though, I could feel from both lives that the audiences were truly enjoying the performance.
You participated in the hide memorial concerts with many other bands. How was that experience?
Jasmine You: It was a great honor to participate in a concert that all people respect. We are really happy that we could perform at that concert.
KAMIJO: Standing on the same stage with LUNA SEA and X JAPAN, I feel that I saw the extremes of the Japanese music scene. That stage was the top from this scene so I would like to stand on a stage like that again in the future with just Versailles.
Already within about one year since your band's name was announced, you embarked on a European tour! Is there any particular moment, sight, or experience that will stand out in your memory about that tour?
TERU: I really feel the cultural differences. Living in Japan, I didn't really notice, but Japanese people have a really big heart; we're very sentimental. It makes me very proud to be Japanese.
Jasmine You, you've done some magic tricks in your previous lives; can you tell us where you learned to do that? Why weren't there any magic tricks performed during your show on Friday night?
Jasmine You: I've loved magic since before Versailles. I have a teacher who teaches me and I've even been in some magic shows. It's something I like to do. My shows are very intense and I didn't want to offend anyone during the concert.
How are they intense?
Jasmine You: They're S&M magic shows. (Everyone laughs.) Something I really love is S&M.
KAMIJO: (Turns to Jasmine You and asks in English.) Do you like S&M? (Everyone laughs.)
Jasmine You: (Answers in English.) I like S. (Everyone laughs.)
Finally, please leave a final message for your international fans.
YUKI: We live in and are based in Japan, but I would really love for people from all countries to listen to our music. I would like for us to continue making more songs and to travel to as many countries as we can to perform, along with meeting all kinds of people in the world.
KAMIJO: Starting Versailles was a great chance to meet many people overseas. I don't want this opportunity to end; I want to take advantage of it by continuing to meet as many people as we can and enjoy spending time with them at our lives. I want to take this chance to go to other places.
TERU: Being a musician, I not only listen to music, but also play the music. I think that I can really appreciate all kinds of music I listen to now. I really dream that some people will pick up an instrument because they were influenced by our songs.
Jasmine You: In the future, I want to tour all over the world and if that happens I want to play the most beautiful melody for the fans.
HIZAKI: Our new album will be out pretty soon and the album will eventually be released all over the world. I would also like to travel and tour all over the world, but with our schedule that's impossible so I want to go to the place that gives us the most love and return that love.
Thank you very much for meeting with us.
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