G.L.A.M.S has kicked-off their European tour to promote the release of their fourth mini-album, TWILIGHT AFTER THE RAIN. Before the lead up to these two key events of G.L.A.M.S’ 2020, JROCK NEWS took the opportunity to speak about these events with vocalist and leading man, Mikaru.
G.L.A.M.S are not new to European landscapes, with six European tours of experience already behind their backs. And although their name may still be undiscovered for many, these tours have built a humble and firm fan following. The crowds who are faithfully drawn to their European performances are no larger than one would expect of any indie touring artist to have, yet, G.L.A.M.S chose the dedicate many long hours of travel from their home country of Japan, again and again, to deliver their performance.
Understandably, few Japanese rock and visual kei predecessors have persistently returned to Europe as the rewards can feel slight when putting into the perspective of the time, organization, and money invested into touring where the benefits are no greater than touring your home country. So it draws the question, why has G.L.A.M.S chosen to take the path that many previous Japanese artists find no more rewarding than a national tour? “Exactly, it’s not an easy way”, Mikaru truthfully speaks, “but I can’t forget the faces of the fans. The time with them is always really great”.
The support of their fans no-doubt plays a fundamental role, but that is to also say their predecessors didn’t have this same support—which couldn’t be more untrue. So what unique quality has helped the near-annual return of G.L.A.M.S to European shores? Mikaru has a history of not shying away from the less conventional path and often displays his tenacious temperament and thoughts to fans through his social media and his array of past endeavors; succeeding in the display of self-produced artworks at art exhibitions in both France and Poland; his own line of hand-crafted jewelry; multiple solo tours and a 10th-anniversary DIO ~Distraught Overlord~ reunion tour—the band that was the start of Mikaru’s artistic path.
The decision to tour Europe then becomes an extension of these principles that he has carried through G.L.A.M.S’ artistic journey and has become another step in pushing himself to deliver his performance beyond geographical boundaries with the understanding that his position is a privilege he has fought for. “There are many countries to go to”, Mikaru expresses his desire to visit and not exclude any opportunity, “but sadly also many places where we cannot go this time due to various issues. I will keep trying to get there”. Of course, there are limits, but Mikaru convinces of his determination with the upcoming TWILIGHT AFTER THE RAIN EUROPEAN TOUR that includes extensive coverage of mainland Europe. These reasons are all however just the pillars that hold up the foundations of touring, the motivation behind Mikaru’s strong resilience is no purer emotion than “LOVE”. Mikaru earnestly answers, “You know? Yeah, Love”!
Just like everything in life, there’s a balance that is needed to maintain a “healthy” musician life. Touring is only half of an artist’s constitution, with music being the guiding life of the band. The band now has four mini-albums with the release of TWILIGHT AFTER THE RAIN mini-album, and each album has had the fortune of delivering a dedicated European tour to their fans. Now with six years of releases into their musical history, we question, what song perfectly captures who G.L.A.M.S is and what they represent. “‘The Other Side of the Moon’ as it is the beginning of everything. This beautiful song is the origin of G.L.A.M.S”! Mikaru chooses a track from their first mini-album, UNDER THE MOON.
That was an album released six years ago, so what can we expect of G.L.A.M.S from their newest album TWILIGHT AFTER THE RAIN? An album that is named with a sense of something “new” on the horizon. “Deciding the title of the album had been the last task of the production”, Mikaru reencounters the decision process behind the album’s name. “This time, I put the titles and lyrics of all five songs of the album in front of me. I was listening to the songs, and a scenery appeared in my mind’s eye: The night comes after a beautiful twilight”. And thus, TWILIGHT AFTER THE RAIN was born.
This newest album has been inspired by Mikaru’s thoughts and feelings of grief, despair, hope for the future, love, and lust, with each of the songs having a story to tell. “My lyrics are like the script of a movie”. Mikaru wrote these songs with a story and character that may not reflect his own life, “but there is no doubt that my emotions and past experiences have been important factors”. As with most musicians, their own experiences inevitably shape the story they tell in a song; but which emotions or experiences has Mikaru found himself applying to his own music? “I won’t disclose much, but one thing I can say is that I always sing about love”.
Love is a common theme you will find through G.L.A.M.S in their music, from the band, with their fans, and at their live performances. So if you have the chance to attend a show on their TWILIGHT AFTER THE RAIN tour, be delighted by their love-filled performance and music!
We would like to thank Mikaru for taking the time to speak with us, and hope for a successful tour and album release! We’ll see you there!
TWILIGHT AFTER THE RAIN
Buy at G.L.A.M.S official website