Many of us have picked up reading to pass time, so to help some of us ease our way back into it we’ve put together a list of the most intriguing Japanese rock-related interviews we’ve had over the last couple of years. We’ve picked the brains of Japan’s top rockstars, so let’s dust off those archives and get warmed up for our reading workout.
Starting with the current kings of Japanese rock, we have the Gazette who visited Europe last year and shared their struggles and experiences of becoming rock royalty, as well as wholesome behind-the-scene tidbits on how their family reacted when they became famous and appeared on national television.
“I was thinking inside, ‘Is it really fine if I’m not working?’. I felt really guilty and sorry for my mother.”
—Reita, the GazettE (2019)
Now as for queens, we recently had the privilege of speaking to SU-METAL and MOAMETAL from the world-famous, BABYMETAL who was touring Europe at the time. Contrasting the sweet and perhaps adolescent image of BABYMETAL as a band, both ladies have a very dignified, grounded and mature tone around their responses. It sure is wrong to judge a book by its cover, so be ready to get your mind changed about how you think about them.
“…we had a lot of people who said that BABYMETAL isn’t metal but I feel that these three years have allowed us to grow and become its own genre.”
—SU-METAL, BABYMETAL (2020)
Turning around and coming back to the thread about family and values—father, actor, musician and the all-round loveable guitar samurai MIYAVI sat down with us in London a little while ago. He’s very charismatic and spoke about everything from his charity work, acting with Angelina Jolie, as well as giving us details on his tour routine. Fans told us it was probably one of the best MIYAVI interviews that had been published around the time but have a read and make your own opinion.
“As an entertainer or singer…doing this kind of humanitarian work, sometimes people don’t expect it and sometimes they don’t appreciate this type of work.”
Now, we should mention the prodigious interview we managed to bag with the hugely elusive and shy Mana when they made their return with their fashion line, Moi-même-Moitié. This one was incredibly special, so if you love Mana, gothic lolita fashion or Moi Dix Mois, please take a look at the week-long series of exclusive articles and interviews we put together to celebrate Mana’s work. Although Mana oozes sophistication and tranquility in their presence, contrary to our first impression, Mana has a sweet sense of humor in the interview.
“…maybe it’s because I have long hair, but sometimes people are surprised when I enter the men’s room.”
Finishing this list strong, one of the major milestones of being in the JROCK NEWS team is meeting one of the leading pioneers of visual kei itself. Seiichi Hoshiko, known endearingly as the Vkei Oyaji (“oyaji” meaning “uncle” in Japanese), is one of the living legends of the subculture scene and we have much to thank him for. Please take a moment to tweet him your thanks if you have time. He was very generous with his time which meant the interview had to split into part one and part two.
“I acted like everything overseas is cool, like Japan’s stuff is boring and uninteresting. That was a crazy and very immature mindset of mine… However, all this turned 180 degrees once I met X Japan.”
—Seiichi Hoshiko (2018)
If you enjoyed this recommended list of reads, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll continue to curate lists for you to enjoy.