This interview was originally published by “club Zy.” and Vijuttoke in Japanese. The partnership was forged with the aim to popularize Japanese visual kei globally. Learn more about our partnership here.

The year 2020 sees the 13th anniversary of vistlip’s formation. Through the release of mini-album “No.9” on March 18, it allows us to see how they’re channeling that drive from the early days into their current form!


It has been two months since the year 2020 begun, how is this new year going for vistlip?

Umi: We did a few shows but the tour hasn’t started and our new mini-album is still not out yet, so I don’t feel that vistlip has properly entered into 2020 just yet. There are still uncharted projects as well, so I’m very excited.

“Initial impulse” is the key phrase of your new release, the mini-album “No.9”, which goes out on sale on March 18. If you were to think back, what was the initial impulse that led you to become a musician?

Tomo: I guess it’s well known to fans but when I was in the sixth grade in elementary school, I was listening to L’Arc~en~Ciel and that made me want to become a singer. In the first grade of middle school, I discovered DIR EN GREY and I decided to jump into visual kei. Since my early childhood, my mother made me play the piano and participate in a choir but since I gave up on that, I think almost nothing remained from that time. What a waste.

Yuh: I was into classical music from a young age. It was a natural progression from violin to cello to guitar. I got into rock through Lenny Kravitz, and later influenced by bands from the “boom”-era such as X Japan, but also GLAY, L’Arc~en~Ciel, SIAM SHADE, LUNA SEA and more. It made me want to start my own band.

Umi: hide. Not the hide from X Japan, but hide in his solo career.

Rui: I’ve always enjoyed listening to music. In middle school, my older sister listened to a lot of bands and through her influence, I became interested in them as well. Around the same time, a classmate came to school carrying his guitar on his back. I thought he looked so cool and from that experience, I became fascinated with instruments and I got started with music.

Tohya: I was a part of the brass band club during middle school and I really loved games, especially rhythm games. Perhaps those are the roots of my curiosity for music? A bit later, I eventually got interested in bands too.

What is the message in the title of your latest release, “No.9”?

Tomo: It matches the message expressed in the lyrics from Ode to Joy by Friedrich Schiller, and Symphony No.9 by Beethoven. You should definitely go read them.

In this album, “GPS” and “Atelier” were both composed by Tohya. In comparison to songs written by the other members, would you say writing the drum parts was easier? If not, is there anything you pay particular attention to in terms of arrangement?

Tohya: Since the phrases of the tracks I compose are more or less decided, I don’t really consider the arrangement difficult.

Concerning the other members’ compositions, Yuh and Rui write the base of their own songs so my role is to add the seasoning, which is quite easy. When it comes to Umi, it often feels like I have to reassemble things from the ground up, but in a way, that makes it much more rewarding [laughs].

Basically, I do my best to make the song easy to get into no matter if it is fast or slow. I try to not interfere with the song, and if there’s any room, I’ll have fun with some short phrases.

The third track, “J’s Melancholy”, really leaves an impression even though it’s in the middle of the mini-album. Umi, as the composer of this track, is there a core vision that you have in mind when creating music?

Umi: I try to not overthink, and simply focus on the things coming out of my head. Actually, I am not very good at composing so I try to convert my ideas by singing or through my guitar. When I catch something I feel good about, I treasure it. However, if I fail to materialize it, I simply abandon it completely—even if I’m in the middle of composing the song.

Rui, you wrote the fourth track of the mini-album, “Mimic no Zangai”. In a band where most of the members are actively participating in the musical composition, what parts of your songs do you feel delivers your identity?

Rui: Until now, I wrote many songs with various styles, but this time I asked myself “What really defines my personal style?” and it genuinely troubled me.

Then I wrote a few songs, thematically based on the style I usually like, but nothing really stood out. At that moment, I remembered I was giving importance to the reverberation of each chord separately, which led to a complicated and somehow dissonant chord progression. We completed the backing track first and then felt out melodies to put on top of that. Somehow, a song in my style with a vintage feel came together.

Yuh’s song “DANCE IN THE DARK” has been designated as the lead track of the mini-album. Did you establish a certain direction before its composition?

Yuh: My first goal was to write Shikisai, I composed it so it could match the concept of the album. Once that was done, I wanted to make a song that was more to my taste, and with that in mind, I wrote DANCE IN THE DARK the way I pleased.

I wouldn’t say it’s dancefloor music, but I wanted to write a song that could make people dance and jump around.

Tomo, you wrote lyrics for all six songs in the mini-album. Obviously, each song is carrying a particular message, but what is the common theme that ties the songs together?

Tomo: All of them are love songs, so I’d say “Love” is the common theme [laughs].

I gradually reached a point where I started writing about love on a broader scale, but eventually, I went back and refocused them to their core theme.

Could you tell us more about the name of your one-man tour “Good Vibes CIRCUIT ZERO”?

Umi: There isn’t any deep meaning behind the title, it’s an irregular tour and we just decided on the name in the spur of the moment. It’s simply a tour inviting everyone to enjoy the music with maximum passion, more than anything else.

Nowadays, what does vistlip pay particular attention to during shows?

Tomo: My goals have been different depending on the period of our career. Currently, I want to express the vision of our songs as clearly as possible. After all, I’m the one who wrote all the lyrics.

Yuh: As long as I can have fun with everyone, I’m satisfied… that’s quite vague [laughs]. For this purpose, I particularly pay attention to the setlist and the way we pick songs for shows.

Umi: The atmosphere. Emotions.

Rui: I simply focus on having fun. This will never change. I always want to live without forgetting these fresh feelings. Actually, they’re not fresh at all [laughs].

Tohya: Enjoying the moment casually, experimenting vistlip’s music physically without any sort of restrictions, smiling with members and fans, I want to cherish those moments.

Thank you very much. As a final question, what does your new work “No.9” mean to each of you?

Tomo: I feel like the other members created music I wanted to hear [laughs]. It’s amazing that we can have fun together while creating music, and that’s really important. The fans will enjoy it for sure, so please have a listen!

Yuh: Personally, I think it’s pretty interesting because it has songs that we could only make now with our current skills, but also songs that sound a lot like our older works. That’s the case most of the time but in this mini-album, the individuality of each member particularly stands out, so I hope people will find enjoyment in that aspect.

Umi: vistlip isn’t the kind of band you can clearly explain with words, but I guess this album is a compact and intense illustration of what the band is. If you’ve gotten this far in the interview, please have a listen to our album.

Rui: Somehow, I have the feeling that this album will evoke those nostalgic feelings. Something new, but with nostalgic vibes. I think we managed to express “This is vistlip!” from the bottom of our hearts.

Tohya: Each member brought their own vivid color, packing the essence of vistlip into one single work. It’s an album that you can enjoy in various ways, whether you are listening to us for the first time or if you already know our music well, please check it out.


Thanks to the triple partnership with club Zy., and Vijuttoke, we were able to provide this translated version of the interview to a global audience. Please look forward to more content that could only have been made possible thanks to our partners.

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Original article: https://www.club-zy.com/contents/304703

No.9

Regular edition Vister edition
CD
  1. GPS
    GPS
  2. DANCE IN THE DARK
    DANCE IN THE DARK
  3. J's Melancholy
    J's Melancholy
  4. Mimic no Zangai
    ミミックの残骸
  5. Atelier
    Atelier
  6. Shikisai
    四季彩
CD
  1. DANCE IN THE DARK music video and making-of
    「DANCE IN THE DARK」MUSICVIDEO+MAKING動画
Buy at CDJapan

No.9

Regular edition Lipper edition
CD
  1. GPS
    GPS
  2. DANCE IN THE DARK
    DANCE IN THE DARK
  3. J's Melancholy
    J's Melancholy
  4. Mimic no Zangai
    ミミックの残骸
  5. Atelier
    Atelier
  6. Shikisai
    四季彩
  7. RADIO the vistlip [No.9 EDITION]
    RADIO the vistlip [No.9 EDITION]
Buy at CDJapan

No.9

Limited edition
CD
  1. GPS
    GPS
  2. DANCE IN THE DARK
    DANCE IN THE DARK
  3. J's Melancholy
    J's Melancholy
  4. Mimic no Zangai
    ミミックの残骸
  5. Atelier
    Atelier
  6. Shikisai
    四季彩
DVD
  1. Entertainment video "ROUGH the vistlip (Zenryoku daisuki vistlip)"
    バラエティ動画「ROUGH the vistlip(全力大好きvistlip)」
Buy at CDJapan

No.9

Limited edition Premium edition
CD
  1. GPS
    GPS
  2. DANCE IN THE DARK
    DANCE IN THE DARK
  3. J's Melancholy
    J's Melancholy
  4. Mimic no Zangai
    ミミックの残骸
  5. Atelier
    Atelier
  6. Shikisai
    四季彩
DVD
  1. Performance from 2019.11.1 LIVE at Mynavi BLITZ Akasaka
    2019.11.1 LIVE at マイナビBLITZ赤坂全曲
Buy at CDJapan
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