Visual kei band ANONYMOUS was formed in December 2019 with a line-up consisting of its not so anonymous band members. Said line-up features the likes of vocalist Nimo, formerly of the band “A (Ace)” and THE MICRO HEAD 4N‘s; guitarist Taizo, formerly of ZORO and Kra, currently also in the band Belle. Then there’s bassist Ivy formerly in Dio -distraught overlord-, Moran, and “LACK-CO.“; and lastly, drummer Ookuma Kunio of WHITEHEAD, who also was featured on girugamesh’s album chimera under the alias BigBear.
JROCK NEWS had the chance to interview ANONYMOUS, questioning them on the band’s origin and how their sound and visuals resonate with their “anonymous” concept. We also explore and learn more about their latest album, “WHO?”.
ANONYMOUS formed over a year ago, but what initially made the members want to form a band together?
ANONYMOUS: Our initial motivation came from when guitarist Taizo and bassist Ivy had a chat about doing something interesting.
Nimo: It was due to Ivy’s unexpected approach. Intuitively I knew this might be interesting.
How was Ivy’s approach unexpected?
ANONYMOUS: He invited us for dinner.
Can you tell us about the band’s concept and why you chose the name ANONYMOUS?
ANONYMOUS: Our concept is “Raison d’être” [reason for being]. We are searching for the meaning and reason behind our human existence. There’s no person who fully grasps the meaning behind their own existence. All humans are unidentifiable beings.
How does this concept tie in with your visuals, such as outfits, makeup, and so on?
ANONYMOUS: It’s unrestricted!
Your visuals vary from member to member so did they clash with one another or not at all?
ANONYMOUS: There was no clashing so we didn’t have to change anything.
Is there something you can express in ANONYMOUS’ music that you couldn’t before?
Taizo: I’ve become able to approach music with a heavier sound!
Nimo: Because I have a lot of freedom when it comes to writing lyrics, my choice of words and the way I think about the world has become more fun by a long shot.
People often expect big things when a band is made up of individuals from other well-known bands—which is the case here. Does that put any pressure on you?
ANONYMOUS: Not at all!
That’s a relief to hear. Now let’s talk about your latest album! How would you describe your first album “WHO?” for the uninitiated?
Nimo: I wanted to make an album that makes me reconsider my existence throughout, so I chose a theme where each individual song asks a question.
What lyrical and musical themes did you want to explore in the album?
Taizo: We created our songs after a certain image that came up in our minds!
Nimo: After re-evaluating my own being, I wanted to discover a new sense of self.
Following up on what Nimo said, what did you end up learning about yourself?
ANONYMOUS: We learned that there are many things we don’t understand about ourselves.
How does the sound that the band produces resonate with the concept of the band?
Nimo: In my opinion, ANONYMOUS’ best feature is that we respect each other’s individuality. It may seem like we have a fixed concept as a band but our concept is actually very fluid. I want to keep seeking new sounds resulting from the synergy between everyone’s individual characteristics.
We’ve noticed while listening to the album is that the guitars are very lively. It sort of feels like they’re dancing, especially on the second track Zetsubou no Rinbukyoku-RONDO-. What was the idea behind using this type of playing style?
Taizo: It’s the way I play naturally! On top of that, I wanted to express some vigor!
The fourth track WELCOME and the 10th VAMPIRE SIGHT are sung entirely in English. How do you feel the English language lends itself to these songs?
Nimo: I felt that the word WELCOME can express quite a number of meanings. As for VAMPIRE SIGHT, vampires have a strong image as something that is foreign. For both songs, the lyrics didn’t work out well in Japanese so I tried challenging myself by writing them in English.
PSYCHIC DANCE, the playful seventh track on the album, is also one of our favorite songs on the album. What message did you want to send to listeners with this song?
ANONYMOUS: Dance to the psychic sound!
Tell us your biggest hurdle thus far!
Nimo: Ivy sometimes teases us [laughs]. And we couldn’t quite decide on a name for the band!
Now we’re intrigued, what other band names did you come up with?
ANONYMOUS: “The John Doe without a name” (名無しの権兵衛).
To switch it up a little, how has the pandemic affected your activities?
ANONYMOUS: We couldn’t hold any concerts like we thought we would!
Nimo: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the things we hold dear are what connect our hearts together. I was able to think anew how wonderful it is to be able to meet a good friend.
On the topic of connecting with others, which song makes you feel the most connected with the fans?
ANONYMOUS: WORLD END.
What would you say is each individual member’s strength?
ANONYMOUS: The amount of experience each member has acquired to this day and how everyone has plenty of skills.
What do you want to achieve with ANONYMOUS?
ANONYMOUS: A US tour!
If a US tour does come into play somewhere down the line, is there any place you would like to go in particular and why?
ANONYMOUS: Plymouth, Massachusetts. We want to feel its history.
Are there any upcoming activities you have planned?
ANONYMOUS: In the future, we want to keep freely doing the things we want to do.
Please leave a message for your current and future overseas fans!
ANONYMOUS: Please listen to our album “WHO?”! Please keep supporting us in the future!
JROCK NEWS gives our thanks to the band ANONYMOUS, and Chaotic Harmony, as this interview wouldn’t be possible without either of their help.
Chaotic Harmony’s crowdfunding campaign for the omnibus album Chaos Collection will also feature the song Shitsu Rakuen -Paradise Lost- taken from the band’s single HEAVEN.