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forever-lunasea:

nice shot of exhibition’s at tower records pic

  • Become enraptured in the dazzling pure white light of “Anthem of Light,” as LUNA SEA’s original album finally opens its curtains to the world at last.

  • The album is an overwhelming and dense band ensemble, with the lyrics and vocals by RYUICHI beautifully tying together the band’s roots as well as present in a single line. “The reason that the music was born is simply because the five of us had the urge to make music, and nothing more,” SUGIZO explains. The band was still at the height of their popularity when their desire for creativity had faded and LUNA SEA gracefully “closed curtain”. The reason behind the naming of their new album, “A WILL” held a surprisingly deep significance. All of LUNA SEA is contained within it.

  • BARKS:

    The album “A WILL” has both power and beauty, and is like the flower that has bloomed at the end of the “stem” called LUNA SEA. How do you, SUGIZO, feel about it?

  • SUGIZO:

    For me, each piece becomes a thing of the past after about a week from its completion, so I always have thoughts like, “I wish this part was more like that,” but apart from my critical eye, I think that an achievement like this album is quite difficult for a band in their forties right now. It may sound absurd but it’s something pure, something innocent.

  • B:

    For example?

  • S:

    First of all, the songs recorded on this album are the music that was naturally born from our desire and determination to revive LUNA SEA at the beginning of 2010. At that time, we had a vague idea that someday we wanted it to take shape in the form of an album, but there was no concrete plan for that; rather, we were going on the idea of, “let’s see what will happen if the current LUNA SEA goes all out and makes some music.” In other words, the feeling was almost like that of a newly formed rock band. When you’re just starting out, the songs are the proof of your existence. You don’t make it to sell it; you do it as a pure expression of the self. What makes this album special is that it was born from that thought process.

  • B:

    Did you choose from among the songs that you gathered over the years?

  • S:

    That’s right. We went through that process this year.

  • B:

    Incidentally, among how many songs did you choose from?

  • S:

    At least double that of the songs that are actually recorded. There are many songs that we partially finished recording but that aren’t included in this album.

  • B:

    Could you call this an original album that was created from scratch?

  • S:

    That’s it exactly. That’s why it is like a “first album” type of piece. The reason that the music was born is simply because the five of us had the urge to make music, and nothing more; I feel it’s very fresh and pure.

  • B:

    Was your though process in songwriting different this time around than prior to LUNA SEA’s disbandment?

  • S:

    Yes, it was. When you repeatedly release several albums, you start to think, “Next time I wanna try this,” or “I wanna have this kind of approach,” and that thought process becomes the number one priority. That’s not a bad thing, and it’s thanks to that kind of thinking that experimental music and new styles are born, but this time it was different. This time, our starting point was, “What will happen if we go all out and make music right now as we are?” I think that’s the fundamental difference this time.

  • B:

    In 2011 LUNA SEA released a self-cover album, “LUNA SEA”, of the band’s first album “LUNA SEA” (1991); I felt like this album’s sense of scale was a fusion of the early days of “LUNA SEA” and the current LUNA SEA.

  • S:

    I’m glad to hear that, because that’s what we intended. One of the reasons we did the self-cover was to reaffirm our band attitude to that of when we were just starting out. If you think of it that way, we have two first albums (laugh).

  • B:

    Now that you mention it, that’s true.

  • S:

    Also, another important point is that the album was born because we were able to complete the single, “THE ONE—crash to create—“.

  • B:

    It was REBOOT’s first single, approximately 23 minutes long, right?

  • S:

    ”THE ONE—“ is a song that thoroughly explored LUNA SEA’s profound and cosmic view of the world, in a sense, it is a challenge to the limit. Because we were able to make a piece on such a grand scale, we were able to achieve a feeling of freshness that is characteristic of the early days of a band. It is for this reason that LUNA SEA was able to create unquestionable rock ‘n roll singles like, “The End of the Dream” and “Rouge”. There’s no question that “THE ONE—“ had a great influence on the album “A WILL”. I feel that it’s like the relationship between the earth and the moon.

  • B:

    Could you please tell me the significance behind the naming of the album “A WILL”?

  • S:

    "WILL” just by itself is a word in future tense, expressing intent to do something; however the words “A WILL” mean “a testament” or “last request”.

  • It also has the nuance of pointing toward the future, and although it has a positive meaning, it also means that things are at a place where everything could come to an end and there would be no regrets.

  • B:

    Does that mean that it would be okay for LUNA SEA to come to an end?

  • S:

    Personally, I feel that way. Right now, I feel it would be okay for everything to come to an end, for LUNA SEA to disappear from this world. We put all our heart and soul into all of our pieces, and now that I think about it, it’s quite fitting of LUNA SEA to call our finally released new album in 13 years, “a will and testament”. We put that much of ourselves into it.

  • B:

    I thought it was spectacular how the music had a sense of expansion as it was being performed, as well as the vibe and scale of the music working together all the while holding a characteristic sense of each member’s input. I also think the fact that each member established themselves with their own solo is not irrelevant, but what do you yourself, as SUGIZO feel when you hear the current LUNA SEA sound?

  • S:

    I think that LUNA SEA is a collection of unique players. What’s great about them is that these performers have a grasp on their relationship with the other members as well as each member’s importance, and on top of that they can still express their own unique characteristics. Especially in a rock band where collaboration is a key, it’s important to be able to bring out a sound that is characteristic of that vision. That is the most prominent characteristic of our members right now. Everyone works to get into the same groove, and asserts who they are in a perfect balance of back and forth. To be honest, solo players are quite difficult to deal with, but everyone here was raised in the world of rock bands, which is why they are able to do what they do.

  • B:

    Would you say it’s because everyone had culminated a long solo career on top of the foundation of the band that the group was able to reach its current frontier?

  • S:

    Yes. It’s something like a selfless frontier; we don’t think about it too much.

  • B:

    What do you think of the band ensemble?

  • S:

    As for that, well, if we play our sound naturally, this is what comes out. What I paid particular attention to was bringing out a realness in the sound in terms of each beat and breath, more than in any other works in the past.

  • B:

    I was able to feel what seemed almost like an aroma coming out from the sound, like a shade of color or a positive energy-like feeling.

  • S:

    That might be because we felt it was important to make the music so alive that you could practically hear our breathing or smell our bodies. I think that’s one of the elements of getting cheered up by listening to music.

  • B:

    The album is a grand piece of work, and starts out with a song that almost wraps you in light, “Anthem of Light”; did the members discuss what kind of message they wanted to convey through this song?

  • S:

    It’s not like we sat down and had a discussion over it, however, it strongly reflects an air of the times on its own. These are wild times, but there’s no reason to release negative energy just because of that; we made this song with the thought that it’s precisely because we live in our current world that it’s necessary for rock music to be the thing that brings light to it. Even without negative expressions and bad words the world is negative enough as it is.

  • B:

    I see, so that’s why you started with a powerful song that held a bright light. In some of the lyrics that RYUICHI wrote for this album, words like “moon”, “angel” and “wings” appear. I’m sure that while keeping close to the LUNA SEA image, there is also a message that is included with those lyrics, something that’s not a representation of reality.

  • S:

    Rather, I think it would be more appropriate to say that it’s avoiding a realistic representation. For example, there’s no need for LUNA SEA to emit a political message like Rage Against the Machine. Personally, I really love that band, but part of the reason I felt that way was because it was the 90’s, and to be honest I wonder if it’s really necessary to send that kind of message now. When it comes down to it, we want to create a sound that will stimulate our imagination.

  • B:

    Could you say that sentiment is LUNA SEA stance?

  • S:

    Maybe, that could be it. I guess you could call it music that gives inspiration by widening the imagination, and therefore acts as a catalyst for realistic feedback. That’s why I think it’s not necessary to sing with a direct message.

  • B:

    The album includes “Glowing” which picks up the groove in the album with its boney beat, while “Metamorphosis” has a sharp up-tempo tune. I felt a sort of stimulation and newness from the two.

  • S:

    Those two songs are very fresh. “Glowing” is a song that J brought to the table, saying “This would be a good song for us as a band right now to do.” There isn’t much variety in sound and it doesn’t have a lot of words, but it has a sort of persuasion and a dense sense of will; something like an expression of having a song that exudes coolness finally after reaching the age that we are now. Also Shinya’s drumming is really good too. This time around, I felt that the drumbeat was great in every song, but Shinya is even more amazing particularly in “Metamorphosis”.

  • B:

    I felt that while “Metamorphosis” was innovative, it also had a taste of the early days of LUNA SEA as well.

  • S:

    We were resolved to have an up-beat song. At the same time, we wanted it to have a cosmic sense of expansion. Ultimately it became a progressive piece in the form of hardcore/speed metal.

  • B:

    The whirlwind expansion is completely progressive isn’t it. But it’s also an element that LUNA SEA always had from the start.

  • S:

    I see. Certainly, it does have the culminated image of a song that descended from pieces like “FATE” and “IN FUTURE”. What’s different from the pieces of that time, however, is the role of INORAN and my guitar playing to cosmically color the music in a wider sense of atmosphere. RYU’s shouting also comes out, and shows his real ability when combined with the lyrics. I think there was never really a song that had a sense of this kind of acidic view of the world, while at the same time holding a speedy tempo. The temporary title was “ACID FAST” (laugh).

  • B:

    I think that it would be impossible for a band in their 20’s to create an album like this, while keeping that sense of innocence and purity like you were saying. It’s something that a mature group would have to create, but at the same time it’s not complacent. I think that balance is what characterizes the current LUNA SEA.

  • S:

    I think that’s exactly what the current LUNA SEA is. What we wanted to express were our feelings of gratitude and joy. We live in an age of uncertainty. But despite that, I’m grateful for the fact that we have been able to play as a rock band for 25 years, and I’m grateful for the fans who love LUNA SEA and our sound and have continued to support us all this time. I’m thankful that even after 25 years, our five members are healthy and in good condition, and able to play music even now. I’m thankful that such awesome guys were part of my hometown group. And more than anything, I’m thankful that we are able to make sound as a rock band. Ten years ago, I didn’t understand this important fact. It’s only after coming where I am now that I am able to look back and say, “What an amazing thing, it’s truly a miracle.”

  • B:

    Is this something that you were able to feel because there was an interval of time between the band’s initial disbandment and revival?

  • S:

    I think that’s part of it, and I also think it’s because as time has progressed I’ve seen the passing of some of my close friends and musicians. Even with all that, the five of us are still alive. We can still play music. That’s why I’m grateful for each and every moment. I may die tomorrow, but as I said earlier in the interview, that would be okay. “A WILL” contains the love and gratitude that was fully realized precisely because we have had a 25 year long history. As you said, it’s something that a band in their 20’s could not understand. But, at the same time, it’s our first album in 13 years so it has the same innocence of a first album. That’s because we simply play music with the feeling “Let’s play of rock n’ roll!”

  • B:

    I think this is a long-awaited album. Especially since after the group disbanded, the idea of being able to listen to a LUNA SEA original album became a distant dream.

  • S:

    It makes me happy that you feel that way. However, I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry about how the album is reviewed. Some people might think, “LUNA SEA is still doing this kind of music?” while others may think “They sound different and boring now,” but all we can do is do our best, without worrying too much about people’s responses. I think that’s the best way that we can give back.

  • B:

    I felt like the band’s feelings towards the waiting fans were expressed in the last song, “Grace”. The song has the phrase, “That day, I made you sad” which resounded like a reference to the disbandment.

  • S:

    We were meant to stop at that time. If we hadn’t, there wouldn’t be an “us” now.

  • B:

    You’re right. In closing, could you comment on what’s coming up?

  • S:

    On May 29, 2014 LUNA SEA will have our 25th anniversary. We’re prepared to give it our all during our anniversary year.

  • © Interview and Text by:

    Hiroko Yamamoto

  • Source:

    www.en.barks.jp/news/?id=1000003764

aangandancer:

Spread was a little too big for my scanner…T_T  From bridge January 2014, photo by Hirohisa Nakano.

aangandancer:

Photos from Rockin’ On Japan January 2014.  I tried my best to put the pages of the two spreads together (very difficult!), but this will have to do.  Yes, these are the only photos.  I was hoping for something similar to the May 2012 one, but I guess the band has to be on the cover for something like that.  Hopefully for the 25th anniversary live, they’ll have that?

Photo credits to Hirohisa Nakano.

(via forever-lunasea)

shiroi-heya:

I did a quick translation of Luna Sea’s Live Monster interview for fans who were curious about their appearance. The program was billed as them finally breaking their silence and talking about why they broke up and then got back together, and boy, did they talk about it. There’s cameo appearances from Fuzzy Control and Porno Graffitti as well. Enjoy :)

LUNA SEA ON LIVE MONSTER
Air date: December 1, 2013
English translation by Ger of Shiroi Heya


INTRO: “Born to be Wild” performed by Fuzzy Control

Nakamura Masato: Good evening to all you music lovers! I’m Nakamura Masato. Tonight’s guest artists are certainly a fit for Live Monster - wouldn’t you say? Here they are on our monster program: introducing Luna Sea!

Read More

SUGIZO: His upcoming solo tour – Part 1 of 2

SUGIZO TOUR 2013 THRIVE TO REALIZE, starting in December, is a culmination of SUGIZO’s 2013 solo activity. In between his studio sessions, we interviewed SUGIZO about the recording of the LUNA SEA album and being musical director of the Japanese theatrical production of “Frankenstein”. We talked about wide-ranging topics such as the “ultimate purification” aspect of his solo work and his views on the revival of LUNA SEA.

  • Getting inspiration from scenes and dialogue
  • The joy in making music that makes him say, “This is it!”

I know you’re busy as usual. Are you producing theater music now?
SUGIZO: Yes, I’m producing the music for “Frankenstein” now.

How did you become the musical director for “Frankenstein”?
SGZ: The producer for “Frankenstein” also produced last year’s theater production of “7DOOR~AOHIGIKO NO SHIRO~”, for which I was the musical director and the actor for. He believed the gothic feel of “Frankenstein” was up my alley, so he asked me again. I am a fan of gothic horror, and being able to make music for the world-renown “Frankenstein” is like a dream. This production is based on the Mary Shelley novel. I really liked the Boris Karloff film version from 1931, and the Coppola produced film starring Robert De Niro from 1994. The British theatrical production was said to be amazing, so being asked to do the music for the Japanese version made me feel like, “Are you sure you want me?” It happened to be at the same time as the production of the LUNA SEA album, so I had to record the band, and also think of musical motifs for the play at the same time.

Does the music to “Frankenstein” have a heavy gothic feel?
SGZ: It is dark. Frankenstein is a terrifying creature, but it is essentially based on a sad story, isn’t it? The loneliness and sadness of the creature that Victor Frankenstein created is the most important part. I believe that Victor regrets creating a monster, so the music I made is based on the lonely screams of people who do not know how to love.

It seems like very sad music. How is the process of making theater music different from when you make music for your solo and band projects?
SGZ: There is not much difference between the solo and band creative processes. The difference is in the technical process of whether it’s a live band sound, or a sequence-based dance tune. Making a soundtrack is completely different. A lot of fragmented ideas come to me in the beginning. Sometimes, a melody will suddenly pop in my head, and sometimes, loads of phrases come to me while I am holding the guitar. I start by collecting all of these fragmented sketches. It grows from there, and sometimes orchestration comes out of it… There are no rules to the style, so there is freedom there. A song is born when the vision of the script, the director, and the producer all come together. With a band, the people you play with are the most important. When we play together, how gripping the song is, and how well the other members can express the song are crucial.

I see. You are expanding your musical platforms, aren’t you?
SGZ: I am growing as a composer. The director and producer come from a non-musical background. So to describe an idea for a song, they will say something like, “Lonely and sad, but angry with a bit of humor”. Ideas like these are fun, and I get a kick out of using scenes and dialogue as inspiration to come up with music that makes us go, “That’s it!”

It seems like it could be used as film soundtrack as well.
SGZ: I want to do a film score. But what makes theater music fun is that you can’t fake it. In that sense, it’s a lot like our live shows.

Earlier, you talked a bit about the recording of the LUNA SEA album. Can you tell us a bit about the new single, “RAN” that is due out on November 13.
SGZ: The melody for “RAN” just popped in my head. The title track for our first single after our reunion focused heavily on our up-tempo band sound. This time, we focused a little bit more on the song itself. It was important that RYUICHI could passionately and freely sing over the music. It’s got a nostalgic 90’s melody to it, in a good way. But we imagined the instruments creating a fiery background for the vocals.

The song seems to have a very LUNA SEA message to it, doesn’t it?
SGZ: I believe that, perhaps, it’s a reflection of how the world is moving. We could have made it into a catchy song about relationships, but you can’t really make that type of song in these restless times, can you? The coupled song, “ECHO” is also very good. Shinya created the original idea, and INORAN led us into making into a complete song. INORAN and I switched our roles on guitar, and I hope people like it.

I mean this in a good way, but I can’t seem to pinpoint which one of you wrote the songs on this post-reunion single. What do you think has changed about LUNA SEA? What do you think stayed the same?
SGZ: There are more things that have changed than stayed the same. We haven’t made an album in over 10 years. Our personalities and lifestyles have changed naturally with time. We are all a natural evolution of ourselves now. We don’t have to bind ourselves together like before. Each of us have become accomplished artists on our own, and it is more like we are all coming together as solo artists to make a LUNA SEA album.

I think there are other bands that have been doing the same thing since they started.
SGZ: You’re right. We disbanded once and went through our ups and downs, and we experienced many things on our own before reuniting as LUNA SEA. I think it is fantastic that others can keep their band from changing over the years, and I also think that is wonderful to be able to start over from scratch like we did. Even if we have achieved a lot as solo artists, we all need to have a rock band to be in. There is no other place for us to be than in LUNA SEA.

The catharsis that comes from creating something between five people seems like a special thing.
SGZ: Simply put, being in a rock band is cool. When I was in my teens, I started playing in bands because I was enamored with the idea of it.

I can feel the romance of being in a rock band in your new single.
SGZ: Passion, beauty, and sensuality. I want to make sensual noises with my guitar.

It’s as though intensity and sweetness are co-existing.
SGZ: It’s like sweet honey, but with poison… Maybe an aphrodisiac…

Report & text: Hiroko Yamamoto

(Source: en.barks.jp)