Interview and Article / Tomoyuki Mori
Translation and Edit / Melissa
Live Photos / Keiko Tanabe
Source: Natalie’s Interview with Royz
The New Single Implies A Brand New Beginning
–Your new single THE BEGINNING incorporates elements of dance music and becomes a upbeat song. This is a new taste of music that Royz tries for the first time.
Koudai: First of all, I played the demo I made to other members, and they suggested something like “it’s better to insert phrases like this right after the chorus” and “it would be more exciting if we do this”. I rearranged the song according to their suggestions.
Tomoya: I couldn’t imagine very well what the song would express when it was still a demo, I was like ”I’m not sure what it’s going to be like?”. But after we improved the song with arrangement and when we actually performed the song, I reconfirmed: “The song would definitely be a hit!”
Subaru: We performed this song for the first time at our show before, and everyone seemed to enjoy it very much. Also we invited fans to participate in the song’s music video shooting as well.
Kuina: The new single sounds very “Royz”; meanwhile it has a very fresh touch as well. I really like that balance. We also managed to mix dance music elements into it, which means we are no longer restricted (to making a fixed type of music ) like before anymore.
Subaru: This song sounds unusual, right? Anyway, I don’t want people to get tired of us. The audience listen to our songs more frequently than we do. In this case, I have to work even harder to avoid them getting tired of the songs.
–You have [We are ready to restart at any time] in the new song’s lyrics. This expresses the members’ present state of mind, doesn’t it?
Subaru: Until this point I still don’t know anything of “what it is that can be conveyed to people through music”. However, as I got many experiences on the way, I realized and understood something by myself. I expressed how I felt regarding the departure of Kazuki in the previous song “Supernova” — actually I just wrote down my true emotions as they were, and this time for THE BEGINNING I am equally true to my feelings. “It is never too late to start anything”, this is what I actually felt in reality.
Tide Over the Departure of An Original Member Kazuki
–I would like to ask this question again, the loss of a member had a huge influence on you, right?
Subaru: It was too huge influence. If we were to make a chronicle of our band, the departure of Kazuki would be a major incident marked in red.
Koudai: In red and bold (laugh).
Subaru: Right now we could laugh over our chat on this topic, but at that time we cried a lot over his departure. When we first started this band, we decided: “whoever leaves the band, Royz disbands”. Once in the car, when we picked up the topic on Kazuki’s departure, Koudai said: “Although we agreed to disband Royz if even only one member leaves, what do you guys think now?”
Subaru: It was actually me who first suggested: “Royz will disband no matter who leaves”. However, considering the actual circumstances, we were surprisingly hesitant on making the decision. I thought to myself at that time: “If I give up at this point, I will definitely regret when I die.” The member’s departure was a super serious happening not only to me and other members, but also to our audience and management company. We entitled this new single THE BEGINNING, which indicates that this is where we start.
–You finished the latest live tour as ”Four-piece Royz”, did you get more confidence from that?
Subaru: Before the tour started, to be honest, I had no clue with what kind of feeling we would be performing, or what kind of shows would be presented. We had been doing this band together for five years until Kazuki decided to leave. At that point, I really felt as if I lost one of the family members. However, during the live tour, I found my feeling changing bit by bit.
Tomoya: When we toured around every city, I realized in some places the number of audience increased, while in others it decreased. But anyway, our latest tour final show turned out to be satisfactory and we managed to create some exciting vibes at the show. That live show was the peak of my emotional expression.
Subaru: And you cried at the live show.
Tomoya: Yes I did (laugh).
–I am sure the loss of a guitarist greatly affected the band’s ensemble and your overall sound.
Koudai: It goes without saying that the structure of our song changes a lot (because of the departure of Kazuki). I know that Kuina as the guitarist is the most affected, and compared with him, my pressure is not a big deal. But there’s one thing: after Kazuki left, there is only me on the left side of the stage now, which is really a big change for me. After all, I really do not want the audience to think we get worse after we became a 4-piece band, so I have to perform better and become cooler on the stage. Of course, we did not achieve the completed status yet.
–You’ve got to be more powerful after you became a four-piece band.
Koudai: We actually are getting more powerful. Also it is important for us to perform shows that would get well received by those who insist saying that “the band used to be better (with five members)”.
Kuina: Only holding live tour with the present line-up would not clear up all the uneasiness of our audience. Other members’ fans also send me messages like “I guess it might be very difficult for you to tide over the loss of the other guitarist, good luck to you!!”
Subaru: I see.
Kuina: Of course, we are strongly determined towards our goal and we hope to express our feelings completely to the audience.
Everything We Do Is For Our Fans
–All of Royz’s music activities are based on the consideration for fans in mind.
Koudai: Because we have various kinds of fans.
Subaru: Isn’t it thanks to the fans that we could continue doing music? I definitely understand that artists are supposed to push out and present whatever they would like to express themselves, but if we impose on the audience only this kind of music and can’t get good feedbacks as a result, we’d be more willing to create the kind of music that makes the audience happy.
Koudai: In my teenage years, I used to have some personal requests for the bands I was obsessed with: “if they make something like this, I would be happy”, “I don’t want them to do something like this”, etc. For example, the B-side song of a single I bought when I was in middle school was really boring and I hated that.
Subaru: I know! It’s like “What the hell do they want to do?”
Koudai: One more thing: of course I’m not talking about every band generally, — for some of them, they just take the live version of a previous song as the B-side of a new single, and I’m like “Did you even try?” (laugh). We Royz definitely don’t want to do that.
Subaru: We are not flattering our fans. We’ve done so much to form this band, so we really want to see our audience happy (with us).
–Your first-time 47-Prefecture Japan Tour「The 47th Beginners」that starts in May is also planned based on the purpose “for fans”, right?
Subaru: There are still about 15 prefectures that we’ve never toured to before. Even if there is only one person who likes Royz, we would like to perform a live show in that place. Needless to say, this tour is a huge one for us.
Koudai: Going to a live show is really not anything easy. High school students only have a very limited amount of pocket money. To those audience that come to our live shows, I really want our show to be a motivation for their lives (make them think that “I got to do my best!!”).
Kuina: I really enjoy preparing for this tour. For example, when I organize the guitar data, there are some unfinished parts, and I enjoy working on those. Although it is nothing easy, when I finally complete it, I think to myself: “you made it, look how fantastic you are!” (laugh) If you think about it in another way, everything you work on is pleasant.
Tomoya: I’m definitely looking forward to the live tour! Looking forward to the holidays as well. I would like to go to the beach during the summer tour.
Subaru: I also wannna go to big carnivals.
Tomoya: To get refreshed is also important.
Koudai: But this guy (Tomoya), the next day after he went to the beach, he said his body was in pain and he couldn’t play the drums. I really hate that!
–(laugh). This is the last question. Kiryu and Kameleo (both are renowned Visual Kei bands) are also holding a 47-prefecture Japan live tour at the same season with you, and it seems like more Visual Kei bands are putting more efforts into their live shows. I would like know what do you think of the current Visual Kei scene?
Subaru: A “disbanding rush” is actually going on in the Visual Kei scene right now. Nevertheless, I prefer not to regard this as a bad situation, instead, as long as Royz work hard together with other remaining bands and aim to improve the current Visual Kei scene, I believe we could create a brand new “Visual Kei boom” someday.
Koudai: We are good friends with Kameleo — we often go out for meals together. I learned a lot from them. I believe in (the advantages of) “give and take”, therefore, in return, I will also do anything I can for them if needed.
Subaru: Until not long ago, bands that came out at the same time tended to compete with and defeat others. But in the recent one or two years, that trend has changed. Right now, all bands tend to get united, cooperate, and make the Visual Kei stronger.
–If this works out well, the movement of Neo-Visual Kei will probably continue.
Subaru: For the present time, there is nothing “definitely to be popular”.
Koudai: Exactly. Way too many styles of music are going on in this world. No one can guarantee that “if we do this, it will sell well!”
Subaru: Although there are many bands with great individuality, compared with this, I feel that we are “the rule of right”. For this “rule of right” part of Royz, I think we should work hard from now to make it stand out more as our unique individuality.
★To buy their new single THE BEGINNING on Amazon.jp:
This is the last part of this interview with Royz by natalie.mu. I am very happy to have translated it and present it to Royz fans. ♥
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