VAMPS Live 2013 Los Angeles Pre-Show Interview
Today is a very special day because VAMPS is going to play an awesome show tonight at the House of Blues in Los Angeles! Not only am I super excited for that, but I am also excited to present to you guys a pre-show interview! I got to sit down with HYDE and K.A.Z and had a nice little chat. Enjoy!
Jason: First off, HYDE, thank you for doing the interview with us a month ago. It’s great to have K.A.Z finally join us! Again, I’m Jason. Thank you for doing this interview with me. It’s a true honor. I’ve been a fan of you guys for about 10 years now. It was difficult to come up with good questions to ask because I’m very nervous and excited!
Jason: Let us begin. HYDE and K.A.Z., you and your team have been to LA many times. What are some places that you must visit when you come to LA?
HYDE: I always go to Guitar Center. Yesterday, I went to Burton.
K.A.Z: Relatively speaking, Venice Beach is a common visit.
Jason: Did Venice Beach inspire you to write any songs?
K.A.Z: Yeah, I suppose when you go to a different environment it makes it easier to write songs. Since it’s quite refreshing.
Jason: Is there a particular spot that inspired you to write a certain song that’s already out?
K.A.Z: For the most part, I write in Japan. But I come to LA often, so there are times I get ideas while I’m here. I find myself in more instances of listening to the radio here, so I’ll sometimes hear a song and think, “Oh, I’d write it like this,” and record my ideas on my phone.
Jason: Did you go bike riding in Venice Beach?
HYDE: Yeah, I used to go bike riding a lot in the past. I have also skateboarded and rollerbladed. I really like the vibe of the area.
Jason: Did you guys buy any new guitars at Guitar Center?
HYDE: Not this time, since we have enough (laughs).
Jason: I know you guys loved snowboarding so did you guys buy any new snowboarding gears?
HYDE: Our New York show date is on our drummer’s, Arimatsu’s, birthday, so we bought him snowboarding gear as a present. It’s a secret though.
Jason: VAMPS is a kind of band that has to be heard live and you guys expressed that is your vision, so would you consider releasing a live CD?
HYDE: We weren’t thinking about it, but it’s a good idea.
Jason: I look forward to that. You guys covered songs like TROUBLE, LIVE WIRE, KYUKETSU -SATSUGAI VAMPS VER.-, Life on Mars?. How do you guys go about deciding what songs to cover?
HYDE: I’m not exactly sure of the how. I think it’s a lot about timing. It’s not like we choose songs that we especially like either (laughs). For example, we did TROUBLE because everyone knows the original in Japan as it was popular there. And we covered David Bowie’s song because there was a compilation project. And KYUKETSU was because he (points to K.A.Z) wrote the song, so there are various reasons. We’d like to cover a song that we really like next time. Although I do like LIVE WIRE.
Jason: One of the major aspects of your live DVDs I’ve noticed, especially the BEAST LIVE DVD, there are a lot of shots of the fans. Because you showed the fans having so much fun, it made me love that particular DVD. What made you guys decide to show more of your fans?
HYDE: I consider our fans the 6th member of our band, so if they aren’t shown, then the DVD remains incomplete. I think of them as an essential part of the show. I want the people who watch the DVD to see the fans’ points of view as well as their level of excitement.
Jason: This is sort of like a serious question. I’ve spoken to many fans and a lot of them tell me that your music has enabled them to change their lives, like becoming musicians themselves, working hard and graduating from school, overcoming depression, etc. You guys are major, major role models to many of your fans, especially here in the states too. In my opinion, the members of VAMPS always take huge risks in achieving their dreams. Is there any advice you can give to us on achieving our dreams?
K.A.Z: Hmmm… Advice? I’d say you should give whatever it is you want to do your all, since it’s better than not doing it and regretting it afterwards. I’m not saying don’t give up, but I think it’s imperative that you do what you like to do.
Jason: That is my risk – coming here today. It all started in September-October. It’s been a long process to be here with you guys today. It’s a dream come true. Thank you.
HYDE: Thank you.
Jason: This question is for K.A.Z. You composed a lot of my favorite VAMPS songs such as REDRUM, MEMORIES, and COSMOS. I was just curious, did you have any say in what you want the lyrics or messages for those songs to be?
K.A.Z: As for the lyrics, I don’t really give suggestions. I really just write the song, and then HYDE listens to it and writes the lyrics. That’s our songwriting process.
Jason: For HYDE, I noticed you’re getting into shape lately. You get buffer every time I see you. What exercises do you do and are you on any special diet?
HYDE: I follow a low carb diet. But when I’m drinking, if there’s any food in front of me, I’ll eat it all. So when I’m drinking, I don’t want people to put food in front of me. As for training, I exercise when I’m in the mood or if I’m not drunk. But lately I’ve been a bit out of shape because we haven’t had any shows. So I’m kind of worried.
Jason: When I saw a picture of you in Jakarta, you had a six pack. My friends were there to see you.
HYDE: That was created with computer graphics (laughs).
Jason: Back to K.A.Z. Could you talk a little bit more about your sleeve tattoo? I know Ju-ken and Arimatsu have one too. Have you guys tried convincing Jin and HYDE to get one?
K.A.Z: No (laughs).
HYDE: Actually, his (points to K.A.Z) tattoos are done by a really famous artist.
K.A.Z: Mine are very traditional Japanese tattoos. They’re done by hand rather than needle, so they’re different from Ju-ken’s and Arimatsu’s (laughs).
Jason: Ever since VAMPS resumed its’ activities in 2012, HYDE, you haven’t played the guitar as much because you wanted to focus on singing. What are some songs that require you to focus on singing and what are some songs that require you to play the guitar?
HYDE: I don’t play the guitar for songs that have the guitars playing in unison. During songs in which the guitar parts are different, I play the guitar reluctantly. It’d be nice to have another guitarist, but we can’t seem to find someone who will play the guitar for us.
Jason: When coming up with setlists, are there certain songs you choose to play for a particular country/state in mind or do you switch out songs because you felt it was necessary?
HYDE: We don’t usually change it that much. Right now, SEX, BLOOD, ROCK N’ ROLL is our main reason for touring, so that’s kind of the theme. If there’s a particular song that’s really popular in a certain place, then we’ll add it, but it’s rare with VAMPS.
Jason: Please play MEMORIES tomorrow.
HYDE: Ah, I don’t know about that (laughs).
Jason: In 2010, I saw you guys at the Avalon, and you guys didn’t play MEMORIES… 🙁
HYDE: I see, I see. I’ll think about it.
Jason: So with 2014 in the horizon, can you reveal a bit more about what your fans can expect? Perhaps more USA tours next year?
HYDE: Our latest album is our first worldwide release, but in Japan, this is a best-of album. I feel kind of sorry for the Japanese fans, since they haven’t heard a new album or a new song in a while, so we need to release a new one next year. I think it’d be great if we can come to the US and have our fans here listen to it as well.
Jason: Will you record in LA again?
HYDE: Well, the engineer we always work with is in LA, so there’s definitely a possibility.
Jason: I saw a little bit of your London live, and your English has drastically improved. I know this album is completely in English so it must be hard. How do you practice? Do you listen to your songs over and over again?
HYDE: I went through training hell with the engineer (laughs). I cried while I sang, so I think I’ve put my soul into the record.
Jason: A friend of mine wanted me to asked this. Since Christmas is coming, what do you guys hope to get this year as presents?
HYDE: Alcohol would make me the happiest (laughs).
K.A.Z: Something related to my hobbies, like a snowboard, or actually, a song. I’d like to receive ideas for a song, so I wouldn’t have to write them myself (laughs).
HYDE: And then he’d use the time that was gained to go snowboarding (laughs).
Jason: Question for HYDE, a lot of my friends that are girls wonder where you get your sunglasses.
HYDE: Hmm where did I buy this? I forgot. But these are Christian Roth. I want another pair, but I can’t find them anymore. When I wear certain sunglasses, the fans always buy them, so when I go look for another pair, I can’t get them anymore.
Jason: What about VAMPS goods? Will you bring some of that to America one day?
HYDE: We don’t have any plans to do that right now. If everyone starts buying them, we’ll probably move in that direction. For right now, I think we’ve brought the world tour merch.
Jason: A lot of my friends import your goods. They really want it here.
HYDE: (laughs) Right. Thank you.
Jason: HYDE already answered this in our previous interview, so K.A.Z., our blog strives to find the cutest, the coolest, and the most amazing things. What is cute, cool, and amazing to you?
K.A.Z: Something that is cute, cool, and amazing… That’s hard…
HYDE: Chinko? (which is a how a child refers to the main male private part haha)
K.A.Z: (laughs) Oh, HYDE is! (laughs)
HYDE: (laughs) Good job getting out of the question.
K.A.Z: It’s rare to see something that has both cute and cool qualities.
HYDE: I’m also amazing (laughs)!
Jason: That’s all the questions I have. Again, thank you so much for doing this interview. I will always come see your shows in LA, and hopefully someday in Japan, because it always seems like the lives are so much fun in Japan.
HYDE: Nice. Thank you.
K.A.Z.: Thank you.
Again, VAMPS will be playing tonight at the House of Blues in Los Angeles! Tickets are still on sale so come see an awesome show before 2013 ends. I guarantee you will have a great time.
VAMPS Live 2013 in Los Angeles on December 4th House of Blues 8430 Sunset Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90069 Buy Tickets
The FIRST PART of the LA VAMPS Fan Interviews are up! Check out the hilarity! 🙂