Monday, January 13, 2014

Issue: March, 2009
Translation by: Oritsu_luv

For this interview, now that the PSC Festival on January 3rd is over, I’d like you to tell me about the past ten years with PSC Company as someone who’s been with the company since its very beginning.

Roger that! (A member of the company’s staff hands him a cup of tea.) Thanks. Huh? What’s that? (He found a price tag on the bottom of the cup.) It says this cost 210 yen. [About two dollars] Staff: Oh, no one ever took the price tag off… It’s like, “You just did a big concert at the Budokan Arena promoting the company, but you use 210 yen cups at the office?” (LOL)

What’s wrong with 210 yen cups? (LOL)

I don’t really care that it cost 210 yen, but it’s like, at least take off the price tag. (LOL) But when we started out, the PSC Company was just the four of us in Du’ele Quartz (Miyavi’s old band) and the company president. (LOL) We went to the store to buy the material to make our outfits, and like, I didn’t even know that there were CD stores that specialized in Visual Kei before I joined the company. [Visual Kei is the genre of music Miyavi plays.] Like, ‘We have this whole culture…’ (LOL) The company president took the band to all these different CD stores.

At the beginning, there were all staff members were female, right?

We didn’t have any other guys, so when we moved to a new office and all of that, all us band guys got enlisted to help. To be honest, it was kind of tough. (LOL) But at the beginning, when Du’ele Quartz were the only band, Sakipon (Du’ele Quartz’ vocalist) and the President and me did in-store events at CD shops all over the country. We did research on CD shops in all the different prefectures, and then we went with our CDs, with no appointment or anything, to be like ‘Hi, we’re Du’ele Quartz, please support us!’ The president had worked at an Enka [Japanese folk music] company so she had the know how from that experience. We were this indie Visual-Kei band, so of course no one had heard of us before, you know? But the president took Sakipon and me to every store even though she knew that they’d be like ‘Huh? Du’ele Quartz? Who the hell are they?’ That experience is still in my heart, and I really respect her for it.

I’ve known you since you were in Du’ele Quartz, but I’ve never heard that story before. It’s such a nice story. So how was the Budokan Arena?

That was kind of sudden there! What about the flow of the conversation? (LOL)

Flooow! So how was it?

I think that it turned out really well, and I was able to put on the kind of show I wanted. Timing-wise it was right around the time of the conflicts in Israel and the economic downturn, so thinking globally, there weren’t many good things happening around the world, and it made me feel so lucky to just be able to have a celebration like that. And I really wanted to see how lucky I could feel about it. I didn’t want to take it for granted. I wanted to kind of point the show in a certain direction, even as the headliner, and I think that personally, I was in a role where I had to really pull the show together, and conclude the show. So I was thinking about how we should make it all flow, and I think that it ended up coming out really well. But I think that even though it was an event for the company, for my crew it was kind of like an away game, it wasn’t so easy to do.

Huh? An away game? How so?

Well, yeah. I mean, I think of myself as Visual-Kei, and I always say I am, what I’m doing is very different from what the normal bands are doing, you know? Both in terms of my sound and my [fashion] style. After all, I think most of the kids that got together for the event like that band sound, and I’m sure a lot of them were seeing me for the first time. Like, they looked at TYKO [the rapper in the Kavki Boiz group Miyavi performs with some times] and thought, ‘Who that heck is that huge dude?’ You know? (LOL) But I didn’t want to compromise the way I wanted to present myself because of that, so I faced them with my own stance. So I wanted to reset the atmosphere first. I wanted to restart the audience at zero. So I started off with a slow song. I wanted to paint the picture of a solo artist, so I wanted to perform the song on my own. I wanted to show the way I am, and that there are so many ways of enjoying music, and about being happy. I thought that my role was to get everyone there smiling. And I think that I was maybe able to do that.

This show you didn’t perform as the Kavki Boiz.

Yeah, we had two dancers from the ‘Oresama ha daaare da?’ tour too. And it isn’t that the Kavki Boiz are over or I’ll never do a show in that style again. Also, from about the time that I finished my world tour last year, I started to feel really strongly about wanting to focus on singing more. Because with the Kavki Boiz on my world tour, I was the only guitarist, so there was a limit to what I could do, because there were parts that wouldn’t work if I put my guitar down.

When you first started singing after you began your solo career after the band broke up and you lost your place to play guitar as a guitarist , you said that you felt like one of your wings had been clipped. It felt like you had a resistance to picking up a guitar, like you couldn’t really go back to that right away, so you were using singing as a different way to get your music out. So the way you feel about singing has changed a little since then.

Yeah, I had a complex about singing for a long time. There were a lot of struggles and I thought about quitting singing a few times, but I finally started to feel like I want to express my music through my voice. It’s been five or six years since I started singing. I did the world tour, and so many people came out to listen not only to my guitar, but to my songs too, and it made me I wanted to keep on singing.

You were a secret guest at the JACK IN THE BOX 2008 last year (An end of the year event for the Maverick DC group, label for bands like L’arc en Ciel, MUCC, and Sid). You played as part of a session group with Tetsu from L’arc and Takanori Nishikawa on vocals, you and Inoran on guitar and Shusei on bass, and Yukinojo Shiratori on drums. You were really ‘Miyavi the guitarist’ there. LOL

Yeah. I totally went back to went I was in Du’ele Quatz. (LOL) At my own shows, I play adlibs depending on the atmosphere, but since it was one song, I really wanted to get my solo perfect. The day before, I perfected the solo I was going to play. And then right before we went on, my mind went completely blank. (LOL) I’d just perfected it, but I forgot one phrase and then the rest of it was just gone. (LOL) Oh man, that was so mortifying and embarrassing! (LOL) But I think that through the years I’ve really come into my own style as a guitarist. Like, my own weapon. I feel like I have that now. The company is also passing a kind of checkpoint at the ten year mark, and I wonder maybe if you want to do it right, it really does take you ten years to get there. Because I feel like it’s something that I’ve just started to find for myself.

That’s true. You said ‘I feel like I’m more confident in myself now, so I don’t need to front, I don’t need to wear flashy clothes anymore’ but you were so wonderfully flashy at the show on Jan. 3rd. Those flowered spats reminded me of Kageki Shimoda. [A Japanese author/personality] (LOL)

That certainly was an amazing style. (LOL) That outfit was definitely the opposite of what I said in the interview. (LOL) But I do change my outfits depending on my mood. After all, it wouldn’t be interesting to be too normal. (LOL) I brought my family to the place I had memories of going when I was 19.

By the way, you took some time off after New Years and went to Okinawa, right?

Yeah. I wanted to take my Mom with me. I really wanted to take her abroad, but I didn’t have time.

Okinawa is where you went to collect your thoughts right before you began your solo career, right?

Yeah. That was also part of it. I wanted to take another look a lot of things, and apparently my mom had gone there for her honeymoon. I was 19 the first time I went, and I was worrying about so many things. I had wanted to go to the ocean, where there weren’t any other people. Somewhere with no crowds. I wanted to go somewhere with not other people, so I got into a taxi and I said ‘Take me to the ocean.’, and I stood looking at the ocean for an entire day. I wanted to go back there this time, but Okinawa has changed since then and I couldn’t find the place again. I hadn’t gone to a specific place at the time, so I couldn’t go back there. I don’t know where I was. But there was still something really moving about it. I watched the ocean, and I thought, ‘I can take those steps forward slowly. The important thing is how many times you can do that.’

That’s true. It doesn’t have to be a full step at a time. It can even be a half step

Yeah, that’s right. But if I don’t have the courage to take that first step, I can’t even take half steps. Part of me thinks, well, if I can’t even take that first step, I should just stay at zero. But I realize that’s not true. I can just start with half steps. Back then, I was too worried to even take the first step, but now I know how to more forward slowly. Even if you don’t know what the right answer is, the important thing is to start moving. About ten years have passed since I picked up a guitar. So I haven’t even been singing for ten years, so I’m really just beginning. So I just want to move forward this year, even if it’s just a little bit.


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