The album official release is tomorrow so I hope it can help in understanding the album and the songs more! Enjoy!
RUKI: Because this is the album's entry to the end, time-wise it's compact, so we decided to make something which isn't too impressive from the sound aspect. The original form is the song we played during an FC Tour called [FROM THE DISTORTED CITY] (started in 2008). But, the roughly original form hadn't been fixed. As much as possible, we wanted to create a song which doesn't carry too much specific meaning.
VENOMOUS SPIDER'S WEB
-- This song's lyrics is written by RUKI-kun, right.
RUKI: I think it might be the song which is the strongest in symbolizing the image carried in the album, [TOXIC]. The world has gradually become more and more modernized. In the middle of digitalization, it's not only beneficial, but bugs and error were also born here and there. The digital element inserted in the arrangement is related to that.
-- Then at the same time, with its interweaving play of the flesh and blood, this is the song which creates the highlight scene for the members.
Aoi: In the very beginning, there's a part when together the guitars' sequence barks "Ja, ja, ja!" right? Speaking about the mood, that part was played in the nostalgic "Juliana Tokyo" * kind of feeling (laughs). To put it in words, it is a bit calm. But while putting in the digital element, when we felt like we don't want to make it that much of a digital sound, there were some points where we compromised and it became like that.
Uruha: This song has various elements in it, it was difficult to pursue the sounds. Just like what Aoi said, this is a song where the sound of a band mingles with digital parts. The guitars also bring sounds resulted from a tricky approach, but we organized it so it doesn't turn out to be strangely fickle.
Kai: Starting from this year, we're in the middle of reaching the point that we're able to produce the sounds we wanted in recording. This song was also recorded in good condition.
Reita: When we were recording, it hadn't been decided that this song will be put right after the SE ended. Now that we put this song here, suddenly I think this has turned out to be an exciting album right from the beginning. To say it personally, the drums recorded in this song has really great sounds, and because of that there were times when I thought that the bass can't lose (laughs). That's why before recording I was practicing the who~le time.
Aoi: That is for the sake of recording in one take?
Reita: That's right. These days, in the editing, aren't you able to cut and paste things as you pleased? But if you play (your instruments) properly, recording it in one go will absolutely make it a better take. I put my spirit into it and recorded it.
-- By the way, the development of the ending in this song is very unique. The coercive feeling in the middle, how is it going to be in the next live?
Uruha: Aa, that is coercive (laughs). However, I think maybe for the live we will reproduce it as it is. No matter how there will be a good balance with the song coming after that, we want to introduce the mood properly.
-- I was surprised by this song's depth (laughs). An absolutely intense finishing touch.
Kai: It isn't just simply deep, there's a sudden break in the middle of this song. There's peculiarity, as well as difficult spot. Up until now we hadn't had this kind of developing song.
RUKI: The truth is, the steps in the original melody is deeper than this. But there, Kai said, "This is not a song a human can play." (laughs), so we slowed down the speed a little.
-- In the middle there is Reita-kun's bass solo, but there seemed to be trial and errors until it became like that.
Reita: Speaking about the length, the bass solo is a bit short, but this time I recorded that part over and over again. I needed to rise the tension just like during live to play and handle such depth only in that packed phrase. Unexpectedly, because I had never really done such thing with that much tension in the studio, it took time to grasp the feeling.
-- Again, in this song there are a lot of phrases played in unison by the stringed instrument team. In short, this may be a song in which it's important to let out the group feelings.
Aoi: Certainly, in the recording as well, this is the song whose mood was settled in one go. It would be over soon if it's too much, so it's like there's no remaining recollection about this song (laughs).
Uruha: For me, this is a song which has miraculous points. In the beginning, guitar rock or melodic hardcore atmosphere was felt. But, when I tried to do it for real, just vigour won't make it interesting. Mute, cutting, tapping, this has become a song fully loaded with various elements. Different from the usual rock, I'm happy that the GazettE-like fun and originality can come out in the sounds.
-- Well then, I'd like to ask about the theme of the lyrics. The title is [SLUDGY CULT], and just like it's been expressed, the subject is very cynical.
RUKI: But, it doesn't particularly criticize something. The fans, too, if they only look at these words they might not understand the meaning well. We~ll, this is what I thought unintentionally. Isn't everyone precious, kind of feeling? It's not that I want to hit and attack someone with something, just letting out something inside me arbitrarily with somewhat punk spirit, it's that kind of song. That's why without exploring too deeply about the meaning of the words, but instead listening to it as "a song" will make my scream come accross straighter. That's what I feel.
-- This is something which has come out in a single, and it seems that the mixing is different.
Kai: Yes. We fixed the mixing only for the drum sounds. When we assembled the newly written songs, once again we tried to line all songs up and listen to them. When we did that, the sound of the songs coming from singles became a little light. Because when we were recording some of the singles, especially starting from this year, the method of recording the drums changed considerably. Of course, originally my true feeling was to put it in like that without really touching the sound. But thinking about totality of the album, we modified the balance.
RUKI: To a certain extent, in the mix the low vocal is emphasized. By the way, a little back then on twitter I kind of wrote things like, "We're mixing [Red]". After I did that, "I'm looking forward to what kind of composition it will be." I got that kind of replies. I am gonna say this beforehand, the remix I said isn't the kind of remix which was entrusted to some DJ (laughs).
Uruha: I see, when one says remix there are people who think like that. Way to use words is difficult.
Kai: The song shape stays like that, simply only the drum sound's balance was changed. Because it's that kind of remix, so please don't misunderstand to that extent (laughs).
RUKI: This time, because of the remix we had done, we discovered that "Originally, this is how the song should be listened."
THE SUICIDE CIRCUS
-- In a sense, it can be said that this song is the representative song in this album. This time, it seems that you've shot a PV, right.
Reita: The (music) clip, it's amazing. There were so many people who stood out more than us (laughs).
Uruha: It's terrific, isn't it. Seriously unreasonably cool.
Reita: First of all it's a big assembly of the type of people you can't meet if you walk down the road just as usual (laughs).
-- Eeh?! What do you mean?
Aoi: Except for us, the (music) clip turned out to be like a circus group.
Uruha: The place where we shot it (the PV), because it was an amusement park which isn't used anymore. It was a very special situation. The lightings attached around the Merry-Go-Round, for example, had been renewed for this photoshoot, too. It was impressive up to the small details, so you better watch it.
-- The original plot for the (music) clip, was it RUKI-kun who planned it?
RUKI: That's right. I turned in the rough draft. In the beginning, I described in details for example the incidents happening in Japan now one by one, and I also had been thinking to show those incidents, too. But when we tried to film it, but more than the detailed happenings, the whole atmosphere resulted in a (music) clip with a peculiar feeling. Well, it's not a movie but a clip, that's why this is interesting.
-- When RUKI-kun were writing the lyrics, what kind of things did you aim for?
RUKI: This so-called "SUICIDE CIRCUS" here means a show. The main point was the information flowing from television or somewhere, for example. Regarding the (music) clip, it depicts the condition where people's senses are gradually becoming numb.
-- So <Vision's decay> in the beginning (of the song) is the words that summarized the aspect.
RUKI: Well, at least that's how I see it, I just wrote it as it is.
-- I see. Well then, about the sound aspect, I'd be happy if you could tell us about the point in each part of the instruments.
Kai: This song has been the foundation song to produce [TOXIC], at any rate producing the sound took up the longest time.
Uruha: With Kai, the two of us tried absolutely every possibility, from dynamic mics to everything. Moreover, in the end we said "As I thought let's try doing the foundation with the usual method". When we didn't do anything and just continued doing it with the same manner after experimenting on various things, as I thought the sensation aspect was different. That's why we didn't have any problem after we started the recording itself. I'm glad we tried it.
-- If anything, piling up experience is an important thing.
Reita: Concerning the bass, in this album, this is a song in which we didn't put all the unique elements, and the phrases are played only by the chord. Only in this song, playing simple is a better settlement.
Aoi: About the melody, for the whole band rather than playing it frantically vigorous, it's more about where in this song it can be called as show-like. While playing it, I thought it would be good if this song has capability to make (people) dance. The moment I received the song, it was a song which immediately filled my head with how we want to present this song in live or PV. That's why for the arrangement, I made the outcome really simple. My decision to make phrases that can still be played while dancing, whether it's right or not, I think it can be verified at the next live's place. Or perhaps I should say, I want to verify it (laughs).
-- Already, when I listen to this song I even feel a little nostalgic.
Kai: Yes, because this is a song which came out more than a year ago.
Uruha: When I listen to it now, I feel that at that time there was a peculiar tension.
RUKI: To put it simply, it was last year's sound. That's why as much as possible this song was also remixed with focusing on the drums so that it doesn't seem out of place inside the album.
Reita: The difference in the sound I produced, if it's compared to the previous (sound), it's the object of brief entertainment.
Aoi: But look, if we didn't say especially "We will remix it", unexpectedly the fans won't notice, will they (laughs)??
Reita: Oi, don't say something like that (laughs).
MY DEVIL ON THE BED
-- This is Uruha-kun's song, isn't it.
Aoi: The temporary title for this song was [SHOW TIME], right?
Uruha: Yes, tentatively (laughs). But, because it was really temporary. I think during the next live, it will be fresh to have a song which can create sort of a "show time" scene, so this is what I created in my own special way. Because it's a song with continuous springing up rythm, I think won't it excite the audience easily?
-- In this song's intro, there are parts where the rythm section has to work hard as the leader, right.
Reita: That, before the singing part comes in, to say the truth I was a bit uneasy. Only with the sound coming from two people, to what extent is it possible for us to carry the aura? I think like that (laughs).
Uruha: Moreover, isn't this kind of rhythm your favorite type?
Kai: Umm. I wonder if it is? If you ask me which one is it, I think it can be this one (bitter laughs).
RUKI: Eh, really? I thought your favorite one is shuffle (laughs).
Kai: No, up until now I thought like that too. But look, trying to do this song this time might have changed my judgement. Up until now I make mistakes in hitting (the drums) for the type of songs I've never played before, too, but as I thought this one is difficult.
-- So to that extent, this is a personal song.
Uruha: Because he seemed out to be pretty high strung, during the recording when I said, "I want to change this part" I was flipped by, "Why is that!" (bitter laughs)
Kai: Wait a minute, it wasn't like that! I think I said, "Eh?!" but it wasn't like I flipped you off, after that didn't I play the drums properly! Haven't I been accepting a~ll of your requests? (laughs)
Uruha: No, but even so you looked at me like you're angry-- (laughs)
Reita: Eh, so he was angry at you to that extent (laughs)
Kai: Give me a break already (laughs)
-- At any rate, that kind of diligent application existed for the first time, as a band I think it's a sign of growth.
Aoi: I wonder what it is, it's either growth or breakup (laughs)
Uruha: This time, at the last moment (Kai) was at the form of avoiding (me) (laughs). I mean, in that kind of time it's better to make the other party angry. Because then it will stir him up.
-- As expected from the evil professor (laughs).
Aoi: In my case too, in this song I was coached by Professor Uruha about the muted phrase part. "There is vital!" he said that to me and I tried my best, but as I thought it was a bit difficult. When I think like that, I don't really like shuffle either (laughs) If it's possible, I hope you will restrain from doing so next time.
Uruha: (bitterly laughs, in silence)
-- Nevertheless, I think the fans like this type of songs very much. Moreover, finally I think with the great members, too, this take has landed in a quite exquisite place.
Aoi: You understand? It's just that Professor Uruha's eyes are scary even to that extent (laughs).
Kai: Ahaha (laughs). Anyway, I will be happy if we have more time if we do recording in this method next time (bitter laughs).
-- By the way, about [MY DEVIL ON THE BED], the subject of the lyrics is altogether filled up to the limit by erotic expression, I've been thinking about that point, too.
RUKI: Aa, because this is purely a SEX song (laughs).
-- So blunt (laughs).
RUKI: Because to convey about what meaning which exists in such song is also somewhat.... . Both the song and the sounds, it had an erotic feeling.
-- Sounds which has sex appeal for all the members.
RUKI: Right, right. That's why I thought there's no other choice than to make it a SEX song to the end. I'm saying this as a joke (laughs).
-- Deep song, violent song, and erotic song, while listening to utterly various things, this so-called ballad here is an admirable development.
RUKI: For the first time, this was a song I wrote with the night sky as the theme.
-- And just like that it somehow became a beautiful song.
RUKI: When it comes to ballads, up until now there have been a lot of songs that are generally agonizing (laughs). But only for this one, it's a song that I wrote while being reminded of the peaceful and unduly wide night sky.
Aoi: He's a poet, as one would expect.
Reita: The night sky that RUKI saw, I might have seen it as well.
Uruha: I saw it too!
RUKI: Oi, what's with you guys! Suddenly I have bad feeling (bitter laughs)!
Kai: Ahahaha (laughs).
-- Just like how you made fun the conversation, this song's beauty must have touched all of you.
RUKI: Aa, certainly I thought of making it a beautiful song.
-- In order to impersonate this delicate beauty, what did all the players keep in mind during recording?
Uruha: It's about the coexisting SE, right. When I heard this song, the synchronous "powapowa" sound starting from the intro, I thought it's important in this song. If it wasn't been there, wouldn't it be an ordinary rock ballad? To such extent. But because it's a really delicate sound, if we play the guitars excessively the sound will be concealed. There we adjust it skillfully.
Aoi: As I thought, no matter how I say it, this song is based on the melody, isn't it. In other words, if RUKI's voice were an aurora, the sounds we let out would be the stars shining behind it. ... Go laugh at it!
Reita: I can't laugh at it (bitter laugh). But, my intention was also to play it in simple tones. It doesn't stand out, but the whole time I persist for a play that can support the song.
Kai: Concerning the drums, instead of the snare drum which sounds like it's echoing from faraway as RUKI wish, I adjust it to be like the sounds which come out before. That part, I think won't it make the song feature clearer?
-- While this is a song which reminds you of such tale or scene, the given title is [UNTITLED]. What's the reason of not giving it a definite word?
RUKI: I've thought of some. But I couldn't find the appropriate word to name this. I thought, if that's the case, then I rather make it untitled and even express the drifting sense of nothingness there.
-- Personally, how the scene changes from [MY DEVIL ON THE BED] to [UNTITLED], then continuing to the next [PLEDGE], I like the line up of these three songs. With the exception of these three songs, there are only strong musical composition about the society. From these three songs, the real love condition exceptionally tastes strong.
Uruha: Ah, the flow right. From SEX to the romantic night sky (laughs).
Reita: Then in the next [PLEDGE] you vow on love (laughs).
Aoi: There's man and woman drama, right~.
-- This song, even if we don't listen to it in winter it really soaks in. It's been reaffirmed that this is a good song.
Uruha: As expected, this ballad is good in the line up. If this can't be connected after it's inserted in the album, I feel that the impression will be completely different.
RUKI: The story itself is also connected, right.
Uruha: You mean how [MY DEVIL~] is included, too?
RUKI: Yes, true (laughs).
-- The eerie, turbulent maliciousness can also be felt in this song.
Uruha: When I made the original melody, I composed it with the image of "nil". And how it has become a song with a strong impact, I think that's because of the words RUKi attached to it.
-- In the beginning, the repeating monologue-like voicing is included. Really, the influence of the words in this song is unfathomable.
RUKI: The so-called paradox is like this. The things that people created happened to be a harm to others, isn't there such reality? Even though from the beginning we must have known that there's such possibility. There's nothing but this kind of paradox.
Uruha: It completely points towards [__]* right.
(*) They censored it, probably because it's a taboo topic.
-- <The pouring out punishment> to <The ruthless light> is quite a symbol.
RUKI: But, in this world touching this kind of scene has been like a taboo. When I was writing it, I thought if it will be something bad if write about such things.
-- There's no way it can be a bad thing. In Japan, originally freedom of speech and the implementation of the freedom are one major privileges provided for the whole nation.
RUKI: Well, how to say it? We don't know what people think when they listen to this, right? Even if there are people who will start talking about it, in that case, (I'll go) "Well, isn't it okay." I have been thinking about that too (laughs).
-- It's possible to obtain agreement or approval of this subject from people who listen to this song, though. Like, "Right! I think the same!"
RUKI: Hmm. I think everyone don't think that they all have the same thought. If you see Japan's current situation, you can only think the same. For me, at least I want to open the third eye in various kinds of people.
-- Somehow or other, the story seems to be connected to the lyrics in [THE SUICIDE CIRCUS]. In a sense that if one keeps thinking to swallow the news one got from other people, one might fail to notice an important truth.
RUKI: What's the problem in Japan nowadays? Things like that, too, won't one understand if one keeps thinking about such matter? I feel that the important thing now is to properly grasp the reality more than anything. Thereby, the so-called "hereafter" will change. A soothing song or a cheering song are okay, too, but from now on I think I want to express the reality that we can't turn away from in my work.
-- Inside [TOXIC] this is certainly the most striking song.
Kai: We barely made it, but because we ought to clear it up somehow we managed to do it. It was considerably a tough song (bitter laughs).
Reita: It's deep, but it was really difficult to produce a sound with such intensity. I think perhaps doing it at live will be difficult, too. If I can only let out the ordinary roaring sound, the flavor this song has can't be kept alive. I want to pay attention to that.
Aoi: During the recording, we were also speculating about doing it at live to some extent. But, from now on there's still possibilities to touch up the sound just a little bit more. This is quite a song worth-drilling.
Uruha; Such death-metal-like song, we've had it among the songs we have up until now, but there haven't been so many of them. So hereafter while producing edgier and sharp nuance, we need to bring the song up to the level we want.
-- From the lyric aspect, this [PSYCHOPATH], doesn't it seem to be a song which digs up and exposes something under a broad daylight?
RUKI: That's right. To say it in one word, what's in here is a soul's scream. But it isn't just talking about deep matters. This time, in the booklet there's translation printed side by side with the original lyrics. So to start with, looking at it will be the quick way.
-- Listening to this after [PSYCHOPATH], the degree of reconfirming is amazing.
RUKI: Lining up these two songs, with the next [TOMORROW NEVER DIES], the flow they create makes the atmosphere feel like it's already nearing the second half of live.
Aoi: Especially, [VORTEX] has already soaked in lives, right. Even though we haven't played it many times, but for example at Summer Sonic we could play it with a really good feeling, and it was fun.
TOMORROW NEVER DIES
-- It seems like this song was made and directed towards the fan and listeners. The strong and warm message resounds frankly and it is great.
RUKI: This was made as it is so that it is directed to everyone. I wanted to put this song at the very end this time.
-- In general, this album has many musical compositions which have agressive tone, but the sound accompanied by the refreshing feeling one can hear in this song is somehow unusually fresh. In some respects, there are parts which feel like they can clean your heart.
Aoi: However, because it's a song with relatively a lot of scene development, for me this song might have been a handful.
Kai: It's a song with a lot of modulations, right.
Uruha: Particularly the first half of the song is the spirit. More or less the result of trials and errors became the sound that attacks with this kind of guitar. If I play it with downpicking at every live, my right hand will get tendonitis (bitter laughs).
Reita: Me too, I played this song with a new fingering method I worked out. But, I think it became a greatly appropriate song to sum up such an substantial album.
RUKI: Inside this album, there are many forms of the "present", but these are my honest feelings now. I guess the point is like "You guys! Live somewhat sternly already!" (laughs). It includes things that I want everyone to never forget.
-- This ending SE, it's something Uruha-kun made.
Uruha: Yes. Ruki said he wanted a chaotic SE that seems like everything will break apart, so I put the sounds together this way.
RUKI: A digital world that ends in short (circuit). That was the image.