[Interview] D=OUT : First Live CD announced
D=OUT went on their biggest tour titled ＜D=OUT JISAKU JIEN MUSHA SHUGYO Tour＞. The grand finale of the tour was recorded and released on January 22 as “’KATSUGEKI Broadway’ ~MUSHA SHUGYO Tour GRAND FINALE @ Nakano Sunplaza~”. What has changed about the band after touring all over Asia? Kouki (vocals) and Reika (bass) looked back on the Nakano Sunplaza concert and talk about the new challenges that D=OUT faces in 2014.
◆A lot of people were working to make this whole thing come together. I felt so much love directed towards the band. It was a day that was built by all of us.
――You played a concert in November 2013 at Nakano Sunplaza that was recorded and released as D=OUT’s first live CD, “KATSUGEKI Broadway”. How do you feel now that the tour finale at Sunplaza is over?
Kouki: We got to show the best of D=OUT. We weren’t just going wild. We were able to properly show people what we are about.
――You were able to entertain visually and aurally?
Kouki: It led to my confidence. There are too many topics to cover if we get into details. I don’t think anyone can ever play a 100% perfect show. For me, and for the band, we were able to play a show that we wanted to play… A lot of people were working to make this whole thing come together. I felt so much love directed towards the band. It was a day that was built by all of us.
――D=OUT spent about a year touring eight countries in Asia for ＜D=OUT JISAKU JIEN MUSHA SHUGYO Tour＞. Was the concept for the final show at Nakano Sunplaza born while touring Asia?
Kouki: Yes, during the tour. Our conversations within the band increased and we became more sensitive to our sound. We weren’t just moving around and going wild. We took a step forward.
Reika: Up until now, we would just randomly walk up the steps on the stage set. This time, we would only go up the steps when it really counted.
――Did this change come during the tour as well?
Reika: It’s not all about moving around. It’s also not about neatly adhering to a plan. We started to be able to find a good balance between the two.
Kouki: I started to think like, “It’s better to properly sing this part than to move around and have the microphone off center.” Then it would be ok if people said, “You don’t get as wild anymore.”
――It was a wonderful show with beautiful lighting and a gorgeous staircase set.
Kouki: We are always meticulous about the performance. Since the concept was “KATSUGEKI Broadway”, we watched videos of Takarazuka theater and did a lot of research. We were told it was like The Drifters (laughs).
Reika: There was a problem with the performance (laughs).
Kouki: We always placed importance on the performance. We used to use CO2 on tour. Looking back on it, it was pretty crazy. We would carry in our own CO2 tank and set it up.
Reika: Yeah, we used to do that. It was heavy (laughs).
◆More than anything else, we wanted people to experience the live aspect. You need a monitor to experience a DVD, but a CD can be experienced whenever you want.
――You have always been meticulous. You mentioned earlier that you wanted to move forward from the live shows that are only about getting wild and getting the crowd hyped up. It’s nice that you have D=OUT style super upbeat dance tunes and ballads as well.
Reika: We function in the Visual-kei world, but this Sunplaza concert let us show people that we are more than just that. I like ballads a lot, and I feel satisfaction while I am playing them. We were able to show that kind of strength.
――The interaction between Kouki and Reika on ballads is particularly interesting. The bass is very melodic.
Kouki: I said earlier that we are more sensitive to the sound. When I am singing, I listen to the rhythm section. I’ve been told that Reika and I are like twin vocals. That’s why I am always aware of the bass. Like, “He messed up just then” (laughs).
Reika: He’ll glance at me out of the corner of his eye (laughs).
――During the last half of the show, you told the audience, “You guys were cool!” What were you thinking at that moment?
Kouki: I was feeling great joy, but I didn’t want to get wrapped in the emotion too much. I still wanted to what he had to do. I like that balance.
――I see. The trend now is to release live DVDs. What made you release a live CD instead?
Kouki: More than anything else, we wanted people to experience the live aspect. You need a monitor to experience a DVD, but a CD can be experienced whenever you want. We want you to hear the roughness of playing live. Without the visual, it was easier to hear where we were a bit off. That was a bit of uncomfortable.
Reika: It is more human.
――Your imagination intensifies without video.
Reika: You’re right. We want people to enjoy the whole live atmosphere rather than just the individual parts.
――The limited edition A comes with a DVD of live video footage, right? Did you compile all the songs that you wanted to be experienced visually?
Reika: Thinking about the flow of the concert, there were simply songs that were shot for video and some new songs that were not.
Kouki: For example, “SOSAKU NEGAI” is shot from a different angle. Also, the acoustic version of “ROMAN REVOLUTION”. The DVD is a compilation of visually stimulating songs.
◆There were many things we laughed and cried about. When we checked the video footage, I remembered so many things that it almost made me cry.
――The limited edition B has a video from the Asia tour titled “WARAI ARI NAMIDA ARI! Special Long Documentary ‘ASIA DISCO ~We Are The One~’”. What are the highlights?
Kouki: You get to see the band members’ faces without makeup. And we’ve protected our naked faces all this time (laughs). You see our faces when we just wake up at the hotel. I’m wearing a face pack as well (laughs).
Reika: It’s really our everyday selves. Sometimes we are exhausted and sometimes we are full of energy. It’s just like the title “WARAI ARI, NAMIDA ARI” (Laughter and Tears). When we were checking the video footage, I remembered so many things that it almost made me cry.
――What parts would say were the “TEARS”?
Reika: The schedule was pretty tight. Towards the end, we were all mentally exhausted.
Kouki: There were times when we’d return to the hotel at 2:00 am, take a bath, and then check out at 5:00 am.
Reika: It was tough, but by the last show in Taipei, we were so emotional. When I watched the video, everybody but Minase (drums) was crying.
――Is the Chinese version of “AISURUHITO”, which is only available the regular edition, something that came about on the Asia tour?
Kouki: Yes. We decided to do it when the tour was confirmed. When we sang in Chinese, we felt like we wanted to do a mini album all in Chinese.
――The vocals felt sexier than the Japanese version and felt very fresh.
Kouki: Really? I’d like to properly prepare and study before recording.
◆I want to take more risks and try new things in 2014. If I fail, I’ll just try again. I want to keep repeating that process.
――How is 2014 looking for D=OUT? You will start your Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka tour titled ＜D=OUT ZECCHOU Zepp TOUR ’14 ‘(SAI) KYOIKU”＞ on February 8. After that, you do a two-day concert event in Korea called ＜D=OUT DANGAN KANKOKU SARANHAEYO TANDOKU KOEN! ‘MATSURI A GO!GO!’”
Kouki: We want to put on shows that make people think, “Live concerts are truly great.” Usually, we only tour when we release a new song or an album. This time around, we want to take a different approach and give the fans different experiences in each of the three different places.
Reika: We want to keep growing and moving forward even more than we have before. I want to take more risks and try new things in 2014. If I fail, I’ll just try again. I want to keep repeating that process. Our fans tell us that our live shows are well prepared and well staged. I want to break that image, but in a good way.
Kouki: We want to keep moving forward at full throttle and make more spontaneous and instinctive decisions rather than reverting back to the status quo. Not limited to the Zepp tour or the Korea shows, but also for the future of the band. There will be people who say, “How is that going to work?” We’d like to suppress some of the signature D=OUT aspects and be more like, “It might be fun to try this,” or try things that other artists have not tried. For me personally, I think that developing our individuality while staying a band is what will help us grow more.
――Do you mean, individuality within the band? Or doing solo projects?
Kouki: Both. If solo projects helps D=OUT grow… Or it can be that each member expresses what he wants to do or how he wants to be perceived. I think that in the end, enjoying ourselves is what comes across the most to the fans. For example, doing a tour of small venues and distributing the music ourselves. I think that type of tension is very important.
Reika: The band is made up of the five of us. We can all have our own opinions. I think the band can only get stronger if each of us thinks about D=OUT even more. I think now is the perfect time for us to look at ourselves and re-evaluate what we are about.
credit : barks.jp