Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hiro: I’m the vocalist, Hiro.
Ryohei: I’m the guitarist, Ryohei.
Kenji: I’m the bassist, Kenji! Nice to meet you!
Makoto: I’m the drummer, Makoto.
What is the concept of the band EAT YOU ALIVE?
Ryohei: Concept…difficult question all of a sudden!
Hiro: It’s the fusion of visual kei, a mixture… I suppose? Our concept is to create a new genre that has not been explored in visual kei yet.
How did you meet and decide on starting the band?
Makoto: Well, I invited Kenji to play with me, and Kenji invited Hiro. Then I brought Ryohei along and we decided to play together.
Before EAT YOU ALIVE, you were active as the band MaveRick. Why did you decide to change the name? What were your objectives?
Ryohei: It just happened somehow or other.
Hiro: On a day off, I woke up after noon and thought “Ah, I’ve got nothing to do today…oh? I suppose I should just change our band name or something.” That’s sort of how it went. (laughs)
Makoto: Well music-wise, MaveRick….We felt the need to change, in a way that clearly showed our musical direction. Consequently, with the name change, we wanted to change the music - like the way we were going musically. More than just expressing ourselves through music differently, we decided to change our name. That’s how that happened.
The members haven’t changed since MaveRick, but you don’t play MaveRick songs anymore. What’s more, there was a MaveRick one-day comeback at a live that EAT YOU ALIVE produced. Does this mean that MaveRick and EAT YOU ALIVE are separate bands?
Makoto: That’s right. After all we want to make sure to follow the musical direction we have chosen, and MaveRick is a band left in the past. We were the ones doing it, but now we have gone onto the next step, and we don’t want to drag MaveRick along. After all, I think of MaveRick as a different thing.
So what is different about the experiences of playing in MaveRick and EAT YOU ALIVE for you?
Makoto: Everything is quite different, isn’t it?
Hiro: The way we think about songs, the way we think about lives, our position in the industry, everything has changed.
As you said, EAT YOU ALIVE is playing in a genre that is currently uncommon in visual kei, and some people are actually categorizing you as not visual kei…
All: Really? We didn’t know.
So what do you think? Are you a visual kei band after all?
Ryohei: We are visual kei. If we wear makeup, we are visual kei. When it got to “What kind of music is visual kei?” I think it’s a genre that has anything in it. There is no visual kei overseas, is there? But if you look from a Japanese person’s perspective, you would say Marilyn Manson is visual kei. And for example, Green Daywears makeup, so for me they are visual kei. So it’s not like if we don’t sound like visual kei, we aren’t doing visual kei. If we’re wearing makeup, we are visual kei.
Hiro: I don’t think visual kei is a music genre. On the contrary, we are doing this to demolish the fan’s stereotypes.
Makoto: Because we do visual kei, we thought if we bring in an element that hasn’t been explored in visual kei, a new sort of band could be born.
What music do you personally get influences from?
Hiro: DIR EN GREY.
Ryohei: I also got influenced by DIR EN GREY. But the reason why I started a band was because I was influenced by Limp Bizkit*.
Kenji: It’s DIR EN GREY and Mucc. I’m a big Mucc fan.
Is it also DIR EN GREY for you, Makoto?
Makoto: The reason for me to start a band was hide. The coupling song from ROCKET DIVE: Doubt.
Does anyone else have an artist they respect?
Hiro: It's not just respect with DIR EN GREY, I think.
Kenji: I don’t have one.
Hiro: DIR EN GREY..... No, after all DIR EN GREY is not just respect.
Kenji: There is no one….
In one of the new songs, X II ROSARY, you use the ending of Limp Bizkit’s song EAT YOU ALIVE. Why did you think of doing that?
Hiro: Simply because our name, EAT YOU ALIVE, comes from that song. We respect Limp Bizkit…respect? (laughs) Well, we wanted to show the fact that we like them.
Ryohei: It’s not like we’re ripping them off. Rather we’d like people to notice, “they’re playing EAT YOU ALIVE."
Do Japanese fans actually notice it?
Ryohei: They don’t. (laughs) Even bandmen don’t notice. (laughs)
Hiro: Rather than ripping off, we worship them. We’d like that to be noticed.
Speaking of new songs, you released two maxi-singles, ADULT CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLICS and ATROCITY AND BLUE on August 28th. How was the recording?
Makoto: It was the best recording we’ve had so far. We could get the sound in the best shape we had so far as well. We had fun making it.
Were there any interesting experiences?
Kenji: We recorded the rhythm section together.
Makoto: The two of us recorded it together for the first time.
Kenji: Until now, we’d record the drum parts by themselves, and the bass parts by themselves, but this time we did it together.
Ryohei: Me too, I used to record one guitar, but this time I’d switch guitars, play the same riff and mix it. Also, until now we used to have my amps and cabinets in the studio, where I played and recorded, but this time we put the amp and the cabinet into another room. I played in the mixing room and we recorded that way. It’s a style that many professionals use.
Did you create the songs together?
Ryohei: We did parts for ADULT CHILDREN and X II ROSARY, brought them in…
Makoto: And wrote them together.
Hiro: Isn’t ADULT CHILDREN the only one we wrote together? Basically one of us would bring in an idea, and we would match and work on it together in the studio.
The new singles were released simultaneously. Why did you choose to split them in two?
Hiro: At the stage when the songs were created, we couldn’t imagine having ADULT CHILDREN and ATROCITY AND BLUE on one single.
Are the concepts different?
Hiro: Yes, they are different.
What are the concepts?
Hiro: To put it simply, ATROCITY AND BLUE is emo. It’s a song that brings out one part of our music. ADULT CHILDREN is the opposite, it brings out the mixture and melodic aspects of it. The personality of the two releases is completely different.
Since foreign fans might have difficulties understanding the lyrics, could you tell us a bit about the themes of the new songs?
Hiro: The song themes…ATROCITY AND BLUE is about how in the process of living, there are many difficulties surrounding you, and there are always times when you are unable to move freely. You're restrained by them, and at such times you don’t get help from someone. Rather, you should break through with your own strength, that’s what the lyrics are about.
X II ROSARY is quite in contrast to it about how there is despair in the world, and you can’t even believe in god, but on the contrary isn’t the god who created this world the most evil one? It's this kind of song.
ADULT CHILDREN is explained by the title. It’s a medical term referring to a child whose parent was an alcoholic, and that child grew up while his parent was not able to cure the alcoholism - those people are called adult children of alcoholics. The song is about that phenomenon. In the lyrics, one’s mother has become an alcoholic and has passed away, and the song is a requiem to the mother that died because of alcoholism.
Flare is a very negative song; it’s about how you are yearning for your beloved person, but you have neither the capabilities nor the strength to yearn for them. So it is a song about the struggle of not being able to yearn for that person.
As you mentioned, some of the lyrics are rather negative. Where do you get inspiration for such themes?
Hiro: In everything. Both in the experiences that I’ve had until now, but also in the images that are created from those experiences. It’s influenced by the fact that my life itself is rather negative. (laughs)
Speaking of life, a question unrelated to music, what do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
Makoto: My hobby is reading - I like books. On a day off, I read in a café.
Any book you would like to recommend?
Makoto: Andrew Carnegie’s books.
Ryohei: Will you not tell the title?
Makoto: The whole series.
Kenji: My hobby is watching TV. I Love TV. (laughs)
Ryohei: Everyone’s introverted. (laughs)
Kenji: If the TV isn’t on, I can’t calm down.
Ryohei: How uncool! (laughs)
Kenji: It’s [in English] No TV = No Life. (laughs)
What do you usually watch?
Kenji: I like variety, and I wonder if in your countries they have this? In Japan they air dramas every day. If you’d like, you should check it out on YouTube. It must be interesting.
Actually, dramas are quite popular among fans of Japanese culture lately.
Hiro: I also like staying at home; we’re all indoor people. I play games, draw, watch DVDs or play guitar. I do all sorts of stuff at home.
Ryohei: I like surfing the internet. (laughs)
Kenji: What about motorbikes and stuff?!
Ryohei: Actually, I can’t calm down at all when I’m at home, so I go driving on my motorbike with friends. And recently, I’ve been getting tattoos on my days off. It’s at a one tattoo per week pace currently. That’s about it - oh, and I never watch TV, neither do I read books nor play games. I do surf the net though.
If you weren’t in a band, what would you be doing?
Makoto: I’d like to be a manga artist. I’d also want to try writing books and such.
Kenji: I’d like to be a beautician.
Hiro: [skeptically] That’s the first time I’ve heard of this.
Kenji: No, I’m serious!
Ryohei: I want to have my own shop. It wouldn’t just sell clothes, it would have everything, from tattoos to motorbikes, cars, skateboards and stuff. I want to do everything.
Hiro: I’d like to be wandering around the world. A traveler?
Have any of you actually been abroad?
Makoto: I’ve never been abroad.
Kenji: I went to Singapore and Australia, as a field trip at school.
Ryohei: I’ve been to America…actually, I’ve lived there.
Are there any places you’d want to go?
Hiro: Everywhere! I’d want to go all around the world.
Makoto: I’d like to go to different parts of the world and share our music. I’d love to do that.
So what do you think about EAT YOU ALIVE doing overseas activities?
Ryohei: We really want to do it.
Kenji: We don’t really need Japan. (laughs)
Ryohei: Yeah, it’s okay to live overseas. Have our base there.
Makoto: We’re very interested in it.
You must be aware you’ve got a fanbase overseas, what do you think about that?
Hiro: I can’t really grasp it.
Kenji: Yeah, it’s hard to believe.
Makoto: That’s why we’d like to go there. Places where we are wanted, we would love to go see them.
What are your plans from now on?
Hiro: We will continue steadily releasing singles, and our aim is to eventually release an album.
And do you have any dreams you are aiming for as a band?
Makoto: After all, not just Japan, but we’d like to be able to expand our activities overseas.
Kenji: I have a dream! The dream is to establish our music.
Hiro: Small! You’ve got such a small dream.
Kenji: And then expand our activities to a global level.
Ryohei: I’d like us to give birth to our "kids," like the feeling that I get when I go to see Limp Bizkit. Conversely, I’d like us to give this feeling to someone.
Hiro: Fighting at an MTV award ceremony with Guns N’ Roses and stuff. (laughs)
Finally, please give a message to our readers
Makoto: I don’t usually get the chance to say this, but I’d like to go to the actual places overseas and be able to enjoy the space together with our fans directly. We will do our best to be able to go to everyone’s countries, so please wait until then!
Kenji: The new singles have turned out to be awesome works! Everyone will be surprised. You’ll say they are [in English] amazing! It will become a part of everyone’s lives for sure. So definitely listen to them…all right?! (laughs)
Ryohei: We are certainly hoping to go overseas, and we are going to start a new movement, so please take care of us.
Hiro: It might be difficult for us to have direct contact at this point in time, but your support will turn into our strength, so from now on please continue supporting us.
* Pragnę przypomnieć lub powiadomić, iż nazwa "eat you alive" jest bardziej znana jako utwór amerykańskiego zespołu rockowego Limp Bizkit z 2003 roku. (dalej w wywiadzie będzie o tym wspomniane)
Eat You Alive - Clock Wise