DEVILOOF「DYSTOPIA Returns」【Interview】

DEVILOOF「DYSTOPIA Returns」@246 LiveHouse GABU【Live Report】

What made you change from a metal band to a visual kei one?

From the beginning all of us in the band preferred both metal and visual kei. Now a days, Japanese bands like Crystal Lake make it around the world. But it is rare to find “pure metal” bands that have the same level of success. At that moment we decided to mix deathcore and visual kei and form the band.

Deviloof styles are from the most fashionable of the current vk scene. Do you design them by yourselves?

We decide together the concept of the albums but, each one decides their own fashion styles for hair and such.

Talking about designs. How do you guys decide the jacket CD’s style of each album?

In general, the album designs are made by a designer called Egawa Toshihiro. He is famous for working with foreigner bands such as Arch Enemy or Suicide Silence. We just talk with him about our ideas and concepts about the project. For example, the last album “Dystopia” we ask him to design something “brutal”, just looking at it for the first time you would think “this is really brutal! Savage!”

What would you say is the main theme of your last album DYSTOPIA?

Keisuke: Dystopia is simply the opposite of a utopia where everything is perfect.

After listening to the album, we noticed new nuances and details on the music. What was the thing you most enjoyed during the composition?

Keisuke: we work hard towards creating a good mix between deathcore and visual kei. But we didn’t want to just create a pure deathcore album. That’s why we added various interesting elements like traditional Japanese instruments.

I see! Can I ask, what was the inspiration to make LIBIDO? (laughs)

Keisuke: Do you guys know AV? When you watch AV usually you see both the man and the woman right? I didn’t get aroused when watching that kind of AV because I can see the male actor. So, I like to watch AV where you can only see the woman touching herself and while I was watching I thought to myself – I would like others to experience the same kind of excitement, so I tried putting that feeling into a song, so I used the sound of a moaning girl.

The incorporation of Japanese traditional music instruments on “Newspeak” is – without any doubt – what makes the song so popular among your foreigner fans. Kanta, do you think a traditional taiko would stand the frenetic rhythms of Deviloof’s drums?

Kanta: It’s probably impossible. Taiko have a very specific sound that echoes so I don’t think it would be possible to play fast songs.

Do you guys know how to play any other instruments? (Besides the instruments you usually play).

Keisuke: I play guitar.

Daiki: I recently bought a synthetic bass.

Aisaku: Karaoke.

Ray: I sing too but I would like to play drums.

Kanta: Nothing. Drums only.

Keisuke: Taiko? (laughs).

Have you thought of a show with traditional instruments only? Something like the symphonic concerts of other bands.

Keisuke: I haven’t thought about it. But that sounds like a good idea.

Daiki: We’ll steal that idea.

Deviloof is always surrounded by professionals. For example, Ryo (ex girugamesh) is your mix engineer and recorder. How did you come to work with him?

Daiki: Devil’s Proof and Oni is mixed by Ryo-san but Dystopia is actually mixed by a different person.

Regarding how we got to work with Ryo-san – there is a band called DEZERT and when I heard their music, I just had to find out who was mixing it. After finding out that it was Ryo-san from girugamesh, I contacted him personally.

About the features with other bands. Which band surprised you the most when playing on stage? Which band – of the new emergent ones – would you like to collaborate with?

Keisuke: Thy Art Is Murder and Signs of the Swarm.

All of them are foreign bands (laughs)

Gaara: are there any other bands that you would like to work with?

Daiki: Bands that we want to play with? Withing The Ruins.

Kenta: Within The Ruins are a technical melodic band. They are basically creating their own genre “The Within The Ruins Genre” I really love that band. They were supposed to come here to play with us but they couldn’t do it due to visa issues.

Jonathan: What about Kohai bands from Japan? Perhaps something that is Visual Kei?

Everyone: (thinks)… Visual kei…?

Gaara: Ninth In Pluto? You should have a 2 man show with Ninth in Pluto.

Daiki: Their members are here today.

Gaara: Yeah I know.

Daisuke: (laughs) are you friends?

Gaara: Yes. We have been working with them. What about Dir En Grey?

Keisuke: Dir En Grey are good!

Daiki, you are also the bass player of Cazqui Brutal Orchestra. Do you feel that working with Cazqui is also a good influence for Deviloof’s music?

Daiki: Cazqui is very artistic in a good way. He is a musical genius, has originality. He is totally different from the guys in our band. Cazqui always knows how to express himself in the music he writes, the stage clothes and on-stage movements as well. That is something that I have learned from him.

Ray, the kind of riffs you use in some breakdowns are pure slam/beatdown. Overseas that usually initiates attitude like crowd killing. Do you guys agree with that kind of behavior? Would you like your fans doing it at your gigs?

Ray: When I see that from the stage, I become exited. But I don’t want anyone to get hurt.

Keisuke, about your skills to make whistle screams. Did you learn how to do it by yourself? After exploring the YouTube channel of Deviloof, we saw demonstrations of your plays with different instruments. would you also like to teach how to do whistle screams there?

Johnathan: The next question is for Keisuke.

Keisuke: Are we going to talk about AV?

Everyone: (laughs).

Keisuke: I learned to scream by myself.

Are you also planning to make a tutorial or give advice for vocalists?

Keisuke: Regarding vocal tutorials on YouTube – It’s not something I have thought about it. Is it something I should do?

Gaara: It’s a question from a fan.

Keisuke: Oh! So, they want me to do it? Is the fan a girl? (laughs). I can do it privately. (laughs).

Aisaku, we saw you on twitter hyped with the rapper “Lil Pump” what kind of music do you usually listen to besides metal?

Aisaku: I like J-pop, I also listen to K-pop. I listen to all genres.

Daiki, our readers want to know about your interests. Do you like anime? What are you currently following?

Daiki: I like boxing. When it comes to anime One Piece is the only anime I like.

Keisuke: just that?

Daiki: Yes. Nothing else is fun.

Kanta, many of our followers follow your streaming of “Devilcraft” (Minecraft). What are your favorite videogames?

Kanta: Apex Legends looks fun, but I have never played it. I’m a huge fan of Dragon Quest.

Last summer Deviloof had a TV appearance on NHK as ambassadors for visual kei. Did you guys ever tried to repeat the show’s beauty rituals at home? (laughs). Do you have any plan to make anything similar this year?

Daiki: We want to appear on TV again. We are ready to do anything (laughs).

Keisuke: We want to become famous (laughs).

It is a fact that Deviloof is one of the most overseas-focused Japanese bands. On twitter we often read your twits in English. Are you guys learning English for the upcoming world tour?

Daiki: this is kind of painful to answer (laughs).

Keisuke: I study about one hour every month (laughs).

Have you ever been abroad? What country do you guys like to visit the most?

Keisuke & Daisuki: We have been to Australia.

Aisaku, Ray & Kanta: No, we haven’t been.

Daiki: I went there on a school trip.

Jonathan: Did you communicate in English over there?

Keisuke: I had an Australian girl with me for translation (laughs).

Jonathan: have you done a show abroad?

Daiki: No, we had plans for a European tour and a show in Brazil but, everything got cancelled due to the coronavirus. We are currently talking to promoters and trying to make it happen as soon as we can.

Keisuke: We are sorry everyone!

Daiki: There is no specific place that I want to play. I want to go anyplace where there are Deviloof fans.

Keisuke: I want to go to Spain.

  • (Translator: Adriana V.)
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