- Thank you for letting us do an interview today. Do you want to say anything to the people who are reading this interview?
Ayame: There are not so many opportunities for people overseas to have access to this kind of interview so I would like them to know as much as possible about Matenrou Opera.
- First of all, congratulations on making it to your 15th anniversary. How does it feel to realize it’s already been this long?
Sono: I think is amazing. I am so grateful to our fans since we can keep performing thanks to them.
Ayame: This wouldn´t be possible if it wasn´t for our fans. It´s all thanks to them..
Yo: Looking back we have been doing music for such a long time. But these days, when I think of the future, I actually feel like this is just the beginning.
Hibiki: Thank you. It´s been only 3 years since I´ve joined this band but I´ve been having such a good time since that moment.
- We can hear so many different sounds in your music. Some of your fans come from a more traditional visual kei background whereas others come from a metal background, which is quite particular. What metal bands do you like?
Hibiki: Parkway Drive
- In the past, you’ve held concerts in Europe and in North America. Do you remember any funny or noteworthy moments from your concerts abroad? I think the event in Barcelona was a lot of fun.
Sono: I was so happy that people in all the countries was singing along with us with so much energy during our performances. I am much grateful since I know that memorizing Japanese is difficult.
Ayame: The best was to drink German beer after the lives. I have so many memories from Barcelona because it was the last performance of the Europe tour.
Yo: What I´ve learned is that we can overcome language barriers through music.
- Another question from fans: Do you have plans after the pandemic to tour Latin America? Would you like to visit other countries outside of Japan? Any place in particular?
Sono: I would like to go overseas especially to Spain, Mexico, and UAE (Dubai).
Ayame: I have never been to South America so I would like to go there.
Yo: I want to go to the countries that we were supposed to go in the previous tour that got cancelled and that I have never been to.
Hibiki: I would love to perform in Europe.
- Matenrou Opera has always been closely linked in some way to the members of Versailles. As both bands will be celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, can we expect more collaborations between both groups in the future? Something like the joint European tour in 2008 would be the delight of all the fans (laughs)
Sono: We have prospects for performing together with Versailles and if they invite us to join an European tour we would love to take up the offer.
Ayame: I hope to perform in Europe together. If that´s the case I hope you can come and see us.
Yo: Versailles will perform for the first time after being inactive for a while and I believe we can do something together.
Hibiki: I have never collaborated with them, so I would like to try it, indeed.
- You have made online live streaming available to international fans early during the pandemic and still offer it as an option today. Why was that important for you?
Sono: I believe that staying in touch with the fanbase is really important. I think the number of online events will decrease with the fading of COVID-19 as fans will be able to actually come and see us in real life but I would like to keep delivering online events for some special occasions.
Yo: Online events have some advantages as they enable fans, who cannot come to venues, to enjoy our performances no matter where they live in, being that Japan or foreign countries.
Hibiki: It is really important in present days when is difficult for people to come and see us.
- Sono, we would like to dig a little deeper into your personal project “Unmei Kousaten”. The sound is a complete 180 from Matenrou Opera’s symphonic timber. What were your influences for its creation?
Matenrou Opera usually creates songs that are quite dense so I tried to make songs with more spaces between sounds and I wanted you to feel a touch of jazz or blues.
The project was influenced by EGO- WRAPPIN’, MALICE MIZER, LUNA SEA.
2022.01.08 (土) 09 (日)
吉祥寺STAR PINE’S CAFE
OPEN16:30 / START17:00
共に2021.11.27 (土) 12:00発売開始 pic.twitter.com/Z3ppEKBHmP
— 運命交差点 (@unmeikosaten) November 21, 2021
- Ayame, are you still holding lectures at the Kyoto University of Informatics?
What is it like to coordinate lectures and having a news blog with recordings and touring with Matenrou Opera? Rarely do you find such multidisciplinary artists… (https://ayano.me)
I still give lectures there. I feel like everything is interconnected since the musical activities allow me to tell stories to students and write blogs.
- Yo, your cat Kedama is almost as popular as Matenrou Opera! He even has his own clothing line. One of our readers asks us if he has a girlfriend, and what his favorite food is. Have fans ever given you a gift specifically for him? (http://www.kedamax.jp)
Kedama-Kun (the cat’s name: Kedama) does not have a partner but I would say I´m the closest person to him. Sometimes he gets toys from fans.
— 燿 / YO (@opera_yo) January 21, 2022
- Hibiki, since you collaborate with well-known music brands such as Pearl and Zildjian, we wanted to take the opportunity to ask you: what is the Matenrou Opera song on which you have broken the most drumsticks? (https://hibikishiraishi.tumblr.com)
There is no causal connection between the breaking frequency and a particular song. But I would venture to say that ballads do not break drum sticks.
- We loved the Valentine’s Day live. We noticed that you played a lot of older songs. A lot of international fans who have been following your activities since the early days of your career still hold these songs dear as well. How do you feel about that?
Sono: I am so happy about it. Our listeners in Japan also enjoy our albums from our early days so we try to perform songs evenly.
Ayame: In my case I got to know Matenrou Opera thanks to “Alkaloid Showcase”. It will always be one of the most significant albums in my life.
Yo: You can find something new every time you listen to it in a performance even if it is an old song.
Hibiki: Thank you. We have a wide range of songs so I am glad that you still now enjoy albums from the early days.
- Speaking of thematic events… Is there a reason why you decided to do two separate events for Valentine Day and White Day instead of the usual Boys Only/Girl Only gigs for Valentine’s Day this year?
Sono: I feel like the number of fans who take the trouble to visit the venues has decreased under the covid-19 circumstances. Originally smaller audience came to the events just for men so we made it possible for both men and women to come this time.
- It’s been three years since your last album release Human Dignity. Do you plan on releasing a new album this year? Can you tell us anything? Including a violin would be great!
Sono: I cannot say how and when we are releasing the new album but we are working on it. It would be nice to have a violinist as a guest.
- Speaking of releases, a lot of your music has disappeared from online music streaming platforms such as Spotify. Are you planning on making your discography available online for fans who cannot access them in physical format?
Sono: There is no perspective in making available our old songs on Spotify but you can access and listen to almost all our songs on Apple Music for example.
- You have made some cover songs of several groups on your YouTube channel. On the contrary, what kind of bands would you like to make a cover of your songs?
Sono: Any group that loves our songs regardless if they´re in Japan or not.
Ayame: SONATA ARCTICA.
Yo: The number of songs that have been made has been increasing so I would like anyone to cover any song.
- What song best represents today’s Matenrou Opera? Some time ago the answer was “Kassai to Gekijou No Gloria”… Perhaps since then you have found another one up to the task?
Sono: That would be “Owaranu namida no umi de”l
Ayame: For me “Owaranu namida no umi de” and “Hakanaku kieru ai no sanka” are the ones.
Yo: I also think “Hakanaku kieru ai no sanka” that we first released as a new formation is the one.
Hibiki: I agree with Yo, “Hakanaku kieru ai no sanka” and “Owaranu namida no umi de” represent us.
- You have an event planned on the 4th of May, at Otemachi Mitsui Hall. What kind of day will it be ? How are you going to organise the event?
Sono: I would like to express my gratitude for being active for 15 years and I will do my best to make the day bright enough to show what the future holds.
Ayame: A venue with a high ceiling and this band are compatible because it will make our sounds get through to our fans´ hearts.
Yo: That day will be an important step for what our next move will be so I would like this day to be memorable for the audience.
Hibiki: I would like to make this day perfect to celebrate the anniversary.
- It is still a long way off, but… What kind of new information do you plan to deliver to your fans?
Sono: We would mainly notify them when we release new songs and the live schedule. We are planning to inform them of a variety of news so I hope you are looking forward to it.
Hibiki: I cannot say clearly but we would give the information that Sono has just told you.
- Thank you for this interview today. Do you have anything to tell your fans? Moving forward, what can fans expect from Matenrou Opera from now on?
Sono: It has been so difficult to perform abroad, but we will definitely hold tours and see you all when the situation settles down. I hope you enjoy our released new songs and online live performances until then.
Ayame: I believe the day that we can perform overseas will come for sure, in that case, please come to see us!
Yo: Matenrou Opera is still engaging in activities so please support us hereafter.
Hibiki: I personally have never performed overseas so I am eager to play there indeed. I hope you are looking forward to it.
- Don´t forget to check out our live report from Matenrou Opera VALENTINE DAY 2022!
Matenrou Opera Website/Matenrou Opera Youtube/Matenrou Opera Twitter
Sono Twitter/Sono Instagram/Sono Youtube/Sono Facebook
Ayame Twitter/Ayame Instagram/Ayame Youtube/Ayame Facebook/Ayame Blog
Yo Twitter/Yo Instagram/Yo Youtube
Hibiki Twitter/Hibiki Instagram/Hibiki Youtube/Hibiki Tumblr
Yusuke Twitter/Yusuke Instagram/Yusuke Youtube
- (Proofreading: Ania M. AKA Niobe)