Friday, June 13, 2014

ViSULOG Interview with NightinigeiL for "Suigin"

This article originally appears in Japanese on ViSULOG

NightingeiL released its new maxi single, "Suigin," on February 9th. Though this work, which is the first release since the current members came together, compiles new components, the band is establishing a new sound without losing what makes it NightingeiL. While of course talking about "Suigin," we also approached a personal side of the members which isn't normally discussed.

Interview & Article by Yamamoto Takaya

――Since this is your first appearance [on ViSULOG] please start by letting me hear the story about your band's formation.

Kaie: Kon and I started thinking we'd start a new band but there were no other members and when we started looking wondering what we were gonna do, around that time we captured Mukui, who'd been drifting around. Then, as a support drummer...

Kon: ...?

Mukui: ...??

Hakuya: ...???

Kaie: Oh, we formed (laugh)

――(Laugh) When was that?

Kaie: About three years ago, I think. It was really a mess from the start.

Kon: We hadn't decided on anything aside from the band's color being "blood." But we wanted to hurry and start doing lives and just lined songs up in a row. For a while we just appeared at event lives but there were some things we weren't fully satisfied with, and so to fully be able do the things we wanted to do and express the things we wanted to express, we took in formal members and tried to synchronize but of course we couldn't establish an image... Even so, we groped around for a while, and at last the sound we were meant to have -- rather, something like a sense of NightingeiL -- came into view.

――How did Kon-san and Kaie-san originally meet?

Kaie: There's an event planner in Shikoku called MTR; whenever my previous band went to Shikoku on tour they always helped us. Someone from that company named Ami-san Kon and I -- even though I had absolutely no acquaintance with Kon -- for some reason we went shopping at Matsuyama Laforet. That was the first time.

Kon: We were both silent (laugh)

Kaie: There were children doing a fundraiser near Laforet. Then Kon suddenly struck up conversation with, "Don't you think it's shady for them to use children for fundraising?" and I thought he was such a strange person (laugh)

Kon: But it's unfair to use children like that.

Kaie: And after that we ended up with the same management, and one thing led to another and we got to know each other.

――What's the source of the band name, NightingeiL?

Kon: It started from the nurse, Florence Nightingale, who's known as the mother of modern-day nurses, and with the aspect of "blood" which every human has, we made our concept the complete human experience of "life," "love," and "death."

Kaie: We're always questioning what it is to be human.

Kon: At first the plan was larger than life so there were things we really couldn't do, but now I feel like I'm more confident in being able to get there.

――I want to ask something a little personal; can you tell me what was everyone's was for starting music?

Hakuya: There was a drum set at my house because my father played different instruments as a hobby. For some reason when I was in elementary school I started taking an interest in it and thanks to the fact I started to play with it, I started a cover band when I entered middle school. That was the beginning.

――Are there any drummers who have influenced you?

Hakuya: I love YOSHIKI-san, Mitsuzono Eiji-san, and Nakamura Tatsuya-san, so they had a huge influence on me.

Mukui: Pop songs were the first for me and I gradually started listening to music by bands, and from there it was really simple. I started thinking I'd like to move from the listening side to the playing side.

――Did you play bass from the beginning?

Mukui: In the beginning I had a guitar but for a while I only had it (laugh). Then in high school I joined the light music club and someone said I seemed like a bassist, so somehow I moved on to bass.

Kaie: Such an easy flow (laugh)

Mukui: After that I was in different bands, and when I was wondering what I'd do next NightingeiL captured me (laugh)

――Are there any bassists who have influenced you?

Mukui: More than a particular person, what I'm interested in has changed from time to time so I think I've been influenced by a lot of different people.

――How about you, Kaie-san?

Kaie: My older sister liked punk so around my third year of elementary school I started listening to THE STALIN and THE BLUE HEARTS. That was the beginning.

――You were a punk in third grade of elementary school?

Kaie: I wasn't a very sweet student (laugh) I also listened to a lot of anarchy-punk and such. Then when I was in junior high I discovered Motley Crue, and I got to like Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue's bassist) so I started with bass.

――So bass was the beginning.

Kaie: I played bass for about a year, and around my second year of junior high I felt like I wanted to be in a band, and when I formed one for some reason I turned to guitar (laugh)

――Are there any musicians who influenced you?

Kaie: For guitarists, INORAN and Murohime Shin had a huge influence on me, and I was influenced by HIDE-san and CIPHER-san for my image as a musician.

――What about you, Kon-san?

Kaie: Why are you looking to the heavens?

Kon: I can't remember...

Kaie: He can't even remember things from a week ago (laugh)

Kon: I used to watch music programs at my friend's house and at first I liked pop music but around my third year of junior high I had a friend who had a lot of band CDs. When I listened to them I started rapidly developing an interest in bands, and what got me started was buying magazines and such.

――What was the reason you decided to sing?

Kon: At first I wanted to play guitar but my friend bought one before me, and we didn't have a person to sing so I thought okay, I'll do it.

――Since then you've always been a vocalist?

Kon: After that I played guitar a little bit and started playing at live houses too, but then our vocalist quit and we couldn't go on. Then at that time MTR's Ami-san, who's the reason Kaie and I met, called on me, and I worked as staff at MTR while looking for band mates. Little by little my desire to write lyrics and sing got stronger and I returned to being a vocalist. That was La'Mule.

――About the new MAXI SINGLE "Suigin," did you have any kind of concept during its production?

Kon: We started making it without a concept, so this time it's three different kinds of songs.

Kaie: Since the nature of the band and the configuration [of the single] were solidified in [my mind], even without a particular concept we completed it as a NightingeiL-style work.

――What kind of idea is behind the first track, "Fragile"?

Kaie: I made it simply wanting to do a 16-beat song, and wanting a song where we could have fun with the audience at lives. Recently I've been listening to a lot of genres outside of rock, and probably with that as an influence I was naturally able to adopt different components and make "Fragile."

Kon: There are synth sounds behind the chorus with a sense of trance, but having put this in I think we were able to reveal a newer kind of NightingeiL than was there before.

――Regardless of the new components it's clear from the moment you hear the intro that this is "NightingeiL."

Kon: That's pretty much the idea, and we're trying new things but as the core of the band isn't changing I think it's a victory that you can feel like it's NightingeiL [just from] listening to the intro.

――What about the lyrics?

Kon: As "Fragile" has the feel of a 16-beat, rock-tinged, dance beat,  I chose "dark disco" as a theme and I poured the words into writing that naturally came from within me.

――Hakuya-san, is there anything you paid close attention to?

Hakuya: I drummed bearing in mind most of all not to change the 16[-beat] rhythm from beginning to end. As we haven't done a 16-beat song as a core song before now it was new territory for me.

――And for you, Mukui-san?

Mukui: Because of the "dark disco" theme, I paid attention to how to make the song swell with the bass, and how to express a new kind of NightingeiL. As we've started to scatter new components in at every turn I'd like for people to listen to these points.

――What is the image for the second track, "Suigin"?

Kaie: It's straight vocal-focused visual-kei rock. We've done a lot of this kind of song before now, but since it'd be dull if we did it the usual way, I did the chord work with a different approach than usual and managed a somewhat different atmosphere.

――I got the impression that the melody is really easy to listen to.

Kon: Since the song is straightforward and to some extent composed only of chords, I was really focused on how to make the melody work. The melody in the chorus in particular was by trial and error and I completed it just the day before [recording] the vocals.

――The gap between the melody and lyrics in this song, too, is something from Kon-san's world.

Kaie: Like always.

Kon: It'd be dull if we did the same things as other bands, so I'm particularly aware of how I choose my words.

――And the configuration of the third track, "Kanojo to Kuufuku," is interesting, isn't it?

Kaie:Whether that was also influenced by the songs I've been listening to recently, or just came straight from me, I was able to put it together the usual way.'.

――And in regard to the lyrics?

Kon: When I thought about what I should do, given that the song is long, I wondered how I could keep it from getting tiring. Then the melody of the nursery rhyme that every Japanese person knows, "Tulip," came to mind, and from there I thought about a passionate telling. I expressed, in my own way, hopeless conflict with heartrending sections.

――The feeling of an interlude is a new approach which hasn't been in NightingeiL before, isn't it?

Kon: I was a little worried because I'd assumed that piano would be added to the interlude chord progression.

Kaie: The fact that that feeling was captured means that the engineer was great.

――Lastly, please leave a message for the fans who read ViSULOG.

Kaie: Why don't you have a look and listen to judge what you like and don't like? (laugh)

Hakuya: I think it'd be best if you listen after looking [at this], and look [at this] after listening.

Mukui: Knowing that NightingeiL is [only] one of your options in visual kei, you absolutely won't regret it if you come to a live so please give us a try.

Kon: It seems that NightingeiL often gives a frightening impression at first glance, but we're really not like that at all, so I'd like you to first bring yourself to a live and experience the latmosphere, aura, and NightingeiL's outlook firsthand.

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