jrock news

Interview ~ D’espairsRay: February 22, 2008

D’espairsRay are no strangers to America; they’ve played several concerts here, and now they’re coming back for a full US tour as part of the Rockstar Taste of Chaos. Before leaving Japan for another excursion onto American soil, D’espairsRay took some time to answer a few of our questions.

For those of our readers who may not be familiar with you yet, please introduce yourselves and the part you play.

Vo: HIZUMI / Gt: Karyu/ Ba: ZERO/ Dr: TSUKASA

D’spairsRay has performed in America quite a few times before: at various anime conventions and at JRock Revolution, where the audiences had a particular interest in Japanese music or culture. What sort of reception do you think you’ll get from audience members that may not be as open-minded about Japanese music or culture?

Actually, we don’t know what sort of reception we will receive…… but we want them to accept us as a rock band, not as just some fashion.

Since you do have a few years of experience doing lives overseas, have you noticed any changes in the Japanese music scene in America?

For the most part, the Japanese music scene has been a reflection of the American music scene. But that’s starting to change to where styles are originating from Japanese music first.

Also, is there anything you miss about America when you’re in Japan?

We miss the people we met in America. They were very kind and nice when we talked.

Last May at JRock Revolution, you only played songs from your album, MIRROR. Can we expect you to play music from earlier releases during this tour?

We may play songs from earlier releases if we want to. We always play whatever songs we want to.

MIRROR was also your last CD release, released last March. When can we expect to see your next release?

We will release a new CD around May.

In your own words, how do you think your music has changed since you first started?

When we started, we played just to spit our feelings out, but recently we play to tell something we feel to our listeners.

Do you have any goals for this year, either personal goals or goals as a band?

We don’t think about goals much. We just want to do what we have to do now.

More and more, the internet is becoming a tool for bands to gain fans. Especially for bands that have an international following, the internet is crucial. Do you think that you are using the internet to its full potential? Please explain.

We can’t say we are using its full potential. We use it to find out information we need.

One thing that Japanese bands often say when they’ve played in America is that there’s a big difference between Japanese audiences and American audiences. What’s your take on this?

It must be true because Japan is different from America. But we can’t change our music so want them to feel our music as it is.

Besides the audience’s reaction to the live show itself, there are many cultural differences between Americans and Japanese in general. For example, Japanese give gifts to band members more often than Americans. But there are still American fans that bring gifts. What’s the strangest gift you have ever gotten?

Emergency rations.

Is there anything in particular you’d like to receive as a gift from your American fans?

We prefer fans to just come to our concerts rather than give us gifts.

Turning the tables a bit, if you could give any gift to your fans OTHER than your music, what would it be?

Just two words: “Thank you.”

What hopes or expectations do you have for the Rockstar Taste of Chaos tour?

We hope that many people who don’t know D’espairsRay will come to this tour and listen to our music.

How do you feel about having the chance to do a tour like this?

A. We are looking forward to doing this tour and of course we will perform better than the other bands.

How do you feel about playing with American bands?

We have played with American bands a few times before and we got good energy from them.

Are you looking forward to doing anything in particular on this tour? Are you excited about any particular tourstop?

We are excited about the places we have never been before.

Finally, do you have a message for your fans?

Please enjoy yourselves together when you have a chance to come to our concerts.

interview by Melony; thanks to Kara for editing; photo courtesy of TOC

Thank you to D’espairsRay for taking the time to answer our questions, and thank you to Rockstar Taste of Chaos for arranging the interview.