jrock news

Interview ~ Versailles: June 1, 2008

On the last day of the convention, the members of Versailles sat down with us to talk about their upcoming album, Noble, and about performing overseas.

How do you balance all of your solo works and other bands and projects?

Kamijo: Currently everyone is doing Versailles, and nothing else.

In what way has touring in Europe helped your performances? Is there a difference?

Kamijo: I think our basic strength as a band has powered up.

If you could play in any other band, which band would you play in?

Kamijo: Versailles only.

Is it difficult to play in your clothing on stage?

Kamijo: Yes

Hizaki: Very heavy.

Teru: On the other hand, our costumes help intensify the mood.

Kamijo: If the costume is not heavy, I don’t feel like I’m standing on stage, so I add extra weights. (indicates the bottom edge of his coat where he has weights sewn in)

Hizaki: We also wear these costumes when we practice, so we don’t have problems during lives.

Jasmine: I always wear this costume, so it feels natural. To me, this is normal, so even during lives, it’s still normal.

When listening to the upcoming album, Noble, what would you like your fans to listen for?

Kamijo: The album is not completed yet, but it is a continuation from our previous album, Lyrical Sympathy, so we would like them to listen to it in connection to that.

Does having overseas fans affect the way you write your music or the way you perform?

Hizaki: On our new album, Noble, some of the songs were made after we completed our European tour, so surely we were conscious of the fact that it would be sold all over the world.

Kamijo: By playing in not only Japan, but in Europe as well, and by touching all kinds of music, we have found that our melodies are really beautiful. So on the new album, we’re trying to make the melody part even more beautiful.

What are your thoughts about attempting to connect with overseas fans?

Kamijo: Of course, from the beginning, we were aware that people from other countries were listening, and with help from the staff, we were able to debut in other countries quickly. We’re very happy about that.

Can you give us a quick description of Noble’s music?

Kamijo: For Versailles, the more we make longer songs, the greater we become. So far, I made the song The Love from a Dead Orchestra, which was eight and a half minutes long, and that was the best. But Hizaki made a song that was almost ten minutes long, and that was vexing, so next time I will have to surpass that.

Perhaps with a song longer than X JAPAN’s Art of life?

Kamijo: That’s impossible!

Hizaki: As I continue to make songs, compared to before, the things that I want to convey start to grow. Of course, I think a song that lasts for four to five minutes is easier to listen to. But there are too many things that I want to say, so it ended up being ten minutes long.

Yuki: He actually wanted to make that song even longer, but we stopped him!

Hizaki: This time there are many different songs, so we would like everyone to listen to all of them.

Jasmine: I think the quality of this album has increased compared to the last one, because more soul went into it.

What is the hardest part of recording a full album?

Kamijo: The lyrics.

Yuki: Every time we make a new album, we try to challenge ourselves with new techniques. So, raising our levels until we are able play it during recording is very difficult.

What expectations do you have of America?

Kamijo: Instead of expecting, we thought that we were the ones who were being expected of, so we felt that we should try very hard to answer those expectations.

Do you feel you achieved it?

Kamijo: (in English) Yes!

Hizaki: Hai!

Will Versailles ever play with an actual orchestra on stage?

Kamijo: Someday, maybe.

What was most difficult about starting out as a musician?

Jasmine: Music is the thing that I want to do most, so I don’t think it’s difficult. Even if I have to sacrifice everything, I still want to play music.

Hizaki: To create a new song, to select songs, is very difficult. But even though I know that it’s painfully difficult, somehow I still end up doing it.

What is your most embarrassing moment on stage?

Teru: (hides his face by Hizaki) There’s too many….

Jasmine: During a Versailles live, I jumped from a step and fell. Whenever that happens, the other members help me.

interview by Elffys and Andrea; photos by Elffys

Thank you to Versailles for taking the time to answer our questions; thank you to A-Kon and Tainted Reality for making this possible.