RUKI’s MASSIVE vol.7 interview (translated + scans)

Credits to heresiarchy.tumblr who have made this amazing translation!

RUKI’s MASSIVE vol.7 interview

“Creativity that transcends imagination”

Legend:
◆Masuda You, the interviewer
「Ruki’s words」

◆Today is August 25th. It’s the right timing, as just a few hours ago, I received the completed “DIVISION.” What surprised me most was that when I took this first press limited edition in my hands, it was heavier than I’d expected. I was like, “Ahh, so that’s how it ended up!”
「Yeah, that’s how it ended up (laugh). Actually, I received it myself just yesterday. When the real thing is finally done like this, it gives me a feeling that “We’ve really done it”, you know. But actually, it took a long time to complete.」

◆In the end, what was the most difficult thing about it?
「Being consistent about a lot of things, I guess. Like, at first I only had this really vague vision, and from that I tried to think up different kinds of stories… Bringing them all to unity was difficult. But I kept getting a lot of ideas. And in the end, they all connected as one.」

◆It was as if, so to speak, you saw it all since the beginning?
「Yeah. That’s exactly how it was.」

◆So you could call a coincidence coincidence, or call it a fortunate bit of thinking ahead. Things like that happen. Actually, although I myself heard a lot about this album from its initial stage of production, the concept itself was really rough at first. So I’m surprised that it was completed this elaborately.
「That’s somehow strange to me as well. When I decided how things would go and was completing them one at a time, the things I hadn’t realized had that strong a connection also connected in the end. It was a really fun process, watching such subtle details connect and gradually become one.」

◆Or you could say that, even if there were factors preventing you to see into such subtle details, they came together as, looking forth, you overcame them.
「I thought that was definitely what happened this time. And I didn’t always use this method. The artwork is the same way: I’d just have the idea for a jacket cover and then work on the contents from that. So honestly, I’d make it without being bothered that it isn’t really linked to the songs. As a matter of fact, this is where the link would naturally begin.」

◆For example, in case of the limited edition, you put the DVD as the point of connection between the two CDs. The videos supplied there, as well as the liner notes I wrote at the beginning of the booklet…and well, it might sound presumptuous coming from me, but you could say that they’re also a part of “DIVISION.” I felt like it might’ve been acting as a certain thematic glue. (T/N: The interviewer, Masuda You, is the person who wrote a two-page intro for the limited edition of DIVISION.)
「That, too. For the limited edition booklet, it wasn’t that I had some deep idea and a draft from the beginning. As different elements amassed, it turned out like this naturally. So, I guess it’s still a strange feeling. Well, of course it is, since I got it just yesterday but yeah (laugh)」

◆Even if you say it’s simply just a part of the album, it all began from an idea to make two mini albums of different inclinations. So, the limited edition went on to be structured in accordance with that, but you condensed the regular edition into one CD, with the song order completely different. Were you confident it was going to work out that way?
「No, on the contrary, we thought it wouldn’t work at all (laugh). Initially, we didn’t really think about the regular edition. And at the point when we decided to make it into one CD we thought that we should mix them up. And then as the mastering passed and we tried listening to it, there were parts where we were like “nah.” In order to complete it as a single CD we’d have to properly rearrange it. So we revised, and the song order was set up like this. And that was at a second round of mastering (laugh). But to tell you about my real intentions—although the way it is is of course okay—I guess I’d have to say that the real “DIVISION” is the limited edition one.」

◆That might be a bit of a shocking statement (laugh).
「But I honestly think so. Basically, the regular edition is “the CD we couldn’t not make” (laugh). There must be people who only want to hear the music, and not everyone wants a version like that limited edition. The price of the limited edition is also high, and there are people who can’t get it for that reason. So if there weren’t an option like the regular edition, they would be sad.」

◆Of course. So let’s talk a bit more specifically about the work. I would like to inquire about the limited edition while it was still in its basic form. The two CDs have different meanings musically, and on the basic sound level are different in terms of production technique. The people involved have the actual feeling of this disparity more than anyone else, but on the other hand I believe it’s natural that among the listeners there will be those who feel that it’s not all that different.
「I suppose it’s so. But, I wonder. It is different in that we’d expressly tried to tackle new things in order to differentiate the two CDs. Then again, it was a gradual change, happening throughout a natural transition. But I thought that these ten years would be visible in the flow from the first disc to the second. And yesterday, when I listened to it anew, I felt yet more different nuances to it. When I tried to listen to it objectively, I saw that after all, what makes it different are the different meanings. This is not an unexpectedly extreme change, but can be seen as having a proper path. As in, having a component of the past in it somewhere, yet being songs thus far unheard.」

◆That’s certainly so. I myself have also hoped to get a clearer analysis of the two CDs. In fact, when I kept listening to it, I didn’t really feel an extreme fluctuation, and on the regular edition, where the two sides of the songs are mixed, they didn’t give off a strange feeling. In short, while clearly facing a new direction, nothing is abandoned either.
「Somehow, that’s what it feels like. Those two discs have both sides in them and therefore form the same path. And that’s the path that’s possible because of what we’ve been through so far.」

◆That’s exactly why I think that even though the title is “DIVISION” and you chose it prior to starting the actual work, the meaning of it really expanded.
「It really did. But it turned out like that naturally. At any rate, in the very beginning, we were just thinking of it as a contrast of “ballads and violent stuff”. That made us think about various things inside ourselves. For example, about “what a CD ought to be”. So it wasn’t that we suddenly decided we wanted to create something interesting; the fact that it wasn’t a single was important, and then of course there were the implications of living in a world that is starting to focus on downloading.」

◆So, questioning what your work is supposed to be?
「Yeah. Therefore, having made this, we’re thinking of stepping things up even more.」

◆It’s like I can hear the voices say “Then, the next limited edition will have even a higher price?” (laugh)
「Ahaha! At least we didn’t make it expensive and huge without a point. This size, weight, the way the content is structured…all have a lot of meaning. Well…maybe some people will end up thinking all of this doesn’t have a meaning, but it’s like, when you suddenly see something that at first glance doesn’t seem meaningful, it’s important that you think about it with your own head.」

◆So it comes down to whether you can put trust in your fans’ imagination. For example, I expect there will be people who buy the limited edition thinking, “I bought it because I thought it was the members’ photo collection”. There were probably other times when you had to worry about such a reaction.
「Absolutely. But this time, I guess we weren’t afraid of that. Because from the beginning, we thought of going completely out with it. Usually, for taking such photos and making a booklet, we’d have to work with designers and cameramen for example, and for us to do that it’d have to appeal to as as “something we want to put out”. Of course, this part is also a way of reaching our core fans; however, what we want to show here aren’t our portraits. That’s something they have to understand. Because when we somehow meet the fans’ demands, then they don’t have the opportunity to discover anything anymore. If everything is geared towards the fans’ expectations, then it’s meaningless. Of course, I suppose there are times when you get something and you’re glad it was the way you expected, but I think it’s bad if there’s nothing new about it. At least, that’s what I wouldn’t like if I were a fan.」

◆Therefore, you’re not satisfied making extravagant products in the name of fan service.
「Exactly. So I’m thinking, for example, when it comes to overseas artists, there are times when I randomly buy a CD that’s been fussed over, and it makes me think “What the hell is this?”, you know? Because it’s not what I hoped for. Rather, it’s just all kinds of things in there without any explanation. So when I can relate to something like that, I can usually get more into it. If you’ve managed to relate in that way to our products, then that means our band has progressed further on. So I suppose that we personally have a different approach to the choice of products that make the fans happy. To put it differently, that’s what I see as fan service. Having them look forward to something by showing them new things. Photos are that same way too, but nice-looking photos aren’t everything, you know. If there aren’t new things, there’s no motivation, they’ve seen everything. It might happen that we’ll have to ask ourselves “So should we put out something of lower quality?” Should we try showing that we’re struggling with a drop in quality, or should we try for new horizons together despite that? I thought that that might be the difference」

◆When I was a middle school student and started listening to various bands, there were so many times when, the moment I’d get a new album I’d feel that “I don’t get this band anymore”. But, I ended up liking it exactly because I didn’t get it—because I would still try to understand. Due to having a bunch of such experiences, I’ve managed to grow up along with the band’s progress. Of course, it’s not a problem if I misunderstand them. RUKI-san, is it that you expect such a thing from fans?
「I do. For example, at the time when hide-san did zilch, I think the response was a bit strange. Because the lyrics were in English and the melodies really enthusiastic. I think that there were lots of people who didn’t really get it then and when they tried listening to it after a few years passed, they sensed it exactly right. As a fan, thinking that I wasn’t able to get to that sense when an album was announced would make me regret it somehow. As if I was somehow late to the party or something.」

◆Did you actually have such regrets back then?
「No, concerning zilch, everything was okay. But, for example, when it comes to LUNA SEA and stuff, the songs I liked at that time and the songs I like at the present are clearly different. Even with overseas artists, the things I’d felt were impossible for me back then, I normally listen to now. Since back then, if it was possible, I’d try to listen to all the things the artists I liked listened to. I bought all the CDs of the artists J-san listed as his favourite in a GiGS article. And even if it was something I didn’t understand, I pretended that I did (laugh)」

◆I really understand that so well. It’s because just by doing that you could feel as if you were closer to the artist you like. In the same way, you want to convey with the entirety of this album that “the GazettE right now are exactly this thing of this taste and viewpoint”, and it’s also that you want, if possible, for your fans to end up liking the whole thing, right?
「Right. Somehow, I think that the people now don’t do much thinking when they see the booklet.」

◆It’s like you’re saying that you’re no longer one of “the people now” (laugh).
「But, certainly I’m forced to feel a difference in generations. The not thinking, or not imagining. The whole, wanting to understand something from just seeing a single sentence. That’s how things like Twitter are too, in that you don’t try to see the backdrop of those sentences. When you don’t think about, “Why is he saying something like this, with what meaning in mind?”, then you only interpret what you see superficially, and because of that you go on to say something.」

◆Like getting angry even though they misunderstood something?
「Yup. I’m like, read it properly (laugh). Even with music, I guess there’s things like that. When you try reading the lyrics and don’t understand. That’s where it ends. I myself don’t like it when I don’t understand something, so I’d like them to try thinking about it.」

◆Being able to enjoy things like that is, I suppose, one of the privileges of being a fan.
「Yes. I think my own sensibility got refined that way too. When I reach out to something I don’t understand, I touch into a world unknown to me, and attempt to understand yet more different worlds. So simply said, I think it would be a waste if such an instance would end with a mere glance, without thinking of anything, without searching for anything.」

◆When you’re listening to something you like, it’s natural you’d get interested about what’s on the other side of it. That’s what you mean?
「Yeah. On the other hand, there’s also stuff I’m told by fans. Such as, “It’s fine if you’re fixating this much on the booklet, but what about the sound?” And that’s before actually hearing it. Honestly, I think that’s a little beside the point. When it comes to such things, I think of it as taking it all together and making a single product, and since of course I have faith in the sound, I can fixate on other things, as well.」

◆Indeed. If you didn’t have faith in the music, then you’d be embarrassed and trying to fixate on the artwork would carry a feeling of guilt with it.
「Yeah. But, I think that saying such a thing obtrusively is also wrong somehow. So I want those people to try hearing the thing first and then say things (laugh).」

◆You’re quite right (laugh). But actually, before the release, you probably heard people saying “Why is the limited edition so expensive?”
「We wanted to make it a lot cheaper, but even so (laugh). We did our best, and everyone around us did their best. People from the recording company gave it their all, as well.」

◆That’s something that naturally, we shouldn’t really write in a magazine, but it makes a great difference whether or not you have the blessing from enthusiastic people in charge.
「That’s really very important. Like, that they tried reading between the lines some way or other when it comes to the things we want. And other than those people in charge, it feels like there is the “care” put in by various other people who participated. Like our cameraman Hirano-san, who ended up leaving a fingerprint on the front cover and then thoughtfully wiping it off. When I saw that I felt kind of happy. 」

◆It’s as if the product itself became a precious child of every person who worked on it.
「It is, and I actually suddenly noticed that Hirano-san and designer Yoda-san had started freely and enthusiastically saying things like, “the future GazettE should be like this” (laugh). It’s truly a welcome thing (laugh). In a weird way, it’s good that such people around us are handling our band, and I think it’s great that they were thinking with us how to make things happen. Actually, such feelings have come through. In other words, all of us have taken on the challenge of handling this product called “DIVISION.” The music is at its heart, naturally, but there are other parts to be enjoyed too. I want the people who haven’t yet had the chance to enjoy the album to the fullest, to realize that.」

◆In that sense too, this album feels like its music evolution and everything around it is on a different level.
「That’s why it’s fun. At first, we started out stubbornly trying to surpass our previous album, “TOXIC.” In the end, it wasn’t “TOXIC” that we were trying to surpass. In a way, it was completely different.」

◆In a way, it might have been everything.
「Yes. Maybe we were trying to exceed everything.」

◆And, another thing this album made me realize is that, this band, after all, doesn’t want to do what somebody else demands them to.
「Or rather, we don’t even know what is being demanded from us (laugh)」

◆To be rather specific, for example, if “Ibitsu” was conceived at the time when you were about to play at Tokyo Dome, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it became one of three singles.
「It might have been exactly like that.」

◆So certainly, it’s not making such a song, it’s that you don’t like it when someone demands you make it. After all, you should have your own voice.
「I agree. And I thought the same thing at the time of our 10-year anniversary.」

◆So when hearing “Ibitsu”, there might be some people who feel like “they’ve gone back a little bit, haven’t they?” But, as you’ve said before, in the end it is that you “haven’t thrown anything away”, and simply, there’s a difference in the detail of whether the band has sought something out and conceived it, or if someone has demanded it.
「Exactly. So of course, I’m curious about how everyone will hear it. I simply think it’s not about the sales anymore. Now there’s kind of a part where we should think how to have yet more people hear it. Saying this might get someone angry at me, but I don’t mind it if you borrow it from someone to hear it. I just think it’s fine if there’s even more people now who hear us for the first time in that way. I guess the album turned out like that. Because I want people to give their attention more and more to see what we’ll release. The form of this album is like this, too, because we will be releasing much more new things. Somehow, I think it’s really wasteful. Even though there are all these types of music, people only reach out to the things that are slapped right in the most obvious place. And so honestly, when it comes to DIVISION, I think it’s probably something that people who don’t already know the GazettE will have a much harder time picking up.」

◆Those who listen to the things already out there are not the music fans; for them it’s just a way of having more fun. And also, you’d said earlier, “to yet more people”, but I think that isn’t really a problem of numbers.
「Right. Still, it’s not that it can be fine for anyone. So exactly because of that, just, if I could have all the people in the country hear something like this, I would want to know like, which opinion the majority would be of.」

◆If only to ask the people who dislike it as to why they dislike it?
「Exactly. So if among the answers there would be “I didn’t understand it”, that would be okay.」

◆It would be best if you could do a survey with the entire nation, wouldn’t it?
「If it were possible, I’d distribute the album to the entire nation (laugh). Well, of course, that’s impossible, and apparently I’m supposed to think about the profit, too (laugh)」

◆Because if there were no profit, you wouldn’t be able to create this.
「Yeah. But, while we, the actual persons who created it, don’t have that much to do with profit, we’re all interested in how it’s perceived as. So it would be great if we could like, enclose it with the newspaper (laugh). Because nowadays, the very act of going out to buy a CD is progressively dying out. So even if we can make something simply to gratify that, there will still be a lot of people who won’t know that this CD is coming out. And I think that’s too bad. Certainly, if they end up saying that it’s a difference in taste, then that’s what it is.」

◆It’s really a “Even though there’s such a fun world in there!” kind of feeling.
「Yeah. I personally used to feel like that about the music of our predecessors. Simply put, I thought it should have been shared more.」

◆I think we might have been the final generation who could put into practice what we’d learned directly from those predecessors of ours. Don’t you think so?
「I don’t know about that. At least, mostly you can’t find bands with a similar point of view around here. And, it’s not really because I think I should be unique or that I want to be unique.」

◆It’s more a question of where to look for uniqueness.
「Yeah. I do want a certain type of uniqueness, and that’s why it’s annoying when I’m forced to recognize that some other band is, no matter who sees them, immediately understood as doing “something out of the ordinary”. After all, it’s not nice being annoyed by that. So when I think of someone’s work that it’s “reaching into a really deep place”, I think that then we need to go past that. And for that reason, too, I watch and listen to various things.」

◆I’m going back to what we were talking about before, but when buying CDs by those predecessors whom you hold in respect, even though it should’ve been something incredibly special, if it was substitutes with nothing but extraneous freebies, you would be disillusioned, right?
「But, for example in the case of Radiohead, don’t they put in a lot of things you really can’t tell if they have any meaning or not? I mean, I like it that those things then make me wonder, “Why did they want to include this?” I think that things like the booklet and the format express the image of the entire album. A collection of photos doesn’t do that. Thinking just how many things I can express in the small, regular edition, naturally the question “So if I make it huge, won’t I be able to say much more?” also surfaces. I mean, I want to make it a serious matter. Now, in the time when people coming into stores to buy a CD are rare, I want those who pick up the limited edition that costs more than 6000 yen to think that they’re glad they bought it, after all.」

◆On the other hand, since it’s a band’s job to persistently make good CDs, there are those who leave all the specifics and what surrounds it to the staff.
「Actually, a while back, we talked about that. And I think that’s also the right thing to do. But, our case is different, since we’re no longer at a place where we think that we’re just about the music. With each product we create, we have to take into account just how much responsibility we ourselves have. We don’t want to push those responsibilities onto somebody else. So if, say, we were ever to reach a point when we say something like, “We should only do music”, then at that point, I think this band would have truly changed, and we would have lost any interest in various things surrounding the music. If that happened, it wouldn’t be a CD, and it’d probably be enough if it were just a CD-R, and all we’d have to do is distribute that.」

◆But, at least for the time being, that isn’t what you want to do. A discussion article with the people involved in the booklet artwork was also included in the limited edition. When RUKI-san is concerned, visual kei is something that comes from such a comprehensive desire for expression, isn’t it?
「Yeah. I’ve always thought of it like that. In that it carries very deep ideas in each respective thing. Before, everyone used to fuss over things like the CD cover, didn’t they? And it’s sad that such a part is disappearing. There were times in the visual kei scene when people wanted to buy just the cover, and ended up liking it even more once they heard it. I think something like that can be very important. So, when we speak of visual kei and such, bands who don’t worry about that at all and who only wear make-up then wouldn’t be visual kei, and should just be called “make up kei”. Because just to be calling yourself visual kei, I think that you’re supposed to be particular about all the things that appeal to vision. Therefore, I think it’s off-point to say that “even though it’s visual kei, it has little band portraits.” Visual kei bands that I’d always liked were awesome even just with silhouettes. There were things that tugged at me with but a single shadow. Because it’s not the faces that I liked.」

◆It’s not just hearing or vision, but appealing to all five senses. Or to put it more clearly, that’s what you want to be. Speaking of which, you named the two CDs composing the limited edition this time, [VEIN] and [ARTERY], respectively. That is, 静脈 and 動脈. It feels like through those words, yet more things have connected.
「Yes, I think that they have. When I wanted to name the discs and tried to find two words for them, I tried thinking of the album as a single human being. That’s how I thought of it.」

◆Veins return blood to the heart, and arteries carry it throughout the body. In other words, gushing forth from this band’s heart is a desire for new things, but as it rushes through the entire body, at the time when it returns to the heart, it becomes something that also adds onto its roots. It felt like such an explanation can be given. Maybe I’m thinking about it too much though (laugh).
「Definitely leave what you just said in the manuscript, please (laugh). But actually, after deciding on a title like that, I make many discoveries, and parts that connect appear. Besides, it’s not like I ordinarily think about the difference between veins and arteries (laugh). At most it was only about the contrast of the characters “静” and “動”. (T/N: vein-静脈 and artery-動脈, 静 means calm, 動 means moving.) Consequently, that’s the way it turns into something meaningful. I think it’s too bad when there’s truly no focus on something like that. If there are those who don’t understand the words “vein” and “artery”, I assume there will also be people who don’t even look for the meaning. Perhaps there will be those who will start from the DVD. But you know, when you only listen to the music, it might feel shorter, but if you start listening in order while one by one taking stabs at the meanings of the words, I think it would be pretty tiring. And, I think that’s good.」

◆Seems you don’t want them to look for word meanings as if studying for entrance exams, and don’t want them to analyse the artwork in an artistic way either. But, exactly that, something so fun you’re absorbed in it to the point of exhaustion, that’s truly a privilege of being a fan.
「It is. In fact, it’s by imagining various things like that that the feeling of connecting everything into one comes about. To be very honest, I question whether these sentiments really can reach the teenagers, as well. Perhaps I can’t communicate this to the people who are only interested in the “so-called visual” style. That’s a difficult thing about it.」

◆In other words, this album is not intended to reach a 100% of those who call themselves visual kei fans. You’re people who are able to deliver this music and what this album itself is supposed to be, as something that hits right on the mark, and that’s also because you are still treading unknown territory.
「Yeah. I really think so. While we kept doing our trial-and-error thing, we planned on really understanding what we’re supposed to be expressing, what we’re supposed to be, and I think that this way, by being persistent in the way we go about things, something should travel even beyond the obstacles. And yet, because I’m a kid at heart, I want to surpass the bands I like, or should I say that, I’m also curious what the people I respect will think when they hear it. Since I think I wouldn’t wanna be one of those that my senpais mean when they say “The youth today…” (laugh)」

◆To say it more specifically, you’d like to be able to just confidently give the album to those people you admire, right?
「Exactly. Instead of saying “Please listen to it, I’m in your care,” I’d be like, “I came to win.” (laugh)」

◆Like, because I’m gonna step all over you (laugh).
「Of course, I wouldn’t say something like that (laugh). But like, there’s that thing “younger generations following the things their predecessors did.” I don’t like that. We want to continue on being as unique as we can be. I think that’s where the real respect is. While it is that “We honestly learned a lot from you”, it is not “So we want to be like you.” So well, when I make it seem like it’s settling scores, it might lead to misunderstandings but (laugh)」

◆In the end, by exceeding them, you can repay them for everything they’ve done for you.
「Yeah. So looking at the generations below us……and this really isn’t anything like me dissing them (laugh), but I do wonder why they aren’t going more for the win. It’s like there’s some “selling manual” out there that we don’t know about (laugh). Of course, I’m not saying everyone from the younger generations is that way.」

◆It’s like, things RUKI-senpai’s been saying lately are a bit scary (laugh).
「I guess that’s what it looks like. But when it comes to that, my generation is supposed to be the same as the image embraced by Kiyoharu-san and various other sempai (laugh). Actually, it’s not like that at all. For example, what I enjoy at the moment, is going into this thing that hide-san once called the “gap industry” (T/N: a niche market). Instead of aiming for the very middle with everyone, we’re in little gaps between, where it’s more fun for us to carry out our own way of doing things, and where we can do many different things. So I think it’s best if the name the GazettE can secure a stable place for itself there.」

◆There will probably be readers who don’t have that positive an image of the phrase gap industry, but for you, “gap=a territory just for us.”
「Exactly. Therefore, more so than in melody, we want to establish that in mind. We want to be recognized for having this type of mindset. And actually I think that being able to think this way is exactly because we made our previous album “TOXIC.” It’s like the things that we are able to do increased incredibly because we made it. And I think that, when making “DIVISION” now, it was necessary that we’d made that album, and both our ten years, and Tokyo Dome, now seem to have happened so that everything would connect here.」

◆Everything’s connected now, isn’t it. Personally I felt another thing—that in that relation between vein and artery, what’s essential are imagination and creativity. If there’s nothing but imagination, it can all end with a simple illusion, and if it’s just inventiveness, it then ends up a shape with no substance. By possessing both, the band’s blood circulates in a healthy way.
「Imagining is very important to artists. It’s not about capturing what one sees, but trying to think about it a little deeper, and still try thinking about what everyone will interpret it as. Actually, in case of this band, I don’t think we’ve had enough of the inventiveness part from the start, and beginning from imagining took a long time. But, exactly because of that, there’s a certain amazement when we accomplish something. Since it didn’t really go along with some planned storyboard. We’re not going about it by using a storyboard and thinking that that’s the way we’ll proceed. Instead, things just happen when different reactions amass. That’s something important to our band. I think that probably, if each of us tried to make a storyboard, we’d end up with completely different things.」

◆You’re saying that those differences are necessary to the band?
「Yeah. Namely, those differences show up in songs. When someone brings a song that they’ve been having trouble with alone, we’ll genuinely think it’s great. It’s just that when it comes to artwork-related stuff, they’re basically done by me alone. That’s why I always have the incentive to make things that will surprise my bandmates. Not all five of us have to completely understand it at first. As long as it can be understood with time」

◆So if it’s RUKI-san personally putting his imagination to work, you should make it by yourself, right. I think there must be a great deal of readers who think that way.
「There probably are. But, it’s not really like that. Basically, they’re things I make with the feelings of five people in mind. So actually, while other members indeed don’t have to do with the artwork specifically, I am able to make those things because my bandmates are there. If it was just me, they wouldn’t be the way they are.」

◆ You can do it exactly because you take on the burden by yourself.
「Yeah, so that’s why the pressure is huge too. Because more than anyone else, the ones I don’t want to be rejected by the most are my bandmates (laugh). And, so because I want to get their understanding, it’s necessary for me to know about a lot more things than them. Plus, then I can usually share these things I’ve learned with them.」

◆That’s a really great band! (laugh) Actually, I think there are people who feel that RUKI-san wants to do every single thing by himself. But, that’s not the case.
「I understand how it can look that way, and it’s difficult for me. But if I was in an opposite situation, I’d want honestly to think “wow, great!” about the ideas my bandmates bring forward, and I’d want to be respectful towards everything they make. So that’s why, in my current position, I’m feeling a lot of pressure.」

◆Somehow it feels like through this I’ve been able to understand the band’s structure more clearly. But you know, it seems like the birth of “DIVISION” will make a significant mark on the GazettE’s history. Aren’t you already starting to think about the next thing to come?
「We’re talking about it in not so many words (laugh). I guess we’re being asked “What are you doing?” because what we really have to do is surpass this (laugh). By the way, back then, we even mentioned stuff like, “Should we stop releasing things in the form of CDs?” Like, should we sell headphones with the album embedded in them (laugh)」

◆If you say something like that here, bands will actually start doing it later! (laugh)
「Ahahaha! But well, though it feels a little defeating when someone does something first, I’m often reminded that the world is a huge place, and there are still so many things that we can do. Going out on a limb here, and I’m repeating myself but, just for people to hear the songs, if they can download them then that’s fine. Because we’ll release it as a CD, and we still want to make everyone want to have it. And not because it’d be a ticket to the handshake-meet or something. When you buy a CD, the excitement you get when opening it is something special. I used to be that way as well, I’d even buy something and open it on the train back (laugh)」

◆There were things like that. You never forget a feeling like that, and it’s kind of a shame to not feel that if you’re a music fan.
「Yeah. Because the completed world in there is something that definitely only just begins when you take it in your hands. So exactly for that reason, I am doing my absolute best in making it.」

◆I see. But you know, I’m happy I could prepare for this interview today after I got the actual limited edition. Because I was able to have this conversation with you having felt its weight myself.
「Definitely. Talking with people who haven’t seen the actual thing is kind of difficult (laugh). Even preparing for the interview. Just by saying “it’s huge”, it’s difficult to understand in what way it’s huge」

◆Like this, people similar to us will also be able to fully realize the importance of having the actual thing in their hands.
「Well, I think we’re supposed to have it finished a bit earlier, so there are still things we have to keep doing ourselves (laugh). Of course, now our heads are filled with the tour for this album, but we have to drive ourselves on like this, in order to create yet more new things from now on.」

Credits to heresiarchy.tumblr who have made this amazing translation!

Scans

Info

Band: the GazettE
Formed: 2002

Members:

Vocal: Ruki (the GazettE)

Guitar: Aoi (the GazettE)

Guitar: Uruha (the GazettE)

Bass: Reita (the GazettE)

Drums: Kai (the GazettE)

Vocal: Ruki Guitar: Aoi Guitar: Uruha Bass: Reita Drums: Kai

Web;
the GazettE Official Webpage
the Gazette Official Facebook
the GazettE Official Fanclub – HERESY
Ruki’s Instagram

Other posts about the GazettE on my blog:
The GazettE (ガゼット)

Twitter Fanmail Bloodtypes Birthday
Ruki Ruki Ruki: B Ruki: FEB 1st
Aoi Aoi Aoi: A Aoi: JAN 20th
Uruha Uruha: O Uruha: JUN 9th
Reita Reita: A Reita: MAY 27th
Kai Kai: B Kai: OCT 28th

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