Interviewer: Francisca Hagen (AVO blog)
#1 Thank you for your time! For the people who don’t know you: can you introduce yourself to the readers?
Hiroaki: Hello my name is HIROAKI on vocal
Yuki: And I’m YUKI on guitar.
#2 Why did you pick the name I-ai-?
Hiroaki: The word has many meanings but the first meaning is the roman number for 1.
“One” is a meaning of all beginnings.
And, a dear friend of mine who passed away was the one who led me on the path to be a vocalist.
Also the pronunciation of the word “I” in Japanese means “Love”.
Yuki: Being yourself, love, being alone… it contains a lot of meanings.
#3 What is your musical background? How did you first get into music? How did you two get together to start I-ai-?
Hiroaki: The origin is rock. We don’t even know ourselves, but when you notice you got a talent for music, I think it is inevitable.
Yuki: It’s not a matter of genre. I liked variety in music since I was a child and fell in love with guitar music.
#4 How would you describe your music in three words?
Hiroaki: “Water”. Water can flow freely, and change anytime both into ice and into a boiling state. Also, sometimes when you moisten dry ground, it has the strength to even crack stone hard surface.
Our music is close to water. It’s very close to Bruce Lee’s way of thinking ^^
Yuki: “Love”, “Beauty” and “Universe”.
#5 Do you prefer to express emotion through lyrics or melody, or other aspects of playing music?
I aim for a melody as clean and straight as possible.
The lyrics is about own experiences and past. However, when choosing a word, a lot of images are connected to that one word, so I try not to use much concrete language.
I value touching the hearts of people with music.
Yuki: It’s imagination
#6 Soon the first European tour will start for I-ai-! The European tour has a Dutch and Belgian date! what do you know about these countries?
Hiroaki: I only know the image of the countries.
For example, the windmills of Netherlands and Belgium chocolate. ^^
Yuki: I guess it’s chocolate haha
#7 What do you expect of the tour? Do you have high expectations?
Hiroaki: I think it will become a chance for us to spread our music.
Yuki: To be touched by different cultures and enjoy music together. I’m looking forward to it.
#8 What do you like more: making music or performing on stage? And why is that?
Hiroaki: I like both. I can’t choose ^^
Yuki: It’s both joy and anguish. But when I see the happy reactions of fans during live I also feel happy.
#9 You mix rock and various other genres in the music, like electronic, dubstep and more. That makes you unique in comparison with other VK-bands. Where did the idea come from?
Hiroaki: It’s a desire to make music, to MIX genres was a natural flow.
For example, to share the culture with people of various countries, it’s good to incorporate different sounds in music.
Yuki: It came naturally and we were unaware about it. It formed naturally when the song asked for it.
#10 Are there artists you wish to work with (collaboration) for new releases? And are there artists that are no not longer with us you wished you could’ve worked with?
Hiroaki: It’s not limited to just musical artists, movie, anime; I would like to try to do something together with various kinds of artists.
Yuki: I-ai is I-ai-, I can’t think of someone else involved.
#11 You will soon release the first album “I-ai-“. Is there a message that you want to give to your fans through this album? If yes, what is the message? Can you tell us something about the album?
The message is different for each song.
“Life”, “love”, “will”, “freedom”, “sex” etc.
There are something’s in Japanese that are not in the English words, but the message is more important than the words. If its possible to deliver the deapths of the words to a heart, that itself is the real message.
Yuki: Of course it’s more the form of new I-ai- than the last one. Message, it’s up to the preceptions of the listeners.
Hiroaki: Firstly an image is born.
After that you try to fit the sound to that image.
I write the lyrics last.
Yuki: It’s a secret haha ^^
#13 Do you have a favorite track from this album?
Mine is ”Christian Rose”.
Because, the song is connected to the souls of everyone in the world, in past, future and present.
Yuki: I love all of them~
# 14 Last question: Do you have a message for our readers (in the Netherlands and Belgium)?
Hiroaki: Japanese music were born in the same world of music, we are very happy that you listen to our music.
Yuki: We will bring you shows with the best music so please look forward to it! Music is beyond language and boarders. I can feel it in my skin. I-ai- is looking forward to this!
Let’s meet at the venue!
I -ai- (I -アイ-)
Pronunciation: Like the English “I” or “eye”.
|Vocal & piano:
Hiroaki Nakashima (中島弘章)
Dec 29th 1978
|Guitar & violin:
Yuki Aneyoshi (姉吉祐樹)
May 22nd 1981