Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Original source:
Translated by: VAMPS Canada ( Yumi)
“I learned what is “catchy” through working with different artists in the new album”- MIYAVI

Interviewer (I): I was wondering what the taste of the song will be when you two collaborated in the “SAMURAI SESSIONS vol.2” and after I heard, it is quite a “catchy” song even compared to other songs in the album.
HYDE (H): Huhuhu.

I: You performed this new song at the last “HALLOWEEN PARTY” for the first time in public.
MIYAVI (M): I have met HYDE quite a long time ago.
H: When was that?
M: A while ago, I think it was at a TV show, wasn’t it? Oh, and you came to my birthday party too. It was my 30th birthday and a chaotic one (laugh).
H: Yeah, that’s true (laugh).
M: We sometimes met in private but it is the first time to perform together on the same stage. And “catchy” is what I learned by creating this album. Especially, I think this “All My Life” took a long process compared to the other songs. I rewrote it 3- 4 times when I wrote the riff. I felt like “I can do better than this”. So I sent a demo song to HYDE sometimes … and HYDE started saying “I would like to create a song that can be sung around a camp fire”. And I was like “What? It is not that kind of mode at all”…
H: (laugh).
M: By the way, why a camp fire??
H: Playing with only one guitar might be cool, I thought. Like when I see your CM of ‘au’, it was awesome. So it might be fresh if we perform only with your guitar and my voice…. So I thought of a campfire (laugh).
M: I forgot to tell you last show (HALLOWEEN PARTY), you don’t have any essence of character for a camp fire. So I was like “What is he talking about?” (laugh). Then I asked him “What kind of image is that?”. After that, he sent me a demo video where HYDE sang with a guitar in front of a camera… I guess if we uploaded to the You Tube, it would be a huge viewer count. But I also thought why does it need to be a video (laugh)?
H: (laugh). I thought a video might be easier to understand because you could see the chord progression.

I: I saw HYDE’s comment which is “When I sent my idea to MIYAVI, he changed it quite a lot and it became totally different (laugh)”.
H: Yeah.
M: That’s not true (laugh)!
H: When I sent the first one, he said “Cool!”, so I was just thinking he would add some decoration. But eventually, a gorgeous decoration was added (laugh). Like “Well, the chord progression still remained”.
M: The vibe and spirits remained (laugh)! However, “the catchiness” was a huge challenge for me. Because of my character, I couldn’t understand right away what is “catchy”. But then, I changed my mind, because being catchy means the sound catches the heart of many audiences, right? It means, it is what I need to do. And it is also “Rock” to challenge that. Since I was thinking about this “All My Life”, I started thinking with a Zen dialogue, what is “catchy” and fresh idea. For example, for the intro of this song, I can start the “catchy” sounds but also “MIYAVI sounds”. And I was considering what is okay for both ways, what is new, and what is “catchy”. After all, finally the idea came out like after constipation (laugh).
H: I listened to it in the middle of making process sometimes, but every time I thought “His song is reaching a perfect song”. And when I heard how he changed it from my original sounds, I thought “Oh, I also thought these parts are bit wrong, but he could see that”. After that, the sounds became clearer, and finally, I could feel “Oh, he would like to make a sound that we never heard”. He is an artist, after all. From that, I learned about his way of creating music. For me, somehow, I always think, “If the song is good, everything is fine”. Like even if the song is similar to previous songs. But his attitude is different. He tries to find a new missing piece from the song. I thought, “Oh, this is what I am missing now” and learned from him.
M: …You have so much Kansai dialect when you speak..
H:…You too (laugh).
M: It does not match your face, doesn’t it?
H: You too (laugh).

Interviewer (I): MIYAVI, you have been saying that, “I will make the world dance with my guitar”, and you two are fighting in the international music scene. I think this collaboration song “All My Life” is because the two of you have the perspective of “how music can appeal in universal level”.

MIYAVI (M): You are right. After all, my objective and mission have been clearer gradually. Like how can I break the wall of the Pacific Ocean. The sound which can not only blare out in different countries and every people can dance with my music, but also the music that can appeal to the Japanese market…I guess most of people have given up this approach because people think the market of Japanese and foreign countries are different. But I still think “Is it really different?”, “Or maybe the correct answer is because it’s different?”. Maybe it is easier for the record companies and it might help sell the CDs.

M: I believe, the responsibility of artists like us is to enlighten the audiences. More than anything, we don’t want to hear foreigners think “What? Is this the Japanese music style? Really? ”. Far from it, I would like to make them to think “Oh!! it’s awesome!”. I think it’s difficult to balance how I choose words to tell people. However, at least about the beat or my performance, I do not have either Japanese or local identity. From this view, I offered collaboration to artists who understand my view. I asked HYDE because VAMPS and L’Arc-en-Ciel have played in USA and so on…I met him recently at a studio in LA coincidentally. After that, I started to contact him.

HYDE (H): For me, I usually see MIYAVI as cool and one who tries to compete in USA. Even his family has also moved to USA. Like, I respect his attitude because it’s not usual. It is hard. After all, it is hard if you play between Japan and USA very often. Of course, Japanese artists should go abroad to perform more, but we really need the power to do so. And MIYAVI does that. I felt he is reliable by seeing his efforts. Therefore, usually I say sorry if my schedule is busy but when I got the offer, I said, “Collaboration with MIYAVI, I don’t have choice… Let’s do that if I get to play with him (laugh)”. It is an honor that he asked me. I felt “I should do something for this collaboration”.

M: Thank you so much!

I: What do you think he has that you don’t have?

H: …I don’t have anything! (laugh)
M: (laugh).
H: MIYAVI is a very good performer but also a good guitarist and cool singer…I don’t have anything. I just try to sing good though…

I: I don’t think you sing just ‘good’ (laugh).

H: Other than singing, he is just amazing! I could see he naturally has a good intuition.
M:…You make me hard to reply that (laugh). The performance in HALLOWEEN PARTY was decided naturally by HYDE. Everything he approaches is natural. I guess that’s his capacity. Definitely I don’t have that because he is like weightless.
H: (laugh).
M: Although he is like “weightless”, but he is not lazy. If you noticed, various people got involved in the show. This HALLOWEEN PARTY, there were many of his younger colleagues…because that event was held for three days, right? There were so many different people who performed and entertained the audience on the stage but it looked so natural. I don’t think I can do that. Of course, he has enough experience, but I think it is because of his character as an artist and as a man. Thus, he could build up his music career. I could see his capacity.

I: Is it like a martial artist, who usually does not take fighting position, but a natural stance is actually the best to fight?

M: Yes, he is like weightless though.
H: Yeah, maybe that’s the difference between us because I could always feel the fighting spirit from him.
M: I think not only natural, but also he does not have much tension, that’s why people are drawn to him. I have not reached that yet. His calm tension is amazing. If I do that, I think I just become lazy (laugh).

I: But you open the door with your fighting position.

H: That’s totally true.
M: Though I also think I might be able to reach the same weightless level if I have more experience. Although I performed only for a short time in this HALLOWEEN PARTY, through my collaboration with him I could see how broad his capacity is. And, it is the same as I mentioned before about ‘what works in Japan and what works abroad’. I need to work on ‘All My Life’ and my other songs in the future. HYDE has already had that part. It is huge. Because he knows what is ‘catchy’ that works for the majority. It might be expressed in his words ‘If the song is good, everything is fine’, which is the ‘catchy’ effect in ‘All My Life’ after all. Because I don’t think I could create this kind of ‘catchy’ riff if I haven’t focused on ‘catchiness’. HYDE didn’t say I should make more catchy songs and it is more like my intuition. I was like ‘Is it like this?’ ,‘Maybe its like this’, so I changed the sounds by myself.
H: (laugh). It became really interesting gradually, so I was amazed.

I: MIYAVI, you used to answer the interview of 『ROCKIN'ON JAPAN』as: “Usually, if Japanese musicians try to compete in USA music industry, it is like they try to play baseball with Kendo’s rule”.

M: Yeah, I mean it is like Japanese baseball player who tries to hit the ball using a Kendo stick. If the batter tries to hit the pitcher using a fencing stick, the batter will be out, right? Japanese music is like this. Some people who love ‘Japanese music’ will listen but not others. We cannot even listen through the radio.
H: They don’t need new music from abroad, because they already have enough music in USA itself.

I: In this case, HYDE is a unique case as he tries with the same baseball rule in USA.

H: However, I also know it should not be too straightforward. It is the difficult part.

I: But you try to throw a ball with a change of speed, with proper rules and manners.

M: If the batter tries to hit the pitcher, it will not be a game, right? (laugh). If you want to play music sustainably, you have to follow the rules in the game. And then, you can think about how to play. You might choose a ball with different speed or maybe hits like Ichiro Suzuki. I think this is a similar idea to what I thought. There are many power sluggers, but Japanese try to hit and actually produce the result. That’s what Japanese is good at. And as artists, we should learn about it.

I: Okay, last question, you created a new collaboration song, “All My Life” together, but if you have another chance to do that again, what kind of song would you like to create?

H: After all, I would like a song for the campfire…

I: That’s an important part (laugh).

M: But if we play acoustic, we can play ‘All My Life’ in a camp fire.
H: Really? Then let’s do the camp fire (laugh).

Photo credits to the owners
Special Thanks for the translations to VAMPS CANADA  

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