JRR: First of all, please start off by introducing yourselves.
TORA: I’m TORA on guitar.
SAGA: I’m SAGA on bass.
SHOU: This is SHOU on vocal.
HIROTO: I’m HIROTO, on guitar.
NAO: I’m NAO on drums.
JRR: You will be doing a live today; are you guys excited about it?
NAO: Of course.
JRR: Since this is on Christmas day, do you plan on doing anything special?
NAO: We’ve prepared some small presents.
JRR: For the fans?
NAO: Yes. Some of them are store-bought, and some are our personal belongings.
JRR: Wow, that’s great.
HIROTO: Tonight will be our first time performing songs from our new album, “Alpha ”
JRR: What songs from the album are you most looking forward to performing?
SAGA: All. There are songs that we have actually played before, but quite a few that we haven’t yet.
JRR: The theme to “Alpha” is “the beginning;” could you talk about how different this album is from your previous releases?
SHOU: In our past three years as alicenine., we feel that we have finally fully utilized all our potentials when making this album. That’s not to say we didn’t maximize our abilities in our previous releases, but we’d like this new album to represent a new high standard for us. Along with that, we also want this to be a new start, which is why we chose to name the album “Alpha”
JRR: Each of you contributes songs to the album. How does that process work, and how do you present your compositions?
HIROTO: Usually the composer composes in the computer, and we add on the drum, bass, guitar lines. Or someone brings the tune, and SHOU adds the melody. Once the song has a form to it, we work on the arrangements.
JRR: Could you each talk about one of the songs you took part in composing on Alpha, and talk about what that song is about?
TORA: In this new album, I contributed to the 3rd track, “Aoi Tsuki…”
SHOU: It’s “Aoi Tori!”
TORA: Oh yeah… and also the fifth track, “9th Revolver,” and the sixth track, “-Dice-.” When I wrote “Aoi Tori,” I wanted to best represent alicenine. as a rock band. The other two tracks were meant to show the band’s style in a different light. I thought it’d be a good idea to have a good balance of heavier songs and ballads in this album.
SAGA: I composed the first track, “ZERO” and the tenth track, “Eraser.” In our singles, we usually have the more pop-sounding songs, which give people the image that alicenine. has a pop sound. But I wanted to show the origins of alicenine., and the music that have influenced us, with the track “ZERO.” For “Eraser,” I wanted to create something that’s different from what we’ve had so far. I started with the idea of mixing dance beat with acoustic guitar, and that’s how the song came about.
SHOU: I didn’t compose any songs; I just write the lyrics.
HIROTO: I wrote the second track “cosmic world,” the eighth track “Kousai,” and the last instrumental track, “Cradle to [Alpha].”
JRR: The track “Cradle to [Alpha] is very different from the usual alicenine. songs; why did you decide to compose a piece like it?
HIROTO: Originally I had intended it to be a track that plays when we go up onto the stage, which is just something that plays in the background; but later on I thought it’d be good to perform it, too, so midway through composing the track, we went back to the beginning and made it into an actual instrumental track.
JRR: What about “cosmic world”?
HIROTO: For “cosmic world,” I wrote it thinking about what alicenine. is as a band, what our music entails, the world we have created with our fans and staff, and I wanted to convey that world via this song. I wanted to convey that feeling of wonderfulness through this song.
“Kousai” is a song about love.
JRR: What kind of love were you thinking of?
HIROTO: A universal love. It’s not meant to be any particular love toward a lover or a band member, but just about love in general.
NAO: I didn’t compose any songs this time.
JRR: In your “Blue Planet” PV, there is a girl in a bunny suit running around and it is really interesting. Did you come up with that idea?
SHOU: We wanted to create a happy feeling, so when we told the director, he thought it’d be interesting to have something like that to create this outer space feel, as if we are riding in a space shuttle. The bunny outfit the girl is wearing is supposed to be the uniform for the flight attendant of the space shuttle. We had a lot of fun coming up with ideas with the director.
JRR: At the end of the PV, you guys are having so much fun together it shows how close you are as members of the band, and we think that’s one of the things that make your fans love you. It’s not just the music, but you also seem to be close friends with each other. What are your relationships like within the band?
SHOU: It’s basically what we do at lives. We don’t pretend to be close; that’s just the way we are.
HIROTO: We are all good friends. We filmed it just as what we’d do at lives. “Blue Planet” is a song that we have fostered through our interactions with fans at lives, and this song has been deeply ingrained in us, so I think it has came out naturally.
JRR: Do you do things together besides work?
SHOU: Basically we work together almost everyday; we probably only get time off a couple times a year.
JRR: What was the last video game you played?
NAO: Gundam Seed. Dan-dan-dan! (makes attack noise) (laughs)
JRR: Are you a Gundam fan?
SHOU: We are all Gundam fans.
JRR: And HIROTO is Dragon Ball…?
HIROTO: We all like Dragon Ball.
NAO: Did you mean he looks like Dragon Ball?
JRR: Who are your favorite characters from either anime/manga?
TORA: Tao Bai bai.
SAGA: I like Broli, because he is strong.
TORA: By the way, Tao Bai Bai used to be a salary man; after he quit being one, he became a professional killer.
JRR: Did he get fired?
TORA: Yes he did.
SAGA: Broli too.
NAO: Lacus Clyne.
JRR: Would you do an impersonation?
NAO: (Laughs) What? No.
JRR: Before you were in a band, what part time jobs have you had?
SHOU: Family Mart*.
TORA: I didn’t have one.
HIROTO: (whispers) Kentucky. (KFC)
NAO: Game center.
JRR: Did you get to play while working?
NAO: No (laughs).
JRR: Please tell us of one thing that you like about the member sitting next to you.
NAO: (-> HIROTO)Seriously speaking, I envy the passion and sincere interest he has for everything. I wish I could have the same level of passion he has.
HIROTO: (-> SHOＵ) I like his singing voice. I’ve been in several bands prior to alicenine., but I think he is the best vocalist out of all. Although he might not look it, he’s really masculine.
JRR: For example?
HIROTO: He is very passionate and kind.
SHOU: (-> SAGA) I envy his beautiful looks. I wish I was born as beautiful as he is. I was about 80% serious about that. He is also a very sensitive person. I respect him a lot.
SAGA: (-> TORA) He is…. Junichi.
TORA: No I’m not (laughs)
SAGA: All the members respects each other. During live performances, CD-making, pre-production, when I look at them, I feel that it is great that I am in alicenine..
TORA: (-> NAO) I like his meticulous nature. That’s why he’s made to be the leader.
JRR: For each member, what are your most fun moment and most embarrassing moment on stage?
TORA: There are not many embarrassing moments… but sometimes the string snaps at the first song. It’s happened about twice or thrice. I just laugh at something like that. The fun moments… it’s most fun when the audience blends with us and enjoys the live.
SAGA: The MCs are embarrassing. I don’t really dislike it, but sometimes the harder I try, the less of a reaction I get. I’d like to learn how to be more interesting when doing MCs. The most fun moment is when we get on the stage and the fans start cheering.
SHOU: The happiest moments are to have the fans listen to our songs. It makes me happy every time. I always look forward to doing lives. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that that’s what we do lives for.
SHOU: The embarrassing thing is, since I have big muscles on my legs, if I move around too much onstage, sometimes the pants rip. That’s embarrassing… especially depending on where it rips.
HIROTO: The embarrassing moment would be when I jumped after the break of a song, at the beginning of the bridge, I slipped and fell when I landed. I wanted to leave right after that. (laughs) It hurt too… it hurt. The happy moment would be when we all play together on stage.
NAO: To think of it, I really don’t have that many embarrassing memories. I do fall sometimes, but even that’s fun to me. The happiest moment… it doesn’t happen often… (group laughter) Oh I don’t mean that there’s no happy moments, I mean that during my drum solos, when I interact with the audience, that’s the happiest moment for me. Even though I might get slightly nervous, it’s fun. Usually SHOU is the main person and he does most of the MCs and I don’t have much experience doing it, so when I get to do it, I feel like being one with the audience and it’s fun for me.
JRR: What would you like to do in 2008 to reach out more to your international fans?
NAO: As the band grows, if we can get more chances to perform overseas, we would love to go.