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Posted 8/22/08 , edited 8/22/08
musiQ vol.13 Aoi Interview

Theme Interview - 1

- Are you the type of person who has a lot of friends?
No, I don't think I am.

- Has it always been that way?
Not exactly. I think when I was in school everyone was friends with each other. So basically I just stayed with the crowd. There were three middle schools in my town, but the grade you were in didn't matter, and for the most part neither did the school you went to. Everyone had known each other since they were little, so we all called each other by our first names instead of last names.

- Do you keep in contact with your old school friends now?
There are some that I keep in touch with, but everyone left Mie and are all spread out, so I've lost track of where some live.

- What is your definition of a friend?
A friend is someone who you don't have to be careful around. I always watch and think about what I say, so if I could just be like, "You hungry? I'm gonna go get some food." kinda thing. I think a friend isn't someone you say "Let's be friends" to, but someone who you all of a sudden realize has always been there.

- So are the other members different from friends, then?
A little different. There are times when I'm careful around them, when things are hard to say, and times I wonder what they're thinking. And I don't go "Hey, hey!" kinda thing. I started thinking that maybe if you can talk to someone too easily about anything, it might start affecting our work....Also, I'm too embarrassed to talk with them about a lot of things.

- Then, do you have any friends living close by?
I don't think there's anyone living in Tokyo that I can say is a true friend.

- Isn't that lonely?
It is lonely. But I don't leave my house that often, either. And I can't go out to eat alone. Even during tours I just go to the convenience store....I meet up with my friends whenever I go back to Mie, because when I go back there I want to out to a bunch of different places. I don't like crowds, and since I am from the country it's hard to get used to Tokyo.

Theme Interview - 2

- What are you like when you're in love?
I'm always careful (laugh)

- I think that men and women are careful about different things, so what are you careful about?
Everything (laugh)

- So, are you really kind?
I just get tired. I really don't like doing anything. I love just lazing around the most.

- So do you like girls who aren't that careful?
No? Because I'm careful around everyone. Though I don't know how it would be after being together for 10 or 20 years.

- Are you careful about saying personal things like, "You don't look so well"?
Ahh, I would say that. So much that it would get annoying (laugh)

- Would you like it if a girl payed a lot of attention to you?
Not really. I would want her to hold back on the "Ne, ne!" sort of thing (laugh). In a way I would want a kind of distance, I wouldn't want her to always be concerned about me. Like, to live using her own strength (laugh).

- So an independent girl, then?
Yes. That would be the most comfortable. So not someone who doesn't have a job (laugh).

- Or a part-time job?
I would want her to have a job four days a week (laugh). Since there'd be a lot of times when I'm not there, being together all the time would get tiring. I think someone who is independent, would give me space and have her own opinions about things would be perfect.

- Then, even if she was really strong-willed?
That's perfectly OK. Though always wanting to fight would get annoying (laugh).

- So someone who works a lot?
Well, if it was six days a week that would be hard. Wouldn't it be lonely to never be able to see each other?

- (laugh) You're difficult, huh?
I'm waiting for that person (laugh)

Theme Interview - 3

- Please tell us who is in your family.
My father, mother, older sister, older brother, and me.

- Are the ages between you and your siblings very far apart?
They are. My sister is nine years and my brother is six years older.

- What makes you like being the youngest?
I don't really know myself, but it seems like even if my dad gets mad at my brother and sister, he doesn't get very mad at me (laugh). He told me, "At least go to high school.", and I did go, but even when I quit after one term, he didn't say anything to me.

- So you grew up in a loving environment?
I guess so, yes. Because our ages are different, when I entered middle school my sister was already out of the house and my brother had also started living on his own. My dad had gotten a job transfer, so he only came home on the weekends. So it was always just my mother and I.

- Are you closer to your mother, then?
Ahh, I'm not sure about that. I like both my parents.

- Do you think you're a good son?
No, I still don't think I completely am (laugh)

- Do you call them every once in a while?
I do. When our final live was in Tokyo I stayed with them.

- Isn't that being a good son?
Well, whenever I go home there's more food, so I'm like "Yes!" (laugh)

- Does your mom read the magazines you're in?
She does. Our home has gotten pretty amazing. When you walk in it's Gazette. There's posters on the walls, and signatures.

- Then, say something to your mother here.
Mom, thanks for everything (laugh)


- In what way do you think the fans see you?
Eh? Well, I think I'm different than how they picture me. They think I'm really serious....

- Too serious?
Yes, yes. They might have the image that when I'm making music I don't move from my PC. That's not true (laugh).

- That's different from reality?
Totally different (laugh). It's probably because I never talk about anything else during interviews. It seems like I'm always making songs.

- So, actually?
I am in front of the computer a lot, but I take a break about once every hour (laugh). I have bad concentration. I work really hard for a while, then it's time to drink coffee or something.

- I understand. You want to rest as soon as possible.
When you're resting all the time, the day goes by fast (laugh). And I can't get anything done unless it's right before the deadline. That hasn't changed from when I had to do homework over the summer.

- So you were really rushed around the 30th or 31st of August, huh?
Yes, I was. I'm always saying how I stay up all night a lot, but it's always because of that last stretch. I'm in the middle of making songs now, but I can't get the engine running. So I'll just think about it for a while.

- Really?
All I do is space out while watching TV, though (laugh). I can't do anything unless the image I have has taken shape. I hate trying to make something without thinking, when it isn't consistent. It really irritates me if even one part doesn't sound good.

- That might go along with that serious image. Do you have a way of relaxing at home?
Whenever I'm not at my computer (laugh). Before I had my living area as a working space, but when I turned around I could see the bath, so there would always be that temptation. So now I have all of my equipment in the most boring looking room next to the entrance.

- The bath is a temptation?
Baths are the best. Isn't it refreshing? I like that, but most of the time after a bath I drink down a beer. Then the only thing to do is sleep. But, a lot of my songs get started while I'm taking a bath.

- That must be a great place, then.
It is, but there are dangers to it, so it's a double-edged sword. Though it is while I'm taking a bath that I'm the most high-spirited.

- High-spirited...
My brain is, anyway. It's not like I'm dancing in the bathtub. I just replay really exciting lives in my head. Of course starting with the new songs.

- I see. So you have that listlesness and a unique feeling that past rock musicians had, huh?
I'm half-hearted? (laugh)

- No, no, not like that. For instance, how you learned guitar from your brother.
Yes, I did. When my brother was at his most rebellious in high school, he played guitar in a band. It seemed fun, and I wanted to join in, but I was chased out (laugh). In return, he gave me a guitar and a book of chords and lyrics and was like "Here, I'll lend you these so practice downstairs" (laugh). Then I started practicing in about middle school.

- What kind of songs did you practice?
I practiced chords of X [Japan]. But it was a classic guitar, so it wasn't rock at all (laugh). Then when my brother graduated high school I asked him for a guitar, and even though it was my first electric guitar, it was broken.

- It wouldn't play when you plugged in into an amp?
I had my dad take me to get a small amp. I bought it with the money I had saved from New Year's gifts. When I brought it home and it wouldn't play, I just started crying.

- (laugh) You were shocked
But from the end of elementary school to my third year of middle school I had a newspaper delivery route, so I bought my own electric guitar in middle school. I was like, "This is the best!", and I was so into it I would even sleep holding the guitar. But I was so busy during that time, I would wake up, deliver papers, go to school, and since I was in the baseball club I would go to that after school, then at night play the guitar, then go to sleep. So I didn't have time to do homework.

- You just didn't have the energy, huh.
No, I didn't. Kids are busy (laugh). But after I quit high school I didn't play the guitar. I wanted to become a pro, but my brother told me that reality was hard, so my dream was sort of broken. Actually, my brother really loved music, but he ended up just getting a normal job, so I thought that was just how it went.

- You thought you'd take a different route, then?
After being lazy for a while, the brother of the girl I was going out with was a surfer.

- (laugh) Another brother, huh.
Yes. I can't do anything without other people's help (laugh). Then, when I tried it I thought it was really fun. Most of the time when you first get on the board you can't stand on it, but I was able to stand up from the start, so I thought I had the talent for it.

- Like, "Okay, I'm going to be a pro surfer!"
I did aim for that. The thought of being a pro just sounded really cool. Baseball players, too.

- Did you want a job where you could be in the spotlight?
Kind of like that (laugh). Then, I entered in a surfing contest. So the first magazine I was ever in was a surfing magazine (laugh).

- About how long did you do that?
Maybe two or three years. At that time I had plenty of physical strength, so I would go to the beach in the morning, take a nap in the afternoon, go back to the beach in the evening, then go to work at night.

- Busy as always.
I was busy. I was living like that, but one day when I was watching TV in the middle of the night, there was an indies band on. I thought, "I could be better than them", then while mistakenly thinking that sort of thing I was eventually like, "I'm going to Tokyo". (laugh)

- But you weren't in a band, right?
No. I figured if I went to Tokyo, something would happen. I went and told my parents that day. But I couldn't quit work that fast, so I worked for about a month, then was like, "See you". During that month I practiced the guitar as much as I could.

- Pretty reckless, huh?
It was reckless. Even I thought I was being stupid (laugh). Like, "Don't get the wrong idea".

- No, but that's important.
It's fine now that it's turned out like this, but if it hadn't then I'd just be an idiot (laugh). I did get to Tokyo, but I had no money or a place to stay. I was thinking that I'd just get another paper route and live at their place, but someone I knew asked if I wanted to be introduced to their sister and her husband living in Tokyo. I was like, "You don't even have to ask" (laugh). Then I was able to find a job, and while I was doing that I formed a band, and it was with the former drummer of Gazette.

- That kind of seems like a rock musician sort of lifestyle.
Well, when I think about it now the parents who let that sort of kid go to Tokyo rocked the most (laugh). They gave me money for a ticket back home, but they probably thought I would come home pretty soon. Then after 7 or 8 years, I'm where I am now (laugh).

- So what does the brother who taught you to play guitar think about you being in a successful band?
He didn't say anything at first. But his wife showed me some videos she secretly took, and he's been copying Gazette's songs (laugh).

- (laugh) The places have been switched.
And he's really good. He might be a little better than me (laugh).

- Hahaha. So, how do you think the members think of you?
I wonder. I don't really want to ask, and part of me doesn't want to know. I don't want them to think of me badly.

- (laugh) But you're always careful, so don't you think about that kind of thing?
I often do (laugh). For some reason, Uruha has been kind of distant to me lately. I don't know if it's because I'm older or because we both play guitar or what. Of course, when we're working we talk a lot. But normally we don't. That sort of bothers me (laugh).

- A strange feeling of distance?
Yes, does it have to do with our group photos? (laugh). But I guess he's within reachable distance. Before, we would often share the same hotel room, so we would have conversations like, "How do you want this to sound?" kind of thing. But now we stay in different rooms, and I don't talk to him as much as to everyone else. I'm lonely (laugh).

- Why can't you just talk to him?
There's nothing to talk about (laugh). And he always looks like he's having fun talking with everyone else. I'm thinking, "That's not fair" (laugh). A while ago, even though I was embarrassed I called him and asked how to work the digital cable. Then he was like, "You should just ask the electrician." (laugh)

- You look embarrassed
I'm not gay or anything (laugh).

- (laugh) I didn't ask that.
Well anyway, the person in Gazette who is on my mind the most is probably Uruha.

- But when you're talking you seem kind of shy. Like you don't want to be taken too seriously.
Shy has a good ring to it (laugh). I think all the members get embarrassed easily. When we're working we'll share opinions, get angry, and say whatever we want, but other than that we can't even say, "Let's go get some dinner". Wouldn't it be a shock if they refused? (laugh). So I invite the manager a lot, but when he refuses it makes me mad (laugh). Like, "You don't have the right to refuse" (laugh). But I really do want to go get dinner and talk with everyone. So I guess I'm just embarrassed?

- Then you end up on your own?
Yeah. I actually might not like being alone so much. Maybe it's just that it always ends up that way (laugh). Am I lonely?! I guess when this magazine comes out I'll buy it at the bookstore and secretly deliver it to the members' houses (laugh).

- (laugh) Got it. Lastly, Gazette is in the middle of working on something new, right?
We're completely focusing on it. Our last single, "Guren", was made while we were on tour, but this time we're in an environment that we can concentrate in, and some powerful songs are coming along. Not as far as the melody goes, though.

- Is the power you recieved from the tour reflecting in the songs?
There is that, but right now the band is in a really aggressive mode. We're getting sharp, and if you're not careful we might knock you off your feet, kinda thing. Like, it might not be a good idea to underestimate us. We're all heated up at the moment. So if this turns out to be a complete ballad, I'm sorry (laugh).

- Hahahaha
But I'm really looking forward to it. We're putting all of our energy into making this. Because of that everyone is getting stoic, and when we clash in the studio, it might get intense. Anyway, I plan on going at it with intensity.

- Even though you're normally careful
I can't be careful like that when we're making things. I think when it comes to music, once you give in it's over.

- So you also get a lot of feedback about the songs and phrases you come up with?
When I'm making something basic I'll take in opinions, but when I've advanced past that I present it like, "This song is like this, with this kind of feeling." Though especially with Uruha I get nervous. So if he tells me "This is pretty good", I'll do a little "Yes!" pose in my heart (laugh).

- And you also have a live on August 23rd at Fujikyu Highland Conifer Forest
That's right. Since it's our first outdoor live in two years, we want to make it like a festival. Because last time at Tokyo Big Sight we had fireworks and food stands up. This time at Fujikyu we're going to have a live with different scenery and we're looking forward to it, so you guys are too, right? Like that.

- Then, I think you should hurry and finish your homework.
I guess so. If I don't keep doing it until the 30th, I won't be able to do it because of the effects of the live (laugh).


The interviewer's review:
Aoi-kun from Gazette's first solo interview. He describes himself as someone who is careful of what he says and does, and just like that he answered the questions looking embarrassed, but made me laugh and was very aware of the atmosphere around him. Though even so, he didn't really have a guy next door sort of feeling, and I was impressed that his aura of a unique and glamorous rock musician never faded. I knew that when it comes to music Gazette can have some intense debates, but I was suprised to hear that when they're just talking normally they can't even say "Do you want to go get some dinner?" (laugh). And was the shy guitarist's message (request?) to the members explained in this interview received!?

Yamamoto Hiroko

Posted 8/22/08 , edited 8/22/08

i guess so.if i don't keep doing it until the 30th, I won't be able to do it because of the effects of the live (laugh).

Aoi is soooooooo cool!i loe him!thx 4 posting this topic
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F / Riva
Posted 8/23/08 , edited 8/23/08
Oh wow Thank you
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F / Fantasy World
Posted 10/11/08 , edited 10/11/08
Awwww he's such a sweetie...that's why me loves him so so much ^^
Posted 1/15/09 , edited 1/16/09
Aoi is so cool! Thank you!! ^_^
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