DIVEL , thank you very much for this interview!
First, please introduce yourselves.
[Kira (祈羅)] I’m vocalist Kira.
[D’A] I’m guitarist D’A.
[Ryo (翏)] I’m the one playing the role of 6-string bass and green color, Ryo.
[Val (麼琉)] I’m called Val (麼琉), the one who plays drums. Nice to meet you.
Please tell us how you formed, and how the members met.
[Kira ] I wouldn’t say anyone in particular formed the band. We met at a live we were contracted for, and we were drawn together, as if there was a magnet・・・ (grimace)
We’re all shy boys, so we talked in this order: D’A, Ryo, Val (laugh).
Your concept is “feelings of joy, anger, grief, and pleasure, triggered by the duality of human nature.” Why did you decide to use that concept?
[Val] For better or worse, we believe that humans have more than two faces.
Someone might be scary on the outside but cute on the inside, or very sweet in person but actually a criminal behind the scenes. In other words, there’s a “gap” between the two.
A person can be an angel or demon, depending just on how they’re perceived by others.
Whenever you interact with people during your life, you’ll counter this “duality of human nature” and may feel swirling emotions. Happiness, anger, pity, joy, and so on.
In this world of complex emotions, we want to feel close to the listener’s emotions.
How would you describe the style of your costumes, and how did you choose that style?
[D’A] We decided on costumes based on the idea of bringing out the character of each member.
We wanted our first costumes while starting activity to be cool (and eye-catching), so each member was consulted about colors, shapes, and so on.
Of course each member has opinions about certain things, so everyone’s ideas were respected and as a result we got the perfect costumes.
Your first single is “ANTIDUTY.” How was the title track composed?
[Ryo] I came up with the overall image, and the other members took it from there to create the work. We tried our best to make a composition which showed the band image and the color of each member.
Could you tell us how you composed the coupling track, OtomeNTAL?
[Kira] I was in charge of the composition of OtomeNTAL; in our band we tend to think of lyrics and melody after deciding the overall sound. As for this song, the story bobbing around in my head was a violent image, so the instruments came first; from there were drawn the lyrics, and then the melody.
Can you please tell us about the lyrical stories of ANTIDUTY and OtomeNTAL?
[Kira] The story of ANTIDUTY is about a vicious cycle of remembering the past, being unable to seek help, and harming yourself as a result, over and over...
I think you'll understand if you pick up the song, but the pain of the past is something we carry with us all the time. The environment you're born in, the traumas you experience during the maelstrom of growing up, the things that you don't tell anyone; these things are hard to talk about, but I hope there's a desire to know yourself better and become more aware of yourself.
Even if you tragically lost something while young and immature, if you change your perspective a little bit, you'll find at least one person around you who cares. It's a hard thing to do, but... I would like to ask those who are suffering to listen to the song.
And if you're not suffering, I ask that, if you have a peer who is suffering, please talk to them with compassion.
The story of OtomeNTAL is about a girl's heart, pure and straightforward about who she likes.
I think that feeling of liking someone can change into an uncontrollable emotion, and this story depicts one such version of love that's contradictory to innocent feelings. I'd like to say it's non-fiction, but it’s from a story I heard about.
I hope boys listen to it too! Please listen to the song to feel what could be ahead.
What was the biggest challenge while recording this CD?
[Kira] To find a good way to express the overall picture of the song. Imbuing the singing with my own personality isn't something that comes easy--it's something I have to work at every single day--so it was kind of hard to find the right way to sing the song.
[D’A] The fast phrases were quite difficult to play.
[Ryo] There was nothing challenging in particular.
[Val] As a drummer, I struggled to harmonize the songs. Everyone's parts were so assertive that it was hard to find a middle ground.
With this being your first single, did you take any special considerations in how it would represent the band?
[Kira] In order to create our own world, we have to create our own sound and voice, and we were all selfish about our opinion of the sound--it was about finding a balance.
[D’A] These songs have a lot of emotion, so I tried to make the sound sing with lots of nuanced picking, sliding, and bending.
[Ryo] I'm very particular about my style of play as a bassist.
I played with the intention of sprinkling my own approach on the band ensemble.
[VAL] Since this is our first single, I was acutely aware the entire time of creating a work that would be an entry point to DIVEL. As for the drums, I kept aware of the storyline of the songs.
What is your ultimate goal when composing music? What do you want listeners to feel?
[Ryo] DIVEL's ultimate goal in terms of music is to create music that is close to the listeners. As long as the band's concept remains duality, I think most of the time our main story is about the underbelly of sorrow and suffering that is usually hidden.
We know it's hard to express those feelings in real life, but we want listeners to be honest in the face of DIVEL's music. It's as Kira said.
Due to the worldwide circumstances, many bands have been performing lives on YouTube, making songs available on digital services, and so on. Have you considered this?
[VAL] We are thinking about such a thing in the near future. Specifically, digital distribution. We will make it easy for everyone to listen. We hope to be able to meet your expectations soon.
As a newer band, what challenges have you faced? What was the most difficult part of starting activity?
[Kira] I guess it was daring to try new things? We were all embarrassed when we tried doing furi for the first time, but as we did it more while filming, it became more fun and it made me realizing how exciting it can be to do furi to a song.
[D’A] I guess it was preparing to start activity. Since it was my first time, I gave it my all, step by step.
[Ryo] Well actually we haven't been able to start activity yet...
[VAL] It's always a challenge. The band has so many unknown factors that I'm also suffering with my sense of self vs the band. Another tough thing is that we can't start performing lives due corona (grimace)
[Ed.: Instead of “suffering” he says 四苦八苦, which is a Buddhist descriptor of “the four bitternesses of life.” I think it gives the sense of inevitability and melodrama.]
Why does everyone need to check out DIVEL?
[D’A] Our sound makes you feel things, moves you through scenery, feels both heavy and delicate--it has a sense of dynamism that you can feel.
From Kira's fierce deathvoice and high tone, to my own brilliant guitar performance and solos, I hope that you'll feel the emotions that I put into the sound (laughs). The deep tones screaming from Ryo's six-string bass are a rare gem. The furious gunfire-like drumming of Val is something that only he can do.
The songs we send out have a charm that no other band can match.
Please tell us your goal for 2020.
Our goal as DIVEL for 2020 is to hold a live after the corona crisis is over, because the lives which were planned have all been postponed or canceled due to the virus.
What’s a cheap daily item that you can’t live without?
[Kira] Face mask.
[D’A] Aobako (laughs) [Ed.: soap.]
[Ryo] It's crab stick.
[Val] Nothing in particular. I feel like I can live without most things.
What’s your favorite food and drink?
[Kira] I love crab. I REALLY love it (laughs).
[D’A] Eel, ramen!
[Ryo] It's melon soda.
[Val] My favorite dish is cheese, I love any dish with cheese in it. I like any kind of alcohol.
What do you like to do beside music?
[Kira] I guess going to a beautiful places. I love touring around shrines and looking at the stature creatures.
[D’A] Watching YouTube.
[Ryo] It’s a secret.
[Val] I just love to stay home to watch movies and to read stuff.
How did each of you become interested in vkei?
[Kira] When I was in middle and high school, I liked Jack from Disney's The Nightmare Before Christmas. On a day when I was looking for an image of him, I clicked “Nightmare PV” somewhere, and it turned out to be a PV of the visual kei band NIGHTMARE (ナイトメア).
I thought “what the hell is this music!?” I thought it was cool, and it was also my introduction to color contacts, and so I became a visual kei lover.
[D’A] In the first year of middle school I went with my friends to a karaoke bar. When my friend sung Boku QUEST (僕クエスト) by GOLDEN BOMBER (ゴールデンボンバー) I thought “what an amazing song!” and kept listening to it on my own time, learning about the existence of vkei on the way. I was later shocked to learn about X JAPAN through my mother, and it made me want to play an instrument and vkei in a serious way.
[Ryo] I don’t remember.
[Val] Out of nowhere I wanted to play violent music, so I started to play support as for a visual kei band. From that point on, I became interested in the visual expression as well the sound.
Do any of you listen to vkei regularly? Does it inspire your musical work?
[D’A] Usually I listen to any kind of metal. I often listen to MATENROU OPERA (摩天楼オペラ).
[Ryo] I love Takashi (太嘉志) and listen to DADAROMA a lot.
[Val] I usually listen to lots of different music, but the visual kei band I listen to a lot is LUNA SEA. All members of DIVEL have different tastes, so we are influenced by many various artists.
Lastly, please give a message to your fans.
[Kira] I’m looking forward to meeting you!
[D’A] I’m looking forward to meeting you at the venue; let’s go wild together!
[Ryo] I'd be very happy if you could match me with a pair of fishnets; let's meet at the livehouse 💚
[Val] Thank you for reading until the end. Let’s meet at the live venue, I’ll be waiting with all my heart!
To everyone in DIVEL , thank you for allowing us to interview you. We wish you the best of luck.
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