This week vkgy interviews Menopause.
Menopause is a “dark industrial duo” with connections to the vkei scene, who was formed at the end of 2016 by Aya-ne (vocals and programming) and Kenji (guitar).
This interview is cross-posted to jrock-focused interview site, JROCK'N'ROLL.
Menopause, thanks a lot for the opportunity for this interview. First, let's get to know the members a little better.
How did you meet each other?
[Aya-ne] I met Kenji when I was doing a band (which imploded before beginning activity) about a year before Menopause started. After that band fell apart, Kenji contacted me and requested “Let's do an industrial band together.”
[Kenji] I met Aya-ne when he was playing in a certain band.
Please describe yourself in a few words.
[Aya-ne] Craftsman (laugh)
[Kenji] passionate person (laugh)
What does the name “Menopause” mean?
[Aya-ne] It’s from the word “menopause,” in the sense that “giving birth isn’t possible anymore,” or “birthing music” in my case. In other words, it was a name I chose because this will be my last musical activity.
[Kenji] Oh? (laugh)
What makes Menopause unique?
[Aya-ne] The number of members is small.
[Kenji] That we are a dark industrial duo.
Last September, the mini-album ViViSECTALiZZ was released. Let's learn more about it.
Why did you name the mini-album ViViSECTALiZZ?
[Aya-ne] It’s inspired by the album title of a certain famous industrial artist, merged with the names of my cats (ViVi & LiZZ). To say it simply, it’s a gag. (laugh)
[Kenji] It was Aya-ne’s idea.
What was your inspiration for creating this mini-album?
[Aya-ne] As the number of Menopause songs increased, I wanted to release a CD with a bunch of songs.
[Kenji] I thought it was about time to release a mini-album.
Please tell us a bit about each song from the mini-album.
Ashes to Ashes
[Aya-ne] I wanted an SE-like song that connected to the second song, Ash, so I made it with the feeling of a “sound collage.”
[Kenji] This SE has a dark industrial feeling.
[Aya-ne] It’s the first song that was created by Menopause, and I think that initial impulse had a really great shape.
[Kenji] It is no exaggeration to say that Menopause started with this song.
[Aya-ne] I created this with the intention of making a song with new wave elements which was also easy to listen to. I think that this is one of Menopause's songs that everybody can listen to.
[Kenji] It's a new wave esque song that is different from our other, more hard-hitting songs.
Corrupted Paranoid (from 2016)
[Aya-ne] So far, it's the only song written by Kenji for Menopause. It's also a song that we've played at our lives since the beginning of Menopause. Kenji's riff sense really shines through!
[Kenji] This song was written by me and has been around for a long time. The guitar is heavy and nicely matches the darkness of the song.
deadly night shade
[Aya-ne] It's a rearranged version of Cradle Syndrome from our first demo CD-R. It's Menopause's representative hardcore number.
[Kenji] The finished song is a rearranged version of the original song and is more aggressive.
[Aya-ne] I wrote this song because I wanted to show a darker, more intense side. For a while we played this as the last song at our gigs.
[Kenji] This song has a storyline. It expresses hatred, suffering, and despair in the rain.
[Aya-ne] It’s a straight and fast digital slash number. Hopefully the metal spirit of Menopause is well expressed through it (laugh)
[Kenji] Isn't the tempo 210? It's a song that reminds me of the old indie metal times.
What did you enjoy the most while working on this album?
[Aya-ne] When we recorded the guitar for "FILTHY ZONE", Kenji played a brilliantly fast backing guitar in just one single take.
[Kenji] With this album, I'm excited and satisfied with Aya-ne suddenly expressing ideas and then executing them at every recording. (laugh)
Lastly, let's learn more about the band.
How do you prepare for a live performance?
[Aya-ne] Decide the setlist → create a backtrack → rehearsal → live
[Kenji] After determining the setlist, I'll play the set at home and at studio rehearsals.
Ikebukuro (池袋) CHOP (手刀) seems to be your homebase, is there any special reason why you always play in this venue?
[Aya-ne] CHOP understands Menopause's musicality the best, so it’s easy to perform over there. And of course the staff are wonderful people too!
[Kenji] It's a very valuable place for me, because it's a venue that continues to have that old-fashioned live music feeling! The staff feel like parents for me, because they all take good care of me.
Beside musical equipment and make-up. Is there anything you always carry with you when you perform?
[Kenji] Nothing in particular? (laughs)
Your style is “gothic industrial.” Do you see this as visual kei? Also do you have any thoughts about visual kei in general?
[Aya-ne] I don't really think so myself, and I don't really follow visual kei these days, but I do personally like the early visual kei.
[Kenji] It's gothic industrial, but the old-fashioned visual kei is still hidden in my heart! To be honest, I don't know much about current vkei...
What is the band's goal for the future?
[Aya-ne] Ultimate self-satisfaction (laughs)
[Kenji] Playing overseas?
What's your most valuable memory of Menopause's activity?
[Aya-ne] I guess it's the fact that various people say that our lives and music are mega cool.
[Kenji] Each gig is a cherished memory.
And finally, please give a message to your fans.
[Aya-ne] I am truly grateful to all of you for making this a fun band activity. I would be happy to stay with you for a while longer until you get bored.
[Kenji] Menopause just keeps evolving and keeps going on! I won't disappoint you! (We are always grateful to our customers who come and buy our albums!)
This Sunday Menopause will stream their live via Ikebukuro Chop official youtube channel!
Thanks to @Ryu for coordination and interviewing Menopause.
Thanks to @kumika for requesting this interview.
Thanks to Kenshin for helping with Japanese.
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