This week vkgy interviews vkei band NEiN .
Today we have an exclusive interview with NEiN, a band chock-full of respected vkei musicians.
They kindly agreed to an interview for the overseas audience about their past, present, and future.
Please introduce yourselves.
Gu. Shun (舜)
Gu. Kenta (健太)
Dr. Takuma (拓馬)
How did the band form?
We formed in 2016. Our first live was on June 25th, 2016.
The trigger of our formation was a session at the birthday live of our previous bassist. Although the session band was scheduled for only one performance, we had so much fun that we unanimously wanted to start a formal band together. Unfortunately, the session's drummer had no time to join a formal band, so we instead invited Takuma (拓馬), who was a former bandmate of Kenta (健太). And so NEiN was formed.
By the way, Shun (舜) already knew Takuma (拓馬) and Kenta (健太) well, as they'd all been labelmates in the past.
In September 2017, our original bassist ena seceded. In April of last year, LINA officially joined in his place, and so we restarted activity with our current lineup.
What does the band's name mean?
“NEiN” means “no” in German. We chose a word with a negative meaning because our band's style is to “pull out something born from negativity.” Denial can make people negative, but it can also act as a great force to push people forward.
Why did you choose this style of music?
The great thing is that leader/composer Shun (舜) naturally writes music that matches vocalist eisuke's style. The sound that mixes loud/metal elements with strong melodies works well with eisuke's voice, as he comes from a metal/hardcore environment. That mix leaves room for future expansion in our style.
The bands that all of us like are Bring Me the Horizon, Linkin Park, Slipknot, etc.
What are your biggest musical inspirations?
eisuke: There are lots of things that inspire me, but as a vocalist I'm mostly inspired by real, everyday life, when it comes to songs and expressions.
Shun (舜): Inspiration for songs always comes to me suddenly. I get some inspiration from hearing songs on the street, or on TV, but most often it's from listening to artists that I follow. Or sometimes it just comes to me while I'm bathing.
What inspires your lyrics?
Everyday realities, extraordinary situations from books (novels specifically), movies, TV, etc.
What was your biggest challenge?
eisuke: In 2019, our two oneman lives which were played without drums due to our drummer suddenly coming down with the flu (laugh).
Shun (舜): From eisuke's answer it may sound like there was no drumming at all (laugh) but instead we played a drum track from the PC. I'd been at a different live that morning, so when I heard that our drummer had gotten the flu, I had to return home after that live and work all night to make the drum data. I resented Takuma (拓馬) a bit (laugh).
Kenta (健太): We tried to rise to the occasion, but that day really felt like a punishment game.
LINA: It was also my first live as a support member, so it was really chaotic with an 18-song setlist.
Takuma (拓馬): To miss a live due to influenza... I'd never missed a show due to illness, so I was in bed feeling frustrated. It took courage just to rest (cry).
What's your process for making new songs?
eisuke: Shun (舜) creates the composition and melody, and I add lyrics and arrange them.
Shun (舜): LINA's basslines have also become a big factor in the composition, and I'll often change the arrangement based on them.
How do you prepare before lives?
eisuke: Sleep as much as possible the night before. Drink ginger tea. Clean my microphone.
Shun (舜): Drink alcohol from the time we enter the livehouse until it's our turn to play. Then drink some more after it's over.
Kenta (健太): Focus myself mentally. Tie my shoelaces.
LINA: Try not to forget anything. In the past I've forgotten my bass (laughs).
Takuma (拓馬): Until two hours before the actual performance, I go outside and listen to songs while walking.
Please tell us about the making of BIRTHDAY EP.
eisuke: Originally, multiple songs were candidates for inclusion. Ultimately we chose the 3 that I imagined being connected in a trilogy. Two of those are BIRTHDAY (バースディ) and CALLING (コーリング). The third is 【Keikoku】 (【警告】), which is a song we regularly play live, so I think it's pretty popular.
The fourth song is kai (廻-kai-), which is from our sold-out first release. The version included here is a studio rehearsal.
How do you feel about that EP?
eisuke: It betrayed my assumptions in a good way, and I feel like it turned out really well.
Shun (舜): As the composer and the person who carried the weight of engineering all parts of the recording, it really felt like the work was in my hands from start to finish.
We were desperate while making it, and there are parts now for which I wish I'd done more; but I feel good about the work that the members poured into it.
BIRTHDAY EP (バースディEP) was made while we were without a bassist, so I played that part during recorded. Looking back, I feel that it was a bit of a step down, but everyone supported me well.
What's your favorite NEiN song?
eisuke: Honestly, I like everything... (laughs) But BIRTHDAY (バースディ). It gives the most convincing expression of our melodies, and of my shouting.
Shun (舜): I can't choose (laughs). You can't rank your kids, right?
Kenta (健太): All songs of course, but I'll dare to say that I have a deep affection for kai (廻-kai-). Because it's our first song.
LINA: All. Why? They're cool.
Takuma (拓馬): It's difficult to rank them, but 【Keikoku】 (【警告】). I like playing this one live and watching everyone (including the other members).
What's your most memorable live?
eisuke: Our first oneman.
Shun (舜): The April 2019 live in Osaka (大阪). I can't forget everyone's faces at the moment I announced LINA's joining. I remember feeling like I could run again.
Kenta (健太): NEiN's first live.
LINA: Our April 6th, 2019 sponsored event. The live when I changed from a support member for NEiN to an official member. I thought everyone's been waiting for this! (laughs)
Takuma (拓馬): The Osaka (大阪) live at which we announced LINA's joining. It was a truly happy moment ^^
How do you balance band life and normal life?
eisuke: I consciously flip an on-off switch.
Shun (舜): Since band life and normal life are the same thing for me, there's no concept of balancing them.
Kenta (健太): I don't think about them separately. I only have one.
LINA: Since I'm always completely open, there's no bullshit or making them coexist.
Takuma (拓馬): I used to keep those lives separate, but now I don't. My reason is the same as Kenta (健太).
What's the most difficult part of being in a band?
eisuke: Vocal expression.
Shun (舜): I'm the only composer, so it's too hard to make new songs (laughs).
Kenta (健太): Handling rejection.
LINA: Getting away with as much bass playing as I can without competing against Shun (舜) (laughs).
Takuma (拓馬): Sometimes the members talk too fast for me to keep up...
Any plans for new releases?
We will release a full album this spring, and we're thinking of releasing a new live MV.
NEiN is 3 years old. How would you describe your experience so far?
eisuke: Despite the adversity of one member seceding, I think our members and circumstances are very blessed.
Shun (舜): There was a period when we couldn't be active, and that felt terrible; but now I think it was necessary. From here, we'll go further.
Kenta (健太): There's been so much! It's too much to talk about. But I'm still working with fresh feelings.
LINA: I only started supporting the band about a year and a half ago. Everything's going well!
Takuma (拓馬): I enjoy myself every day, so time has flown by!
What do you see in the band's future?
eisuke: There's a lot to do, and I want to do it all. Please look forward to our full album!
Shun (舜): This year will see the release of the full album. Hopefully we can play lives at various places, so that more people can see NEiN. Also, during the summer, Tokyo (東京) might will be difficult because of the Olympics...
Kenta (健太): Our first album is coming soon! I think that our future is working hard and releasing several full albums.
LINA: I wish to do various things after the full album has been released. Like a live in a huge venue.
Takuma (拓馬): Like everyone else, the release of our first full album! Also, I want to make many more people aware of us by performing lives everywhere.
Please give last message to the readers.
eisuke: Please listen to NEiN's music! And let's play together at a livehouse, since lives are the real thrill of NEiN!
Shun (舜): It may be difficult for overseas people to directly get in touch with NEiN. But we'll will try to transmit our heat as much as possible with music and videos ( ´ ω ` ) Thank you for reading.
Kenta (健太): In this time era, you can access information from all over the world anytime, anywhere; so if you have a little spare time, please check out NEiN!
LINA: I definitely want you to come to Japan to watch NEiN's LIVE! I will do my best to make everyone think that we are an amazing band!
Takuma (拓馬): NEiN will continue to make the coolest music ever! We will send it to reach overseas, so thank you!
Huge thanks to NEiN for letting us interview them. Their next lives are on February 22nd at Yoyogi (代々木) Zher the Zoo, and on April 4th at Minamihorie (南堀江) SOCORE FACTORY.
Their first full album is planned for a Spring 2020 release.
Thanks to @Ryu for help organizing/translating, to a nice Twitter user for help translating questions to Japanese, and to AlexLuis (Reddit) for additional translation help.