NOCTILUCA, thank you very much for the opportunity for this interview!
Please introduce yourself and give us one word to describe yourself.
[V. YAYOI (弥生)] I'm Yayoi, the vocalist.
The one word to describe myself is "selfish", isn't it? LOL.
I do whatever I want. LOL.
[G. SYUTO] I'm SYUTO, the guitarist.
I'm "steadfast /determined".
I am crazy to focus on whatever I do but can't do other things at the same time. LOL
[B. Maaya (舞彩)] I'm Maaya, the bassist.
I guess the one word to describe myself is "Neko-kei-danshi". LOL.
If you search "Neko-kei-danshi", you can find so much about how I am. LOL.
[Ed.: Neko-kei-danshi, literally “cat boy,” means that a man goes own way and likes to be free like a cat. You can say an independent person.]
Please tell us how NOCTILUCA formed.
[YAYOI (弥生)] We did some sessions together. At that time, it felt that some of us really were serious about wanting to play in a band.
[Maaya (舞彩)] The start was quite long ago and not that serious, was it? LOL
What are the roots of each member's music?
[SYUTO] I was so shocked by Tomoyasu Hotei that I started playing the guitar before I knew it.
[Maaya (舞彩)] I fell in love with DIR EN GREY‘s music the first time I heard it.
What is the origin and meaning of the name NOCTILUCA?
[YAYOI (弥生)] At the time that I was thinking of the band's name, I had heard the song Yakouchuu (夜光虫) and I wondered what it would be like in English, so I looked it up and it sounded good, so I suggested it. And everyone readily agreed to do it.
[Maaya (舞彩)] I know it's an afterthought, but there are things that can only be seen at night or in the dark and can't be illuminated, so I'd like to be something that shines and illuminates at night.
What is the image of the band that NOCTILUCA is aiming for?
[YAYOI (弥生)] For a long time there hasn't been a big visual-kei band from my hometown Sendai, so I personally want to make a name for myself as a band that my hometown can be proud of. However, this may contradict the previous statement, but above all I want to be a band that is appreciated regardless of genre.
NOCTILUCA's concept is "aesthetics without pretense". Can you also tell us how you came to be that way with your musicality?
[YAYOI (弥生)] As a personal philosophy, I believe in expressing real emotions without pretense or flattery. Visual kei bands have a tendency to express pain at the surface level as if it’s a trend or fad. That’s my perspective at least. I think the genre shines when it expresses real pain, so I’d like to pursue that with pride.
[SYUTO] As far as music is concerned, we always aim to make something that is fresh and interesting to us. Because I'm a rebel, I don't care if people don’t share the same opinion. Personally, I have such a particular feeling in composition.
Visual Kei has many different aesthetics. Can you tell us what the "visual-kei aesthetic" is to you?
[YAYOI (弥生)] I guess it's the sex appeal.
[SYUTO] [Visual kei is] a place where there are no stereotypes.
[Maaya (舞彩)] To me, it’s being able to express how unique you are through aesthetics, rather than just rehashing someone else’s look.
How did you become interested in visual kei? And what does "visual kei" mean to you?
[YAYOI (弥生)] If I have to say, it was X JAPAN who made me become interested in vkei.
But as Maaya-kun said, I don't think about genres.
[SYUTO] It was NIGHTMARE (ナイトメア) that inspired me. I love the groove of the sound, regardless of whether it's visual kei or not. I've never felt particularly limited by what I would call visual kei.
[Maaya (舞彩)] I wasn’t interested in vk at all, but I did fall in love with DIR EN GREY by chance when I was in a mental state of exhaustion.
For me visual kei is, it's like the talk which was between Kyo and KIYOHARU:
“I think visual kei in the true sense of ‘better visuals’ is good. [Compared to other genres], if the songs are as good, and the tension is as high, and the lives are as cool, and just as moving, I’d rather also have good looks.” I thought the same after reading their words.
As for make-up I don't think it's especially for visual kei only because I started to wear make-up when I started doing lives in general.
Do you find any major differences in the visual kei scene in Sendai compared to Tokyo, in terms of crowd and audience?
[YAYOI (弥生)] I guess it’s the fact that the overall population is small. Even so, it’s not as if you can be complacent; there’s still a sense of having to survive, even in Sendai. There are fewer bands here, so I think it’s important not to become a “frog in a well.”
[Ed.: “the frog in the well knows nothing of the ocean,” basically a warning against being complacent in your small surroundings while ignoring the larger world.]
[Maaya (舞彩)] Well, let's do our best to not be the "Oyama no taishou"! LOL
[Ed.: “Oyama no Taishou,” literally “king of the hill,” isa game in which children compete to top a hill. Basically saying don’t be narrow-minded/content being on top of those lesser than you.]
What song would you recommend to first-time listeners of NOCTILUCA?
[YAYOI (弥生)] It's hard to narrow it down to one song because all the songs differ in directions. I hope you'll listen to all our songs.
[SYUTO] No matter which song you listen to, you'll recognize the music of NOCTILUCA in one shot.
How do you usually write lyrics for your songs? What do you want them to convey?
[YAYOI (弥生)] I want people to take the lyrics the way I want them to be taken, and I want them to feel the way I want them to feel.
[SYUTO] I write down the lyrics when I think of them, whether I'm outside my home or not. It's like extracting a song from the notes I've written down after it's finished.
I like to think my lyrics convey their meaning, so I hope you understand them. LOL.
This is just my own ego speaking, but I like the way the meaning changes depending on the way the person understands it. LOL.
[Maaya (舞彩)] When I write lyrics, I try to write them when I'm feeling a particularly high level of emotion. I believe that a song that is full of thoughts and emotions will resonate with listeners more than a song that is composed or lyricized out of thin air.
For the listeners who are in touch with my lyrics, rock is music for the weak, so I'm sure I'll be writing a lot of joy and anger in the future, but I hope to be able to write some nice lyrics to support those with weak hearts and get their empathy.
Please tell us about ROOTS, which was be released on January 31. What are you proud of with this release?
[SYUTO] I put a lot of emphasis on intuition in every song. Of course, it's a work that was completed after a lot of trial and error, but sometimes there are things that you can't help thinking about, LOL.
It's completely intuitive, especially when playing a guitar solo or melody. It's like I just played the tune that's playing in my head.
[Maaya (舞彩)] I put my own meaning into every chord and every note on GERBER.
What has changed from the formation in 2018 to now?
[YAYOI (弥生)] I feel like our live performance has been getting better and better.
[SYUTO] Personally, I'm getting to know my habits better and better.
[Maaya (舞彩)] I think the atmosphere of the songs that we perform live has changed, but the mental part has remained the same and I think we've become more confident.
What is your favorite song to play and why?
[Maaya (舞彩)] When I play MURDER live, I think I'm most uplifted. Just from hitting the bass strings, my hands are bruised after the show.
[SYUTO] GERBER is fun to play.
The sounds from the three of us overlap nicely in that song, so I enjoy just hearing it lol.
[YAYOI (弥生)] I guess for me it’s also MURDER. Since the fans seem to have fun, it’s really exciting.
What do you think is the charm that makes NOCTILUCA different from other bands?
[YAYOI (弥生)] Happy rock songs are everywhere these days. We just wanna create cool music in our way that excites us. That’s our strength.
[SYUTO] I agree with Yayoi-kun. Since I am always striving to be better, every song continues to evolve every time I play, so I think that's what makes us attractive.
What’s been your hardest experience as a band?
[YAYOI (弥生)] I've never felt that anything in particular was a hardship. If there was a time when I felt it, I just relied on others. Maybe I'm not working hard enough to feel it yet. I don't know.
[SYUTO] I don't have one either.
[Maaya (舞彩)] I'm the same as Yayoi-kun.
What is your hope for your future activities?
[YAYOI (弥生)] Personally, I'd like to expand the scope of our activities from our base in Sendai, and I'd like to build a connection with local fans in other places as well.
What are NOCTILUCA's goals for 2020?
[Maaya (舞彩)] We are currently in a situation where we can't hold live shows due to the coronavirus, and we can't predict what will happen in the future, but for now, we're going to focus on making songs.
[YAYOI (弥生)] What Maaya-kun said.
What’s a piece of advice that you live by?
[YAYOI (弥生)] There's nothing in particular. Guide your life from your experiences and failures.
[SYUTO] I don't have any advice, but as long as I can laugh every day, I'll be happy, so I always try to live a positive life. LOL.
[Maaya (舞彩)] I don't have any advice for you either, but don't flatter other people. Or rather, it's like a motto, "Other people's things are other people's things, and your own things are your own things.” I always repeat in my mind, "Let's get along if we just happen to be in the right mood.”
Lastly, please give us a message from each member.
[YAYOI (弥生)] Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I hope you'll check out our future activities.
[SYUTO] Thank you for reading this long interview.
[Maaya (舞彩)] Thank you so much for reading! Next time we'll have fun together live!
To NOCTILUCA , thank you so much for allowing us to do this interview! We wish you luck.
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