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Shigeta (el:cid)

el:cid is a band who was active in the early vkei scene, and they've just released a digital EP with remastered and unreleased tracks. We talked to Shigeta--for a second time--to get more insight into the band, this EP, and Shigeta himself.

Published発売
Conducted取材
Ryu
Contributors寄稿家
inartistic
Translations翻訳
日本語版へこちら。

The band's Cry for the Moonlight EP is available for purchase on iTunes and other platforms, and can be streamed on Spotify.


  • Shigeta, thank you very much for this second interview. First, let's talk about el:cid's past.

  • Do you remember when el:cid formed and disbanded?

    el:cid was formed when I was a student. This was around 1990. We disbanded around September 1996.

  • Going back, how did you meet all the members?

    Guitarist Kairi and drummer Michitaka were friends from elementary school and I’ve known bassist Kenji since high school. We have been friends since our school days.

  • What is the origin and meaning of the band's name?

    We wanted a name which started with an “E” sound. It had nothing to do with the meaning of the phrase. (laugh)

    The name of the band was chosen by sound, and then the letters el:cid were added later in order to use the alphabet.

    El Cid was a Castilian knight and warlord in medieval Spain and was the model for a 1961 movie, but that has nothing to do with the origin of the band's name.

el:cid
el:cid
  • Back then, why did you decide to wear makeup?

    The ideal types of band were BUCK-TICK, D'ERLANGER, DEAD END, etc. Since they wore makeup, naturally I wanted to be like them. Also, I thought if I was going out in public, that I had to look pretty at least a bit.

  • “Visual kei” has become the common phrase for such bands. Did you adopt that phrase back then?

    Well, we bands in the scene didn't call ourselves “visual kei” early on. But we surely must have fallen into the visual kei category, as the events we played at were often with bands which are now called vkei bands.

    Back in those days, the audience decided which bands were visual kei, and if they said so, they were visual kei. If we were to play at a visual kei event, and the audience felt that we were totally out of place, then that would mean that the audience felt we weren't a vkei band at all, right?

  • The current visual scene has changed a lot. How do you see it?

    I have the impression that visual kei is becoming borderless? Music these days contains elements of various genres. Even k-pop bands looks like visual kei. (laugh)

  • That’s very interesting. Why do k-pop bands look like visual kei to you?

    Their hairstyle and makeup. Back in the day, only bandman had that kind of makeup. Game characters also look like visual kei bandmen.

    In short, the visual fashion of the old days has become standard and is now everywhere. In that sense, I do have the impression that the concept of visual kei has spread widely.

el:cid flyer
el:cid flyer
  • Could you name some vkei bands which appeared on the same events you played at?

    La:Sadie's, MASCHERA, DEVELOP=FRAME, Flèches d'amour, DlociA, Romance for~ BLUE etc. There were a lot of other good bands, but lots of bands from the Kansai area, who played at the same events, most impressed me.

  • Did you ever attend an event in Tokyo?

    We did do a live show at Meguro (目黒) ROCKMAYKAN (鹿鳴館), but it was a regular show, not an event.

  • Do any live shows still stand out in your mind?

    When we played a live at YANTA ROCKMAYKAN (YANTA鹿鳴館) in Osaka (大阪), we played the song Single Again (シングル・アゲイン) by Mariya Takeuchi (竹内 まりや) as our SE.

    The audience laughed at us and we had a hard time motivating ourselves to go on stage. It was a complete accident on our side.

    Kairi, the guitarist, was supposed to prepare the sound for that day's show, and the CD that he handed to the PA was Mariya Takeuchi (竹内 まりや), which was of course a total mistake.

  • What drove you all as a band?

    I guess it was the motivation to have fun together, but also to have personal connections with the members. To have fun with each other before entering the stage might have been the most fun thing. (laugh)

  • What was the band's goal? Did you achieve it?

    The reason for doing a band was to make music and to play live. There wasn't really a feeling of having a specific goal. Each time I completed a song I had a sense of accomplishment, but as an activity it never felt enough. So for overall activity there was no sense of accomplishment. (laugh)

  • Do you still have contact with all ex-members? Did everybody retire?

    I'm still in touch with all the members. We are together in a LINE group chat. After our disbanding, drummer Michitaka was actually supposed to join DlociA, but he retired due to personal circumstances. Bassist Kenji switched to jazz music and is still playing jazz sometimes as a hobby. Guitarist Kairi is completely retired. And time to time, I used to make music with Akiwo (アキヲ).

  • So having disbanded in 1996, why did you turn your attention to el:cid again in 2020?

    I have lots of free time now to work on music again, due the influence of COVID-19.


  • On August 7th, you released a new EP, Cry for the Moonlight, with two remastered songs and one new song. Let's learn more about it.

Cry for Moonlight
Cry for Moonlight
  • Why did you name this EP Cry for the Moonlight?

    It was the title that got the most consent from the members.

  • What was your biggest inspiration in creating this EP?

    A requiem for songs which have “fallen asleep.”

  • The song 2020 was helped by O.4.D, a.k.a. NAGANO (ex-BEAST). Why did he participate?

    Since I was a teenager, NAGANO has been a close friend; we've listened to each other’s songs regardless of what kind of release it was, and we always shared our opinions with each other.

    NAGANO told me that it would be a waste to keep my past songs “asleep”. And so he and I prepared songs for this release. And while at it, he decided to help create the song 2020.

  • How was the song selection for this EP done?

    I consulted with O.4.D (NAGANO) and the members, and we decided together.

  • Please tell us about each song.

  • M1

    Cry for the Moonlight

    It's a song about a person with a traumatic background, who is suffering because he is unable to take his own life.

  • M2

    Crying limit

    It's not just about loss in love, but it also expresses the sense of loss of people.

  • M3

    2020

    The original title was actually winter, but prior to that it was temporarily titled 2020. Since we released it in summer, I've adopted the temporary title.

    The lyrics are about losing your way in a reflective, silvery world.

    Basically all the lyrics are so inescapable, just like after you get knocked down by something harsh. In human life there are many such kinds of encounters, which leads to needing time to find yourself and start walking happily again.

  • Which song do you particularly like?

    It's 2020, because NAGANO helped me create it.

  • How do you feel about these three songs overall?

    Cry for the Moonlight and Crying limit were given special advice by O.4D. at the time of recording, so I have special feelings about them as a band and an individual.

    2020 is a song that simply shows my tastes, so I'm personally satisfied. Also, thanks to the participation of O.4.D, I was able to expand my world view and come closer to the sound I was striving for.

  • Your lyrics can be really dark. What inspires such lyrics?

    Sometimes we are lost in loneliness for no reason, we doubt ourselves, sometimes we let others take the blame for our sins, and we reflect on it while we resent others. Those are emotions which humans have been carrying around for no reason since their birth.

  • Your music shows a unique view of the world; is there anything you keep in mind when creating it?

    When I'm in the middle of writing a new song, I create it without thinking particularly about the genre, but I am aware of el:cid 's style, so I choose a genre which fits it.

  • Are you currently also recording new songs? Or will you only release past songs for a while?

    A few new songs have been recorded. When we will release the new songs is still undecided; we're considering doing it from time to time.

  • How many songs are yet unreleased?

    There are more than 10 songs which haven’t been released.

  • Still more than 10 unreleased songs?! That’s a lot. Do you have them saved?

    I've not mastered the songs, but I've digitized and saved them. There are a few more if you include the non-digitized songs, which are created by MTR.


Lastly, let's learn more about you personally.

shigeta
shigeta
  • First, which kanji would you choose to describe yourself, and why?

    誠 (makoto) {truth, reality, sincerity, honesty, integrity, fidelity}

    It means to live honestly, without lies or deceit in your heart.

  • Why did you choose to become a vocalist?

    Well actually, I wanted to be a guitarist--but when I formed a band I couldn't find someone who was willing to be vocalist, so I kind of got forced into it.

  • How did you meet O.4.D, a.k.a. NAGANO (ex-BEAST)?

    Back when I still was a student, I met a guy who was a roadie for Amphibian. He had been asked to look out for roadies for other bands and so he approached me. And so I started to work as a roadie for the band NAGANO was playing in, which was BODY DEPTH.

  • What kind of music influenced you?

    Many artists have influenced me, however since D'ERLANGER's origin is also Kyoto (京都), they're my biggest influence.

    To tell you the truth, I was actually a non-social person who couldn't get used to the real world, so music was a way to escape from reality.

  • What kind of music have you listened to recently?

    Recently I listen to:

    Foreign: Ministry, Massive Attack, Bring Me the Horizon, Troye Sivan, Björk, etc.

    Japanese: she in the haze, king gnu, bands belonging to WACK, and Matsukuma Kenta (松隈ケンタ).

    I listen to a variety of music; which artist I listen depends on my mood, regardless of the genre.

    Recently, the song I've listened to the most is I'M IN A COMA by DEAD END.

  • What are some of your favorite live performances?

    JUSTY NASTY's LOVE TOUR -LOVEVIL-, LOVE TOUR 2 -LOVEVIL-, TOO BAD ~LIVE+CLIP

    SOFT BALLET's TOUR 1991 Ariake Coliseum

    ZI:KILL's DESERT TOWN TOUR 1991

    DEAD END's HYPER d.

    D'ERLANGER's INCARNATION OF EROTICISM -Live at Hibiya-yaon

  • Are there any countries you would like to visit?

    South France (laughs)

    I just want to see the scenery!

  • What is your favorite movie?

    Castle in the Sky

  • Which other movies influenced you?

    Derek Jarman: Blue
    Jean-Jacques Beineix: Betty Blue
    Jean-Pierre Jeunet: The City of Lost Children
    Guy Ritchie: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

  • What are your favorite books?

    Yasushi Inoue: Shirobamba
    Yukio Mishima: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
    Natsume Souseki: Kokoro
    Haruki Murakami: Norwegian Wood
    Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
    Hayao Miyazaki: The Journey of Shuna

  • What makes you smile?

    When I feel touched by human kindness. I also feel that way if I see videos with such kindness.

  • What’s your ultimate goal for the future

    I want to make a song like Home by Depeche Mode.

  • COVID-19 is a really big problem around the world now. How are you handling it?

    I try to take responsibility for my own actions so that I don't bother others. I am careful not to get infected or become infected.

    Also it's given me more private time.

  • Please share some words of wisdom with the readers.

    Carpe diem (seize the day)

    Do what you can do now, rather than worry about what you cannot do and what you don't understand. If you are worried or anxious, just listen to your favorite music.

  • Finally, please give a message to your fans and readers.

    I think that music has the power to transcend time and space. I also believe that music has the power to heal wounds of the soul. I know it's not easy for everyone because of the impact of COVID-19, but I encourage you to listen to your favorite music and to fly to a place and time of your choice. If you can add el:cid 's music to your list, we would be very happy about it.

el:cid
el:cid

Thank you shigeta!


Listen to the band's new EP on Spotify.

And be sure to follow their Twitter for current information.

And be sure to read our previous guerrilla interview with shigeta here.


TEXT: Ryu and Kenshin (剣心) of JROCK'N'ROLL


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