Today we have an exclusive interview with new vkei band Shuuen NO Rasetsu (終焉ノ羅刹).
Shuuen NO Rasetsu (終焉ノ羅刹) started live activity with a splashy event at ON AIR WEST, and gained attention due to their deep connections in the VK scene. Their second event was to feature revivals of legendary 90s vkei bands—but was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19.
Under those circumstances, our planned interview also had to change. The band helped make this work, and graciously agreed to talk instead about their activity so far and their love of the vkei scene.
Shuuen NO Rasetsu (終焉ノ羅刹), thank you very much for agreeing to this interview.
Please introduce yourselves. What’s one phrase you would use to describe yourselves?
[Vo. 砦~sai~] Voice of God
[Gu. Masuo] I’m Shuuen NO Rasetsu guitarist Masuo. Red hair.
[Gu. Chihiro] Silver hair.
Most bands start with small lives and gradually work up. Instead, you started with a splashy event. Was there a strategy behind this?
[砦~sai~] Rather than a strategy, it’s just what I wanted to do. “I want to do my first live here.” I fulfilled that desire. Small events are less visible to the public, so less people attend, and I don’t think there’s much value in that. I think it’s not just about performing a live, but also about conveying a solid concept.
[Masuo] Since it was our 1st live, we wanted to do something spectacular. I think we accomplished that.
[Chihiro] It’s no fun to be average. We wanted to do something noticeable.
Since formation, you have ranked at vkgy several times, have done several interviews, and have gained a large SNS following. Why do you think you’ve been so successful with social media?
[砦~sai~] Because there are few bands right now with a 90s era concept. And because of the fans who have known me since my past bands.
[Masuo] I’m very grateful to the fans who follow me on SNS. But I’m not satisfied yet and so I can’t call our SNS presence a “success.” I hope to continue giving content that our fans and followers can enjoy.
[Chihiro] We’re still working on it. I want to continue doing things that our fans can have fun with.
Your first live was on January 14th. What are you satisfied with from that live? Is there something you’d like to improve on?
[砦~sai~] Since it was my first serious band in 14 years, there was a blank feeling. There are points that I’ve reflected on, but mostly I’m just looking forward to more fun with future activities. Playing music is like fighting oneself; I don’t mean this in a negative way, but I always strive to beat myself.
[Masuo] To make our 1st live on January 14th happen, many people cooperated in different ways, and I think it made a successful 1st live. Above all, I’m thankful to the fans who came to the livehouse. I remember being relieved just to see the audience enjoying themselves during the live.
[Chihiro] I wonder if I could give that kind of performance again. I think that, as a band, we put on a really good performance.
You seem to have a reverence for past eras of VK. Could you tell us why you like those eras of VK so much?
[砦~sai~] For me personally, my band history started with a love for Kuroyume (黒夢), ROUAGE, and PENICILLIN. For me, time has mysteriously stopped, and I think that this era of VK is the best in Japan. But as to why, I’ll skip that part.
[Masuo] My favorite bands are VK bands that were active in the 90s. Listening to bands from that time, I think that they established my musicality and my values. I think that bands who played in the 2000s inherited those genes, and I think that those benefits continue to be inherited.
[Chihiro] Actually, I’m not super familiar with that era. I’ve been introduced to a lot of bands since starting VK, and I just like the atmosphere of certain bands and songs.
Do you still listen to older VK bands? If someone has only listened to new VK bands, which older bands would you recommend to them?
[砦~sai~] Right now I’m only listening to Shuuen no Rasetsu. However, if you want to get introduced to songs of the old era: Toge (棘) by Kuroyume (黒夢), Shiroi Yami (白い闇) by ROUAGE, KNIFE (ナイフ) by La'Mule, Hyakka Ryouran (百花繚乱) by MIRAGE, and PARASITE (パラサイト) by Madeth gray'll.
[Masuo] I don’t listen to music now.
[Chihiro] Listen to anything, regardless of whether or not it’s VK.
Despite being a new, your costumes, MV, and recordings have a professional quality. Could you tell us a bit about the work that went into starting the band?
[砦~sai~] It was a result of being blessed with good members. And of friends who cooperated. And most of all, effort.
[Masuo] It was the result of pursuing the level of quality that we wanted.
[Chihiro] I think it’s mostly due to support from others. But of course we put a lot of effort into it.
Some of you have been on record labels before. As an independent band, how has your experience differed?
[砦~sai~] This time I tried to handle all of the label-side work, and realized I can’t do everything alone. As far as differences, it wouldn’t be right to say that we can freely do any kind of music/activity that we want, but overall being able to decide everything as a band is a very fulfilling feeling.
[Masuo] It feels really satisfying to go from 0 to 100 in terms of deciding everything yourself. Naturally, I have a sense of responsibility, so it makes me work harder on things.
[Chihiro] Of course there are supporters around us, but we have to think and plan for ourselves, so it’s both harder and more fun.
Streaming services have become more popular lately. Have you considered using these? Do you think it’s important to have physical releases?
[砦~sai~] We’re considering streaming services, since the value of purchasing a physical CD is in question these days. I think that’s a difficult position, but that’s the age we live in.
[Masuo] Personally, I think physical releases are necessary. I think that some people value physical CDs because they remain a physical object; someone who’s purchased a CD can hold onto it as a valuable object forever. And I want to make a valuable band.
[Chihiro] I think physical CDs are good because they never go away--but I also haven’t bought a CD in recent years, so I wonder if streaming is a good option.
What is your band’s next goal?
[砦~sai~] Every day we work toward our goal of becoming the one and only Shuuen no Rasetsu.
[Masuo] I want to keep doing songs, costumes, and activities that only Shuuen no Rasetsu can do. The band is only just starting, so I want to continue growing and having fun with our fans.
[Chihiro] I constantly strive to do things that are newsworthy.
Lastly, please give a message to everyone.
[砦~sai~] You won’t regret becoming a fan of our band. Please follow us.
[Masuo] Thanks to all the fans who support Shuuen no Rasetsu. We’ll make the band called Shuuen no Rasetsu one that fans can be proud of, so thanks for your support in the future.
[Chihiro] We will continue to be active, so please support us.
The band's second sponsored event, a birthday celebration of vocalist 砦~sai~ entitled Tanjou TO Fukkatsu (誕生ト復活), was to be held on March 22nd at Nagoya (名古屋) Electric Lady Land. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the event has been cancelled.
Their live-limited second single, Kyoumei~Resonance~ (共鳴~Resonance~), was meant to be released exclusively at the venue, but has been postponed.
The band will make an important announcement soon, so please check their homepage for updates.
Their next live is on April 24th at Ikebukuro (池袋) BlackHole, at the Starwave Records event, Dark Ambition Exposed Vol.114.
To Shuuen NO Rasetsu (終焉ノ羅刹), thank you so much for allowing us to do this interview! We wish you luck.
Thanks to Ryu for coordination, and to jonas and a nice Twitter user for translation help.
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