I spent a whole lot of time typing it from the magazine as I do not have a scanner and lost my USB wire m( )mL-O-N-G interview Introduction: After their last live on August 31 2007 at Osaka International House, Phantasmagoria will return for a 1 day revival and final performance excatly a year later at Shibuya-AX in what is sure to be an unforgettable event!!!!! We checked inn with the band to talk about their recent performance at the much talked about ''hide memorial summit'', and the course of events leading up to their revival. How do they feel about the live that will truly be their final performance as Phantasmagoria?...... For their cover special feature interview, we delved into the "mystery" that is Phantasmagoria!! -For this cover interview Phantasmagoria had a photo shoot after a long while, didn't you? jun: I think it's been a year or so?*- Riku: That's right. The last time was when we did a photo shoot for the cover of Cure. KISAKI: It's been a long time, but it felt the same as when we did it in the past. Riku: Yes. It didn't feel uncomfortable at all! KISAKI:** That's what's strange about Phantasmagoria. It was the same when we participated in the hide event as well. Although over 10 months had passed since we last performed, it's natural for us to be together as a band, and we were able to regroup and have alot of fun performing together.
**-Now you've got a revival live planned for August 31, which continues things from the hide summit live. Can you tell us about what happened from the time of your last tour until the live at Osaka International House and give your reflections about those events?
- Riku: Right before the last tour the condition of my throat became bad and I didn't know the reason. Our schedule had already been set and I wonderered what would happen, but miraculously it quickly became better which really stands out in my memory. With KISAKI having decided to retire, I fet strongly that I want to send him off in the proper way, but I gained a lot of power from fans, and I definitely prossessed this mysterious power that cannot be seen. jun: I had this strong feeling that more thanthe members, it's the fans who are ending. It was coming to the time of the last Osaka live, entering the end of the end, and finally I had this feeling like, "This is the end...". But that was a good thing somehow. Until the end I felt like, "OK, I get to do it again today!!" Matoi (纏):** For each song we played at the Osaki International House live I would think, "This will be the last time I play this song with these members," which made me so sad I ended up crying, so I felt something special. Until then, the same as now, it was strange that I didn't sense realistically that things wouldn't continue forever.
**-You felt all of a sudden that time had passed?
- Matoi (纏): Yes, it really went by so fast. IoRi: Instead of feeling that it was special just because it was the end, I really wanted to paint a picture of Phantasmagoria as large than life at each live we played. It's strange to say that it was the first live I truly would never forget, but in everything I do from now on, I feel the greatest live for me was this Phantasmagoria one, and I'm glad I got to do it. KISAKI:** My feelings are no different from the others, but my decision to retire was the trigger for our disbandment, and until August our schedule was incredibly hectic, but strangely enough I didn't go through feeling sad. It was the first and last one man tour across Japan for Phantasmagoria, and I genuinely wanted to bring a sense fo completion to it and feel that we had performed great lives. But while on stage during the live before my retirement, the comments from the members and the voices of support from everyone and their tears powerfully conveyed their feelings to me, and somehow I almost started to cry myself, I also watched the re-released footage of our lives and over.
-**After that, what led you to reform this time?
- Riku: We can talk with KISAKI when we want to even now, but when apart from KISAKI we would talk and say, " We want KISAKI to be on stage one more time." But judging from what KISAKI says, it was like when if he says he's retired he can be convinced to do it. (4times:KISAKI) Riku:** (laughs) But we tried working in the shadows. It was the same for us, and the people connected to us and those who supported us wanted to see us come back too. More than we ever expected, the support was tremendous.
**-This was in the form of fans' signatures?
- Riku:Yes, I think that says it the most powerfully. It's impossible to hear what everyone has to say personally, but alot of people wanted to see us perform again. The number of people who signed exceeded our expectations. They asked if doing so couldn't convince us to reunite. And KISAKI probably doesn't remember this, but he once said in passing, "We need to get together again even if we're already old men." KISAKI: If I had said that, my retirement would be a lie! All: (laugh) Riku: Oh really? KISAKI: If I said we should do it even if we're old, it was my grumbles of reluctance about retiring! (laughs) Riku: Really? (laughs) But that was before you decided to retire, wasn't it? It's something you said before you ever mentioned ''retirement''!! IoRi: We had conversations saying things like, when we're in our 50s, even if we're already decrepit, let's perform "Kami Uta"! KISAKI:** That's right, you ought to say it in that way (laughs).
**-(laughs) Once you had collected all of those signatures, you were able to persuade KISAKI to do it?
- Riku:** We begged him saying, "It's not just us who wants it." This is from people who have no way to see KISAKI unless he's on stage.
-**When you heard this from the other members, how did you feel, KISAKI?
- KISAKI: I was really happy but even how now my difficulties aren't over 100%. It made me happy to hear this, but I couldn't nod my head and say, "OK'' straight away. At first when they would talk about it I would change the topic..... -They met with you and talked about it several times?
- KISAKI: We talked about it a few times, didn't we? jun: Yes, we did, especially KISAKI and I would meet to disscuss it. KISAKI: At first we would talk about it, but before we knew it the conversation would move on to something else, and we'd talk about some shaky topics. But one of those times, I got to see all of the signatures and I think there were over 10,000? Riku: That's right. KISAKI:** Also, it wasn't just signatures, but alot of people wrote messages too. The most common kind of message was, "When you decided to retire, I go to watch great performances from you until the end, but instead of decideding to retire, you had said you would stand on stage again, so isn't the manly thing to do perform until you die?" I thougt what they said is right. And they also said that Phantasmagoria was original and now the age of old-school visual kei has come to an end since the band is no longer around.
-**You certainly had that image from the beginning.
- KISAKI: But over the course of a year, a lot of people also wrote, "You created a new type of classic VK across Japan.'' I realised then that we had created that just as a result of our normal activites and it was something we were able to leave as our legacy. jun: But as we talked about this, we realised it's a difficult subject. Even if fans understand that, in fans hearts they may think that we'll really be able to perform again. If they didn't think that, we wouldn't be able to ask KISAKI about it ourselves. For that reason, I asked myself questions like, how much effort do you put into this band? and how much did we value this band? But once we decided to perform again, I wondered what to do. What would the performance be like? This kind of thing. (laughs) KISAKI:** We wondererd where we should have the live. Because there was no question that live had to be on August 31, we were confident that the live house that would leave the strongest impression would be at Shibuya-AX. once I said the word "GO", everyone worked to get it all in order.
**-I see... Next, before your revival performance, I'd like to ask each of you what you think Phantasmagoria's good points are.
- Matoi (纏): There are alot!! First of all, the energy of our lives is good! The members are all close! And our fans are enthusiastic! Our songs are good too! Everything is great! Except that....... IoRi: Except that what?? Matoi (纏): We have a member who's almost an old man. KISAKI: Do you mean me? Honestly! You're talking about me!? (laughs) Matoi (纏): No no no, it's me (laughs) I've gotten a bit fat. All: It's not just "a bit". (laugh) IoRi: Good points... We have originality, each of us has his own role, and I think it's really great that we got to do things in the direction we wanted. Simply put, our good points is that the five of us are in the band together. jun: The members get along well, and during lives we're able to perform powerfully and because the ans respond to us it became that we could perform that way. Many fans say they like the diligent effort we put into it, and I think another good point is how we go crazy together with the fans at lives. Riku: Well, everyone's said it, but the members are great...... And after all, our having a great leader is a good point. KISAKI: And who is the leader you are talking about? Riku: Gee, KISAKI...... All: (laugh) Riku: Since we decided to disband, I've seen anew the good points of the others, and when we were able to participate in the hide event I felt condifent in what I had thought of them. I've never been in another band before where I can sing without paying attention to my surroundings. Isn't that amazing?
- jun: It IS amazing! (laughs) Riku: Yea, I feel very comfortable. When we formed I wasn't able to see what's around me, I could only think about myself. Then, slowly I became able to think about my surroundings, and became able to think that I don't need to worry. This was the best state of affairs for me. Also, about our leader being great~...... Why are you laughing? (laughs) KISAKI: I'm laughing because I'm happy☆ Riku: Ohh~ (laughs), while he's always making me feel nervous, he also makes me feel comforted. Including all kinds of strategies, he considered so many things on behalf. Even now it's the way. KISAKI: For me, of course I feel alot of gratitude to these four guys. Because I am invited these four to join what I knew would be the last band of my life. During our three years as a band I know that these four have become adults, so I was able to have peace of mind as the manager and leader. The five of us each possess our own good qualities, and when we got together and became one there's a confidence that we can go anywhere and won't fail. It was mentioned that we each have a role, but it's remarkable how we are able to fill them. As for writing music, jun is our melody maker, and IoRi supports him. Even if I produce other bands with twin guitarsm I think there will never be a better pair of guitarists than these two. OK, so I've said what I needed to say. (laughs) jun: Thank you... The nail that sticks out gets hammered down. If good twin guitars emerger, we'll contain ourselves!! KISAKI:** That's good (laughs). As for RIku and Matoi (纏), I'm keeping an eye on the other bands they are in, but I think they look the coolest when they're performing next to me. I sound like a doting father.
**-You really have a fantastic relationship with each other... It's come up several times, but on May 3 the band performed at the ''hide memorial summit''.
- KISAKI:** We received a formal offer in March or April. The invitation was really out of nowhere and when I was susrprised. I had a friend who was part of my old label "Matina" who died on the way to hide's funeral service, and we want only people who truly love hide to participate in this event which could only happen now." With those few words I understood the meaning of the event and the significance of us performing there. At the funeral for my friend who died, although YOSHIKI was terribly busy he managed to attend. For that I'm in debt to him, as he went so far to act according to his principles, which makes a man among men whom I truly admire. I had no reason to refuse the offer he made us. But looking at the event, to be honest it would have been great no matter if we were there or not. But in any case, I'm happy to have been invited to perform. then last year, as Phantasmagoria had used the term "sealed" rather than "disband", I feel like our performance this year had been decided from the beginning. As I thought everything is connected. Phantasmagoria is able to perform again on August 31 2008 for all the people who have supported us.
-**In fact you only got to perform 2 songs at the hide summit, but I think the fans who went to watch you were really able to convey their feelings. How was it for you?
- jun: You musn't waste even a single second, but I was nervous to a degree I've never been before. Also, personally I like hide's music and it's the reason I got into music myself, so I never imagined i would be able to take part in an event like this, and I'm super thankful I was allowed to do it. Matoi (纏): It's like...... everything was huge. It's not just that the stage was huge, but everything was. I put all my effort into that performance and it was no different from the amount of physical effort I put in at one-mans. IoRi: Wasn't there a ton of people who wanted to go to that event? But I was able to play at that live!? I was so nervous that the lower half of my body was shaking (embarrassed laugh), and after it ended that was the only thing I remember even if I try try to focus. Riku: People who do music might not say this very often, but more than being talented or untalented, it's about conveying what you feel. I think I was able to do that. To explain why I was able to, this goes back to what I said earlier, but it's because I had a sense of comfort, I think I was able to do the things I wanted to. -KISAKI, I imagine you had a lot going through your head, standing on stage again after you had retired.
- KISAKI:** That's true. It made me realise that I rush everything I do in life. Whether it feels like 10 years have passed or not, hide's brilliance never fades. It made me feel that good things shine forever. I want to thank everyone we encountered at the event, even the people who only supported us or that one day. Having been able to stand on that stage will give me vitality for the rest of my life.
-**Finally, I'd like to hear from each member what you are doing now and your plans for the future. Riku, your new band is chariots and when this issue goes on sale you'll be getting ready for your Tokyo one-man live.
- Riku: That's right. When Cure comes out we'll have already done the Osaka one-man and will be preparing for the Tokyo-live. IoRi: Good luck! Riku: I'll try my best! (laughs) I don't want you to look at me strangely. I don't want you to say chariots do things half way... I'm strange, aren't I?
- Matoi (纏): You were a bit strange. jun: It's like you were trying to appeal to us. (laughs) Riku: In any case, chariots is on the attack!! At the one-man you'll be able to get what we're doing!! I don't need anyone who doesn't get it!!!!! All: Whoooah~... KISAKI:** You are really feisty today, aren't you~ (laughs)
**-Matoi (纏), you are now active in the band, JILL CHRIST, right?
- Matoi (纏): It's something completely different from Phantasmagoria, and I'm testing my limits as much as I can. We have a live on August 19 at O-WEST..... jun: Isn't that Haiku Day? Matoi (纏): Aa, so it's on Haiku Day...... jun: Will you compose a haiku?? All: (laughs) KISAKI: At your Haiku Day live please give an enthusiastic reading of your haiku (laughs)! Matoi (纏): ......Bleah...... KISAKI:** OK, compose one at the end for us.
-(laughs) Well then, what about you, IoRi? IoRi: I'm working at an oden joint. jun: Are you making that oden that comes in a can, IoRi? All: (laugh) IoRi: No no no, I'm lying. As for me, I'm putting a lot of effort into my next plan... That's all I can say. So please look forward to what I've got in store. That's all i can say!
-**And jun, you solo work is about to be released.
- jun: Recently, I've been pursuing solo activities while watching chariots' lives! (laughs) My solo CD will come out on Ham Day, August 6! KISAKI: Speaking of ham, what has Matoi (纏) got in his stomach right now? Matoi (纏):...... Boneless ham. All:** (outburst of laughter)
-Aside from that, you're also participating in Toshi's (XJAPAN) solo project. jun: That's right. There will be a Japan-wide tour this summer and I've been asked to play guitar. After summer, I want to join a band as soon as possible. In the end, I just want to be in a band! That never changes for me. I'll try my best!!
-**And KISAKI will release an album under a solo name?
- KISAKI: The overseas version will come out on July 23, while the Japanese version first press is available through special orders. I hope anyone interested will buy a copy. But in fact I want to put all of my effort into preparation for August 31, so I don't want the people who come to see us to do so lightly. Because I want to make Phantasmagoria legendary for the people who support us. I'm also busy producing, and I'm encouragingly keeping an eye on the activities of thesefour. When I saw an article in the newspaper that mentioned that jun will be a part of Toshi's solo project I thought it was so amazing. I'm simply happy that a member who I handpicked originally would get a chance to take part in such a huge project and I want to give him a lot of support. jun: I told KISAKI about ir right away. KISAKI: Because we'll always share this kind of bond, as they all take their different paths I absolutely went each of them to become something big. I want to be made to think that I wasn't wrong in choosing them. First of all, we're going to show everyone something amazing on August 31. And lastly, Matoi (纏) will share a haiku with us! Matoi (纏): I though you had forgotten about it already~!! KISAKI: (laughs) Please compose a haiku about Phantasmagoria's one day revival! Matoi (纏): "Last live feeling moved I do it!" That's all! KISAKI: Do one more! This one is no good. You started with 6 syllables. Matoi (纏): "This is the end feeling moved come on'' jun: ......Isn't that one good? (laughs) I think that's all he can manage. All:** (laughs)
I hope all of you enjoy reading it :) Gotta rest, my fingers are worm out from so much typing @_@
- Current music: shred- chariots
- Current mood: tired