Hello everyone! Today I'd like to introduce the first in a mini-series of quick interviews with the “contributors” to the visual kei fan scene.
There are several reasons for this series:
- I've always intended vk.gy to feature “editorial” content in addition to news (see my posts about Soleil or PSC speculation). I don't have the time (or brain cells) to write frequently, so this mini-series should be a fun and easy way to beef up that side of the site.
- There are tons of visual kei fans who contribute tirelessly to the fan community, but who often go unsung. I'd like those “makers and doers” to get a bit more recognition―and hopefully we'll learn things along the way!
- Many of us vk fans are segregated to our fandom bubbles, whether they be specific sites, fan groups, or even languages. With this mini-series, I hope to expand vkgy readers' knowledge―and my own―about the cool things going on outside our “bubbles.”
Onto the interview:
10-point interview with: peffy
Today's subject is peffy, owner of hiphopVOMIT, where she transcribes and romanizes visual kei lyrics. Her site has a huge selection of lyrics for full releases, across a wide breadth of bands.
Please introduce yourself.
Hi, I'm peffy! I'm a 30-something Canadian lady. I've been into VK for 8-9 years.
How and why did you become interested in VK?
I'd been listening to primarily J-pop/J-rock since 2004. I avoided VK because I didn't like growling/screaming and the vocal style.
What was the most recent VK release that excited you? What's an old VK release that everyone should try?
An older release... that's a really tough question. I will go with Dolly's "CAPSULE" album from 2010, since it's maybe less well-known than other things I could pick. Mitsu is one of my favourite vocalists and lyricists, and the music is a great mix of beautiful ballads, gothic rock, and electronic rock (maybe? I'm not good at genres).
Please briefly tell us about your website, hiphopVOMIT.
hiphopVOMIT opened in 2010. It is where I post all the lyrics I have worked on. I refuse to post anything without both kanji & romaji versions. There are probably close to 9000 songs posted, and a large portion of them are VK.
The name of the site came from misheard lyrics in the GazettE's "ART DRAWN BY VOMIT". I swear he says "This album is hip hop vomit" but apparently he is saying "This art was drawn by vomit".
When did you start transliterating/romanizing lyrics?
I've been romanizing lyrics since 2004, shortly after I got into J-pop. I started doing it as a way to learn/practice reading Japanese. I've ruined several keyboards with the amount of typing I have to do...
How do you choose which songs to work on? Do you go through any sort of phases in terms of what you like to work on?
These days, I just post lyrics by artists that I'm interested in. I also take requests from anybody, but only if they provide the kanji to me. I sometimes also do lyrics for "popular" artists.
How much time do you typically spend on one song? How much time do you spend working on the site in general?
A typical song will take only a few minutes for me to type out the romaji, and then I follow along with the song to check for mistakes and make sure it matches the singing as much as possible.
If I need to type out the kanji, that could take maybe 15 minutes. Some artists like to be jerks and substitute words like crazy, or they use old/uncommon kanji, so I need extra time for those.
I used to work on lyrics practically every day, but these days I've slowed down a lot and only spend a few hours every month, unless I get a bunch of big requests.
Is there a particular song or release that was especially fun to work on? Any that were particularly annoying?
I don't know that any songs are "fun" to do, but obviously it's more enjoyable when I really love the song. Lots of songs have been annoying.
The one that I remember the most is NEGA's "VANITAS" album, because the vocals were often hard to hear over the guitars. I think there was a song where he did a lot of talking, and it was included in the lyrics, so I practically blew out my eardrums listening to it with headphones at high volume so I could check the romaji...
Another frequent offender is Kiryu (己龍), who often use archaic kanji and/or archaic readings of kanji, so I have to do research to figure it out. At least it's educational!
What do you hope for the future in regards to hiphopVOMIT?
I wish I had more time to work on it! But anyway, I just hope people continue to find it useful as a resource for their karaoke time.
Finally, please take this time to tell us about any promotions and/or social media.
Thanks so much to peffy for taking the time to answer these questions! Please be sure to follow her at her blog, on Twitter, and on Monochrome Heaven―and thank her if you ever use her lyrics!
If you know of a fan, group, or project―or even yourself―who contributes to the visual kei fan scene in some way, and who you'd like to see featured in this series, please let me know via comment below, Twitter @vkgy_, or Facebook at vkgyofficial.
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share any feedback or suggestions about this series or the site as a whole. And as always, a big thank you to vkgy's Patreon supporters, a list of whom can be found on the vkgy top page. If you'd like to support vkgy, please consider donating at Patreon to become a VIP member.