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Interview with Shingeki no Awake


Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ) is a visual kei band based in Tokyo.

Please introduce yourselves to our readers.

[Erunyan]: I'm the cute pink vocalist of Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ), Erunyan (えるにゃん)!

[NAOTSU。]: I'm the blue alien lead guitarist of Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ), NAOTSU。 (ナオツ。).

[Ryu]: I'm the red mad dog born in Chichibu, Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ)'s rhythm guitarist Ryu (りゅう)!

[Hiroya]: I'm in charge of the bass for Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ)! The purple devil, HIROYA (尋弥-HIROYA-)!

[Zoe]: I'm in charge of the drums in Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ). I'm Zoe (ぞおい), the green soul of nature! ヾ(@゜▽゜@)ノ

Left to right: G. Ryu, G. NAOTSU。, V. Erunyan, B. HIROYA, D. Zoe

Left to right: G. Ryu, G. NAOTSU。, V. Erunyan, B. HIROYA, D. Zoe

What motivated each of you to start being in a band?

[Erunyan]: While watching TV at my parents' house I saw a special features with bands' MVs, and I fell in love with that world as I watched. That was my trigger for wanting to gather friends and start a band one day.

[NAOTSU。]: I saw a friend playing the guitar, and the impact was so striking that I also wanted to form a band and play the guitar.

[Ryu]: I don't think I have a particular motivation. However, since my childhood, I have always had the desire within me to release my own sounds, and that's why I am here. Also, I wanted to be popular by being in a band (laughs).

[Hiroya]: Performing together with everyone was so much fun. I thought that I wanted more people to watch us, and from there on, I wanted to play in a band.

[Zoe]: I have been saved by music, and that's why I want to create a smile on someone's face through music or live shows as well!

Erunyan, you have a background as a guitarist, right? How did you discover that you have a talent for singing?

[Erunyan]: I admired X JAPAN's hide, so in the beginning I started with the guitar. I imitated his style, dyed my hair pink, and acted like one of these guitarists who destroys everything recklessly. I think I wanted to become someone I wasn't. To be honest, I hadn't thought about becoming a vocalist in the beginning, but at the time I wanted to start a kirakira kei band, there was no vocalist, so it was decided that I'd take that position.

V. Erunyan (えるにゃん)

V. Erunyan (えるにゃん)

For the other members, did you ever try any other instruments?

[NAOTSU。]: I can actually play the trumpet. I also played the drums during live shows.

[Ryu]: I played the piano a little during my childhood. I can't play any other instruments!

[Hiroya]: I can play the guitar, drums, and piano a little!

[Zoe]: I struggled with the piano in the past, but I cannot play it anymore. Right now, I can only play the drums!

How did you first get in touch with VK and what do you love about the genre?

[Erunyan]: I saw a visual kei magazine in a bookstore with SHAZNA on the cover and was completely intrigued. I bought it, read the interview, and found out that this is called “visual kei.” After that, from childhood onward, I was more and more attracted to the world of visual kei, where people wore flashy costumes and had flashy performances.

[NAOTSU。]: A friend told me about X JAPAN and when I saw the eccentric makeup and heard the intense music, everything was so cool that it was like an electric current flowed through my body, and I was fascinated by the band.

[Ryu]: For me, it was when I heard GLAY's music playing on TV. It was cool, the melody was great, and I loved it.

[Hiroya]: I got to know about visual kei from friends who told me about it! I was completely fascinated and attracted by the worldview only visual kei can create.

[Zoe]: I first got in touch with it when my senior in high school showed me visual kei. I identified with the worldview and was hooked!

Visual kei is often “dark” or “scary.” Why were you drawn to do a “light” band?

[Erunyan]: I was also in bands with a dark worldview, but I like cute things by nature, and many of the bands I was a fan of were also kirakira kei and lighter bands. Kirakira kei has cute dance compositions (furitsuke), goods, and fashion styles, and everyone looks like they're having fun. I prefer it when everyone gets excited about us, so I think this genre suits me well.

[NAOTSU。]: I always loved colorful makeup, clothes, accessories, and fun, bright music. I also wanted to convey the beauty of that through my own band.

[Ryu]: I followed my fate and went with the flow of being in a kirakira kei band. I have also played in extreme bands, but I always loved music that was bright, dazzling, had cool guitar phrases, and melodic music.

[Hiroya]: I grew up with visual kei, and I also have roots within kote kei bands, so I obviously love those too, but it's most important for me to smile together with everyone.

[Zoe]: I hadn't done kirakira kei before, but everyone always told me that it would suit me better, and that's why I thought that I wanted to challenge the genre with Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ)!

G. NAOTSU。(ナオツ。)

G. NAOTSU。(ナオツ。)

Your concept is “KAWAII MONSTER BAND” (KAWAIIモンスターバンド). In your opinion, what is a “kawaii monster”?

[Erunyan]: I think it is a proud representative of Japan's culture. Harajuku is one of the places that create the world's trends, and I think it is a wonderful culture that makes people feel excited, cheerful, and happy just by looking at it.

[NAOTSU。]: Harajuku is a place of free fashion, fun-looking food, and unique items, and I think it is a special place, culture even, that is full of cuteness everywhere you look.

[Ryu]: It's a free-spirited, colorful, and dazzling culture.

[Hiroya]: It's a culture that respects individuality!

[Zoe]: I think it means to cherish everyone's individuality! It's very freeing, and no one says a word against it.

You often emphasize your Harajuku roots and have been called the “Harajuku decora kings.” What makes Harajuku so special?

[Erunyan]: I am happy that we are called the Harajuku Decora Kings lately! Harajuku is the origin of many trends, and everything cute you see on TV or magazines is assembled there. The city's colors are POP and bright, and it's a world with a wonderful mix of many things! I think it is a place where people respect each other's individuality and can show off their work, saying, "Isn't this nice?” I like the fact that unique people come together and make it a part of their art.

[NAOTSU。]: Harajuku has many fashionable and fun stores, and people from all over the country gather here with their unique personalities, making it a fun and appealing place even if you just walk around.

[Ryu]: I like the fact that even if my clothes and hair are flashy, I don't stand out (laughs). Also, there is a lot of good food!

[Hiroya]: It is a fun town where you can express your individuality to the fullest, which you normally cannot show at school or work, and where you can feel extraordinary, like in a theme park.

[Zoe]: It's a place where you don't have to hide what you love. It's Harajuku's charm that you can stay true to yourself.

Shingeki no Awake in front of Laforet HARAJUKU

Shingeki no Awake in front of Laforet HARAJUKU

The band originally formed in 2011 as “Awake”. In 2023, they announced the start of a “new form” with new members and a new name, “Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ).”

Erunyan and NAOTSU。have been with the band since its formation, and HIROYA (尋弥) joined in the middle. How have you changed as musicians over the years?

[Erunyan]: When we were still Awake, I thought I need to be “cool.” There was a part of me that wanted to do cute things, and another that thought I had to be cool and pretend to be an adult. Usually, as a band goes on, you get the impression that the costumes and the makeup get lighter, but for us, it was the opposite (laughs). Looking back on our long journey, we changed our style and sound to become even more flashy.

[NAOTSU。]: I have been playing guitar since the start of the band, and I am always thinking about how to match the band's music and sound. Becoming five members was a big change, and since we are all different types of people, it was fun to talk and play together.

[Hiroya]: The same instrument can have a different tone depending on who is playing it, so changing the members from three to five made the same songs sound and feel different.

From 2018~2023, you worked with 3 members. Does having 5 members change how you work?

[Erunyan]: With the change from 3 members to 5, we can now do things we weren't able to do before. There are also more ideas for the arrangements of songs, and we can now perform with a beautiful twin guitar formation. In terms of visuals, the addition of two unique individuals has broadened the range of expression. Also, it's fun and exciting to be around everyone!

[NAOTSU。]: As for changes, old songs have been reborn with new arrangements, and I feel that our passion for the songs and the unity of the five members have become even stronger.

[Ryu]: We have added strength to our cuteness and feel more powerful!

[Hiroya]: In the same way that you can create more with 5 colors than with 3, it has broadened our options and horizons. I feel the power of it!!

[Zoe]: Since we became Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ), I feel that we have more “force” with 5 people than with 3!

G. Ryu (りゅう)

G. Ryu (りゅう)

Why did you decide to debut a “new form” rather than a “new band”?

[Erunyan]: It is true that it may be more common to start a “new band.” But I consider it noble to “keep doing one thing for a long time.” I also didn't want to throw our past away because we are here because of it and because I want to take important things with me into the future.

[NAOTSU。]: I wanted a fresh start and welcome our new members with a band name and style that is uniquely ours.

[Ryu]: I wanted to express that the band's history was important, but also that it had changed in unprecedented ways and become new.

[Hiroya]: We didn't want a beginning after an end, but a new beginning born from what we have already created!

[Zoe]: I would like to continue what Erunyan, NAOTSU。, and Hiroya have done together up to now, with the five of us.

Guitarist Ryu (りゅう) and drummer Zoe (ぞおい) debuted along with the new form in 2023. How did you two come to join the band?

[Erunyan]: When we did a session together at a friend's birthday event, I felt a little nostalgic. It didn't feel like we were playing together for the first time, and I intuitively thought it should be these two.

[NAOTSU。]: When I had the opportunity to see them perform live together, I felt that both of them had a unique sense of style, and I thought it would be interesting if we could work together. This formation felt like fate.

[Ryu]: I knew the band and its members well from the beginning. I liked the tune of the music, and the timing and opportunity led me to join the band.

[Hiroya]: Ryu and Zoe are charming players who I respected as old friends! The timing was right for them to join us.

[Zoe]: Before I joined, there was a time when I was playing as a support for Awake. I was invited to join Awake at that time, the band I was in at the time also broke up, and various other things happened at the right time, so I decided to join the band!

Have there been any challenges fitting into the band, such as learning existing songs?

[Ryu]: I like the tune of the music, so learning the music was not hard at all. I am also allowed to freely play the guitar and can even play parts that haven't been in the song, so I am having fun without any difficulties!

[Zoe]: The band has been active for a long time, so there are so many great songs that it was tough memorizing them all, but I had a lot of fun imagining myself playing the drums with everyone!

B. HIROYA (尋弥)

B. HIROYA (尋弥)

The best album “Best of Awake” was released in 2023.

It must have been difficult to decide which songs would be included. How did you decide on the songs?

[Erunyan]: If we had pushed ourselves very hard, we could have released a new song at the same time we became five members. However, since the band is carrying on the history of Awake, we decided that it would be best to release a best album titled “Best of Awake" with the songs we have cherished up to now and two songs re-recorded by our new form with five members, as if we were passing the baton from Awake to Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ).

We decided to release new songs with the five members later, rather than doing a rush job in a tight timeframe. “Best of Awake" contains some of our old songs and many of the songs we still play live, so it was difficult to select the songs, but I think we were able to choose songs that represent our current band to everyone.

[NAOTSU。]: We have chosen a good balance of bright and fun tunes and songs with a strong message to make this an exceptional piece that will cheer up and inspire everyone who listens to it.

[Ryu]: Since this is a best album, I have the impression that it is a collection of songs that I would like to continue to play as standard songs for live performances.

[Hiroya]: It was really difficult to choose. Considering that it was a best album, we made sure that it also reflected the feelings and emotions of that time period.

[Zoe]: I had a lot of trouble finding the best songs, but I personally think that many of the songs are the ones we play at live concerts. Because after all, you are happy if the band plays the songs you usually listen to, right?!

Shingeki no Awake進撃のあわけBest of AwakeBest of Awake
  1. Awamonogatari 2 (あわ物語2)
  2. ∞Star★PirateZ
  3. ♥Bangyaru Sengen♥ (♥ばんぎゃる宣言♥)
  4. ChouKAWA Gekokujou HUNTER (超カワ下剋上ハンター)
  5. Zetsubou Paradox (絶望ぱらどっくす)
  6. In this world
  7. FAKE
  8. TIME SLIP (タイムスリップ)
  9. Full-Color★Fiction
  10. BABY BOY
  11. Story 0
  12. Mirai ⇆ Rotation (未来⇆Rotation)
  13. Kamioshi Baby (神推しベイビー)
  14. DD de GO!!! (DDでGO!!!)
  15. AWAKE
  16. DVD
  17. DD de GO!!! (MV) (DDでGO!!! (MV))
  18. Kamioshi Baby (MV) (神推しベイビー (MV))
  19. ChouKAWA Gekokujou HUNTER (MV) (超カワ下剋上ハンター (MV))
  20. Zetsubou Paradox (MV) (絶望ぱらどっくす (MV))
  21. (Bonus Track)

Is there any song you would have loved to include but that didn't make it in the end?

[Erunyan]: Maybe a song from the five initial members. I really want to include them all, but I will keep them as precious memories of Awake and move on to the next step! I removed some of the candidate songs from the list because of this. Even now, all the songs from that time are still very important to me.

[NAOTSU。]: I guess it is GYARA GYARA♂communication (ギャラギャラ♂communication) which is one of our most popular songs. In addition to being a single, that song was also re-released on the album “9” with the title GYARA GYARA♂communication Re:birth Ver. (ギャラギャラ♂communication Re:birth Ver.), so that's why we didn't include it in the best album. I really want you to listen to a version of GYARA GYARA♂communication (ギャラギャラ♂communication) with all 5 of us during a live show!

[Ryu]: Natsu ni Saku Kiseki no Sakura (夏に咲く奇跡の桜). It's one of my top three songs.

[Hiroya]: Dear・・・! I feel strongly about this song because it was the first single after I joined the band.

[Zoe]: Wantyou×WanteD. It's intense but also shows Erunyan's cuteness, and it's so much fun!

A best album is a great way to introduce songs to new fans. What is 1 song you would recommend to new fans, and why?

[Erunyan]: Zetsubou Paradox (絶望ぱらどっくす). It's a very important song for me because it was written at a time when I thought intensely about a conflict and about the future ahead of it. The costumes, music video, and furitsuke of this song were made with great care.

[NAOTSU。]: Choukawa Gekokujou HUNTER (超カワ下剋上ハンター). This song is often chosen as the first song at live performances and is a typical and energetic Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ) song. I'd also be really happy if everyone sang the “Choukawa Gekokujou HUNTER” part in the chorus with us.

[Ryu]: in this world. It's also one of my top three songs. I believe that my guitar play during live performances wins against that on the CD!

[Hiroya]: AWAKE!! It's my favorite song and one that cheers me up so much.

[Zoe]: BABY BOY! It's so much fun during live shows, so I want you to listen to the song while remembering that.

D. Zoe (ぞおい)

D. Zoe (ぞおい)

The best album also includes several MVs. Which was the most fun to record, and why?

[Erunyan]: For me, it would be the MV for Zetsubou Paradox (絶望ぱらどっくす). Since this was the first release with decora outfits, we decided to make a music video that would be cute no matter which scene you picked up. We rented special lighting and gathered accessories from various sources, and we were very particular about the set. I was also struggling with the future direction of my career, so I think I was able to successfully express the venom in the cuteness, which matched my feelings at the same time.

[NAOTSU。]: The MV for Chokawa Gekokujou HUNTER (超カワ下剋上ハンター). It was shot at various well-known places. The music video features not only the performance scene but also scenes of the members talking and walking around, which is something we hadn't done before.

[Ryu]: We haven't recorded one since I joined the band, so the next one will be my first. I'm looking forward to it!

[Hiroya]: In Zetsubou Paradox (絶望ぱらどっくす), during Erunyan's scene when was covered with plush toys!! We really packed him in tight!!

[Zoe]: Everyone is always shining in the MVs, so I'm really looking forward to joining them next time!

Are there any funny or interesting stories from the MV shoots?

[Erunyan]: I know I'm talking about Zetsubou Paradox (絶望ぱらどっくす) again, but everyone was so engrossed in the music video shooting that we were doing it continuously from noon to midnight with no breaks. Since we didn't eat anything, everyone got hungry and started snacking on chocolates and gummy bears we had used as props (laughs). Afterwards, we noticed that they were our props (laughs). Also, there's the scene where I am buried underneath stuffed toys. The other members were burying me and packing them in so tightly, and it was a funny contrast to me not being able to move and members checking the recording with serious expressions, you know? (laughs)

[NAOTSU。]: In the last scene of Zetsubou Paradox (絶望ぱらどっくす), I wore sticky clots of blood as make-up! Although I had to act like a corpse, the hem of Erunyan's pants hit my face, and I ended up moving (laughs).

[Ryu]: Listening to these stories leaves you stunned, doesn't it? It sounds fun!

[Hiroya]: For me, it's DD de GO!!! (DDでGO!!!). We had the cooperation of our fans and went for a live performance style with the MV we shot. However, DD de GO!! (DDでGO!!!) has many furitsuke, and so everyone moved a lot. Above that, the members were wearing fur coats, so we were drenched in sweat! I'm convinced I lost at least 5 kg that day (laughs).

[Zoe]: Listening to all these funny stories makes me want to be in a MV immediately!

Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ) is planning to attack 2024!

You announced that there will be a new single in Spring. Can you tell us what kind of song we can expect?

[Erunyan]: It's the first single since we became five members, so we are planning to make the song into one that can be called representative for Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ). Everything we want to do right now will be in the song!

[NAOTSU。]: It'll be a bright song that will strike a chord in your heart, so please wait patiently for it!

[Ryu]: It's still a secret! Please look forward to it!

[Hiroya]: I think it will be a catchy song that will motivate you!

[Zoe]: It's a song that will make everyone smile! I am also looking forward to it!

Is there any music genre you'd like to challenge one day?

[Erunyan]: I want to try various challenges! Especially an acoustic arrangement that would be suitable for performances at parties.

[NAOTSU。]: I want to create “kawaii metal”!

[Ryu]: As long as I can play the guitar, I want to challenge whatever crosses my way!

[Hiroya]: For me, it would be jazz.

[Zoe]: I'd like to try really heavy heavy metal! [T.N.: He's not literally saying the phrase “heavy metal” but using the adjective “gorigori” which means something like forceful or hardcore. So you can interpret it as “heavy metal music that is particularly heavy.”]

You recently performed at DESIGN FESTA. How did that live compare to a normal live at a livehouse?

[Erunyan]: It was a rare opportunity to sing at Tokyo Big Sight, and it was very stimulating to show our performance to people who would not normally come to a livehouse. We thought it would be a great opportunity for many people to learn about us, so I am really glad we did it. I had a lot of fun, as I felt like we were able to join the ranks of the creators because we also prepared and sold original goods at the booths for the day.

[NAOTSU。]: I was happy to stand on a wide stage, and that so many people watched us. It was great to be able to run around and perform live. It reaffirmed that I want us to become a band who can fill such a huge venues for live performances.

[Ryu]: The stage was a magnitude larger than that of livehouses, but strangely enough, I was not nervous and just enjoyed the space of the stage!

[Hiroya]: The venue was huge, and many people watched us, so it felt really great!!

[Zoe]: I always watch the members from my position as the drummer, and it was impressive to see the members moving around freely! I wanted to move too, but it was difficult because I am a drummer!

Shingeki no Awake live

Shingeki no Awake live

You also recently visited Comiket. It's very common for Japanese bands to perform at anime conventions overseas, but rare for vkei bands to do so in Japan. Why do you feel it is important to appear at events like this?

[Erunyan]: The intention of participating in Comiket was to see if we could all go together as a creative cosplay group, since the band puts a lot of effort into their costumes. So we decided to go. I thought that since it would be an original costume, it would not be recognized as cosplay and that we would be passed over, but we were approached quite a bit. I learned once again how amazing Japanese anime and cosplay culture are. I've also decided on a concept for my next costume, and it's going to be flashy! I was really fired up.

[NAOTSU。]: It was a huge event; everyone knows about it, and many people get together for that occasion, so we thought it might be a great opportunity to go there personally and let people know about us. Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ) is a band that puts an unusual emphasis on cosplay, and in that sense, it was inspiring to see so many cosplayers.

[Ryu]: We decided to participate because we wanted to open a new door as a visual kei band, which is a part of Japanese culture. I started to think about such parts of Japanese culture after joining Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ).

[Hiroya]: I felt like diving into the culture of anime with the five members! I also incorporated elements of Ryuk from Death Note into my costumes, so I felt like an anime character and had a lot of fun participating!

[Zoe]: I also wanted to experience Japanese culture, and since visual kei is also a culture that Japan can be proud of, I thought it would be nice to mix the two in a positive way!

You have also interacted with overseas fans on social media, uploaded translations to your X(Twitter), done interviews with overseas outlets, etc. Why is it important to you to interact with the overseas audience?

[Erunyan]: We have been active in Japan for a long time and have been blessed with opportunities to perform from Hokkaido to Kyushu, so my interest in going overseas has grown stronger each year, hoping that one day our activities would expand beyond Japan. When we announced our new lineup of five members and our new artist photos, we received more reactions from people overseas than we had imagined. We were surprised to realize that visual kei and Harajuku's Kawaii culture, which we consider normal, are both unique to the culture in Japan. It is difficult to know how to answer the question about the importance of reaching out to foreigners, but I think we live in an age of diversity, where everyone is different and everyone is good, and where people want to know more and be known more. For that purpose, I feel that it is inevitable to overcome the language barrier! (laughs)

[NAOTSU。]: We've received many lovely messages from foreign fans every day since we've been featured in TokyoFashion. It makes me incredibly happy. I want to have a live show overseas one day!

[Ryu]: If we shift our attention to the world, then there are many more people, and we want as many people as possible to know about us.

[Hiroya]: From Harajuku to the world, we hope that each of the members of Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ) will attract the attention of people overseas.

[Zoe]: I hope we can be active not only in Japan but also from a broader perspective!

For each of you, what is one goal that you have for 2024?

[Erunyan]: I want to achieve with the five of us what we weren't able to do with only three members! I want to release many CDs and want them to reach many fans.

[NAOTSU。]: We will deliver the best performance that is typical of Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ).

[Ryu]: This will never change, but I always pursue the best guitar play!

[Hiroya]: This year, I want to do what I couldn't do last year! I want to go on the offensive!

[Zoe]: I always get smiles from my fans, so I will do my best to make them smile!

Please leave a message for your fans to conclude this interview!

[Erunyan]: Thanks for always supporting Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ)! We will bring a lot of hope, happiness, and stimulating cuteness to everyone around the world! I love you!♡

[NAOTSU。]: Thanks for always supporting us. With much love and gratitude, we will march forward in Japan and the world. Please continue to support us!

[Ryu]: Please continue to pay attention to us without taking your eyes off us! Also, let's see an amazing view together!

[Hiroya]: Thank you for reading this long interview. I'd appreciate it if you could also attend a live show of Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ). Please enjoy Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ) for yourself. Please continue to support us!

[Zoe]: It hasn't been long since I joined Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ), but I will do my best to enjoy live performances and music with everyone in the best way possible, with such brazenness as if I have been playing the drums for a long time! Please continue to support us! ヾ(@゜▽゜@)ノ

Thank you to Shingeki no Awake (進撃のあわけ) for participating in this interview.

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Interview with Shingeki no Awake

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los amo 😭😭

Interview with Shingeki no Awake

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They're so cute! I love to understand more about them, one more band do add to my playlists 💕

Interview with Shingeki no Awake

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That's the first invertiew I read in years and I'm happy that I had so much fun with this content! I just and to read more and more interviews, it makes me feel more intimate with the band. Love for you guys, hope to support you a lot more now 進撃のあわけ!

Interview with Shingeki no Awake

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Interview with Shingeki no Awake

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i loved reading and learning more about the band! they're so skilled and flashy, thank you for this lovely interview 🌈🐉