Interview with GOTHIKA in Poland

interview - 31.10.2009 11:01

Before their big Russian tour, GOTHIKA played in Poland again. After the concert, JaME had an opportunity to talk with them.

On October 9th, GOTHIKA played before visual kei band Dio - distraught overlord. Despite the big difference in music genres, the audience enjoyed both bands very much. Some time after the concert, GOTHIKA’s members found time to answer on our questions. Obviously very tried, they sat on the sofa and our conversation began.

On October 23rd, under German label Danse Macabre, you released your second album, ZeitGeist. Will it be released in Japan too? Can you tell us something more about this release?
#449: It’s first released in Europe and I hope in Russia, and next, I hope, in America and also Japan.

On your new album is a song called Gusano, recorded with Selia. How did you get the idea for this collaboration?
andro: Actually, we played with Selia in Tokyo many times, and I know his singing style; he’s a really kind person. He has a lot of talent, and after listening #449’s demo, we thought Selia’s voice was necessary for this song.

You just finished your tour with CrazY JulieT in Ukraine and Moldova, and previously you had toured with Tantrum and Das Ich. What do you think about touring with other bands?
andro: Actually, on the last Ukraine and Moldova tour with CrazY JulieT, which is local band in Ukraine, we were influenced by their energy because they are a young band. It was inspiration for our show.
#449: It was a good collaboration for us and for them.

Are there any other bands that you would like to tour with?
#449: Yes, many bands. Personally, I hope to play with more electro bands. I’m happy to collaborate with European bands.

After your concerts in Poland and Finland, you planned to have long tour in Russia; why did you decide to organize this tour?
andro: Because our manager is Russian.
#449: Last time we played with Das Ich was in Russia.
andro: We played in 20 cities in Russia, in one month.
#449: It was successful, so we decided we want more big tours in Russia.

You’re touring a lot in Europe. Do you plan to visit America?
andro: Yes! In the near future. Actually, we are contacting some promoters…ah, no, no, we have many interviews from the United States, and they will introduce some promoters to us. I hope to play there next year.
#449: But also South America. North America and South America.

And Asia?
(#449 laughs)
andro: Asia yeah, China.

It’s probably the tenth time you’ve played in Poland. What made you decide to come here the first time?
#449: We were managed by…
andro: The first time… it was 2006? (#449 and melmo from Ukiyo-e confirm) It was our first European tour, about one month long, and our main promoter was French, but they don’t exist anymore. They contacted promoters for every country.
#449: We just told them we wanted to play more, also in Eastern European countries like Poland, Hungary, Austria, and it worked. It was a good choice.

Did anything special happen during these tours?
andro: In Russia, last year, someone wanted an autograph. They gave me a passport and I signed an autograph in the passport. (laughs)
#449: For Poland, I remember, the first show started very late. But, it turned into a good concert. I remember it well.

Do you have any other projects beside GOTHIKA?
#449: For now I don’t have any projects, but I hope to try some variation in playing music.

And andro, you had project AndroLady?
andro: Ah yes, but it’s on hiatus now. I’m planning a new project in the future, but it won’t stop my activities with GOTHIKA.

What do you plan to do after you finish your tour in Russia?
andro: We go to Tokyo.

Recently, you recorded your PV for Army march drawn sword police. Could you tell us something about this production?
andro: A Latvian guy created it . First, he offered directly through MySpace to make the PV, and I said, “Oh, good, but I can’t pay.” He said, “OK, but I want to make it.” So I tell him, “Please, make it as you like, but please don’t use Nazi movies.” That would be a slight problem. This is a war song, a military song; in Japanese tradition, the emperor would march with this song played by an orchestra every year. I explained in bad English the lyrics to the Latvian guy, and he understood 50% and he featured some violent movies. I decided the members would not appear in this PV; it would be only a documentary type movie. So I think it’s a good PV.

In November you will play a concert with DER ZIBET. How do you feel about playing with this band? How did you make it possible?
#449: It’s just a great opportunity. Because they are like people from magazines and TV, but we can play, so it’s fantastic.
andro: Yes, actually I have seen ISSAY at his shows sometimes, and I know his charismatic staging. And the power of his gaze reaches 50 meters! (andro shows how ISSAY’s eyes affect people and he and #449 start to laugh) I want to play with him, and I'm happy - and actually I sometimes drink with him because when I lived in Japan, we were almost neighbors and looking for drinks after shows.

At your fist concert in Poland you sang a cover of Akina Nakamori's Tattoo. It was very beautiful! Why did you choose this song? Are you planning to sing it ever again?
#449: We don’t have a plan to play it again because some artist already covered this song. I won’t say this artist’s name, but it was an interesting arrangement. Why we chose this song…it’s just that I like this song, so I requested it. And I think the words of the lyrics fit with andro's words, so we did it.
andro: It’s #449’s idea.

For a few months you’ve been living in Europe: what is the biggest difference between living in Japan and here?
andro: Life isn’t easy! (both laugh) In Germany…for me, the food. The difference in food is the most important because I miss soy sauce, tofu, miso soup, sushi, yakisoba, okonomiyaki, takoyaki… (everyone laughs) Actually, there are many Japanese restaurants in Europe, but the taste is quite different; it’s for European customers’ taste.
#449: Of course it’s not easy to live in Germany, but I can experience many important experiences in Germany; we can get in touch with big electro gothic festivals - in Japan there are no festivals like this, so it’s very a important experience. I’m also interested in the cultural differences between Germany and Japan, and also between each European country, like Germany, France, England, it’s very interesting for me. I’m enjoying finding the differences and trying to understand them.
andro: Yeah, it’s fun. It’s totally better than in Japan.

Why did you choose Berlin?
#449: Berlin is a capital town for electro music, and also...
andro: (interrupts #449) Ah, I don’t think so…
(they both laugh)
#449: It has a good location among European countries; we can go to Poznan in Poland, we can go to England, there’s a good connection from Berlin...
andro: It's convenient…
#449: Also, prices are quite cheap in Berlin. Compared to other German towns, Berlin is cheaper.
andro: Beer is less than 50 euro cents in the supermarket.

What do you think about the festival Tokyo Decadence in Japan, and about such artists as Selia and DJ SiSen?
andro: Tokyo Decadence is not a festival, it’s a party, an event. I mean, a festival is when many bands are playing for two or more days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday. And at least one thousand people gather together. Tokyo Decadence is less than that, and no band is playing. Well, sometimes there is a band, but mainly it is a DJ; it’s a club party.

Are there any other Japanese bands from the electro scene that you can recommend?
andro: From Japan, I recommend 2 Bullet.
#449: Personally I like BAAL and Despair.
andro: BLAM HONEY.

And how about Sredni Vastar?
andro: Sredni Vashtar are friends! Of course I recommend them!

(There is a small pause in the interview, and andro takes this opportunity to ask us a question.)

andro: By the way, did Tokyo Decadence take place in Poland?
It didn’t happen. We didn’t have Tokyo Decadence in Poland. It’s popular in Europe, but in Poland, I don’t think so…they show many faces of art, but I think it’s not that what people want to see in Poland.
#449: People like Dio.
People who came for concerts were very young, and Tokyo Decadence, there’s often an age limit.
andro: 18?
Yes, 18 - sometimes 16.
andro: Because it’s midnight.

(We then continued our interview.)

What are your favorite bands from the '80s?
andro: Ah, many! Depeche Mode, The Cure, Bauhaus, Japan, Erasure… many electro, new wave, synthpop.
#449: Dead or Alive.
andro: Dead or Alive!
#449: Hmm… I like a-ha.
andro: a-ha.
GOTHIKA: (laughs) Ahaaa!
andro: Siouxsie and the Banshees. I went to their concert in Chiba - she was 48 years old, but it was a very good concert. And Curve, it’s a new wave, electronic and alternative UK band.
#449: Late ‘80s and early ‘90s.
andro: Not so famous, but I like them.

What do you think about concerts in Poland compared to other concerts in other countries?
andro: Because we played in Poland… how many times?
#449: Ten times.
andro: Ten?! (laughs)
#449: Yes, ten concerts.
andro: We were here for ten concerts, because Poland is a big country, and we played in Warsaw, Gdynia, Gdansk, Poznan, Krakow…I think we played in Warsaw the most, like three times?
#449: Three, I think.
andro: The audience is very, very energetic, but I… sometimes they are rude, but I don’t mind, I like an energetic audience. Compared to Germany…the German audience can sometimes seem a little bit bored because we play concerts in Germany every day, and they are used to us, I think. I don’t know Poland well, but my opinion is people are hungry for entertainment. Two weeks ago, we went to Ukraine and I felt a similar feeling, and in Russia too. But Polish people respect foreigners and respect artists, I think it’s important.
#449: I think, as you said, it’s the young people - most of the people are young and energetic, and they can make a good concert, helping the band members.
andro: Yeah, the Polish audience is a professional audience. (laughs)
#449: Yeah, we really like Poland.

Do you have any messages to the fans in Poland?
andro: The most important thing is October 23rd; our brand new album was released, and we played many new songs on that night . We also sold the CD here, and I want fans to feel the whole album’s atmosphere, the lyrics, the full album. I hope to play again in Poland, and when we play these songs, at the beginning of the intro I except audience to react, “Oh, this is…” This time it was first time listening to the new songs, so they couldn’t recognize them, but next time I hope they will react right away and sing along.

Thank you very much!
GOTHIKA: Thank you very much.

JaME would like to thank GOTHIKA and Ukiyo-e for the opportunity to do this interview. Also we would like to thank melmo for help! We also thank Izabela Grzelak, Karis and Alicja Tomczak for the photos.
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