Interview with L'Arc~en~Ciel in Paris
L’Arc~en~Ciel vocalist and guitarist hyde and ken kindly met with JaME and answered some questions the day before their concert at Zénith de Paris.
About the anniversary
Four years ago, you promised to return again to Paris. Now, L’Arc~en~Ciel are celebrating their twentieth anniversary. Since the last time you were here in Paris, has much changed for you?
hyde: Well, not to overshadow the last concert we had in Paris, but I hope the crowd will be in top condition, ready for tomorrow’s performance. In terms of the show, it will be similar to how we do our shows in Japan.
It is L’Arc~en~Ciel’s twentieth anniversary, yet the members look as if they are 20. What is your secret to staying young?
hyde: It’s because I’m a vampire.
ken: I drank a secret potion.
The name of the group is French. To you, what is special or interests you about France and the French culture?
hyde: I’m mainly interested in French women because they are very cute.
ken: I became interested after reading a book on the history of Louis XIV.
About the world tour
On March 25th, L’Arc~en~Ciel performed at Madison Square Garden in New York. How did it feel for you, being the first Japanese group to play at such a prestigious venue?
ken: We thoroughly enjoyed it but some of our staff who are older were more popular than we were! (laughs) That reassured us that we had definitely done something formidable.
Many South American fans hope to see you perform sometime. Knowing that, how is it for you when you haven’t yet performed in South America?
hyde: We know that we have a lot of fans in South America; we tried going there for our 12th anniversary but unfortunately, despite staff working extra hard to put on the event, it was much harder than expected and it didn’t come through. We hope we can come to South America one day, we want to come!
During this world tour, do each of you have any stories to share?
ken: On one of the nights after taking my shower, I realized that I had used the bathmat that looked a lot like a towel. (laughs) I was a little sad afterwards, in my hotel room.
hyde: Yesterday, I went to Lido and I really liked the chests of the girls who were dancing. (laughs)
Now that L’Arc~en~Ciel has turned twenty, what goals have set for the rest of your career?
hyde: I think that we’ve advanced this far without much hard questioning of ourselves. Though in the future, we will to do the same with the resources we have.
About Japanese music abroad
Japanese music is slowly surfacing at an international level. As one of the largest Japanese groups, do you feel as if you are responsible and are representing Japan when abroad?
hyde: We don’t necessarily think like that but at the moment for sure, as we hold this world tour and for the twenty years in L’Arc~en~Ciel, that experience will make it far easier in the future to engage overseas fans. So, what we do is good but we don’t necessarily hold much responsibility for it.
Lastly, a message to JaME readers?
hyde: We’re very happy to be here in France for this concert. We hope that we can hold as many concerts as we please in the near or distant future, just as we do in Japan and to come more often.
ken: I can finally thank French fans for being welcoming and being in a city as beautiful as Paris.
JaME would like to thank hyde, ken and L’Arc~en~Ciel’s management for making this interview possible.