Interview with Awoi

interview - 05.17.2013 20:01

Awoi shares with JaME about their upcoming debut overseas performance and more.

Nine years after their formation, visual kei band Awoi will perform for the first time overseas at Anime North 2013 in Canada on May 25th. In light of their upcoming debut overseas show, the band has taken some time to share their excitement with JaME and let readers know more about their world of music.

For people who haven't listened to your music yet, how would you describe your music?

Otogi: Our music is about singing the light and darkness of our minds.
SIN: The human heart and the feeling of living.
Shou.: I think you'll like it.
Saki: It's hard to say ... so please try it first.
Ryo: There is humanity in Awoi's music.

Does Awoi have one global concept for the band? If so, can you please describe this concept?

Otogi: Heavy sounds and nostalgic melodies, which creates the original world of Awoi's lyrics and music.

What do you value most in your music?

Otogi: The world view of our lyrics.
SIN: Shouts from the bottom of the heart.
Shou.: Awoi.
Saki: Being unique.
Ryo: Humanity.

In 2010 drummer Hiro left the band and you welcomed Ryo and Sin. Why did you decide to become a five-member band instead of only recruiting a fourth member?

Otogi: It's the result of how much we wanted to evolve so that we could get over the crisis of losing long-time band members. Because of that, I think Awoi's breadth of music spread so much.

How has your music changed since then?

Otogi: Because we all can compose music, Awoi's music became more diversified.

Last year you re-recorded the album Aoi with the new line up. Was it troublesome to recreate old songs so they would be suitable for two guitarists? How did you accomplish this?

SIN: Phrasing, of course, and our personalities are poles apart. But it's also our merit.
Shou.: Interaction of our phrases and feelings of tension which come from our different tunes.

Otogi, you are a very talented vocalist and you can sing in many styles. What are your vocal inspirations? How did you train your vocals?

Otogi: I don't really hold on to the concept of genres in music; I simply listen to what I feel is good. So, I greedily absorb whatever fits for me from a variety of music, and I practice.

The covers for your releases are always very meaningful. How do you decide on the design, and who designs them?

Otogi: The inspiration from the world view of the work and its impact. I mainly leave it to our designer.

Your newest single was just released in April. What concept is hidden behind Zetsubou no taiyou?

Otogi: It's hope.

How did you compose the songs? What were your sources of inspiration?

Otogi: I play the guitar when I have an image. It's the small daily things.
SIN: I ask myself how I can evoke my emotions.
Shou.: I make music based on my mental images.
Saki: Everything I have seen until now.
Ryo: I play the guitar as I sing and I imagine the songs when I take a bath.

What is the meaning of the bags you wear on your heads in the PV?

Otogi: It just means despair.

You released your album Birthday in Europe. How would you describe the songs included on the album?

Otogi: It's the work which Awoi expresses to live in its own way.

What is the meaning of the album's title? What kind of birthday do you mean?

Otogi: I feel I'm a new person with every day that passes and it's like having a new birthday every day, with each birthday being different from the previous one. Each of these birthdays is precious and I'm sure we can keep the "light" of hope in darkness.

So far, you have released two albums in Europe. Did you receive any feedback about these European releases?

Otogi: The number of overseas followers of our Twitter increased.
SIN: The reactions from overseas reached us through the internet.
Shou.: We received fan mail from overseas. I'm happy!
Saki: I'm happy because the amount of comments from overseas really increased.
Ryo: I'm glad there are some fans who gave us their impressions in Japanese via Twitter and such.

Next to releasing albums in Europe, you will also debut in Canada at the anime convention Anime North. How do you feel about being able to perform overseas?

Otogi: I'm excited that we can show Awoi to a non-Japanese audience who don't know Awoi yet.
SIN: I'll just play as I normally do.
Shou.: It's my first experience so I want you to know Awoi's goodness.
Saki: I haven't imagined such a thing will happen in my life, so it would a precious experience.
Ryo: It's a precious experience, and I want to absorb the atmosphere overseas and make good use of it in our music.

What are your expectations for your performance on an anime convention? Do you think it's a good place to promote your band?

Otogi: It's an event many people who are interested in Japanese culture will gather, so I think we can get a direct evaluation for Awoi.
SIN: It's an event where we can share Japanese culture in a culture different from Japan, so we can appeal well, I think.
Shou.: It's a good opportunity to get many people to know us.
Saki: I'm excited to see how Awoi can adapt in an atmosphere different from Japan.
Ryo: It isn't dependent on whether we're in Japan or overseas, but how well we can promote our band. But many people who want to see us but can't see us usually will gather, so I expect a lot.

Have you ever been in any foreign country before?

Otogi: Singapore and Malaysia.
SIN: Los Angeles and Bali.
Shou.: I have never been to a foreign country, but I'm interested in going to one.
Saki: USA.
Ryo: Yes.

Your performance at the anime convention is only a single show. Would you like to tour overseas too? If so, where would you like to go?

Otogi: We want to go overseas more. I want to go not only to major places but also to various places in an overseas tour.
SIN: Of course! We want Awoi to go all over the world!
Shou.: I want to do lives in many places.
Saki: Of course.
Ryo: I want to tour overseas continuously. First of all, to Europe.

What does being a part of Awoi mean to each you, personally?

Otogi: It's the place where I have the power to amplify what I do.
SIN: It's the meaning to live.
Shou.: It's the reason I exist, and what I can be excited about.
Saki: It's as natural as breathing.
Ryo: It's the reason for my living and existence.

Awoi’s image is very dark, but are your personalities also like this? What kind of person is each of you?

Otogi: It's dark. And Otaku.
SIN: It's dark. Very dark. Extremely dark.
Shou.: Likely.
Saki: My nature is good.
Ryo: My personality is funny.

What are your plans for the near future? Do you plan to continue your activities overseas?

Otogi: If we get the chance, we want to perform overseas as often as possible.

Lastly, please leave a message for your overseas fans.

Otogi: You'll hear the music only Awoi can provide you in the world. I'm sure we'll exceed your expectations.
SIN: It's our first live overseas and I'm so excited. I'll work hard to be able to send our music all over the world to move your hearts!
Shou.: I think music and languages have no borders, so I want you know us more. You'll surely be the one.
Saki: We get many requests from various countries waiting for Awoi, so I'm working hard to answer them as soon as possible.
Ryo: I hope we'll bring Awoi's music to many countries. Please listen to Awoi and wait for us.

JaME would like to thank Awoi and its management for making this interview possible.
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Awoi 05/25

Toronto, ON - Canada
Toronto Congress Center
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