alice nine. at J-ROCK INVASION

interview - 09.01.2008 12:00

At the J-ROCK INVASION event in Cologne, Germany, JaME got an opportunity to speak with the members of the popular band alice nine.

One day before the J-ROCK INVASION event in Cologne, we met up with alice nine. for an interview. The band was waiting for us backstage at the Palladium, all of them wearing thick jackets. After we introduced ourselves, we started the interview.

You’re playing for the first time in Europe. How do you feel about this, are you anxious about it? What are your expectations?

Shou: This will be the second time to perform abroad for us and we’re not particularly anxious about it. We have been looking forward to coming here and to see the faces of our fans closer.

How did you get the opportunity for this performance?

Tora: Our label inquired about it to us and we immediately said that we definitely wanted to do it.

This won’t be the first time for you to perform on a festival. What do you think about the line-up for tomorrow?

Shou: We especially like it that the bands performing tomorrow are similar to us. We think it’s great, that people who are interested in the genre will come tomorrow.

Will you also hold one-man concerts in Germany in the future?

All: Definitely (laughs)!

What do you think about Germany, what impressions have you collected so far?

Tora: I especially like the bread over here.
Nao: I immediately felt really good here, it has a familiar feeling.
Hiroto: The air here is similar to Japan’s. I immediately felt very good here.
Saga: I like the cars and the buildings.
Shou: So far I’ve seen a little of Cologne, and I think the city is very stylish.

Your name is seemingly related to Lewis Carroll’s 'Alice in Wonderland,' and one of your albums also has this title. What links you with this story, does it have anything to do with the concept of the band?

Shou: We don’t have a direct link to the stories, next to our band name.
We are influenced by the pop sounds of the word 'Alice'.

And what is the meaning of the nine in your name?

Shou: All of us like this number very much. The number has a hard sound and that’s why we like it.

Your new album is entitled Alpha, what meaning does this letter have for you?

Shou: We’ve been making music for three years now, and Alpha stands for a new beginning as our corpus, so to speak.

In these three years that you have been a band, a lot has definitely happened. What has surprised you?

Tora: For a band, three years is actually not much. We’re happy that we could release so many CDs in such a short period, performed so many lives and also performed abroad. It has been three great years.

Your international fanbase has grown a lot in these years. Were you aware of this, and what do you think about it?

Nao: On our homepage you can write the band directly, and we get many fanmails from abroad. Sometimes we get the feeling that we get more emails from abroad than from Japan!

Do you read all your fanmail?

All: Yes!

The song The Last Empire from your single WHITE PRAYER is a really hard song, while recently you have various soft songs. What was the reason for this change?

Shou: Generally it may be true, but have you listened to our new album Alpha yet? It has a hard song as well.

Are there also other foreign countries in which you absolutely want to perform?

Tora: We don’t have a particular country in mind, but as long as we have fans there that want to see us, then we would of course like to play there.

How do you write your songs?

Shou: When one of us has an idea, he shares it with the other band members, and then together we make a song out of that.

During that, do you have a special concept you all aim towards?

Shou: No, we actually don’t. We trust our own creativity.

Why did each of you start to make music?

Shou: There were bands that we looked up to and wanted to be like. That’s how we started with music.

What bands, for example?

Tora: X Japan.
Nao: (consults for a long time) Ah...also music, well. Actually...I would rather have become a wine-taster! (everybody laughs) But that did not work out and well...there were several opportunities to play in a band, so that’s how it happened.
Hiroto: I’ve tried many things in my life, and making music simply fit best with me.
Saga: It was the same for me. I’ve also tried many things, but I simply liked music best.
Shou: I like being able to transmit a message through music.

And what does this message look like?

Shou: (very enthusiastic) Most of all, we want to convey a positive message to our fans, that is pointed towards the future.

Please tell us something about the band member sitting next to you!

Tora: (about Nao) Hmm.... Otaku! (everybody laughs)
Nao: (in German, with accent) I love you!
Hiroto: (about Saga) Moodmaker! (everybody laughs again, because it seemed Hiroto had said 'Nudemaker') Also someone that makes the mood!
Saga: (about Shou) Game programmer! (everybody laughs)
Shou: (about Tora) A wonderful guitarist!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

All: We still want to be in a band around that time, preferably as alice nine.
Hiroto: I surely won’t be married by then…
All: In any case, we want to continue making music.

What kind of music do you listen to at home?

Tora: Metallica, for one.
Nao: Fall Out Boy!
Hiroto: Nine Inch Nails.
Shou: MUSE

Thank you very much for the interview!
All: Thank you very much.

JaME would like to thank the band, Rock Identity and PS Company.
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