Looking Back and Moving on: an Interview with D

interview - 30.07.2010 01:01

D reminisces about their past seven years together and shares about their newest single.

Visual kei band D has gone a long way since their formation in 2003. Now, seven years later, what are their thoughts on how their pathway to success has been? Read on as JaME finds out...

Among the many songs that you have released, what is the one song that you would introduce to someone who is new to D? Why did you choose that song?

ASAGI: 7th Rose. After all, it's the corpus of D's seven years.

We are sure that many people have heard of D but don't know why the band is named as such. Can you tell us about the origins of your band name?

ASAGI: I dare not attach a meaning to it because I don't want our works and imagination to be bound by anything. It comes from my inspiration and the sound of D. I felt that having the straight line and flexibility of the curve was very well-balanced.

Your 7th anniversary tour, 7th Rose, ended not too long ago on the 25th of April. What were its highlights? Did you have any unusual or interesting encounters during the tour?

ASAGI: I think that the biggest highlight was the atmosphere and sense of identity when we finished two encores at the final live in Shinagawa, which made me want to sing 7th Rose even more. We had interesting precious encounters throughout the whole tour as there were people who saw us for the first time and also those who saw us after a long time.

Seven years have passed since D was formed and you have produced numerous PVs in that space of time. Which was the one PV that you had the most memorable time shooting? Can you tell us more about it?

ASAGI: It’s Ouka saki some ni keri. Besides our costumes, we wore traditional Japanese clothes and we played two different roles. Japanese people don’t get a chance to wear such clothes often, so it was a very good experience.

Over the years, so many different outfits have been designed for your PVs and live performances. Where do you keep these costumes when they are not needed anymore?

ASAGI: We have a separate room for costumes and our previous costumes are kept there.

There are numerous visual kei bands out there. What is the one thing that distinguishes D from the rest?

ASAGI: We have established a unique world view.

As you know, most of your international fans are not fluent in Japanese. What type of themes can be found in your most recent album 7th Rose? Are these themes different from those you’ve previously written about?

ASAGI: This album was created with the number "7" which is symbolic of God in the Bible and the 7th anniversary of D decorated with roses. Whether it is for our past, present or future themes, the origin never changes. God and love will always exist.

On the album 7th Rose there are songs that seem influenced by both Russian and medieval European folk music — sounds that are not often heard in Japan. From where do you get inspiration for such songs?

ASAGI: I could feel nature and nostalgia in the music. It's difficult to explain in words but I could feel it in my blood. Like all humankind are brothers.

In July you will release the new single Akaki hitsuji no yoru bansankai. The single seems to have an interesting title, referring to a red sheep and dinner. Can you please tell us what the song is about and what inspired you to write it?

ASAGI: This song is a part of the vampire story descried by D and a new character plays a major role. The female vampire, Carbuncle (meaning a garnet), is faithful to the king who quit sucking blood and she goes on a hunt for evil vampires still sucking blood. Elements of the story of "Little Red Riding Hood" and the Bible are woven into the song through Carbuncle's hooded red cloak and the sheep, which represents a person of loyalty in the Bible.

D has occasionally given tips on cosplay in your blogs and video comments. What are the things that people should pay special attention to when cosplaying you in your upcoming PV?

ASAGI: When you cosplay ASAGI this time, I want you to wear the costume sexily. (laughs) I also want you to take note of the hairstyle in the shape of a ‘W’ which I imagined to be the horns of a sheep.

The CD covers of your works are really beautiful and artistic. Do you usually design them yourself or does a graphic designer do it for you? If you design them yourself, how do you come up with the creative concept and who is the band member who is usually behind the designs?

ASAGI: We ask a graphic designer to design them. I, ASAGI, contrive the image every time and consult the staff about the design.

This question is directed to ASAGI. You have used interesting props such as guns, whips, huge flags and roses to add life and color to D's live performances. Once, you surprised fans by turning up for a fan club live in a cat costume. What other interesting props or costumes can we expect from you in the future?

ASAGI: Even now, I use three different kinds of whips to distinguish between the different world views as portrayed by the song, so I can’t imagine what I’ll use in the future. By the way, does the "cat" refer to NYASAGI? He is my friend who really looks like me! (laughs)

This question is also directed to ASAGI. Your love for red roses is widely known amongst all your fans. If you have three stalks of roses now and you have to give them away, who would you give them to and why?

ASAGI: I’ll give all of the three roses to my lovely cats. They love roses and to be loved by roses.

After being together in D for so long, have you discovered anything surprising or special about your fellow band members?

ASAGI: We meet almost everyday, so we don’t come across big discoveries or anything especially surprising. But even though we have been together for a long time, I can still feel that I want to keep playing in this band continuously from now on.

Has your opinion about any particular member changed since the day you first met them? If so, what is it?

ASAGI: Each member of D originally had a different nature and hobby but I think we basically gathered under the same will for the music of D. In a good sense, all of the members might have changed.

This question is directed to Tsunehito. Being the youngest member in D, did you at any time feel intimidated by your fellow members who are more experienced than you? Do your fellow band members take good care of you?

Tsunehito: When we make music, they treat me fairly no matter how old I am. They always take good care of me!

This question is for ASAGI again. You mentioned in an interview last year that you wanted to learn how to play the piano. Have you made any progress in that? If so, will fans get to see you play the piano on stage any time soon?

ASAGI: I still want to do that but I haven’t made progress yet. If I could include the plan in my schedule, I really want to learn and I think that it will help make the music of D even better.

You are who and what you are today due to a variety of reasons. Is there any special person, aside from your fans and fellow band members, whom you would like to thank? How has this person made a difference in your life?

ASAGI: I thank the various staff. Of course, I also thank the staff who hold interviews from overseas like this one. Because of that, I can send my message to many people. And I thank God and Jesus Christ always.

There are so many different jobs out there. If you weren't a musician, what would you be?

ASAGI: A doctor.

You have received so many letters from your fans over the years. Can you tell us about the one letter that has made the deepest impression on you?

ASAGI: I think everyone worked hard to write them and all of them were very impressive to me. I keep all letters and signatures, including those from overseas, very carefully.

In many of your past interviews and video messages, you have mentioned that you would love to perform overseas. Given the chance, which would be the country that you would like to hold your first overseas performance in?

ASAGI: Well, I can’t choose easily because every country is attractive, but for example, the country which best matches the image of the music we release at that time will be a better choice.

For the remainder of 2010 and the years to come, what are the goals and directions for D?

ASAGI: We don’t have a goal. About the direction, we will just proclaim the best D that we can think of at that time. Our belief won’t change.

Lastly, could you please give a message to your numerous overseas fans?

ASAGI: Thank you for your continuous support from far away. I’m really looking forward to seeing you someday. When the time comes, we’ll gather under the rose named D. Thank you for reading this until the end.

Thank you very much for the interview!

ASAGI: Thank you very much. Please support us continuously.
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