A few days before the concert in Paris, Mana invited us to interview him. He came alone and along with one of Midi:Nette's managers and Jon the translator, we seated ourselves in a room. I am the first to go; other journalists will follow.
After a few short introductions, the interview starts:
You're on your second tour in Europe; how do you feel about these upcoming events?
Mana: Contrary to Japan, there're a lot more males present than girls. The "Power" is more powerful, and I can't wait to do this concert in France.
How do you feel now that your mini-album 'Beyond the Gate' just came out, and what were the first reactions to it?
Mana: If one takes, for example, the song 'deus ex machina', it was realized in a manner very different compared to what's usually called "digital." There were a lot of surprised reactions, but they weren't negative; it was more astonishment in discovering a song like that on this mini-album.
After the introduction 'The other side in blood (SE)', 'Eternally Beyond' marks a clean cut with your former album 'Nocturnal Opera'. Did you want to show an evolution in the musical style of Moi dix Mois?
[Jon and Mana exchance a few words over the question]
Mana: Indeed, that track in particular may seem different, but as a whole I don't think I've really changed the way I compose my music, except with the digital treatment (digital effects) present. However, while it's true that Eternally Beyond is more original, the other songs aren't very different from my style.
Is there a reason why you put 'Eternally Beyond' as the first track?
Mana: It's true that 'Eternally Beyond' is the key song of the mini-album, but there wasn't a particular message to transmit through it.
Like you said, there are digital effects in 'deus ex machina', but we also find more aggressive guitar in 'unmoved' and 'Vain'. In what direction are you carrying the musical future of Moi dix Mois?
Mana: For the future, I would like to make more "heavy" music like 'unmoved' and 'Vain' in order to bring the sound of the guitars to the front. Then, to vary my style, I use some digital music like with deus ex machina. Basically, I want to harmonize my compositions between classical music and a more aggressive style. There's not one particular direction towards which Moi dix Mois is headed.
Shadow X resurfaced with K for the "death voice," why does mystery still hang over that person?
Mana: You must know that Shadow X and K are two very different people. We won't focus on or officially announce Shadow X later. The mystery will remain unsolved for now...
Not even a little picture?
Mana: [small laugh] Uh...it's not in planning!
Going on to Seth now, many mysteries weigh on him, like his birthday and blood type; can you then tell us a little more about the new vocalist for Moi dix Mois?
Mana: Is it necessary to know his date of birth?
Well, for example, on the official Moi dix Mois site his birthday is replaced by X's; we don't know a whole lot about him.
Mana: At first we didn't want to reveal anything about him, so it was all done on purpose. But now, little by little and as we go along, we'll reveal more about him.
And what about Sugiya and Hayato [editor's note: the two session members for the tour], can you tell us about them?
Mana: They were introduced to me by some friends of mine.
Your look on 'Beyond the Gate' comes across looking more strict and militaristic; what are your reasons for this change in style?
Mana: Since the new mini-album is more violent and aggressive than the previous albums, I decided to have a look that related better to that style.
Can you please explain to us a little more the booklet for 'Beyond the Gate', on which you are portrayed with your hands nailed to a cross while hands rise from the ground to reach towards you?
Mana: First of all, it has nothing to do with the Christian religion, and it's not in honor of Jesus Christ. It's more the concept of the album in my mind that manifests itself on that cover. The concept of the album is difficult for me to explain. It's necessary to empty, to pour out the stereotypical ideas that each one of us has within us into the sea of blood [editor's note: the sea of blood that can be seen on the cover of the album] and reincarnate oneself, spiritually.
You did a concert for your fan club Mon+Amour at the Liquid Room on March 11; how did that go?
Mana: Oh...since that concert was for the fan club, it went very well, and we were able to organize several surprises onstage. There was a particular atmosphere made for them so that they could be all the more excited and happy from that concert.
So was there something in particular on the occasion of your birthday? [editor's note: March 19]
Mana: Yes, I wanted to celebrate it onstage.
What can we anticipate as far as your next CD and DVD releases?
Mana: There will be a new CD during the year.
Will it be a complete album or a single?
Mana: I don't know yet under which form, but it'll come out this year. Nothing's concrete, but I do want to release something.
Lots of fans would like to see some Moi dix Mois videos. Have you taken that into consideration?
Mana: As soon as possible and maybe even this year, I intend to make a music video.
Are you planning to put a section back up where you write your impressions like on the old version of the Moi dix Mois site for your international fans who can't read Japanese?
Mana: There's my personal site with my journal called Monologue Theater in Japanese. I plan to renovate it first, and after that it'll be possible to read that journal in English. Little by little we're putting everything in English.
I've been informed that you don't really like flying; were you apprehensive this time, too?
Mana: [surprised by the question] Yes, planes are the mode of transportation that make me the most anxious!
At the Japan Expo 2004, you had the opportunity to produce some other bands. Did you find any artists or groups that interested you?
Mana: That's true, however, I still haven't found any (new groups to produce) to this day.
Even non-Japanese ones?
Mana: Yes, of course, if I like the groups.
Wouldn't you like to become the owner of your own château in France to have a second home here? I'll explain myself: we have been able to see you during Malice Mizer in a château and recently in some photobooks and each time we find a château again. [editor's note: see movie/video 'Vers Elle', photobook 'Magnifique' and mini-photobook present in the limited version of the DVD 'Europe Tour 2005 ~Invite to Immortality~']
[a small smile draws itself on Mana's face]
Mana: If one day I have that chance, it would make me very happy!
Thank you very much for your responses.
Mana: Merci [editor's note: he said it in French!]
Moi dix Mois : Europe Tour 2006
interview - 23.05.2006 13:00
JaME was invited to interview Mana, the guitarist and leader of Moi dix Mois, a few days before their concert in Paris.